Got the dreaded letter today…turned down for everything and dla will finish on 4th Dec…gutted
Omg. I’m so sorry. Did you have help with the form? Did you supply enough evidence to support your claim? Have you seen the personal assessment info? And most importantly, will you apply for a reconsideration?
You really need to bury them with paperwork I have found, I send everything even copies of appointments which they say they don’t want, I keep a diary which is a page a day type and I strictly write every single emotion and pain I go through on a daily basis this I transcribe into a very lengthy letter to them. Every copy of prescriptions even if you think it’s immaterial, send it what’s the worse that can happen they can’t knock you back for sending to much info can they, your partner and family and friend can even write for you how your ms impacts on your life please don’t just sit there and give in and accept this decision because there is lots that you can do.
Thanks guys…an advice centre helped me fill it in and my assessor was a lovely lady who seemed to understand but some folk have said that a lot of people have to appeal to get decisions over turned so fingers crossed…I included my scripts and letter from my MS nurse…so I am at a loss as to what you have to do to get an award but I rang them immediately to say that I’ll be appealing it…
Sometimes advisors from welfare benefits advice centres aren’t very good. (Sorry, but that is true.)
It helps massively if you yourself understand the Descriptors and Activities and how you score points. I know you might not feel much like it right now, but I’d advise you to do the following:
- Take the CABs self assessment test, see how many points you believe to should have scored. See Personal Independence Payment - Citizens Advice
- Assuming you should have qualified, see the points table and work out where you should have score the appropriate points: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf
- Consider joining https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ for guidance on how to get a mandatory reconsideration. They do charge £20 ish, but it’s worth it. Their guides are really good.
- Think about what evidence you supplied with your original claim and how (whether) it backs up your claim given the points you feel you should have scored. Have you got any letters already, from your neurologist, other professionals anyone else? Is there anyone else you could get a letter from? Is there anyone who supports you, as a formal carer, or just as a friend or family member? Do you have any aids and adaptations at home which help you? Photos of these can be included.
- Um, trying to think of more useful stuff but my dinner is almost ready, I’ll come back to this later (tomorrow) when I have more time.
Don’t get too disheartened, so many people win at reconsideration stage. And if not, they win at appeal. It’s truly not the end of the world.
Thanks Sue…great advice and I have started the ball rolling…strange as my MS is more progressed now and I was getting middle rate mobility and low rate care DLA and PIP has turned me down completely…
i spent 9 Wks in hospital in 2015 following a ferocious ms attack. I was fortunate enough to be treated with Lemtrada and was discharged from hospital needing to use a wheel chair and have carers coming in daily. Fortunately I have improved greatly since leaving hospital, having physio improved my mobility enabling me to get about with a walking stick and using a wheel chair if going any distance. I have since had my disability allowance (pip) stopped. I agreed with them about the personal care side but said by taking away the personal independence payment they are taking away my independence as I no-longer drive and cannot use public transport so use taxis to go anywhere I need. I have appealed which was denied so next step is tribunal but have received a letter from the DWP saying they oppose the appeal and ask the Tribunal to dismiss the appeal and confirm the Secretary of State’s decision! Has anyone had similar experience or can offer any advice? Thank you
I do know from personal experience (my adult son is autistic) that PIP is all about explaining HOW your functionality is affected by your condition rather than the condition itself, and needs a totally different approach to DLA,
They are also only interested in the specific descriptors
It’s a very sneaky, naughty manouvre on their part really as so many people are falling prey on the changeover.
Fightback are amazing, honestly they are real experts on PIP so it may be worth contacting them as they will do your Mandatory Reconsideration for you.
If you have rung PIP today to tell them you are appealing, they will probably take that as your intention to ask for Mandatory Reconsideration so will start your 28 days from today which is the time they allow you to submit in writing your reconsideration request.
Phone DWP ASAP and ask ffor a copy of the assessment report from Capita/ whoever did yours as this will giv you the breakdown of points so you can see also the assessors reasoning for giving fewer points etc
There is no point in writing to them about errors/lies/innaccuracy - just write calmly for every descriptor. State if there are any you agree with.
On the ones you don’t, explain exactly WHY you feel you qualify . Without going into it all on here I can help if you like , but as Sue said, also worth looking at Benefits & Work and maybe contacting Fightback for Justice who have a Facebook page.
Please PM me if you like I am NOT an expert but have done this process twice and used Fightbacks legally trained advocates both times, so am reasonably clued up.
It’s blummin awful that people whose condiions are deteriorating are being put through this
do the PIP test it gives you an idea what they are looking for. what points did you get for each section? remember PIP is not DLA its totally different. its aming towards mental health too. its not the same really. its about how dependant on others you are.
Cheers folks…support here is 1st class…when I read their response I felt that it wasn’t my form they must have had…lol
Thanks for the advice Minnie. I have already done the mandatory reconsideration which was rejected so was going for tribunal but appears they are trying to block that! I will take your advice and write a comment for each of the descriptors explaining why I think I qualify. I naively completed the form myself but my husband says even his interpretation of the questions differs from mine. I will contact Fight for justice and get their help and advice also. Thank you for your help : )
Laura,I think that is the standard response to appeal letter,don’t worry about that and prepare yourself for the tribunal!
That is exactly what should happen,as they have already turned down your mandatory reconsideration so unless there is new evidence supplied with your application for appeal,they SHOULD disagree and ask it to be dismissed,as to do otherwise would suggest the Mandatory reconsideration stage is a just there to put people off the fight! I know of one guy on here who had the decision reversed before tribunal(at stage you are at but that’s very rare)
I haven’t got them to hand but if you look up the pip descriptors and points system and go through them 1 by 1 and see which ones you disagree with.Have you had the report from the face to face? these can be an absolute work of fiction sometimes and need challenging point by point.
Very important that you also consider the guidelines that any of the stated tasks need to be done “Safely,Reliably,Repeatedly,In a timely fashion”. When preparing for tribunal it may feel that you are constantly repeating yourself by referring constantly that these guidelines have not be considered!
Think about variability of your condition,to score the points i think you need the point scoring disability 50% of time but if for example one answer (same question on pip form)applies 40% of time and would score 2 points and another applies 20% and scores 4 points you have over the required 50% so you should be awarded The higher percentage one(in this example the lower score of 2 points)
Evidence is of course very important,and if you have Ms nurse reports etc that’s great but DONT under estimate the other type of evidence in the form of statements both of the written type and in person if they can attend with you,from any friends and family who witness the real world difficulties you face regularly and don’t overlook the little bits of informal support they they offer.
I have helped my wife through an Esa tribunal which we won,and whilst it was a horrible,stressful time preparing for it,the actual day was much better and they were not at all intimidating,they did have to keep telling me that i would get my turn and when they eventually came to me i was a bit blank as i thought it had all been said,but then worried as i spoke out of turn they may have dismissed what i said but we won so must have been ok!
Good luck,don’t let the long winded waffle in such letters put you off!
I think the most important points to have come out of all these bits of advice are:
- Don’t give up. It’s a slog, but you should keep going.
- Ollie made the point that all the tasks should be done ‘Safely, reliably and repeatedly, in a timely fashion’. So if you can walk 50 metres, but are not confident about your safety, or if you need a sit down before doing it again, then you should make that clear.
- Minnie made a really valuable comment that PIP is about how your functionality is affected by your condition, not the condition itself. Apart from anything else, the assessor is likely to know very little about MS and nothing about you.
- Definitely ask for the assessors report, that way you can see what they thought about your face to face assessment, so you know where you need to change their minds.
- Remember, evidence, evidence, evidence. Whatever you say, you need to back it up with written evidence. In my case, I had letters from my MS nurse, physiotherapist, bowel and bladder specialist, urology surgeon, rehabilitation neurologist, neurological psychologist, and colorectal surgeon. A few of these were written specifically for the PIP claim, and some were copy letters which I already had. I also included photos of my bathroom, showing shower chair and grad bars and bedroom, showing bed rail and walker.
- Minnie also commented that the 28 days for your reconsideration request to be submitted starts from the time you phone them, so it might be worth doing some research and getting the ball rolling on extra evidence before you start the clock ticking.
- I personally believe that the way to win with the DWP is to take a non combative stance. You (and I) might think the rules are crap, the way the assessors operate is sneaky and unreliable. But, if you want to win, you kind of have to behave as it the questions and rules are reasonable. Your aim is to make the decision maker understand who you are and how your condition affects your completion of the different Descriptors. In a way, it’s a case of working ‘with’ the decision maker to demonstrate how you fit the Descriptors and thus accumulate sufficient points for the correct award.
And don’t forget, if you are turned down for any award at all, and you think that it may be because you just didn’t really understand how to fill in the form, and can’t face going all through the appeal process, you can just submit a brand new claim without having to wait any length of time as long as no claim is already/still in payment!
So you can arm yourself with the statement of reason from DWP and the assessors report to see where you lost out the first time, draft out all your answers again, gather all evidence and just do it again
Which for some, may be less stressful than going through the Mandatory Reconsideration and Tribunal Appeals route.
You can reapply on a brand new claim even after a Mandatory Reconsideration so really the options are:
Apply for Mandatory Reconsideration - postive result = yay! - negative result = progress to Appeal
Apply for MR - positive result = Yay! - negative result = just bin it and submit brand new claim
Don’t bother with MR and just submit new claim as soon as you are turned down.
Submit new claim even whilst waiting for tribunal date but be aware new claim would supercede any tribunal decision
Obviously with a partial award ie daily living awarded but Mobility denied, you have to weigh up the risks of MR as they will look at the whole award again, not just the bit you want!
Great advice guys…really appreciate it…
That is a brilliant way of looking at it Minnie. So if Redman were to accept the non award of PIP, his DLA runs out on 4th December, theoretically he could submit a new claim for PIP on the 5th December. But this time with all the bits he missed out on from the first claim with the aid of the assessors report. And assuming he qualifies this time, there’s actually no gap between one award and the next. Or request mandatory reconsideration, and if the result is negative, then submit a new claim. Although that might involve a period of time while no benefit is paid (because the DWP take their time!)
Quite a fabulous idea.
Thanks for your advice Ollie - you are right about wading through all the “waffle”. There has been lots of useful information gained from this site, thank you to everyone for your help and feedback.
As a legal friend said to me ’ Appeal, appeal and appeal’
A truly horrible situation to be in, really stressful.
Remember every answer should be written down with the following uppermost in your mind.
Consider the guidelines of the tasks that need to be done AND apply to you. Remember the mantra “Safely, Reliably, Repeatedly ,In a timely fashion” and use this to develop your answers to EACH AND EVERY TASK that you are answering. Think about your life and activities compared to Mr/Ms Average.
When preparing for tribunal it may feel that you are constantly repeating yourself by referring constantly that these guidelines have not be considered!. Also get someone who knows you and your life really well and has seen you on your worst days to go over your answers. Your answers should be written as if this is your worst day
Good luck and DSO NOT GIVE IN or GIVE UP
I was rejected outright after I was first assessed. I wrote a long letter which (including my most recent MS nurse appointment outcome letter) ran to seven pages, to request a mandatory reconsideration.
I was offered basic on both elements but still with mistakes, including the assessor’s comments that appeared to be for someone else. So I requested a tribunal but the DWP re-reviewed my file and it was changed to enhanced rates.
So please call the DWP and request a copy of the assessment. I also told them I needed extra time to receive the report and then review it. It took me a few days to complete it but I still sent it by registered post in plenty of time before the end date!
Good luck tho
I’m really sorry to hear that.
I’ve also been demoted by them from high mobility to the lowest they could give, nothing has change over the last 11 years only worse.
I was actually coming online to ask for some advice from my fellow MS-ers about challenging PIP
When they send a 22 year old idiot out to assess me who is not a doctor, not Neurologist, not a MS specialist Neurologist and is basically knows nothing about MS, all they’re trying to do is reduce everything they can it really “P’s you off”
I’m going to challenge their decision they made against me, so if you get any links or good info please let me know
Again sorry to hear but fight on don’t give up