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  • FIRST POST
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 18th Mar 17, 2:00 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 4Thanks
    acooper95
    PIP Help
    • #1
    • 18th Mar 17, 2:00 PM
    PIP Help 18th Mar 17 at 2:00 PM
    Hi all,

    New to this forum so hello from me.

    Few days ago my son was awarded PIP and given standard rates for both. We are both delighted, but disappointed as the letter he received today isn't truthful.

    Budgeting
    We stated in the forms and face to face that my son is unable to make budgeting decisions. Due to his depression and unable to control finances, I have full access to his accounts and debit cards. I arrange the bills to be paid, rent and other expenses. This was stated to the assessor who came to his house. He was awarded 0 points and it states "You can managed complex budgeting decisions unaided"; which isn't true.

    Mixing with other people
    We stated in the forms and face to face that my son suffers from social anxiety and being in an open place with people causes him distress; let alone engage with them. He cannot go out unless it's with me and even then, he appears stressed and will make me take him home. As soon as the assessor sat down, he told her that I would be talking for him. She stated that he had to to understand it more. He did reluctantly under the impression he had to or wouldn't get the benefit. He was awarded 0 points and it states "You can engage with other people unaided"

    Preparing food
    We stated that he cannot prepare or cook a simple meal due not being able to concentrate. He burns himself when forgetting pans on the hob and due to having no sense of smell, he's at hazard of burning the house down or himself. I either cook for him or give him microwave meals. He was awarded 2 points and it states "You need an aid or appliance to be able to prepare or cook a simple meal"

    Managing your treatments
    We stated due to his depression and inability to concentrate and due to number of meds he takes, I sort his various meds out into a dossette box. I visit morning and evening to ensure he takes them as he has the tendency to forget. He was awarded 0 points and it states "You can manage medication unaided"

    He was awarded 8 points.

    Mobility - Going Out
    We stated that he is unable to follow the route of a familiar or unfamiliar journey without another person. Whenever he does need to go out, e.g food or specialist appointments, I literally have to force him into the car to go. Whilst we shop for food, he will stay in the car. He cannot travel on public transport alone and he is never in public without me. Before we travel, I have to confirm with him the route of journey on Google Maps; this was then noted down that he likes to look at Google Maps; what a load of rubbish. It 's not a familiar route, he will panic, get anxious and refuse to go. He was awarded 0 points and it states "You are able to plan and follow a simple journey unaided"

    He was awarded 10 points for moving around and 0 for going out.

    What does he do now? He is worried his claim will get stopped if he even challenges it. Very disappointed as the points missing would of got him the higher rate on both.

    Thanks in advance,
Page 2
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 18th Mar 17, 7:42 PM
    • 813 Posts
    • 841 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I've just read the opening letter again and at the top, it states "Your mandatory reconsideration notice".

    We have not appealed. All we did was apply, send in forms, have assessor over, then awarded.

    Only reason I can think is they originally lost the forms meaning it went over the deadline. Had to send again so perhaps that's the reasoning behind it.

    Does this mean now I will have to take it direct to tribunal as they have annoyingly sent out a MRN without us actually appealing?
    Originally posted by acooper95
    A letter headed that usually means that a Mandatory Reconsideration has been requested and that is the DWP response

    Have you contacted them at all since you received the decision notice?

    What does the rest of the letter say?
    • Muttleythefrog
    • By Muttleythefrog 18th Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    • 9,959 Posts
    • 18,420 Thanks
    Muttleythefrog
    I've just read the opening letter again and at the top, it states "Your mandatory reconsideration notice".

    We have not appealed. All we did was apply, send in forms, have assessor over, then awarded.

    Only reason I can think is they originally lost the forms meaning it went over the deadline. Had to send again so perhaps that's the reasoning behind it.

    Does this mean now I will have to take it direct to tribunal as they have annoyingly sent out a MRN without us actually appealing?
    Originally posted by acooper95
    I think all you can do is query this with a call.. and dispute anything that is untrue. They should not lodge a MR without being requested to. You should have two copies of the MR (one to send to tribunal if wanting an appeal). If they say this is the MR decision then state you've never had an original decision or challenged it.
    Last edited by Muttleythefrog; 18-03-2017 at 7:52 PM.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 18th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    A letter headed that usually means that a Mandatory Reconsideration has been requested and that is the DWP response

    Have you contacted them at all since you received the decision notice?

    What does the rest of the letter say?
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    It just says Dear so and so,

    Thank you for asking us to look at your PIP again.

    Then goes on to give the rates. Only reason I can think of why they've done this is when they lost the evidence forms and had to get them to accept it after deadline. Decision notice only arrived today after being awarded it last week (phoned up to chase it up)
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 18th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    • 813 Posts
    • 841 Thanks
    NeilCr
    It just says Dear so and so,

    Thank you for asking us to look at your PIP again.

    Then goes on to give the rates. Only reason I can think of why they've done this is when they lost the evidence forms and had to get them to accept it after deadline. Decision notice only arrived today after being awarded it last week (phoned up to chase it up)
    Originally posted by acooper95
    Well for some reason they've assumed that an MR has been submitted

    With Muttley on this one. Call and ask why it has been sent out
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 18th Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Re Mobility 1b

    Basically what you wrote in your OP "He cannot travel on public transport alone and he is never in public without me." , together with " my son suffers from social anxiety and being in an open place with people causes him distress; let alone engage with them. He cannot go out unless it's with me and even then, he appears stressed and will make me take him home."

    If you can expand a bit on that, and maybe quote some examples in your MR / tribunal submission.

    Be aware that "any journey" means any single journey on the majority of days.

    This is taken from the assessors guide:
    "This descriptor applies to claimants where leaving the home and
    undertaking any journey causes overwhelming psychological
    distress and where they need prompting on the majority of days to
    be able to go out.

    ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another
    person. ‘Prompting’ can take place either before or during a journey.
    ‘Any journey’ means any single journey on the majority of days.
    Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an
    enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive
    impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the
    symptoms are so severe that the person is unable to function
    . This
    may occur in conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic
    disorder, dementia or agoraphobia. In cases of agoraphobia, going
    out provokes anxiety but may still be possible with prompting. If
    agoraphobia is severe and the claimant is unable to go out even
    with support on the majority of days, descriptor E may be more appropriate.

    Does the claimant need prompting to be able to make any single
    journey on most days? In other words, if they get support from
    someone else, can they successfully make a journey on most days?
    If so, descriptor B is likely to apply.

    For example, a claimant who goes out to his local shop four days
    each week but needs to have his wife with him to be able to cope
    with this journey. He will sometimes try to go to his weekly
    physiotherapy appointment alone if his wife is working, but this
    causes him significant anxiety and he has only managed to cope
    with this once in the last month; he cancelled the other
    appointments rather than make the trip alone. He can go out on
    most days but requires prompting / support to be able to do so. He
    is only able to go out alone on occasion and very infrequently. He
    would therefore satisfy mobility 1B.


    If, however, a claimant can undertake any single journey on the
    majority of days in the required period without prompting, for
    example, regular visits to the local shop to collect the daily paper, or
    regularly collect their children from school without support then they
    will not satisfy this descriptor, even if they are unable to undertake
    other journeys without prompting during the required period. The HP
    should ask clarifying questions of claimants who state they can
    undertake some journeys but not others without prompting to
    ascertain the reasons why and to obtain corroborating evidence
    where necessary. The HP should also explore what the claimant is
    “able” to do rather than what they “do” do. For example, a claimant
    who goes out twice a week – is this through choice, or because they
    need prompting due to overwhelming psychological distress?"

    Would that apply to your son?

    Evidence could be provided by other family members / friends etc.
    If your son's GP / CPN / another health care professional could confirm this, it would be very valuable evidence.

    A diary which details when your son goes out, and with whom, how long for, and what happens, how he is the rest of the day, how many days he can't go out etc would be useful.

    The How to win a PIP appeal guide is useful on this (see link in my earlier post):
    "You should think about keeping a diary of the help you need each day. It will help the tribunal panel to get a proper understanding of your situation. It is particularly helpful if your illness or disability isn't the same every day. Keep a diary for a month if you can (but a shorter time will also be helpful). It can be very brief. For example - 'Monday - Joints and back very painful today. Needed help to fasten my bra, and put socks and shoes on, as I couldn't bend down. Marie had to help me downstairs'. Include everything that is connected to the entitlement to PIP is based on.
    If you get help from somebody and find this sort of thing hard, you could ask them to keep a diary of the help they have given you instead (as an alternative to the letter - see above)."


    I'm afraid the decision won't be changed by calling PIP up and telling them the assessor and case manager have got a few pointers wrong meaning missed he out on points.
    It is very likely to necessitate a tribunal appearance, hence the suggestion in my earlier post to see if you can access a caseworker from your local CAB / advice agency. The success rate for PIP appeals are over 65%.
    Represented PIP appeals at my local CAB are almost always successful.
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 18th Mar 17, 8:16 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    Re Mobility 1b

    Basically what you wrote in your OP "He cannot travel on public transport alone and he is never in public without me." , together with " my son suffers from social anxiety and being in an open place with people causes him distress; let alone engage with them. He cannot go out unless it's with me and even then, he appears stressed and will make me take him home."

    If you can expand a bit on that, and maybe quote some examples in your MR / tribunal submission.

    Be aware that "any journey" means any single journey on the majority of days.

    This is taken from the assessors guide:
    "This descriptor applies to claimants where leaving the home and
    undertaking any journey causes overwhelming psychological
    distress and where they need prompting on the majority of days to
    be able to go out.

    ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another
    person. ‘Prompting’ can take place either before or during a journey.
    ‘Any journey’ means any single journey on the majority of days.
    Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an
    enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive
    impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the
    symptoms are so severe that the person is unable to function
    . This
    may occur in conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic
    disorder, dementia or agoraphobia. In cases of agoraphobia, going
    out provokes anxiety but may still be possible with prompting. If
    agoraphobia is severe and the claimant is unable to go out even
    with support on the majority of days, descriptor E may be more appropriate.

    Does the claimant need prompting to be able to make any single
    journey on most days? In other words, if they get support from
    someone else, can they successfully make a journey on most days?
    If so, descriptor B is likely to apply.

    For example, a claimant who goes out to his local shop four days
    each week but needs to have his wife with him to be able to cope
    with this journey. He will sometimes try to go to his weekly
    physiotherapy appointment alone if his wife is working, but this
    causes him significant anxiety and he has only managed to cope
    with this once in the last month; he cancelled the other
    appointments rather than make the trip alone. He can go out on
    most days but requires prompting / support to be able to do so. He
    is only able to go out alone on occasion and very infrequently. He
    would therefore satisfy mobility 1B.


    If, however, a claimant can undertake any single journey on the
    majority of days in the required period without prompting, for
    example, regular visits to the local shop to collect the daily paper, or
    regularly collect their children from school without support then they
    will not satisfy this descriptor, even if they are unable to undertake
    other journeys without prompting during the required period. The HP
    should ask clarifying questions of claimants who state they can
    undertake some journeys but not others without prompting to
    ascertain the reasons why and to obtain corroborating evidence
    where necessary. The HP should also explore what the claimant is
    “able” to do rather than what they “do” do. For example, a claimant
    who goes out twice a week – is this through choice, or because they
    need prompting due to overwhelming psychological distress?"

    Would that apply to your son?

    Evidence could be provided by other family members / friends etc.
    If your son's GP / CPN / another health care professional could confirm this, it would be very valuable evidence.

    A diary which details when your son goes out, and with whom, how long for, and what happens, how he is the rest of the day, how many days he can't go out etc would be useful.

    The How to win a PIP appeal guide is useful on this (see link in my earlier post):
    "You should think about keeping a diary of the help you need each day. It will help the tribunal panel to get a proper understanding of your situation. It is particularly helpful if your illness or disability isn't the same every day. Keep a diary for a month if you can (but a shorter time will also be helpful). It can be very brief. For example - 'Monday - Joints and back very painful today. Needed help to fasten my bra, and put socks and shoes on, as I couldn't bend down. Marie had to help me downstairs'. Include everything that is connected to the entitlement to PIP is based on.
    If you get help from somebody and find this sort of thing hard, you could ask them to keep a diary of the help they have given you instead (as an alternative to the letter - see above)."


    I'm afraid the decision won't be changed by calling PIP up and telling them the assessor and case manager have got a few pointers wrong meaning missed he out on points.
    It is very likely to necessitate a tribunal appearance, hence the suggestion in my earlier post to see if you can access a caseworker from your local CAB / advice agency. The success rate for PIP appeals are over 65%.
    Represented PIP appeals at my local CAB are almost always successful.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thank you so much for the information. I'm not sure he'll be able to cope with a tribunal appearance so will more then likely stick to what he has as it's already a massive help. Also, a benefit calculator states he should be able to get an extra £61.85 a week severe disability premium which is quite good. Hopefully when I ring up ESA for him on Monday they can confirm this.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 18th Mar 17, 8:26 PM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I've just read the opening letter again and at the top, it states "Your mandatory reconsideration notice".

    Does this mean now I will have to take it direct to tribunal as they have annoyingly sent out a MRN without us actually appealing?
    Originally posted by acooper95
    It looks that way. Are there 2 copies of the letter?
    Does the letter say if you disagree with their MRN you can appeal to the Tribunal Service (TS)

    In a way that could be advantageous to you. The MRN hasn't decreased your existing award.
    If you decide to appeal to the tribunal, and then change your mind you can withdraw the appeal (in writing) at any stage.
    This is the form to continue your appeal to the TS :
    http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/sscs001-eng.pdf

    The SSCS 1 form needs to be with the TS within 1 month of the date of the MRN .

    Use your wording on your OP for the grounds for the appeal.
    Do opt to attend the appeal.
    Don't ask for short notice of the hearing.

    Timescales (very roughly and will vary by region) about 2 months to get the DWP evidence bundle then c. 6 weeks till the hearing date (of which you will receive about 2 weeks notice).
    That should give sufficient time to contact your local CAB, start gathering evidence, read through, and act on, the online guides, see if your son's GP would support him, etc

    If your son does want to appeal, I think (and this may be contentious) take advantage of the DWP error and appeal to the TS. Remember that if you can't get the evidence / help / or your son becomes too anxious then you can withdraw the appeal at any time.

    Realistically it is unlikely that a tribunal will reduce an award that has just been awarded, particularly if you are well prepared, have evidence, and your son can explain the problems he has to the panel. The recent occasions when I have seen an award downgraded have occurred at MR stage not at tribunal.
    If you and your son are confident the decision is wrong, then this is an opportunity to rectify it.
    Tribunal panels are very thorough, but they are very used to dealing with anxious, chronically depressed appellants and are usually very careful to set them at ease and draw out the required info. They will want to know about your son's day-to-day life, and the typical difficulties he has with the disputed descriptors on the majority of days.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 18-03-2017 at 8:37 PM.
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 19th Mar 17, 11:16 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    It looks that way. Are there 2 copies of the letter?
    Does the letter say if you disagree with their MRN you can appeal to the Tribunal Service (TS)

    In a way that could be advantageous to you. The MRN hasn't decreased your existing award.
    If you decide to appeal to the tribunal, and then change your mind you can withdraw the appeal (in writing) at any stage.
    This is the form to continue your appeal to the TS :

    The SSCS 1 form needs to be with the TS within 1 month of the date of the MRN .

    Use your wording on your OP for the grounds for the appeal.
    Do opt to attend the appeal.
    Don't ask for short notice of the hearing.

    Timescales (very roughly and will vary by region) about 2 months to get the DWP evidence bundle then c. 6 weeks till the hearing date (of which you will receive about 2 weeks notice).
    That should give sufficient time to contact your local CAB, start gathering evidence, read through, and act on, the online guides, see if your son's GP would support him, etc

    If your son does want to appeal, I think (and this may be contentious) take advantage of the DWP error and appeal to the TS. Remember that if you can't get the evidence / help / or your son becomes too anxious then you can withdraw the appeal at any time.

    Realistically it is unlikely that a tribunal will reduce an award that has just been awarded, particularly if you are well prepared, have evidence, and your son can explain the problems he has to the panel. The recent occasions when I have seen an award downgraded have occurred at MR stage not at tribunal.
    If you and your son are confident the decision is wrong, then this is an opportunity to rectify it.
    Tribunal panels are very thorough, but they are very used to dealing with anxious, chronically depressed appellants and are usually very careful to set them at ease and draw out the required info. They will want to know about your son's day-to-day life, and the typical difficulties he has with the disputed descriptors on the majority of days.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thanks all, really appreciate all the help and advise received!

    Looking at it and doing various benefit calculators, no I get the PIP standard rates, he should be eligible for £61.85 SDP; which is great if they can confirm this tomorrow.

    Does anyone know if the SDP is backdated to when the PIP was first applied for? Was November 21st.
    • Tommo1980
    • By Tommo1980 19th Mar 17, 11:58 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    Tommo1980
    The SDP will be backdated to the start of the PIP award, so normally the date of initial application. That is assuming the other qualifying criteria were met at that point.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tommo1980; 19-03-2017 at 12:07 PM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 19th Mar 17, 12:16 PM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    You need to ask the DWP for an IS10 form to be sent to your son so he can claim the SDP.
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 19th Mar 17, 12:49 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    The SDP will be backdated to the start of the PIP award, so normally the date of initial application. That is assuming the other qualifying criteria were met at that point.

    Tom
    Originally posted by Tommo1980
    He lives alone, no one claims carers allowance, he's on the income and support group of ESA and has been awarded standard pip for both categories.
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 19th Mar 17, 12:50 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    You need to ask the DWP for an IS10 form to be sent to your son so he can claim the SDP.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thank you. Will do that tomorrow. Sods law when I want to query it all they closed at the weekend!
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 19th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    Also, is SDP paid with ESA or PIP?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 19th Mar 17, 1:32 PM
    • 10,449 Posts
    • 12,369 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    SDP is paid as part of income based ESA.
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 19th Mar 17, 1:36 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    SDP is paid as part of income based ESA.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Thanks for confirming. So hopefully should be around £373.80 fortnightly ESA and SDP.
    • Tommo1980
    • By Tommo1980 19th Mar 17, 2:54 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    Tommo1980
    Yes that is exactly what I get for ESA SG with SDP.

    Tom
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 20th Mar 17, 9:23 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    Well DWP are being a nightmare this morning. Won't send him a IS10 form as she 'cant' and she cant manually update the ESA claim and add SDP. Unsure why and told me she will find out and call me within 5 days. Not happy. (UPDATE: Phoned again and it had been processed and backdated from 21st November)

    LHA is £68.35 a week so that will stay the same, as will the council tax support. Lives in a 2 bed house since partner left a year ago. Easier to stay than move out with the stress.

    Just looking at benefit amounts and should be on:
    ESA £125.05 a week
    Housing £68.35 a week
    SDP £61.85 a week
    PIP £76.90 a week

    = £1,328 a month which is great. Little **** will get more than me and I work!

    Suffice to say he will not be contesting the points.
    Last edited by acooper95; 20-03-2017 at 10:37 AM.
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 20th Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    • 838 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    rockingbilly
    Andy you wonder why people get annoyed when they moan they don't get much or want more!

    Benefits pay too well there is little incentive to get better or report change it is equivalent to about £21k salery per year. Without the hassle of a job.

    Many people on the sick could only dream of earning that much due to poor skills and education.

    Don't forget all the other perks that come with benefits like dentists prescriptions and other freebies.

    Benefits are no longer a safety net.
    Originally posted by Savile
    My gripe is why do people who are compensated for a disability get extra money because they are disabled when claiming a means tested benefit?
    Why do these 'disability premiums' exist? If the government are making these premium awards because they actually believe that what DLA/PIP pays out is too small, then they should increase DLA/PIP to the right level. Why is a disability being compensated twice?
    • acooper95
    • By acooper95 20th Mar 17, 10:11 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    acooper95
    My gripe is why do people who are compensated for a disability get extra money because they are disabled when claiming a means tested benefit?
    Why do these 'disability premiums' exist? If the government are making these premium awards because they actually believe that what DLA/PIP pays out is too small, then they should increase DLA/PIP to the right level. Why is a disability being compensated twice?
    Originally posted by rockingbilly
    I actually agree with you.
    • Muttleythefrog
    • By Muttleythefrog 20th Mar 17, 10:39 AM
    • 9,959 Posts
    • 18,420 Thanks
    Muttleythefrog
    My gripe is why do people who are compensated for a disability get extra money because they are disabled when claiming a means tested benefit?
    Why do these 'disability premiums' exist? If the government are making these premium awards because they actually believe that what DLA/PIP pays out is too small, then they should increase DLA/PIP to the right level. Why is a disability being compensated twice?
    Originally posted by rockingbilly
    Probably for the same reason we have lots of different taxes... just as per biological evolution the default is to add on to or amend what is existing to address an arising issue.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
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