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  • FIRST POST
    • scarlett216
    • By scarlett216 5th Jan 18, 4:59 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    scarlett216
    PIP mandatory reconsideration
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 4:59 PM
    PIP mandatory reconsideration 5th Jan 18 at 4:59 PM
    Hello All

    I am new here, and wondered if anyone has had any recent difficulties with DWP PIP benefit system and looking for any recent outcomes good or bad? 2017-2018. I noted a few on here, but some were several years ago and I think system has changed a bit.

    In a nutshell, I was on enhanced rate daily living for a range of mental health conditions

    Firstly, I was only given a weeks notice about the assessment, so was unable to take a mind advocate with me at such short notice.( I had already changed the time of the appointment and told we can only make one change.)

    The assessment went very quickly, and despite taking medical evidence to assessment, the person did not really check the information- just wanted verbal answers.

    After browsing a few forums for advice, I raised a "mandatory reconsideration" and provided a recent GP letter, and copy of a recent referral letter, and asked for a copy of their medical report and how they came to their conclusion.

    Having read the medical report, I noted a lot of spelling mistakes, and errors.
    Apparently, "I'm overweight, so obviously have no difficulty in cooking, feeding myself, responding to hunger pangs and dont have loss in appetite."

    I was two months pregnant at the assessment with gestational diabetes so disputed this information. I also found it to be rather personal and was offended by it. It had no relevance.

    Comments also included, I responded to questions unaided, without asking assessor to repeat or clarify, i looked confident, i didnt look tired, looked clean, and I didnt look depressed! I am not sure how I was supposed to "look" on the day but somehow despite medical evidence stating otherwise, it seems they guessed information based on appearance only.

    I also had my assessment on a cold windy day, so was wearing a duffell coat and scarf during the assessment.

    I noted certain things went against me- turning up on time, giving my name, getting to assessment myself unaided.

    i am very anxious and worried about the outcome of the MR. It has also reduced my other benefits and I have a young child to support.

    Please, please any advice or similar situations appreciated.
    i just hope Ive done enough to appeal.
    Last edited by scarlett216; 05-01-2018 at 5:03 PM.
Page 1
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 5th Jan 18, 5:14 PM
    • 1,917 Posts
    • 1,774 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:14 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:14 PM
    Hello All

    I am new here, and wondered if anyone has had any recent difficulties with DWP PIP benefit system and looking for any recent outcomes good or bad? 2017-2018. I noted a few on here, but some were several years ago and I think system has changed a bit.

    In a nutshell, I was on enhanced rate daily living for a range of mental health conditions

    Firstly, I was only given a weeks notice about the assessment, so was unable to take a mind advocate with me at such short notice.( I had already changed the time of the appointment and told we can only make one change.)

    The assessment went very quickly, and despite taking medical evidence to assessment, the person did not really check the information- just wanted verbal answers.

    After browsing a few forums for advice, I raised a "mandatory reconsideration" and provided a recent GP letter, and copy of a recent referral letter, and asked for a copy of their medical report and how they came to their conclusion.

    Having read the medical report, I noted a lot of spelling mistakes, and errors.
    Apparently, "I'm overweight, so obviously have no difficulty in cooking, feeding myself, responding to hunger pangs and dont have loss in appetite."

    I was two months pregnant at the assessment with gestational diabetes so disputed this information. I also found it to be rather personal and was offended by it. It had no relevance.

    Comments also included, I responded to questions unaided, without asking assessor to repeat or clarify, i looked confident, i didnt look tired, looked clean, and I didnt look depressed! I am not sure how I was supposed to "look" on the day but somehow despite medical evidence stating otherwise, it seems they guessed information based on appearance only.

    I also had my assessment on a cold windy day, so was wearing a duffell coat and scarf during the assessment.

    I noted certain things went against me- turning up on time, giving my name, getting to assessment myself unaided.

    i am very anxious and worried about the outcome of the MR. It has also reduced my other benefits and I have a young child to support.

    Please, please any advice or similar situations appreciated.
    i just hope Ive done enough to appeal.
    Originally posted by scarlett216
    This does happen a lot but there's also good stories, of which we don't hear about.

    Taking your evidence to the assessment isn't the greatest idea, it would have been better to send it with the form. This is because sometimes they won't read or even accept it off you during the assessment.

    Only about 20% of MR's are successful, so you'll most likely have to take it to Tribunal. If Tribunal is needed then i advice you to appear in person, those that do have a 65% chance of a decision in their favour.Good luck.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 5th Jan 18, 5:29 PM
    • 141 Posts
    • 238 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:29 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:29 PM
    Did you get any help writing your MR? The way they are written makes a lot of difference and listing the exact descriptors and why each is incorrect can be difficult. Not many decisions are changed at the MR stage so don't be disheartened if it's not successful, it will mean you can go to a tribunal with all your evidence and a mind advocate.

    Good luck.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 18, 5:32 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 1,868 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:32 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:32 PM
    Hi,

    Try not be be offended by the ridiculous medical assessment comments - it's generally done by cut and paste and the same comments are applied to many claimants.

    This is a really useful guide to the process of appealing flawed PIP decisions:
    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal

    Other good online resources-
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/apply-to-tribunal/
    https://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/money-issues-benefits-employment/personal-independence-payment/appeals
    http://www.autism.org.uk/pip

    This one is important -
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system
    - because you need to show how you qualify for the relevant points at your appeal.
    If you can't do an activity reliably, repeatedly, and to an acceptable standard for the majority of the time (over 365 days), then you should be assessed as unable to do it, and points should be awarded.

    This may be helpful in showing how the descriptors should be interpreted:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/665635/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-assessment-criteria.pdf

    Don't expect the DWP to change their decision at Mandatory Reconsideration stage. They have a target of 20% only, it is likely you will need to take your appeal to an independent tribunal.
    I would chase up your MR with the DWP, get it back asap and then appeal to the Tribunal Service (TS).

    Here is the form you will need to lodge your appeal with the TS:
    http://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/sscs1-eng.pdf

    I would strongly advise you to get help from your local CAB / advice agency with the appeal. My local CAB is lucky to have Benefit Caseworkers who have 85%+ success rate on PIP appeals.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/

    If you can't get help, then consider joining B & W (c. £20 p.a.) as their appeal guides are very thorough:
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-appeals

    Finally, this might encourage you - it is the TS's view on the standard of the DWP evidence (such as the comments on yours about eating, etc) :
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/most-dwp-benefits-cases-which-reach-court-are-based-on-bad?utm_term=.ncdJvgwjO#.njmXbkoJM
    Plus - https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3702-13-december-2017-update

    " in most instances the DWP simply had no case at all. “Just as an experiment in Leeds, my judges used their lunch hour to take the wall of paper files and go through them to see what the percentage of no-brainers might be,” Ryder said. “That is, [ones where] there could be no argument in law or on facts that the [claimant] wouldn't win [and the DWP lose]. It was spot-on 60%.”

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 05-01-2018 at 5:44 PM.
    • joes nana
    • By joes nana 5th Jan 18, 5:33 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    joes nana
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:33 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:33 PM
    hi, just a quick reply as im no expert, i know someone also awaiting a pip assessment and are currently in a similar situation.

    In a nutshell, I was on enhanced rate daily living for a range of mental health conditions .. if those conditions haven't changed i would imagine one question you could ask is how can you pass once and fail second time on same illness.

    Firstly, I was only given a weeks notice about the assessment, so was unable to take a mind advocate with me at such short notice.( I had already changed the time of the appointment and told we can only make one change.) ... i think that they are so busy they do try to fill in gaps by calling and offering last minute appointments, my friend was offered one today for Thursday. They could of refused and awaited a letter but chose to get it over with.

    The assessment went very quickly, and despite taking medical evidence to assessment, the person did not really check the information- just wanted verbal answers. ... assessments can last from 20 minutes to over and hour, your medical evidence is usually sent in with your form or the assessor should have photocopied it. if not submit it to appeal. the assessment is generally a verbal thing and a small exercise part. you can refuse to do this if it will make any illnesses worse then or after.


    After browsing a few forums for advice, I raised a "mandatory reconsideration" and provided a recent GP letter, and copy of a recent referral letter, and asked for a copy of their medical report and how they came to their conclusion.

    Having read the medical report, I noted a lot of spelling mistakes, and errors.
    Apparently, "I'm overweight, so obviously have no difficulty in cooking, feeding myself, responding to hunger pangs and dont have loss in appetite." .. once you have finalised your appeal you can make a complaint, it has been said that the assessors company such as atos are not fit for purpose and are paid per fail, i have been told by a nurse they are not paid per fail, i dont know the definate answer. the PIP quesstions as specifically about your ability to cook and take nutrition, that should either confirm you are eating ok or not. your weight souldnt be an issue as it could be caused by many thing such as medication, inativity or too many calories etc.

    I was two months pregnant at the assessment with gestational diabetes so disputed this information. I also found it to be rather personal and was offended by it. It had no relevance.

    Comments also included, I responded to questions unaided, without asking assessor to repeat or clarify, i looked confident, i didnt look tired, looked clean, and I didnt look depressed! I am not sure how I was supposed to "look" on the day but somehow despite medical evidence stating otherwise, it seems they guessed information based on appearance only... again at appeal or complaint these issues can be raised.

    I also had my assessment on a cold windy day, so was wearing a duffell coat and scarf during the assessment.

    I noted certain things went against me- turning up on time, giving my name, getting to assessment myself unaided. .. this depends on the reason your claiming, for example you are agoraphobic but turned up as above, would go against the point system. but someone with say bipolar who is on a high may want t be out of the house as part of their illness. im not sure if these things would go against the point system as the assessment hasn't started but i have also heard of this affecting a decision

    i am very anxious and worried about the outcome of the MR. It has also reduced my other benefits and I have a young child to support. .. you could go and speak to CAB, MIND or another charity that may help

    Please, please any advice or similar situations appreciated.
    i just hope Ive done enough to appeal.
    ... sorry for the waffle especially if it isn't helpful, im sure someone will come along soon to help.

    loopy
    • scarlett216
    • By scarlett216 14th Jan 18, 9:44 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    scarlett216
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 18, 9:44 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 18, 9:44 AM
    hello all

    thanks for your replies!

    I have sent off my MR myself, but I went through their medical report thoroughly and stated why there were inaccuracies.

    For example being two months pregnant at appointment was listed as overweight- a quote from my actual report was "is overweight- therefore can have no difficulties in feeding herself, responding to hunger pangs, preparing food" this i disputed as I also had gestational diabetes and since miscarried, so I sent this report too.

    I have tried not to be offended by it, it is just a process, but feels so stressful and waiting for the reply isnt easy.

    I included a new G.P letter (which I paid for) and referral letter and intend to call them tomorrow morning for an update. I am actually expecting this to go to tribunal.

    I have since had my ESA benefit also cut for same reasons I am deemed fit to work apparently as I came across ok at assessment. I am going to appeal this too but will apply income support in meantime as I am eligible for this as I have a young son.

    I will let you know any update soon.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 14th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    • 1,917 Posts
    • 1,774 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    hello all

    thanks for your replies!

    I have sent off my MR myself, but I went through their medical report thoroughly and stated why there were inaccuracies.

    For example being two months pregnant at appointment was listed as overweight- a quote from my actual report was "is overweight- therefore can have no difficulties in feeding herself, responding to hunger pangs, preparing food" this i disputed as I also had gestational diabetes and since miscarried, so I sent this report too.

    I have tried not to be offended by it, it is just a process, but feels so stressful and waiting for the reply isnt easy.

    I included a new G.P letter (which I paid for) and referral letter and intend to call them tomorrow morning for an update. I am actually expecting this to go to tribunal.

    I have since had my ESA benefit also cut for same reasons I am deemed fit to work apparently as I came across ok at assessment. I am going to appeal this too but will apply income support in meantime as I am eligible for this as I have a young son.

    I will let you know any update soon.
    Originally posted by scarlett216
    Yes, only 20% of MRsare successful.

    Be careful if you're going to apply for Income Support. If your area is a full Universal Credit area then you won't be able to apply for IS, it will be UC and you won't be able to go back onto legacy benefits after. Check your area by putting postcode in here.

    https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate

    Good luck with the MR.
    • scarlett216
    • By scarlett216 22nd Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    scarlett216
    • #8
    • 22nd Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    hello all

    just thought I would provide an update on my reconsideration.

    I heard from PIP today and was awarded the lower rate of PIP.

    in a way, this is good news, but I am contemplating the tribunal process to try and get the enhanced rate back.

    anyone else on here been through the tribunal process with DWP??
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