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PIP letter decision dilema

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hi,

My wife has just received her PIP decision letter this week after her phone assesment and she has been reduced from the enhanced rate to the standard rate.

I have questions that i dont know if anyone can help with..
Given the economic crisis should we just be grateful to be getting anything or is it worth challening the decision and if the answer is yes how likely (percentage wise) would it be that the decision is reversed or do we just stick with what she has as they could take it all of her if challenged?

Kind regards Steve
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  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,280 Forumite
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    If the way her conditions affect her haven't changed then yes you should request the Mandatory Reconsideration. (MR) You have 1 month from the date of the decision to do this. You should put it in writing stating where and why you think she should have scored those points.

    The most likely outcome of the MR will be the decision remains the same. At Tribunal, if she appears in person or requests a telephone/video hearing then the chances increase to about 70% success rate.

  • HillStreetBlues
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    Giraffe76 said:
    they could take it all of her if challenged?
    It is possible if you go to a Tribunal then can remove points, but this is very very rare. Personally I wouldn't let that stop me from appealing.

    What you should do is compare old PIP and new PIP awards and see where she lost points.
    If you believe the higher points she scored were correct then appeal.


     
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Muttleythefrog
    Muttleythefrog Posts: 19,893 Forumite
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    edited 19 March 2023 at 3:28PM
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    Agree with the above posters' advice....

    I can definitely advise against "Given the economic crisis should we just be grateful to be getting anything". She should get what she is entitled to so look at where the point changes have been and make a case in reconsideration for the descriptors applying that are appropriate/formerly awarded especially if that would lead to higher award than this new decision. I would point out (if true) at the start of the reconsideration request before going into detail for the activities/descriptors relevant that her conditions and disablements have not improved since previous award(s) if this is the case.

    As above... small chance of changed decision at DWP reconsideration stage.... statistically high chance of improved decision at appeal but obviously each case is unique. Low risks of reduced award but it has to be noted in any advice.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,732 Forumite
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    Regarding the tiny possibility of losing the whole award - if this happened and her health hasn't improved since last time, then obviously you'd appeal against that, and if all else fails make a new application. 

    From her previous award you know what she should be entitled to, if things haven't improved for her, and if you are able to fight for it you should do so.
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,280 Forumite
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    edited 19 March 2023 at 4:42PM
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    Giraffe76 said:
    they could take it all of her if challenged?
    It is possible if you go to a Tribunal then can remove points,

     
    They would give a warning before removing any points anyway. You can then decide whether to continue or cancel the Tribunal.

  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,723 Forumite
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    edited 19 March 2023 at 7:00PM
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    They would give a warning before removing any points anyway. You can then decide whether to continue or cancel the Tribunal.

    That has been the accepted case going forward it might not be so

    https://pipinfo.net/issues/less-favourable-awards

    Although this ruling in 2020 was in Northern Ireland  it can be used as "persuasive" in Great Britain


    First ground of appeal – Insufficient notice given to the Appellant that the Tribunal was considering making a decision which was less favourable to the Appellant.


    The judgement was

     

    It is clear from the record of proceedings and statement of reasons that (the appellant) was put on notice about the powers of the tribunal in relation to his award and he responded that he understood these powers.  It remains my submission that the Tribunal gave (the appellant) sufficient notice of its powers to reduce the award of benefit and clearly explained the options that were available to him.  (The appellant) decided that he did not wish to avail of the options but wished to proceed with the appeal, it is therefore my submission that the Tribunal has not erred as contended.




    So just being told of the tribunal's powers at the start was enough of a warning, and they didn't have to give any further warning or the option to discontinue.

    A GB Tribunal can follow that guidance if it so chooses.




    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 18,280 Forumite
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    They would give a warning before removing any points anyway. You can then decide whether to continue or cancel the Tribunal.

    That has been the accepted case going forward it might not be so

    https://pipinfo.net/issues/less-favourable-awards

    Although this ruling in 2020 was in Northern Ireland  it can be used as "persuasive" in Great Britain


    First ground of appeal – Insufficient notice given to the Appellant that the Tribunal was considering making a decision which was less favourable to the Appellant.


    The judgement was

     

    It is clear from the record of proceedings and statement of reasons that (the appellant) was put on notice about the powers of the tribunal in relation to his award and he responded that he understood these powers.  It remains my submission that the Tribunal gave (the appellant) sufficient notice of its powers to reduce the award of benefit and clearly explained the options that were available to him.  (The appellant) decided that he did not wish to avail of the options but wished to proceed with the appeal, it is therefore my submission that the Tribunal has not erred as contended.




    So just being told of the tribunal's powers at the start was enough of a warning, and they didn't have to give any further warning or the option to discontinue.

    A GB Tribunal can follow that guidance if it so chooses.





    Yes but it is my understanding that here in England/Wales they do not take this approach.
  • Giraffe76
    Giraffe76 Posts: 198 Forumite
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    Thanks for everyones opinions and thoughts. definately seems like we have something to look into and consider although i do think we have in the back of our minds that they could (however unlikely take everything off us). She has been through 1 tribuneral before and won. This is the first time that a telephone appointment has been used for the assesment and they reduce the award.

    How can they asses things over the phone..like how anxiety effects her, having good cognition, intellect,memory recall, concentration and focus, vision or cognitive restrictions?

    how can fatigue be shown over the phone?

    how do we prove pescribed aids or occupational therapy input?

    she was told she has no dietitian input or doesnt take any food supplements but i dont understand why they would take that into account as it has nothing to do with a physical condition.

    They talk about being able to fasten a seatbelt or zips, being able to use unadapted cutlery and having a good enough grip but again how does that effect a physical condtion?

    how can fatigue or stress be assesed over the phone?

    they also mention hearing aids but again why is that taken into account for a physical condition?

    They say that nothing needed repeating or rephrasing but that is a lie and this happened several times.

    The form was completed by her but over the full month that was given to do so..bit by bit and not just in one go.

    They said that she can do activities like prepare food, wash, bathe, dress and undress despite the fact that she needs 2 crutches to get around..how can you prepare food with 2 crutrches..never seen it done even with the appropiate aids that they talk about..what are these aids?

    how do you display overwhelming psychological distress over the phone?

    No panic attack for over 12 months.. hardly ever goes out though.

    how can she be assesed by the fatigue or memory clinics if we didnt know they exist?

    Aplogies to everyone. i didnt want to seem like im going on a rant here but i was wonderinbg whether any of my points above were sensible otr whether im clutching at straws. she has been awarded the standard level for 5 years which is something i suppose and probably done to cushion the blow of having the award level reduced

    Any further comments would be most welcome and appreciated

    kind regards
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    All those things can be assessed over the phone if they ask the right questions and if the relevant information is given.  But it is common for assessments to not be as thorough and accurate as they should - and it's common for assessment reports to not accurately reflect what actually took place.

    Don't get sidetracked by the report.  What you need to focus on is where she should have scored points, and refuting any erroneous reasoning used to justify scoring lower or no points there.  If some of that reasoning is based on what the report says, simply refute it ('this is not the case, {explanation of what the reality is}') but don't get bogged down in thinking about how the assessment or report should have gone, that won't get her an award.  Only explaining which descriptors she meets and why will help.

    If some of the reasoning is based on professional medical input - or lack thereof - you can explain why that's the case, and it doesn't mean anything in terms of severity.  Particularly if conditions are long-term, stable, and there's nothing that can actually be done, many of us have zero professional input unless something drastically changes.  That's irrelevant to how our conditions limit our abilities to carry out daily activities.

    The links given upthread will help if you're not sure of which descriptors should apply.
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