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    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 8:14 PM
    • 156Posts
    • 147Thanks
    Demerara
    PIP MR request - Activity 9 - Clarification over case law
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 19, 8:14 PM
    PIP MR request - Activity 9 - Clarification over case law 7th Jul 19 at 8:14 PM
    Hi All,

    I am preparing my MR request as I think I should have been awarded points under Activity 9, engaging with others face to face.

    I have been looking at case law and was reading through CPIP/2685/2016 (SF v The Secretary of State [2016] UKUT 0543 (AAC)). There are some very knowledgeable people on the forum and I was wondering if anyone could confirm whether the judgment definitely stated that under this descriptor, the claimant can only be assessed in social situations and NOT professional ones? I have read through and did not interpret it this way but saw some articles saying so.

    Many thanks.
Page 5
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 28th Nov 19, 8:45 PM
    • 6,460 Posts
    • 5,958 Thanks
    poppy12345
    however, is it necessary to have medical evidence of the IMPACT of the condition? What if I have been discharged by hospital but nonetheless have to deal with the day to day consequences of my disability?
    Originally posted by Demerara
    No, medical evidence is not really needed but have HMCTS specifically asked for medical evidence?



    When you write your submission make sure you go through which descriptors you think apply to you and give a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.



    This link may help, scroll down to number 9 onwards. https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 28th Nov 19, 8:48 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    I wrote a statement for the Online Resolution but now that a decision has been made to have a hearing, does this mean I need to write another one?

    I am about to give up, this is absolutely exhausting. I am tired enough at the end of the day!

    Thanks for the link, will check it out.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 28th Nov 19, 8:51 PM
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    • 5,958 Thanks
    poppy12345
    It will depend what you wrote for that statement, did you include real life examples?



    I completely understand how stressful this all is but you've got this far, if you still believe you're entitled to those points then you should carry on fighting.



    To be honest, if it was me then i'd be very weary of this online appeals process anyway because i'd definitely prefer to appear in person.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 28th Nov 19, 8:59 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    I had loads of examples in my PIP2 form and MR request. I just read through my statement and I have expounded on why I feel I need to be awarded extra points, going into details on how I am affected. I have also pointed out to what I feel are "inaccuracies" in the HCP's consultation form. Even though they were nice, I felt that they do not have an in depth understanding of my disability so when I wrote my statement, I said the HCP stated that X, this therefore demonstrates that I have difficulties with this activity.

    I am debating whether to seek support with this as I truly do not have much energy to do so ... arghhhh ...

    I did read that face to face appeals have a higher rate of success but I thought I'd try my luck lol (eternal optimist me)
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 28th Nov 19, 11:23 PM
    • 6,460 Posts
    • 5,958 Thanks
    poppy12345
    I had loads of examples in my PIP2 form and MR request. I just read through my statement and I have expounded on why I feel I need to be awarded extra points, going into details on how I am affected. I have also pointed out to what I feel are "inaccuracies" in the HCP's consultation form. Even though they were nice, I felt that they do not have an in depth understanding of my disability so when I wrote my statement, I said the HCP stated that X, this therefore demonstrates that I have difficulties with this activity.

    I am debating whether to seek support with this as I truly do not have much energy to do so ... arghhhh ...

    I did read that face to face appeals have a higher rate of success but I thought I'd try my luck lol (eternal optimist me)
    Originally posted by Demerara
    Pointing out any lies/contradictions that may have been in the report is not recommended at all because HMCTS won't be interested in any of those, infact this could harm your case because they won't appreciate you doing this. They will only be interested in where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why.



    I do think that face to face advice is needed here because we can't see any of your paper work. If you were aware that the piece of evidence you sent could be contradictory then i'm confused why you decided to send it? I can only guess this is the evidence in question here by HMCTS. Put your postcode into this link to see what's available in your local area for help and support. https://advicelocal.uk/ welfare rights or a law centre will also represent you.



    Appearing in person gives you more than 70% chance of a decision in your favour, paper based decisions only have between 5-8% success rate.



    The only downside to all of this is that waiting times are huge and you could be waiting a year for a hearing date.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 29th Nov 19, 12:13 AM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    I am now thinking that I was incredibly naive to think that the tribunal panel would be able to see the evidence within the proper context.

    Anyway, I could be wrong, it could still be the debate around, "you are a support worker so how can you claim you have difficulties engaging with others face to face". If this is the case, it is demoralising as the panel members are meant to have specialist understanding of disability.

    This is my very first time claiming PIP or any type of benefit so lessons learnt there about how to evidence how my disability affects me.

    At this stage, I am seriously thinking that come the date of the hearing, I will attend but not fight, it is way too much.

    Thanks poppy12345.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 29th Nov 19, 12:39 AM
    • 3,571 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    "a hearing is needed because of "conflicting evidence within the Appeal Bundle". What does that mean?...I will attend but not fight,"

    It could be a conflict between the evidence supplied by the DWP in their bundle, and the evidence in your submission.
    It is not necessarily a conflict solely within evidence you have supplied.

    Attending the hearing in person gives you the opportunity to clarify, and further explain points.
    A tribunal hearing is more an exploration than an adversarial fight.
    Having pre-prepared examples to tell the tribunal panel about will be helpful, as giving the panel full information is important. Taking notes with you, about a typical week / month would also be helpful.
    It sounds like the panel want to hear your verbal evidence before they can determine if the DWP decision was correct or incorrect.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 29-11-2019 at 12:44 AM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 1st Dec 19, 7:54 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    "a hearing is needed because of "conflicting evidence within the Appeal Bundle". What does that mean?...I will attend but not fight,"

    It could be a conflict between the evidence supplied by the DWP in their bundle, and the evidence in your submission.
    It is not necessarily a conflict solely within evidence you have supplied.

    Attending the hearing in person gives you the opportunity to clarify, and further explain points.
    A tribunal hearing is more an exploration than an adversarial fight.
    Having pre-prepared examples to tell the tribunal panel about will be helpful, as giving the panel full information is important. Taking notes with you, about a typical week / month would also be helpful.
    It sounds like the panel want to hear your verbal evidence before they can determine if the DWP decision was correct or incorrect.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Thanks Alice Holt, that is reassuring. There were a number of assumptions made by the decision-maker about my daily functioning. For instance, I said that when I have difficulties following conversations, I mirror people's body language to give the impression that I have not lost the thread of the discussion and they concluded that I can understand body language and therefore engage socially!

    Is there any way for me to get confirmation as to what the "conflicting evidence" is so I can prepare ahead of the hearing?
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 1st Dec 19, 9:27 PM
    • 3,571 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Is there any way for me to get confirmation as to what the "conflicting evidence" is so I can prepare ahead of the hearing?
    Originally posted by Demerara
    I rather doubt there is.

    The best bet may be a read through the evidence bundle to see if anything is obvious.

    This could also help your preparations, as in looking through the bundle it may become clearer what points the panel are likely to ask you to clarify at the hearing.

    It's always helpful to re-read your own statement, and have some additional examples backing up your written evidence to tell the panel about.

    But, I wouldn't get too exercised. The panel will want to hear about how you manage day to day with social engagement, and if you give them a full picture they will then be able to assess how that fits with the PIP descriptors and case law.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Dec 19, 8:55 AM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    As ever, thanks Alice Holt, that is somewhat reassuring.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 11th Jan 20, 12:03 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to update you all - those who have supported me and provided guidance and those who could hopefully benefit from reading about my experience for their own PIP journey.

    I had my PIP tribunal hearing earlier this week. I attended on my own but had requested specialist equipment. There was a DWP representative in attendance which took me aback. Prior to the hearing, the info I had (mostly from reading online posts from various sources) was that they rarely attend but subsequently learned the DWP does send reps to 50% of hearings. I felt the tribunal panel members were respectful which reassured me though, for some reason, did feel there was some hostility from the DWP rep but that could have been me because I did not psychologically prepare myself for their presence. I felt that the tribunal panel understood my difficulties based on my bundle and the questions they asked were more to ascertain whether I am consistent but in a sense, also felt the disability rep was trying to support me in advocating for myself through her questions.

    In all, the first part of my hearing lasted about 45 minutes and it didn't take that long for the panel to come to a decision.

    I am happy that I won the 4 points I wanted for Descriptor 9c - Needs social support to be able to engage with other people. However, I have to say the whole process is soul destroying. Even though I was lucky to have a kind panel, it has been incredibly upsetting and disempowering in a sense, having to go through all these different stages, saying/trying to prove the same thing over and over again and feeling dismissed and demeaned. Sitting there in the tribunal room just brought up all these emotions and I broke down. Again, the panel members were incredibly kind and gentle which I am grateful for.

    THANK YOU for all your support

    Quick question though - I got the decision notice on the day - do I need to ask for a record of the proceedings or statement of reasons or are those steps for those whose appeal have not been granted?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 11th Jan 20, 12:23 PM
    • 4,435 Posts
    • 3,016 Thanks
    calcotti
    Preparing a Statement of Reasons involves quite a lot of work for the tribunal judge and should only be requested if you are considering an appeal to the upper tribunal.

    The DWP have a right of appeal so the tribunal decision will not be implemented by the DWP immediately. If you have not heard anything after about 6 weeks chase DWP.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 11th Jan 20, 12:34 PM
    • 3,571 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    ... Again, the panel members were incredibly kind and gentle which I am grateful for.

    Quick question though - I got the decision notice on the day - do I need to ask for a record of the proceedings or statement of reasons or are those steps for those whose appeal have not been granted?
    Originally posted by Demerara
    No need to request a S of R as this is more a part of asking the Upper Tribunal to review a First Tier Tribunal's decision.

    Very pleased you were successful at tribunal.

    Generally, most people find a tribunal panel to be knowledgeable, fair and considerate (but, of course, they are thorough in their questions).
    I think it's a pity neither ATOS (IAS), Capita assessors nor DWP DM's are capable of operating to the same standard, and getting the decision right in the first place.

    Edit: And as calcotti says a S of R will give the tribunal judge more work.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 11-01-2020 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Cross posted
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 11th Jan 20, 12:41 PM
    • 4,435 Posts
    • 3,016 Thanks
    calcotti
    I think it's a pity neither ATOS (IAS), Capita assessors nor DWP DM's are capable of operating to the same standard, and getting the decision right in the first place.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Absolutely. Huge amount of distress caused to claimants and significant cost to tax payer funding the tribunals. Not to mention those claimants who, quite understandably, give up and therefore do not get the financial support to which they may be entitled.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 11th Jan 20, 12:47 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    Thank you Alice Holt

    I agree with you both calcotti and Alice Holt, the panel did "challenge" me in that they went into quite some depth about the difficulties I face whereas when I had the face to face assessment, I left wondering why it was needed because the questions were not in any way more detailed from what was in the PIP2 form.

    I have to admit even the morning of the hearing, I considered not attending and telling them I was withdrawing. Not sure that would be possible at that stage but this demonstrates how stressful the whole thing is. Obviously, I am glad I did go.
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