PIP Tribunal Help

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PIP Tribunal Help

Postby slash1975 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:53 am

Hi all and I hope you're able to give me some needed advice!

I have failed twice in my attempts to claim PIP - both the original decision and mandatory reconsideration awarded zero points, much to my disbelief.

I attended the medical with the occupational therapist and as far as I was concerned, everything was fine. We even went through the Descriptors at the end of the medical, and she stated she would be awarding me 17 points.

The report however, awarded 0 - and she bare faced lied all the way through it as well as her conclusions being so flawed it's ridiculous. An example would be the only painkillers I can take is 8/500 cocodamol because I cannot take any other medication due to adverse reactions from it. All NSAIDs can actually cause my stomach to bleed and I've tried gels, potions and god knows what else to help but only thing, which takes the edge off the pain and helps with sleep, is low level cocodamol. I tried to 30/500 cocodamol but had an adverse reaction to them too. The Occupational Therapist stated that low level painkillers mean low level pain and isn't any kind of factor at all.

My conditions are Fibromyalgia, Hiatus Hernia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and various mental health issues stemming from abuse during childhood. The Descriptors which are relevant to my claim are Preparing food, Washing and Bathing, Engaging with People Face to Face and Making Budgeting Decisions. I did see the Citizens Advice with other descriptors I thought were applicable but although they affected me, they didn't affect me in the way specified in the descriptors and thus not applicable.

Preparing Food - Needs to use an appliance/aid to cook/prepare a simple meal -When I feel capable, I cook the majority of my meals with a slow cooker purely because there is no preparation. Spaghetti Bolognaise, for example, is cooked by putting raw mince, frozen onion, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms with a tube of tomato puree into the slow cooker. There is no chopping or preparing of any kind. This is then cooked overnight and I then serve it up that night and freeze the rest. I have burnt myself a number of times trying to cook this way (I have evidence) so it's hardly ideal BUT nothing else I can do about it. I do not have a microwave nor would I want to eat a ready meal so to speak as they have all the nutrition of cardboard.

However, even when this is the case, I often don't eat a main meal at all because I cannot reheat it. Last night as an example, I felt so fatigued I ate a toblerone and some toast and that was it!

Washing and Bathing - needs supervision to be able to wash or bathe - similar to Preparing Food - the physical act of doing this is very fatiguing and as a result, I only do so when I am due to leave me flat for a genuine reason. For example, before attending hospital appointments I would try my best to shower then. However, if there's no reason to do so then I won't do it. Even if it means 2 weeks without one then sobeit.

Engaging with People Face to Face - Cannot engage with other people due to overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. This is very heavy stuff so please bear with me here. Both my parents died when I was very young and then after being fostered, my step mother died a short while after. Aged 11, I went to an all male military boarding school where I was abused and bullied throughout my time there. After leaving the school, I became institutionalized and ultimately had a nervous breakdown because of all I had been through. During this breakdown, I totally lost the plot and threatened anything and everything horrendous anyone can possibly imagine although I was and never have been violent. I got criminal convictions because of this behavior and over the last decade because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. I find myself trapped by the Harassment Act - making friends and meeting people has become totally impossible; even my fiancee - someone I knew for over 10 years and was with for over 5 years turned on me because of my past history as soon as she found out about it. I have lost well over 100 friends NOT because of what I'm doing currently, but because of what people 'think'. If I don't accept being ostracized then the Harassment Act comes in and I get labelled all things I know I am not but I cannot do anything about it and I get swept up into the cogs of the legal system.

I am awaiting yet more therapy from the Mental Health Services in my local area but I'm of a view that I cannot do much to change my situation as it's all based on circumstance and supposition, not what I am doing.

Making Budgeting Decisions - Needs assistance to be able to make complex decisions - I have had issues where I have lost monies such as Housing Benefits or over budgeted and bills cannot be paid because I did not realize my financial situation. I have had issues where I have nearly been evicted from my home due to rent arrears. To pay these arrears I haven't paid council tax nor the tv licence because I could not afford to pay everything at once.

For the tribunal, I am struggling to attain evidences of my condition. I have diagnostic evidence which states I have fibromyalgia and the other conditions and a doctor's letter stating that 'my fibromyalgia does seriously affect his activities of daily life'.

What I don't have is medical information stating on a word for word basis of the Descriptors - for example - that I have issues cooking, issues washing and bathing or budgeting. Once I have started with the Mental Health Services appointments, I will ask him to make a report once I've had a number of sessions. I had asked for this specific evidence but was advised by my GP that this is not allowed any more as per the LMC's sending out letters blocking GP information regarding benefit claims. I contacted the LMC who said the DWP should be the ones who go for the information but they won't as they're happy that they have enough in the highly disputed Occupational Therapists report. I contacted the Tribunal Service who stated that I should send all medical evidence I have, with an e-mail to them as well requesting that they contact my GP for any and all further information required.

I have been told by the CAB that the DWP will not get more information and that any information I send the Tribunal, as well as e-mail to them stating that if any further information is needed, will simply be ignored.

I find myself in an impossible situation; the evidence is there BUT the GP isn't allowed to give it, the DWP nor the Tribunal will ask for it and this is going to harm my claim to attain PIP. The CAB has stated that my case is weak because of this lack of 'how my illness affects me' evidence and may well withdraw its support soon. All this running around trying to get my PIP claim sorted is nothing short of killing me with the symptoms of fibromyalgia which is getting more and more severe with the effort I am having to put in or fail to gain the benefit.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do here and any and all advice/help would be ideal.


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Re: PIP Tribunal Help

Postby Flippy22 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:27 am

This is taken from the Fightback page and I will link the page at the bottom of this post. Please contact them for help.

You can usually appeal about a decision regarding your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA). At an appeal hearing, a tribunal of three people will look at the facts and evidence about your case for DLA and 2 for ESA. They then come to their own decision about your benefit claim.

The tribunal is completely independent of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which makes the initial decision about your benefit.

The tribunal's decision will be either to:give you an award of the benefit, or increase your benefitleave the decision/s made by the DWP unchangedreduce your original award, if applicable, for example if your condition has improved.Note: it is unusual in our experience for the third, to happen but you must be aware it can happen, particularly if you have an ill prepared case, and little medical evidence. If the judge over emphases the award can go up or down, then I would take heed, and use it as a warning of which you can still pull out of up until that point.

Oral and paper hearingsYou can choose to have an oral hearing or a paper hearing of your case.

An oral hearing is when you go along in person to the tribunal. A paper hearing is when a tribunal will make a decision on your case based on the paper evidence only. We recommend that you choose an oral hearing as this gives you the best opportunity to explain the facts of your case. Most paper hearings fail. Preparing your caseThe tribunal members will have the same bundle of numbererd documents that has been sent to you, and your representative. It is vitally important therefore that you get help to read through the papers to establish what the documents say about your case. They will most likely refer to them in the hearing, so be prepared and take a copy.

The documents will include:The DWP's submission, outlining the history of the case, the relevant law and the reasons for the decisionYour completed claim formsAny medical reports used to support the decision. Ensure you check through this to make sure all information is there that is needed and correct, if its not make notes to put in the submission and bring up in court.

Having a representativeYou do not have to have a representative, although you may prefer to be represented. Even if you have a representative, you will have to answer questions about the help you need. You can bring a family member, carer or friend with you for moral support. If they regularly help you they might be able to give some evidence to the tribunal. However this will be up to the tribunal chairperson. We can also arrange to represent.

Know the qualifying rulesThe tribunal must follow the law so you need to understand the law relevant to your appeal. This is simply the qualifying rule for the rate of benefit that you hope to get. Research before you go the qualifying conditions relevant to your appeal. More info on fightback on ESA and DLA

Establish the facts of your caseYou must put forward the facts of your case and show the tribunal that you meet the qualifying conditions for the rate of benefit you hope to get. Do not assume that the tribunal will know the facts of your case, or information about you already, or that they will guess, even if you think it is obvious.

For Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, it is a good idea to keep a diary of your daily routine over one or two weeks. Take note of even the most obvious difficulties you have seeing the things you need to see for yourself every day. You could forward this to the tribunal beforehand.

EvidenceYou have to prove that you are entitled to benefit on the balance of probabilities. This means that what you say must be more probable than not. It is important therefore if possible to have evidence to back up what you say. Medical Evidence must be strong and not be too vague as to be irrelevant. More later on this.

Evidence could include a letter from your GP, consultant, rehabilitation officer or social worker. If you are asking someone to provide further evidence make sure it is relevant to the issues in your appeal. Talk to them beforehand and explain what issue you would like them to address in their letter or report.

Written submissionIt is a good idea if possible to prepare a written submission for an appeal, as it will help the tribunal focus on the information you believe to be relevant to your case. Do not worry if you are unable to prepare a written submission, if you are having an oral hearing. You will still be able to explain the difficulties you have to the tribunal in person.

Appeal hearingsThere will be three members on the tribunal:

DLAa legally qualified chairpersona medically qualified person, usually a GPand a disabled person or a person who has experience of the needs of disabled people.It is a relatively informal hearing. The tribunal members will usually want to ask you some questions relating to the issues you have raised in your appeal. This is when you give the facts relevant to your case that meet the criteria for the benefit. Take your time and think carefully about your answers. You should ask the tribunal Chairperson to explain anything you do not understand.

For examples of the sort of issues that you should tell the tribunal, please refer to our DLA form tips.

Appeal decisionsThe tribunal will usually make a decision on the same day, normally straight away after a private discussion between the tribunal members. Sometimes this is forwarded to you later, but its unusual and Ive never come across this as yet.

If you are not successful you may be able to challenge the decision further but that depends on strict legal rules, and must be done on a point of law.

If this happens, you must ask the tribunal for a "statement of the reasons" for the decision. You can ask for it there and then, or you can write to request it within one month of the hearing. You should seek expert advice on how to challenge the tribunal's decision further.

DLA Appeal processTo request an appeal complete the DWP form GL24 "How to Appeal" and send it to the office dealing with your claim within one calendar month from the date on the decision letter. The form is available from the Disability and Carers Service or from the GOV.UK website.

The DWP will look at their decision again to see if they can change it without a tribunal. If the decision is changed in your favour your appeal will lapse. If the new decision does not give you everything you asked for you will have to make a new appeal within one month of the date of the new decision.

Your appeal request is sent to the Tribunals Service (TTS). They will send you a 'pre hearing enquiry form', TAS1, to request details of your representative, whether you want an oral or paper hearing, dates to avoid for the hearing any special requirements, etc. You must complete and return this within 14 days.

TTS will write to you with a date for an appeal hearing, approximately 3-4 weeks in advance of the date.

You can claim back the cost of travel expenses to get to the tribunal venue for both you and a companion. You should ring the clerk of the tribunal before the hearing to get permission if you require a taxi to travel to the venue.Do not forget to read our notes on going to tribunal, with hints on what to wear etc, also on this board.

Read more: http://fightback.boards.net/thread/233/ ... z3CirSaATF

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Re: PIP Tribunal Help

Postby hazely » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:33 am

As other post said get in touch with fightback
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