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PIP assessor walked out! 10 months 3 weeks ago #245260

Hi Dan

There's nothing to stop you asking the question.

BIS
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

PIP assessor walked out! 10 months 3 weeks ago #245278

Ok, I need some guidance on the law. I'm trying to argue that the assessor didn't provide any "evidence" (what the DWP calls evidence is just the assessor saying something) that I failed to comply. They said that I was being "difficult", "intimidating" and "obstructive" (which I take to mean being too slow) is this considered enough to be FTC? Even then, their own words contradict them. I was being "difficult" because I didn't look the assessor in the eye. I was being "intimidating" because I stood up (following the assessor's instructions) and "obstructive" because I threatened to read out my PIP2 form (I asked to refer to it because memory problems. Can I use these words to show that I was in fact being cooperative?

I mean, at no point does the assessor say I refused to do anything, or refuse to take part or answer questions. In fact, the assessor didn't ask any medical (descriptor) questions. So the whole "threatened to read from PIP2 form" was just a hypothesis, at worst.

I mean I have plenty of (actual) evidence to show that I couldn't and didn't "intimidate" in the way that was said, not just my words, but the fact that I'm registered VI, got a wound on my foot that makes standing (esp) and moving (less so) painful atm. The assessor even admits that I was following their instructions! Is this enough, do you think, to overturn this nonsense? I'll call the DWP in a sec and try to find out if they've overturned it already on the new evidence they didn't consider for the MR. But that's prolly just them gassing me to prevent my appeal.

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PIP assessor walked out! 10 months 3 weeks ago #245295

Dan

There is no definition of non-compliance defined in law, you should take "difficult", "intimidating" and "obstructive" as being the basis of the DWP's case.

I can't tell you how to argue your case, just include what you think is relevant.

Gordon

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PIP assessor walked out! 8 months 4 weeks ago #247514

I did as you said, and I am (still) waiting for the DWP to respond (they should've responded by the 13th April, but are apparently too understaffed - @ PIP - because covid). I received an email from my MP finally (I contacted her in Jan) and she said:

We are in unprecedented times and my focus has been primarily on individuals most affected by this terrible virus.

In regular times, once the application has been made to HM Courts & Tribunal Service then it is no longer within the remit of DWP to decide. I am unsure of your position whilst the Courts have been disrupted therefore please feel free to update me on your situation.

As I outlined in my letter, I do not hold authority over HM Courts & Tribunal as it is important that the judiciary and legislature are separated to preserve democracy. I would also be unable to override a decision taken by the DWP with regards to your case; my role as your MP is to request a review of their decision. If this is however no longer with them then it would be for the Judge to arbitrate over your case.


(I am in a high risk group for covid, btw!)

I'm not sure if this is the case? I was under the impression that the DWP can revise their decision at any time. I don't wanna accuse my MP of just washing her hands *ahem* of the matter. But prolly she is? Reads like a c/p press release, surprised only that lessons haven't been learned. Do I really have to put some pressure on, to have my MP put pressure on her contact at the DWP?

The DWP have seemed to have given up trying to fight their corner. When I called them, two guys both conceded that "it looks like the usual nonsense" when looking at the 4-page dossier that I provided the tribunal, hearing me talk about what happened.

I was calling to get a full copy of the "report" (ATOS didn't make an official report, but sent me an (edited) Q&A from the assessor in response to my complaint) which I use to disprove some of the "obstructive" garbage. I wanted to get the full statement / report. I think one guy told me the report was "missing" earlier in the year, which made me a bit suspicious. I feel unprepared for a tribunal without it.

It does seem like this (walking out of assessments with people who have evidenced disabilities) is maybe becoming more prevalent, perhaps something to warn members about? But two civil servants recognising the language used by my assessor as very "familiar" raises a flag. I don't know if I'm cynical enough to think that the DWP simply rolls the dice with suicide (represents a great success for them!) but I'm not naive enough to discount it & I want everyone to know, be more prepared than I was.

Anyway, I was hoping you could help me with the DWP and my MP. Is it worth keep badgering my MP to put pressure on the DWP? How can I chase up the DWP, what pressure can I apply - onbudsman? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Are they really able to review / overturn their decision at any stage? What will happen to my tribunal if this happens? Can I still go ahead with it? (I asked the tribunal to decide on paper my PIP award even though they prolly don't have the remit).

Oh yeah, some good news - I still get the same ESA! Somehow. Whether this is because the DWP are understaffed and just waving through obviously disabled people, I don't really care! Maybe it's just a mistake? For now, at least I have enough to live on. Sort of. As long as I don't expect to get any care. Or buy specialist equipment. Or get a taxi anywhere. Well, I guess I don't need to do that last one atm!

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PIP assessor walked out! 8 months 4 weeks ago #247520

Dan

Realistically, now that this has gone to appeal there is nothing more that you can do with the exception of asking the Tribunal Service to treat this as an urgent appeal due to your payments being stopped.

Your MP is correct, an appeal is a legal hearing and they have no authority to interfere in it, there is no pressure that they can bring on the TS to help you even with regard your appeal being treated as urgent.

The DWP can revise their Decision before your appeal is heard but they cannot be required to, we most usually see them do so when you have provided your information for the appeal, you will have one month from the date on the letter that will accompany their submission.

Whilst I would not wait to prepare your case, you may have already done the bulk of the work with your MR, I would wait for their papers before you send in yours so you can counter any late arguments that they meet.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dan Statham

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PIP assessor walked out! 8 months 4 weeks ago #247521

I was hoping that my MP would provide ("required to") the velvet fist to the face that the DWP usually need at all times in all circumstances. Well, in my experience. I'm not sure my MP does much beyond pro-forma replies, but I'll let her know that the DWP are capable of acting without the tribunal's permission.

It was quite weird having two DWP people respond, and both seem to have given up the usual pretence of defending the DWP official line, no matter how wrong. They seemed almost apologetic! I am quite hopeful, really seems like the first time something positive has happened. I think they said they were about 2 weeks or so behind the appeals (response). I'm spending so much effort just to get back to square one. At least I'll have more confidence about what is required when / if I ever get back on the "journey". Just wish I'd had a warning that the assessors can just leave, that this is the best option for the DWP and ATOS. With that in mind, is there anything they usually throw in people's faces ("late arguments") at the last minute, in these circumstances or in general? I'm fairly confident that I've proven my case, disproven the DWP.

The only thing I'm a bit worried about is that I've quoted the "report" (Q&A) to support me, but it seems to have disappeared from the DWP / they never received it. Do I / how can I prove it's actually "real" without sending the whole report? Send the opening page? Or do I just need to refer to the date of the "report" and who sent it and hope that the tribunal accepts that I'm not making it up? I mean, it does seem bizarre to me that they'd honestly be so cunning, so Machiavellian as to send out a printed report saying that blind people are being obstructive by not looking assessors in the eye!

asking the Tribunal Service to treat this as an urgent appeal due to your payments being stopped


Is there any way I can do this online? I have the link to track the appeal online but no option there. I think I clicked on the "take appeal as soon as possible" option when I first completed the form online, but can't really remember. Will I have to write a letter (!) requesting it (not such an easy option)?

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