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TOPIC: PIP award

PIP award 1 month 5 days ago #243099

This is a link to my earlier post about my assessment. www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum/10-dla-e...ssment-denied#240807

The assessor who I thought was sensitive has reported inaccuracies and some totally opposite to what he was telling me he was typing. There are some things I need help with if that is ok. I have the guides but having difficulty finding the bits I need help with.

MR. I have decided to ask for M.R. My award letter was posted 7th December, just before the christmas holidays. I received it on the 7th January. I called to ask for a copy of the assessors report and that arrived a few days ago. Today is the deadline for getting the MR application in. Will they allow it because of the seasonal postal delays?
I got 12 points for mobility which surprised me because I thought that was the one I would have to appeal. 8 points for daily living. I calculated 20 points on the self assessment but they changed the descriptors and allowed 0 points for mental health. I have had a bi polar, PTSD and anxiety diagnosis since 1994, and suffered for many years before that. I have not been with my GP for long, and my extensive MH records are in Scotland, where I had 8 hospital admissions, 2 when I was sectioned under the mental health act. He said " she maintained eye contact and was relaxed throughout, although tearful at times she quickly recovered. She used a crutch without difficulty, what has that to do with MH ??????? I am not taking any medication because of serious adverse reactions, but that has gone against me. "Although claiming mental illness is not taking any medication or under psychiatric care but has been referred to mental health services". I was in the scottish psych system and have been referred here now. I live next door to my daughter so I get the support that I need that keeps me out of the hospital.

I have seen the advice about challenging opinions, and there are a few areas that opinions are wrong. How do I argue the lies? He said "she touched her toes while seated and appeared in pain , yet reports that she cannot put on shoes or wash feet".
I did not touch my toes, I tried to do it but had to stop part way and yelped in pain.

"She was observed to walk 15 metres in 10 seconds, which would mean she could walk 90 metres in one minute, yet states she cannot walk 20 metres, and says she walked 100 metres in 5 minutes at the pain management course, stopping every 10 metres. " There isn't anywhere in that centre that is 15 metres, certainly not where I was. Even if they had CCTV outside the building it could not possibly have captured me walking at that speed. Normal walking pace is 80 metres per minute so I would have been faster than able bodied people! I walk like a penguin and don't think penguins can walk very fast :laugh:

He said that " she handled papers and produced papers and a card case, she took a card from the case and papers from a handbag. She showed no signs of difficulty"
The bag is a lightweight bag that has no zips or pockets, like a small shopping bag. The case is a small card case that has a simple catch that opens with a slight touch and is easier than a purse. I fumbled to get it out and when I tried to put it back my hand was shaking so much with nerves that I couldn't put it back and just dropped both the case and card into my bag and had to sort it out later, all the cards had fallen from it.

And on it goes, I can't bore you with all the inaccuracies or this post will go on forever.

Medical evidence
I can't tell if he asked for ME from my GP. I accessed my medical records online and took screenshots of physio letters and some results. I also took screenshots of the summary of consultations, which only go back 5 years. He has referred to medical evidence from GP and quoted some. I believe without it I would not have had a chance of getting any award, and definitely not the mobility that I was awarded.

I had DLA for life, initially for mental health, then physical conditions also. I am 68 and never going to get any better. My DLA pays for the help I need, and this award is £130 less per month. That means something will have to go.

Should I dispute the inaccuracies in the getting around part, even though I have been awarded the enhanced rate? (Just in case they decide to believe the assessor and not the medical evidence).
He also said that "she completed the pip form without difficulty" How can he possibly claim to know that? The form was an embarrassing mess and took days to fill in, even with the guide from you good people. I was so stressed and in absolute agony with pain in my hands and shoulders from writing and typing. It took days for it to settle down again. It is so upsetting, and is being treated like a criminal!

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PIP award 1 month 5 days ago #243104

  • Gordon
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supergreatgran

If the Decision Letter was posted on 7th December then I would expect the Decision to have been made before this and if this is the case then you are already outside of the normal one month to request an MR. However, you can make a Late request citing the delay in receiving the Letter as Good Cause for the delay.

You can certainly challenge the Daily Living award but you need to concentrate your arguments on the areas that will score you extra points, your post appears to raise concerns about comments made where you did score points so I am a bit confused as to what Descriptors you met.

Have you spoken to your GP?

You say that your medical records are in Scotland, are you waiting for them to be transferred to your new GP?

The problem with mental health issues is that assessors and DMs expect the claimant to be able to provide up to date medical evidence, they take the view that historical evidence of disability does not mean that claimant is struggling now.

Whilst an inaccurate report is almost certain to have played a part you also need to consider whether you have properly explained your problems in your claim form, is it possible that you have misunderstood the Descriptors, described your problems in terms that do not match the Descriptors or failed to make appropriate use of the reliability criteria or the need for your limitations to be present on the majority of days to be considered?

Have a look at the PIP area, if you scroll down there are guides for MRs and appeals and dealing with the assessment report.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: supergreatgran

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PIP award 1 month 5 days ago #243114

Thank you Gordon, I am sorry the award letter was dated the 20th December. I had the guide open on the computer when I was filling in the form and referred to it but still made a terrible mess of the form. I am terrible at explaining things and even worse verbally.
Where I had ticked the boxes in the descriptors has been changed, some have been removed to say I do not meet them, others have been moved to lower points. Preparing a meal for instance. I can't do it, I have arthritis and chronic pain. I can't prepare vegetables or stand in the kitchen. Sitting on a stool is no easier, the pain becomes excruciating. I forget the hob is on, and get confused what I am doing. I can't leave the kitchen while something cooks. Yesterday I put toast in the toaster, and went into the living room. Next thing I know the toaster is on fire. I've put soup in the slow cooker in the past, ( bought pre prepared veg for soup) and forgot it is in there, next day it is still there. I turned it off and intended to have it later. Weeks later I went to move it and there was the mouldy soup. I can't do the chopping and peeling because of the arthritis in my hands. They are stiff and painful. The assessor said my memory is good and I used a crutch in both left and right hands which showed good grip. I explained that I don't use the crutch to bear weight because of the pain in my shoulders and hands. It is to stabilise going up and down kerbs, and when I stumble. He has changed the descriptor to can cook with aids.

Dressing and undressing. I ticked need help, I can't put on dresses, or tops that fit. I can't get them on or off, it is impossible. I can't wear tights, I can't get them on. He has changed it to can dress using aids. There isn't an aid on this earth that can get me into a dress, I can't do up a zip if I did manage to get one one on. He said that " she can't do buttons and wears baggy cardigans and jumpers." I thought that would come under needs help, or do we have to wear ill fitting clothes?

He has changed the one for bathing, I can't wash my feet or lower legs, he said I can because I touched my toes in the assessment. I didn't touch my toes, the pain was too bad.

He changed the one that I said I cannot wash my body between shoulders and waist. I can't wash my back at all, even with a back brush or strap. He has changed it to can wash with aids.

I have a bath seat that lowers me into the bath from occupational therapy. He said that it was prescribed pre surgery and unlikely to be needed now. It was not prescribed pre surgery, that was an over bath seat which I returned because I had the mechanical one
I had 14 operations including 4 joint replacements. so have had a lot of aids!

If I had the points I qualify for the physical stuff I wouldn't need the MH ones. That is another set of descriptors that have been changed, all of them to 0 points. Such as needing prompting to get up and dressed, needing someone with me in unfamiliar places because of PTSD . I'm too tired now to go into the MH stuff. Its taken ages to do this. I'm a 2 finger typist! :laugh:I'll add that tomorrow.

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PIP award 1 month 4 days ago #243123

Hi Supergreatgran

Even though your letter was dated the 20th December, you are now just past the four weeks allowed for a mandatory reconsideration - so you need to put in a request as Gordon suggested in a previous post

You can make a Late request citing the delay in receiving the Letter as Good Cause for the delay.


It is entirely up to you, what you put in your Mandatory Reconsideration, but I do advise you to concentrate on the areas where you either failed to score at all or did not score as highly as you think you should have done.

You want to try and make your arguments as clear as possible.

You say that you do not prepare meals. Does this mean you have a very poor diet, do you rely completely on pre-prepared food, or does someone else do it for you? Make your limitations clear and why you could not do this safely or reliably. Make sure that you mention both your physical issues as well as the mental health ones that have an impact.

The assessors will always query your ability to grip if you use crutches because even if you use them for stability, you have to hold them. However, you need to argue that in a kitchen environment with all the hazards this is entirely different from trying to get up a kerb. And if you don't use adapted utensils or cutlery, say why.

In terms of dressing. It does not matter if you can't get a dress on and off, because you don't have to wear one - and you will never win that argument. If you have problems with your hands getting on a top you are going to experience difficulties, tight-fitting or not, because they still require you to lift, your arms and demonstrate manual dexterity - so you need to talk about that, if you are slower than it would take a normal person, and if you need help (regardless of whether you get it)

Regarding washing and bathing, again you can talk about the pain, the impact of that, the loss of dexterity due to your arthritis and the reliability and safety. You can just say that the assessor was mistaken in saying you touched your toes. You can say that you don't use aids to wash - but explain why. (And clearly you have tried them).

In every answer make sure that you understand the criteria.

BIS

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PIP award 1 month 4 days ago #243144

Thank you BIS, I haven't been clear enough how I explained things so they can understand. This whole thing has been a nightmare. My daughter lives next door and I have an evening meal with them, or she brings it round for me. I used to be a good cook, and used fresh meat and veg before I became useless. It takes such a long time for me to do anything, and pain gets worse. Collecting the ingredients for a meal is a challenge in itself. Peeling and chopping are painful. Standing, or even sitting at the cooker is painful. My lower back is not strong enough to support my upper body. I can be in the kitchen for 5 minutes, then I have to sit down with my back and neck supported. I will forget what I am doing when I am out of the kitchen.And when I have finished with all that and totally exhausted. Then there is the clearing up and dishes to wash. I just can't do it all. I have lots of aids and appliances, and have used them all, or at least tried them. Both prescribed and bought. I've spent a fortune on stuff that I thought might make it easier. I bought a juicer, and could manage that, fresh fruit and vegetable juice that did not need any prep, just drop it down the chute. Sadly it needs cleaning and I can't manage that :(. I have a bowel condition that has been accepted for PIP. It also means that I can't have ready meals that I used to have delivered. Some of them aggravate the condition. I have fruit for breakfast and buy prepared salads for lunch. My daughter cooks fresh food daily for her family and myself.

My daughter comes round at 8.30am every day, to make sure I am up and ok. If she didn't come round I would not get up until lunchtime, or get a shower or dressed for days. I wouldn't go out or eat properly. I have to get up to let her in, getting up is a chore, it takes over an hour and I get under the shower to wake me up. I don't wash properly, I can't reach everywhere. I just let the warm water wake me up. I don't want to get up, and often cry because I don't want to start another day.

After the shower I have to lie down again because I am exhausted. I don't get dried, I put on my dressing gown before lying down and it dries me off. If I didn't get up and open the door she will bang on it till I do. If I am too sick I call her and she lets herself in. I ticked that I need prompting or encouragement. That was not allowed because I get a shower every day before she comes. He didn't get it, that her coming round every morning is to get me out of bed and not just a social visit. She then goes off to work.

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PIP award 1 month 4 days ago #243146

Hi supergreatgran

I think that in some of your explanations you have tied yourself up in knots. If you shower before your daughter arrives, I am not surprised they took it that you don't need prompting. What you need to make sure is what happens on the majority of the time. I understand what you're saying but I get why they have chosen not to - because it does sound contradictory.

What I get from your post is:
1) you do not prepare meals because of your medical conditions. You have tried lots of different ways to make it easier and can't do them. Your daughter ensures that you have nutrition.

2) You say that you buy salads and fruit. If you're saying that - they will question how often you shop - how you have the energy, does it cause you pain, the distance you go etc. (It may be that your daughter shops for you).

3) Motivation to do anything is a problem without prompting - which you get from your daughter. Fatigue and pain have a big impact. Again you need to emphasise what life is like for you on the majority of days.

BIS

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Last edit: by BIS.
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