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DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251239

Hello all. I put in a claim for PIP at the end of last year. After going through the horrible experience of the assessment (I have severe anxiety) I was awarded standard rate daily living and nothing for mobility.

I disagreed with some of what was said and so put in an MR which came back as rejected saying they stood by their decision. I then put in an appeal online.

I was very thorough and went through every point I disagreed with and why (took a lot of time, tears, stress and help but I got there thanks to this site and family support). I had no extra literal evidence other than an increase and addition to my medication. The main issue is how my anxiety was addressed and how they feel that one of my other illnesses has no bearing on cognition despite it being a common main symptom.

I recently got a phone call from a very polite lady just after the DWP's deadline to reply to the appeal. It went something like this (not word for word):

DWP: Hi my name is xxx I am from the DWP ringing about your appeal, is that xxx?
Me: Yes
DWP: I am letting you know that I'm looking at your appeal today and wondered if there is anything you'd like to add before I do so? I can see you have been very detailed with your appeal and have provided a lot of information.
Me: No, there is nothing I'd like to add.
DWP: Ok. I want to make sure you understand if it goes to a tribunal you won't always get more points and you may even lose points meaning you lose your award entirely.
Me: Yes, I'm aware of that.
DWP: So, you still want to go ahead with the appeal?
Me: Yes, I do.
DWP: Ok, if I can offer you a deal after looking at your case then I'll ring you back. If I can't then it will go to a tribunal ok?
Me: Yes, that's fine.

Then the usual, thanks and bye etc. Of course, she never rang back and hasn't "offered a deal" I got the bundle in the post where they have now included this phone call stating that I was obviously somewhere public and that I sounded very upbeat and alert.

I can't even recall what I sounded like, (after working in call centres for years I do tend to put in a "telephone voice" when people ring so they can understand me). I was "alert" due to the fact I was awake/lucid and able to answer very basic questions.

The phone call lasted 120 seconds. She had also rung twice just before this but I was too nervous to take the call (I dislike speaking on the phone). I eventually took it in case it was some kind of emergency (I have a child and an elderly parent who lives alone), it was from an 0800 number I didn't recognise. It seems she was very determined to get through to me.

My questions are:

Is fair/reasonable that they are providing this as new evidence?
Is this standard practice and seen as professional?
Is it fair/reasonable that she assumes where I was? I never stated where I was or if I was with anyone.
What is my next step? Should I reply to this new "evidence"? Do I have to counteract what they have assumed from a 120-second phone call?
Would the tribunal look unfavourably on the DWP making these kinds of calls/assumptions? Or should I just ignore it?

I'm yet to sit down and read through everything in the bundle as it's extremely large and I'll need some support from my husband but that is what has stood out to me so far.

Thanks in advance!

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DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251244

Hi H

Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explains where everything is

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In case you are not aware, your real name appears to be showing in the forum, if you want to change this then follow the instructions in the following FAQ

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Is fair/reasonable that they are providing this as new evidence?

You may not like it, but they are entitled to report on contact with you and it's just an opinion.

Is this standard practice and seen as professional?

The will sometimes contact claimants before an appeal and a record will be made of any conversations.

Is it fair/reasonable that she assumes where I was? I never stated where I was or if I was with anyone.

No, it isn't fair.

What is my next step? Should I reply to this new "evidence"? Do I have to counteract what they have assumed from a 120-second phone call?

Wait until you have read through your entire bundle. There may be other things you wish to say.
I would mention it at the end of any other evidence.

Would the tribunal look unfavourably on the DWP making these kinds of calls/assumptions? Or should I just ignore it?

I can't tell you what the judge and/or panel would say - I think it depends on who you get. It's up to you whether you choose to raise it.

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: wockle

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last edit: by Gordon. Reason: removed name

DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251260

Hi BIS, thanks for that. It's crazy how the forum pulls people's names from their profiles!! Can you remove my name from your post as well please?

Thanks for answering my points. I don't mind them ringing it's more the fact she made assumptions, I thought making an assumption about someone was pretty unprofessional, especially in a legal matter.

Would it be best for me to avoid wording it like that in my reply? Should I form a rebuttal in the respect of where I actually was as opposed to where she assumed I was? I have some experience with court cases/tribunals and I know they often don't like people going tit-for-tat with one another.

I'll be going through the bundle soon when I have some energy. I hope others can chime in with their experiences of this if any exist. Yes, I know that all tribunals will differ as all PIP claims will differ and all panels will differ but gaining knowledge is always appreciated. :)

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DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251263

Personally I find the attempt at outright blackmail by threat to you, having first caught you unawares, to be repulsive and a few other things, but sadly this is what we have to come to expect from some members of staff, although there are glowing exceptions. Suspect you are right though, swallow your bile to avoid irritating the panel.. best wishes,
Denby

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DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251268

Thanks Denby, I agree with you and have seen it mentioned where DWP staff even try and talk people out of the appeal during that phone call. I feel my short, blunt replies may have put her off that..who knows?

I really appreciate the input though. I feel it may be better to let it go but if assumptions end up being a recurring theme in their bundle then I may include it. We shall see!

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DWP Phone Call Before Tribunal - PIP 2 months 1 week ago #251273

wockle, my partner lost his Enhanced Daily Living after an assessment, upon MR they gave him Standard Daily Living. The person who did his MR wrote that he should no longer be entitled to his ESA because he no longer qualified for Enhance Daily Living. I thought it was a bit below the belt that they dare bring his ESA into this when it was PIP that he was being assessed for. I'm sure the judges at the tribunal will see what DWP are at, don't rise to it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: wockle, denby

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