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PA4 report 1 month 3 weeks ago #264865

Hi I’ve received my PA4 report after requesting it. What the assessor has written is accurate but I feel her opinion about the mobility part of the assessment is contradictory. She has said that I have more bad days than good and that on my bad days I am mostly in bed yet I have scored 0 for mobility. I have chronic pain and it is my mobility which is most affected on a bad day. She has focused on my cognitive abilities and that I can plan and follow an unfamiliar route unaided and that I can move more than 200 meters unaided. I can’t follow an unfamiliar route unaided as I’m in too much pain and I can’t do either of theses things reliably or repeatedly every day. Should I write to the decision maker before I get my award letter? I don’t have any further evidence only what has already, been submitted.

PA4 report 1 month 2 weeks ago #264922

Hi Jennifer

There is a small window for you to write to the Decision Maker but you will need to be quick.

Understand that the assessor is offering an opinion when they say that you can do the PIP activities, tackling these head-on is unlikely to be successful, you need to show that the basis of that opinion is founded on incorrect information, so try and refer to your evidence to undermine what they have said.

Also, try and stick to issues that lead to your scoring points, I often hear members referring to the assessors spelling, as an example, whilst it may show a lack of professionalism, raising it as an issue isn't going to help you get an award.

Your primary task is to show that you meet the criteria, there are many reasons you may have failed, you need to address each of these but don't get bogged down in criticising the assessment report unless you can clearly show that it is incorrect, it is a lot easier to argue the facts of the situation;

Average walking speed is 72/minute so the maximum distance that PIP considers, 200m, would be covered by a healthy person in just three minutes! there are slower rates; 48m/min walking slowly and 36m/min walking very slowly. You are going to have to show that you cannot "reliably" walk more than 50m to score sufficiently for an award.

Things to think about

You are not required to walk pain free but any pain that restricts the distance that you can walk should be taken into account.

Specifically for the Moving Around activity, if you are able to walk but is in severe pain when doing so, then you can argue that your walking is not to a necessary standard and should be disregarded.

The legal test requires you to stand and then move (walk), so if you have problems getting up then you should argue these as well.

If you walks slowly then it must take you at least twice the time to cover the distance as a healthy person would, this could be down to the speed of your walking but could also be the result of you having to stop.

You must be able to repeat the distance, so if you could walk it once but not then be able to walk it again within a reasonable timescale then you should be classed as unable to repeat the activity.

I'm afraid I can't tell you how to show your walking is more restricted but things you need to think about is what you can't do, for example; where can you walk in your house, how far is the toilet from where you normally sits, things that will count against you are any trips that you makes outside, so for example, how do you do your shopping?

You must be able to walk the distance you can, reliably and on the majority of days, both these terms are defined in the PIP Claim guide.

Lastly, make sure that you understand the criteria that you are being assessed against you can put the best case forward that is possible but you won't score points if you do not meet the PIP Descriptors.

The first stage to challenging a Decision is for you to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, this needs to be done in writing to the DWP, within one month of the Decision, to the office that dealt with your claim, have a look at our PIP MR & Appeal guide, half way down the page for details of the process, the PIP area also has template letters that you can use to make the request with.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/pip

Make sure that your letter makes it clear that you are not requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration but you reserve the right to do so once a Decision has been made.

When you have a better idea of the issues with your claim, come back to the forum and we will do our best to help.

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