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TOPIC: PIP Review Nightmare

PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 5 days ago #220726

My son has unpredictable major epileptic seizures and was awarded standard care and enhanced mobility by an appeal tribunal. On the review form, sent one year prior to the date set by the tribunal, he ticked all the no change boxes as his condition remains the same as it has been for at least ten years. However, the DWP still required him to attend a new health asssessment in July 2018.

He becomes very anxious at the prospect due to a previous very bad experience, and anxiety is a major seizure trigger. He was unable to attend the assessment in July because he had a major seizure which may have been triggered by anxiety. I called the assessment centre which said it would contact the DWP. My husband contacted the DWP a few days later to explain what happened, also mentioning our son's anxiety may have triggered the seizure. The DWP appeared to accept the reason given for his non attendance.

There was no further contact from the DWP until the end of September when my son got a letter stating his PIP was being stopped due to failure to attend the health assessment 'without giving a good reason'. I subsequently called DWP on my son's behalf to ask why having a seizure was not a good reason. At that point, for the first time since July, a letter from his doctor was requested. When I pointed out that it was impossible for his doctor to verify he had a seizure on that day in July because people with epilepsy don't call the doctor every time they have a seizure, I was told that a letter from his doctor stating he suffered unpredictable seizures would suffice. When I pointed out there was no need as they already had that information on a large file on my son's medical condition, I was told ' we have procedures to follow'

My son's doctor refused to supply the letter on the grounds that the DWP could and should contact her directly for any information needed. As GPS aren't legally compelled to supply such letters, my son relayed what his doctor told him in his request for mandatory reconsideration, asking the DWP to contact his doctor directly (notwithstanding the fact they already have the evidence of long term unpredictable seizures on file). He also stated that if the DWP contacted his doctor, it could obtain information about 5 or so recent attendances at A&E due to shoulder dislocations caused by sudden falls during unpredictable seizures.

Today my son got a refusal notice from the DWP, and now has to appeal the decision, but he also feels angry at the way the decision was reached and the inexplicable delay between July and September. I'm quite sure the DWP hasn't even bothered to contact his doctor.

Will the Tribunal only be considering the decision to stop his PIP on the grounds of failing to attend his health assessment, or will it go over his whole claim? He is worried that after a successful appeal on the present ground, he will have to appeal again after undergoing a health assessment ordered by the Tribunal. He is not confident of the outcome of any health assessment as the previous one resulted in only 2 points (increased to 22 on appeal).

The whole process from assessment to appeal is too stressful for him to go through every couple of years, and is not necessary as his condition is long standing and unlikely to change significantly in the medium long term future at least. It's even more stressful due to the unfair procedure he has been subjected to since the DWP reviewed his claim. It seems like they are unreasonably and deliberately making things as difficult and oppressive as possible to cause him to give up his claim

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"Epilepsy is a condition that poses unique challenges to those living with it and should be considered a special case..... For most, seizures are unpredictable, a constant fear of what might happen and when.” EPILEPSY SOCIETY UK.

PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 5 days ago #220741

CeeCee

Are you sure that the missed appointment was from July?

Did you call the assessment centre before or after the time of the assessment?

An appeal will only be in regard his reasons for not attending the assessment, winning will place him back into the situation of needing to attend a face to face assessment unless the Assessment Provider decides that one is not required.

Appeals are taking a long time to be heard, many areas are waiting nine or more months, he does have the option of making a new claim for PIP immediately, there is no waiting time.

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

PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 5 days ago #220745

Yes, Gordon, the assessment appointment was in July. We called the assessment centre to cancel before the appointment time, then the DWP a few days later to confirm my son did not attend due to a seizure.

It seems very unfair that due to the DWPs unfair procedure my son is facing an appeal against the decision to stop his PIP because he couldn't go to the appointment, and going by his previous experience probably followed by another long process of mandatory reconsideration and appeal.

If he makes a new claim, Will that stop the appeal process for his present one? Would it be better to make a formal complaint because we feel strongly our son has been put in this position through no fault of his own

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"Epilepsy is a condition that poses unique challenges to those living with it and should be considered a special case..... For most, seizures are unpredictable, a constant fear of what might happen and when.” EPILEPSY SOCIETY UK.

PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 5 days ago #220747

CeeCee

Was this the first appointment?

If it was and you contacted them before the appointment time then the procedure is to issue a second appointment, I'm wondering if this is what happened and you did not receive notice of this.

Gordon
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PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 4 days ago #220758

Hi, no it was the second appointment because he had a seizure prior to the first one as well. As they accepted the reason the first time and already know that he has anxiety related seizures, we thought they had decided an assessment wasn't necessary in the circs.

It was a big surprise to get the letter at the end of September saying his PIP was being stopped because we had heard nothing since July, and his PIP continued to be paid until September.

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"Epilepsy is a condition that poses unique challenges to those living with it and should be considered a special case..... For most, seizures are unpredictable, a constant fear of what might happen and when.” EPILEPSY SOCIETY UK.

PIP Review Nightmare 1 week 4 days ago #220779

CeeCee

Thank you for the information.

Then your options are to continue with the appeal or make a new claim for PIP.

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