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TOPIC: From DLA to PIP - Success After Appeal

From DLA to PIP - Success After Appeal 6 months 3 weeks ago #226896

Hi all - I've been a member here for a while, but have only posted here once or twice. Excellent advice and information - which is always bang up-to-date thanks to Steve D. and the team ! I hope by sharing this, it might encourage others in similar circumstances to ours.

We have a daughter with learning disabilities, and she was getting the lower level of DLA - then she had to apply for PIP when she turned 16. My wife already receives PIP, so we already bore the battle scars from dodgy Atos assessments, Mandatory Reconsiderations (MR's) & appeals. Sure enough, after an Atos assessment, she was given insufficient points to qualify for any PIP at all - so we applied for a MR, which resulted in no change to the original decision. So we decided to take it to appeal - and as her father, I acted as our daughter's Representative.

I don't know how - but I seem to have managed to convince HMCTS (or the DWP) to ask for further medical reports from our daughter's GP instead of relying purely on the Atos assessment. The day of the hearing arrived, and I had managed to get the Tribunal to agree to hear the appeal in my daughter's absence, with just myself present to 'present her case.' The hearing is a bit scary and intimidating - but in reality it is just 3 peeps (the 'Tribunal' itself) facing the claimant over a large table. I have been to several of these Tribunal hearings over the years, and although I still find them scary, I'm a little more relaxed than I used to be. I wore a suit & tie to my first one 25 years ago, then just a casual jacket & tie to my next one (erm - and trousers, of course !). For this one - I wore an open-necked shirt with rolled-up sleeves - then plonked my document 'bundle' down in front of me, leaned forward toward the Tribunal Judge, and let them all see that I was 'ready to do business' for the next 45 minutes - even though I was still a nervous wreck deep down inside.

To my surprise, the Judge explained that they had already decided that our daughter did indeed qualify for PIP at the lower level for both Daily Living and Mobility components. Although I had sent a 'submission' which argued for maximum points, I was only expecting to be awarded the lower Daily Living PIP - but the Tribunal had already decided that she also qualified for lower Mobility as well. The Judge then explained that I had every right to reject that decision and continue with the hearing - at which point I started to pack my documents away and accepted their decision, and thanked them for their time and attention. It was all over within 5 minutes - but I kept my 'cool,' and didn't punch the air and yell "Yay" until I was back in my car !

So, with the massive help of the info and advice from the B&W guys here - and I believe the extra report from our daughter's GP - I believe we finally got the correct result. It shouldn't have to be so difficult, I believe - but it is, unfortunately. It took over a year to get this result - and I count my blessings that we were able to see it through - because so many others are just not able to cope with the sheer stress of the appeal process. Our daughter got her PIP backdated to the date of her claim - and was awarded the current level for just one more year (as opposed to the expected 2 more). I decided to formally ask HMCTS for a statement of the Tribunal's reasons for their decision - not because I disagreed with it - but because I felt that we may need it 'at some point in the future.' So at the next re-application for our daughter's PIP, we have the previous Tribunal decision's explanation to rely upon if we have to go through the same appeal process again. As Tesco say - "Every Little Helps...!"

There is more to this saga, however - but I will post that later.

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From DLA to PIP - Success After Appeal 6 months 3 weeks ago #226908

Bill

Congratulations on the Tribunal award, well done.

It usually takes the DWP 5-8 weeks to process a Tribunal result, I would call them to make sure that they have received the Decision Notice.

Gordon

Tags: @RESULT @PIP @APPEAL

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