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TOPIC: Partially hearing / sighted

Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 6 days ago #227595

My 40 year old son with Stickler syndrome from birth was awarded a DLA (both lowest) for life around 20 years ago. He has severe sight and hearing loss with some speech issues.

He received his decision letter for PIP on Monday and has had Daily Living axed but Mobility renewed on the standard level.

My son's medical assessment with the Health Professional was conducted in his own small room with myself present as a largely silent supporter.

My son, with the help of advice provided by this website, provided copious written evidence of his extensive difficulties in coping in a social or work situation for the Mixing with Other people category but the report, based entirely on the F2F assessment, basically described my son's ability to handle a one-to-one Q&A totally at odds with life in the real world. It contained no reference to any of my son's written evidence.

The report simply said: “You said that you can initially be shy talking with unfamiliar people but would then be able to converse without restriction.” (0 points) This in no way represents what he wrote or said and I feel that the words were put into his mouth as a question eliciting a "Yes" because it was true that day, based on the interview.

The interview contained no reference to the written responses which surprised me very much. At the end I asked the HP if she had read the evidence and she said that she had. I assumed that the Decision Maker would take them into account along with the Medical report but this clearly didn't happen.

I am now helping him to gather further evidence for a Mandatory Reconsideration.

Any suggestions for a way forward would be welcome, especially those dealing with severe sight and hearing loss.

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Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 6 days ago #227611


Do you have reports/certificates stating how his sight and hearing are limited?

Mixing with Other People requires the situation to be a social one so you can argue that he would behave differently from the interview.

Did you describe his problems in regard to the PIP Descriptors, for example; scoring high for the Mixing activity requires "social support", was this provided during the assessment? In a similar vein, the Communicating Verbally activity requires "communication support".

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 for details of the process, the PIP area also has template letters that you can use to make the request with.


You should contact the DWP for a copy of the assessment report if you have not already done so, I would phone them but again follow up the request in writing. Once you have the assessment report you will have a better understanding of how the DWP Decision Maker has come to their conclusions and will then be able to argue against them.

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;

"the assessor recorded that I walked 50m, I did but they have failed to document that I had to stop every 10m for a rest due to breathlessness"

than their opinions

"based on my observations of the claimant walking I believe that they can reliably walk more than 200m.

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.


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

Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 5 days ago #227660

Hi Gay

This is just a quick post to strongly recommend that your son contact the RNIB about this as soon as possible. for information on how to do this please click www.rnib.org.uk/ourservices/rnibhelpline

My 'strong recommendation' is based on the fact that I also have a sight and hearing impairment and the RNIB helped me greatly when I was turned down completely for PIP after, as a DLA claimant, being 'invited' to claim PIP. I was previously on DLA indefinitely. RNIB offers a free welfare rights service to visually impaired people and they have expert welfare rights advisers who, if they agree to take a case on, will become the visually impaired person's representative and can for example draw up and submit mandatory reconsideration requests and tribunal submissions. They cannot normally attend tribunal hearings with claimants but will do so in exceptional circumstances. In my case it wasn't necessary to have anyone with me at the tribunal hearing but with the superb work and help of my RNIB rep over the months before the hearing I went on to win my PIP appeal and was awarded the lower rate of both the daily living and mobility components of PIP, and for an indefinite period!

I hope you find the above helpful and that your son will go on to regain his rightful entitlement.

Kind regards

Mr B

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Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 3 days ago #227781

Mr B, Many thanks for your very helpful response. We have already gathered much extra evidence in preparation for the MR - including a current report by an ophthalmic consultant - which needs to be submitted quite soon. If that fails to produce a result - ie 8 points for Daily Living - then we will definitely go down the RNIB route. I am about to make contact with them in anticipation that we will need their help. Gay
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mr B

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Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 3 days ago #227782

Gordon, many thanks for your input. We are in the process of acquiring up-to-date reports on my son's condition and will certainly submit them (and other fresh evidence that we have) when we go for MR.

Following your advice, we will also send for the full assessment report. We have already spotted some inconsistencies in the PIP decision letter.
Given the time constraints in applying for a MR, we are wondering whether to try to get everything together in time for that or to assume that we will eventually need to go for an appeal anyway and therefore just send what we can for the MR and spend time and energy on the appeal, including the great suggestion in involving the RNIB mentioned by Mr B..

What would you suggest?

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Partially hearing / sighted 2 months 2 days ago #227801


This is a decision that only you can make but with appeals taking a year or more I would think that there is value in making the MR as effective as you can.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Mr B, Gay

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