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TOPIC: DLA to PIP and hearing loss

DLA to PIP and hearing loss 1 week 5 days ago #238361

Hi, I was invited to apply for pip and had an assessment by a physiotherapist. I have a lung condition, osteoarthritis and musculoskeIetal conditions as well as hearing loss vetigo/dizziness and bad tinnitus. I sent in lots of medical evidence and full details of how my conditions affect me.

The assessor seemed nice, so I was hoping he would be understanding to my situation. I asked for a copy of the assessment and was pleased that at least some consideration was taken regarding the difficulties I have with my joints. He recommended 8 points in total for daily living which included 2 points for wearing a hearing aid. I was however, very disappointed that the numerous difficulties I have with the descriptors for communication and mixing with other people as well as the going out to unfamiliar places alone, were all dismissed.

I am profoundly deaf in one ear which happened after failed surgery and I have moderate sensorineural hearing loss in the other ear which has worsened over the years. I also get bad attacks of vertigo/dizziness and balance problems and suffer very badly with tinnitus.

Apparently, because I coped well with the assessment and it was noted I laughed (I tend to laugh when I'm nervous) and smiled, that I have no problems with socialising. I think that was a ridiculous and unfair statement. I am usually okay in a one to one setting in a quiet room as long as the other person is not quietly spoken. But I do really struggle with communicating with any background noise and this has left me very isolated and withdrawn and really lacking in confidence.

I phoned the dwp before a decision was made and told them I was not happy. I provided them with a copy of my latest audiology report which noted that with the level of hearing loss that I have, I would very likely have difficulty in large open spaces, group/meeting situations and in the presence of background noise.

They have now made a decision and awarded me 8 points for standard care as recommended by the assessor but they have not acknowledged any of the day to day difficulties I have with my hearing and communication. It is not very clear whether they had used the last audiology report that I had sent . I am not sure whether it got to the right department on time. Even the DWP advisor was not sure.

Because I appear normal and speak normally they think I have no difficulties with communication.
I have started off a mandatory reconsideration by phone and made a few phone calls to organisations for the deaf and hard of hearing to get some help and support, but only managed to find an advocacy with a 10 week wait. The welfare benefits people are always too busy so haven't had any luck with them. I would appreciate any advice on this matter or any experiences people have had. I am now writing them a detailed letter and looking up case laws which might help.

Many Thanks



Many Thanks for your help

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DLA to PIP and hearing loss 1 week 5 days ago #238368

Hi Eleni

I'm sorry that you are struggling to find support for your MR, though it looks as if you are doing everything you can to find it. Go through your assessor report carefully and look at every question where you did not score as highly as you should have done and highlight the evidence you have including your latest audiology report.

I found this case law which is very relevant to your situation and I think you might find it useful

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5...PIP_1534_2016-00.pdf

I'm sure you will, but emphasise that someone who has never met you before cannot make a judgment about how you were feeling nor how much you could hear or were struggling to hear.

BIS

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

DLA to PIP and hearing loss 1 week 5 days ago #238369

Hi BIS, thank you very much for your prompt reply and for the link to a case law which Is relevant to my situation. I will include it in my letter to the DWP.

Many Thanks

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