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TOPIC: PIP Epilepsy

PIP Epilepsy 1 year 8 months ago #185969

Hi everyone, ive had a pip reassessment and where previously i had standard rate for both, its all now been withdrawn. This is all happening at the same time as i'll be appealing a WRAG decision- previously SG for ESA.

I had to take my pip to an appeal tribunal last time where i won and was awarded standard for both. Reassessment wasnt meant to be until nov 2017 as decided by the tribunal but the dwp started the assessment in dec 16- are they allowed to do this?

My condition has not changed since the tribunal awarded me those points and ive since been able to provide more doctors notes and hospital reports however after the face to face ive been given less points that the health assessor gave me the last time around before the appeal!

Ive been reading the part about the 50% rule and epilepsy new rules in the news section today and how it affects claim from 9th March. Do you think i can use this at all?

I will be putting in for a MR now anyway for my PIP but the actually health assessment happened before 9th March and my claim for dla and then pip had been ongoing for a few years before that. Could i use these new rules?

Ive noticed the health assessor had written 'for the majority of the time' alot during the health assessment report. So as usual because my epilepsy varies 1/2 a week 4/5 times a month for a big fit that is the problem again. Although as per the new rules, i need supervision as i dont have warnings of when the big fits will happen.

I expressed concerns to the face to face assessor as i had to go to tribunal last time and he told me he couldnt see any reason why i would not be given an award as i had provided enough medical evidence in his opinion (i showed him all my doctors notes during the appointment). He also said when leaving my house he would recommend an award period of 2-3 years. So i was very surprised to find i had been awarded nothing for PIP.

I spoke to a decision maker at the dwp and i said i understand the face to face assessor is not the one to make a decision but he told me this... and i explained what he had said.
The decision maker just told me they in effect just rubber stamp what the health assessor tells them as they (DWP) dont have any medical training!

Ive since had the health report through and he has written alot of what ive told me but hes awarded me no points in everything bar one descriptor, using the 'majority of the time' excuse. Hes then gone on to say reassessment in 2 years! He must have known only giving me points for one descriptor would mean i wouldnt have been awarded PIP so why did he tell me in the assessment i would be fine and why has he recommend a reassessment time when it was obvious i wouldnt receive anything after he scored me only 2 points?
There is no NI contributions for PIP when not even receiving the money so why do you think he would put a recommended time for reassessment?

Its so frustrating because he was really nice but again i just feel foolish for trusting.

Thanks for your help again.

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PIP Epilepsy 1 year 8 months ago #186032


I'm afraid the PIP legislation allows the DWP to reassess an award at any time and for any reason.

I would argue the new rules, you have absolutely nothing to lose by doing so, however, you should be prepared to take this to appeal again, as it is unlikely that a Decision Maker will take account of the changes without instruction to do and as of this afternoon, no memos to that effect have been issued.


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

PIP Epilepsy 1 year 8 months ago #186130

Cleocat ... your story is pretty similar to my own and sadly there is more than just a simple error of law when it comes to epilepsy and PIP.

The 50% rule was obviously set by a shower of heartless people who don't even have an understanding of what epilepsy is and how it can affect peoples life.

What you tell the assessor and any evidence that your GP supplies (at least in my case) will not affect the outcome of the decision maker at the DWP. The same thing applies when asking for a MR or a 1st tier tribunal.

There appears to be concrete rules set up and they don't even take a semi logical approach when making any decisions, even in a courtroom.
The law even contradicts itself in my case.

I have uncontrolled epilepsy and suffer from minor seizures on a daily basis and have larger seizures on a weekly basis that sometimes cause me to be hospitalized for up to 10 days on occasions.

I have 24/7 care and i am not allowed to travel alone , and because of the unpredictable nature and severity of my epilepsy i have been advised by all the consultants i have seen over the years not to cook for myself or bathe alone as the risk is too high of harm coming to myself. As it has happened before.

At my tribunal the state accepted that this was the case as all the evidence was available, but still disregarded it as i was not in a permanent seizure over 84 hours per week or more.

Anyone in the health profession knows that seizures that are prolonged are more likely to result in death or have serious cognitive affects.
Not even superman could endure 84 hours of seizures per week and be alive at the end of it ..........

Im not allowed to drive due to the risk of having a seizure and under DLA i was entitled to a Bus pass that allowed myself and my carer to travel to and from hospital and GP appointments for free.

Because of the PIP 50% ruling, not only do i not qualify for any type of award. I am not allowed my bus pass (awarded by local council) as i need an award letter from the DWP to present to my local council showing that i qualify for the mobility criteria to receive a bus pass.

Not only is the 50% ruling unfair, its also punishing people like myself who are unfit for work even further by taking away things like bus passes that enable me to travel.

To sum it all up for me in 1 paragraph (in the states own words)

Im too unwell to be able to work, cook, travel, medicate, manage my own finances and need round the clock care. But not unwell enough to receive any support from the state, due to the 50% ruling.

For myself its not about the money, its about principal. Even my GP is disgusted upon hearing the ruling of a tribunal.

I have asked for a statement of reasons, and if possible i will be going down the route of an upper tribunal.

Wish you all the best with your own claim, but this blanket punishment for being ill appears to be only too common and the state's standard reply.
The following user(s) said Thank You: cleocat

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PIP Epilepsy 1 year 7 months ago #188100

Hi SandyT, im so sorry i didnt see you had replied until now. Thank you for taking the time

Ive now submitted my PIP MR but i fully expect it to go to an appeal.
I sent a 21 page letter off (i can use this for appeal as well) and ive tried my best to go through the descriptors arguing my case and bringing the new case law change (march 9th) and applying it to my case.

Did you see the law change of the upper tribunal:
On 9th March, the panel of Upper Tribunal judges rejected the DWP’s 50% rule.

You have put it so well in your post, i have the constant threat of a seizure, mine is uncontrolled and there is no warning.
'The majority of the days, she is able to...' line was rolled out by the health assessor in my report in every one of the descriptors so i had all my PIP withdrawn even though 2 years earlier a tribunal court had awarded me standard PIP for both components!

Is there a way you can use the change in law for your case do you think in the upper tribunal as its a law change?

Im so sorry to hear what has happened with you, please take care as all this happening has been making my seizures worse and i can imagine it is similar for you.

I'll update what i hear back in my case, let me know what happens with you as well.

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PIP Epilepsy 1 year 7 months ago #188108


Just to be clear the 50% rule, or rather "on the majority of days" is still place and unchanged.

The UTT Decision is that the DWP's view of when risk applied was wrong.

The following user(s) said Thank You: cleocat

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

PIP Epilepsy 1 year 5 months ago #192351

Just an update on where I am:

I applied for the MR and it took ages to hear back. When I called to chase it up they told me they had contacted 'another department' for a second health report and that they were waiting on that before making a decision.

I then received the MR reply, dated the same day as the telephone call (weird!) saying that my MR was disallowed. I have since put an appeal in.

I also wrote and asked to see a copy of this second health report that they told me they had requested. Unsurprisingly I’ve heard nothing back as of yet and probably won’t now as the appeal process has been started.

Has anyone heard of asking for a second health report at the MR stage? - I wasn’t even consulted on this or asked to attend another one.

also, how long do the dwp have to respond to the appeal and send the pack of papers out to me? is it 28 days and from what date is it taken from?

I’ve had a reply from appeals to say they have received my stuff and dwp have been contacted to respond but I was wondering how long they have to respond.


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