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TOPIC: Can PIP answers be too long?

Can PIP answers be too long? 1 year 2 months ago #196677

Thank you, that's really helpful.

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PIP tribunal requested medical records 3 months 4 weeks ago #215169

New question!

tl;dr questions under "So I guess my questions are" at the end

I am currently appealing my PIP decision. The first hearing got adjourned to request medical evidence before I even turned up. A few weeks later, I got a letter confirming this, along with a response from the DWP saying that they wanted the tribunal to look again at all the points I was originally awarded. There was nothing from the judge themself warning that anything would be at risk, but I'm pretty sure some points will be at risk with this appeal (I'm pressing forward because I think I'm entitled to more in other areas).

So the tribunal is requesting medical records. However, my medical records don't really mention my main difficulties much, especially more recently, because there is very little the doctors can do about it (and sometimes it feels like they don't even know what I'm talking about). So I've basically given up mentioning them, since no-one will even talk about them. I worry that allowing access to my records would just give the DWP ammunition against me and make the hearing just shooting down tangential arguments instead of focusing on what's really disabling me. I also feel unsettled that my conversations with my GP might be shared with people other than my GP, but if it helps the appeal I'll try and consider it.

But I worry that declining consent might be used against me. And I've heard that the tribunal might then (without a hearing) send me back to the DWP for another assessment, and then the DWP might request medical records and I wouldn't then be able to stop them.

So I guess my questions are these:
- if I deny consent for medical records to be shared,
-> is it really true they might send me back to the DWP? What might happen then? would I have the opportunity to stop this/at least argue my case before the decision is made?
-> could/would the tribunal hold it against me and accuse me of hiding something? how could I combat this?
-> if I write a covering letter explaining my reasons for declining to consent, will anyone actually read it? it would probably be long, my PIP2 form was a ridiculous number of pages because I can't explain things concisely!
-> should I send copies of diagnosis letters with that covering letter declining consent, in case that's all they wanted + as a good gesture (though at least one of those has points in it I'd have to explain in the covering letter, it might undermine the point about where I want them to focus)?
-> my GP has already written them a letter (about a year ago when she didn't know me very well (changed GP just before application)), I could ask her to send another given the intervening year, would this be a good idea?
- if I give consent for medical records to be shared,
-> what is actually sent to the tribunal from my medical records? does it include the GP's complete notes or just a summary of my record?
-> how could I avoid the hearing being taken up shooting down peripheral arguments instead of focusing on what's really disabling me?
-> if I write a covering letter asking them to focus on particular things and giving some context for certain things, would it be read and heeded?

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PIP tribunal requested medical records 3 months 4 weeks ago #215182

anonia

So first a general comment, you seem to be making your decision about the medical records because of the things they do not contain, have you considered what they do?

-> is it really true they might send me back to the DWP?
No. Certainly not in the context that you mean.

-> could/would the tribunal hold it against me
No, there is recent Case Law on this, however, this does not prevent them from taking a view during the hearing if you evasive.

-> if I write a covering letter
Yes, the panel have to read all of the docments involved in the appeal.

-> should I send copies of diagnosis letters
You can but you are second guessing what the panel wants, it's unlikely to satisfy their request for all of your medical records.

-> my GP has already written them a letter
Yes but it must be in relation to your conditions as they were at the time of the Decision, the panel cannot consider any changes since then.

-> what is actually sent to the tribunal
The panel will ask for a date range, usually a couple of years but it can be longer, all of the records in that range will be sent.

-> how could I avoid the hearing being taken up shooting down peripheral arguments
You can't, Tribunals are not like a court case where the prosecution and the defence present their cases, the panel will ask you the questions as they believe relevant. You will be given a chance at the end of the hearing to raise any issues that you think are important.

-> if I write a covering letter asking them to focus on particular things
It will be read but as above they will not be bound by your request.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: anonia

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

PIP tribunal requested medical records 3 months 4 weeks ago #215187

Gordon wrote:
So first a general comment, you seem to be making your decision about the medical records because of the things they do not contain, have you considered what they do?

Difficult to answer fully but there's a lot about my physical difficulties and I'm concerned they won't consider so much the more disabling things that aren't mentioned as much.

Gordon wrote: -> what is actually sent to the tribunal
The panel will ask for a date range, usually a couple of years but it can be longer, all of the records in that range will be sent.

So including all the GP's notes? Urgh...

Gordon wrote: -> how could I avoid the hearing being taken up shooting down peripheral arguments
You can't, Tribunals are not like a court case where the prosecution and the defence present their cases, the panel will ask you the questions as they believe relevant. You will be given a chance at the end of the hearing to raise any issues that you think are important.

I see...

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PIP tribunal requested medical records 3 months 4 weeks ago #215189

Basically when I go to this hearing I have to have all my answers to as many possible questions as possible prepared and scripted. I am not good at thinking of answers on the fly and medical records balloon the number of things I have to think about. And on top of that I worry that the panel will be mislead by my records into thinking that my physical difficulties are more disabling because they're mentioned more in my records.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gordon

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