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TOPIC: PIP appeal - can anyone advise?

PIP appeal - can anyone advise? 2 weeks 12 hours ago #220232

I suffer from depression and anxiety and was previously in receipt of DLA at the standard rate. I had to claim PIP back in May, had an assessment in July and predictably was awarded no points. I went through the rigmarole of requesting an Mandatory Review and equally predictably the DWP simply confirmed the original decision. I immediately appealed and have just received the DWP's appeal submission. The assessment as reported in the papers was a farce and the submission is full of errors, omissions and inconsistencies which I intend to deal with in my additional submission to the tribunal. However, there are 2 points I'd really like some advice on. The first of these is that the assessor does not appear to have any mental health qualifications - on the submission part covering the assessment t simply gives her name and her qualification as 'nurse'. Is there any way I can check what her qualifications actually are?

Second - and most important - the DWP's submission contains a comment which I feel is rather nasty in its intention. It states that although I have reported a high level of restriction I am entitled to Carer's Allowance - which of course means that I care for someone with a disability for at least 35 hours a week. It adds that this is something the tribunal might wish to look into.

Now it is quite correct that I have an underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance, because I care for my husband who suffer from Bipolar Affective Disorder, PTSD, Anxiety, Dyslexia and a degree of OCD. I am not actually in receipt of CA because I get the State Retirement Pension and you can't get both. (My entitlement to CA has not actually been reviewed for several years, but that's academic, as is the fact that I am not actually in receipt of CA.) If the decision maker had actually read the papers I sent in with my claim she would have seen that I said from the start that one of the principal reasons why I suffer from anxiety and depression is precisely the fact that I am my husband's carer and this has a huge impact on my ability to look after myself - as both my counsellor and my husband's CPN have said to me, 'You're looking after him but who's looking after you?' In fact my counsellor wrote me a brilliant letter o support which I sent in with my claim, in which she identified my husband's mental illness as a main factor in my own mental health issues, and pointed out the impact caring for him was having on my ability to look after myself - in other words to cope with the aspects of daily living relevant to PIP. Anyone who knows anything about the effects of caring for someone - especially someone with my husband's mental health problems - knows the horrendous toll caring can take on the carer. But f course everything I told the DWP - and my counsellor's letter - fell on deaf ears (or should I say blind eyes?).

Can anyone advise me how I should respond to the DWP's statements re my entitlement to CA? I'd be extremely grateful as all this is sending my stress levels through the roof and as well as everything else I'm having to cope with a bout of diverticulitis - probably brought on by all the stress!

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PIP appeal - can anyone advise? 2 weeks 7 hours ago #220254

Lesley

Assessors are not required to have qualifications in mental health issues in order to assess claimants for PIP, the official position is that the authorised training should provide them with the skills they require to adequately look at a claimants problems.

You are going to have to show that their conclusions are ones that an assessor with mental health training would not have made but be aware, devaluing the report can result in a new assessment being required.

We regularly see comments about the claimant receiving Carers Allowance. If you have an entitlement to CA, whether it is being paid or not then you are committing to providing 35 hours of care a week.

We have seen mixed reactions to this by appeal panels, the vast majority have ignored the DWP's reference to CA but you do need to be prepared to answer questions about how you manage to provide the care and still have the limitations that you have mentioned in your claim form and any submission that you make.

If you include a rebuttal of the DWP's insinuations in your own submission then you are opening yourself to questioning about your caring activities, where they may not have done so otherwise but of course, the decision is yours.

Gordon

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

PIP appeal - can anyone advise? 1 week 5 days ago #220401

Hi Gordon,

Many thanks for your invaluable reply. However, I'm a little confused. You say that 'devaluing the report can result in a new assessment being required.' Does this mean that if I challenge the medical report in my submission to the tribunal a new assessment may be required? If so surely this should have been mentioned in the invaluable Benefits and Work guides to Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals and also the Ways to Challenge a PIP Medical Report guide? Or have I misunderstood you and would this only apply if I challenge the assessor's qualifications? I'd be grateful if you could clarify this as I am now very anxious and frightened - the assessor's report was almost entirely a work of fiction so I do need to challenge this in a letter to the tribunal.

Thanks

Lesly

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PIP appeal - can anyone advise? 1 week 5 days ago #220423

Lesley

It's pretty unlikely that a new assessment will be required once the claimant goes to appeal but if the report is withdrawn then it undermines the original Decision and the DWP do have the option doing a new face to face.

Yes, challenge the report but it may not be the issue that you think it to be at the hearing, see

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3688-most...enior-tribunal-judge

Gordon
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