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TOPIC: DLA TO PIP ... MY STORY

DLA TO PIP ... MY STORY 4 months 2 weeks ago #192735

Was awarded standard rate daily living and no mobility award in Dec 2016 with a reassessment likely in 2 years when I was reassessed, I was on high rate care and mobility lifetime award on old DLA so you can imagine my grief. Id only been on DLA for 2 yr since stopping work due to chronic arthritis in back neck and needing new knee caps.
Getting THAT DLA was tough, anyway, I will try and make this as simple as possible.
I wrote for a mandatory reconsideration in early Jan 17 and just by telling DWP the assessor 'assumed' too much about my illness to make the decision she did, not to mention, all the bullsh*t she wrote up in her report. Things like 'looked well' when I told her I was in pain, was rubbing my knees almost all through assessment and sweating. I explained this in my letter of reconsideration and I got enhanced mobility, see what I mean.?
Still wasn't happy as I was still £100 a month worse off on PIP than I was on DLA.
I wrote to complain to Atos and DWP, guess what? The one blamed the other!
Atos said it was ‘5 of this and 10 of the other’ (what the hell that was I will never know!!)
The DWP blamed Atos UNTIL I told them NO. I had issues with evidence that was sent directly to them not Atos (yes, Atos started the ball rolling by not putting down I was on vital medication ie; TRAZODONE) hard to believe but she did leave it out, so all i was saying about been dizzy, been sick, headaches and loss of ‘real time’ was all seen as inconsistent evidence as they didn't know I was on Trazodone!
I wrote to them and got a letter from them saying if wasn't happy, appeal. What??
No way, you can lose appeals and end up worse off. My time been scrutinized was done. No more. Anyway, I wrote and told them, firstly, I wasn't going to appeal but put a complaint in as this was my right by law if I thought I had a case, and I told them so! I told them I knew my rights and I DIDNT have to appeal providing I had evidence which I knew I had. I told them I was on Trazodone when I was assessed in Dec 16 this WOULD have got me the extra points for enhanced daily living, (needed help with meds and understanding complex information which I had previously been denied points due to inconsistency's of been on Trazodone) I also sent them with that letter my actual boxes of meds I was / still on in Dec 16 which was Solpodol, Trazodone (for anxiety & depression) and Tramadol (for severe pain relief) the evidence was in black and white I couldn't wait to see what they said to this letter!
After 4 weeks I got a letter (it’s about March now) I couldn't believe it. They were not changing their minds and the standard rate for daily living was standing. Apparently, the boxes of meds I sent in hadn't got my name on them so it wasn't proof the Trazodone was prescribed to me. (wait, what???).
They had sent me a scan of the boxes of meds I sent in, it needed to be seen to be believed, my Tramadol and Solpodol clearly showed the date prescribed (Nov 2016) and my name. However, the meds in question, (Trazodone) although the date prescribed was visible (Nov 2016) my name was not visible, it looked like it had been covered up! Mishap in the copying depot? Done on purpose? I didn't really care at that point, what I did know was, that someone somewhere in the DWP was starting to play dirty. So I guess the only thing left to do now was not get angry (was passed that now..) but to get EVEN.
I wrote another letter now to the DWP, saying that I was not accepting their decision on the ‘lack of proof’ rubbish they had. I sent with this letter my systems online medication history (this can't be tampered with and I think they know this) clearly showing I was on Trazodone in Dec 16 and the Atos assessor lied (same as leaving the meds off in her report in my opinion).
I sent it all off giving the DWP 28 days to make their mind up onto which road they wished to take, change original decision of standard daily living to enhanced (as proof submitted would get enhanced points remember, the needing help with meds and not been able to understand complex information points enough to get up to enhanced rate). Decision changes I had previously been told only came via the appeals path, one I told them no, I wasn't risking my current award, and as it was a dept. error initially, no other proof could be submitted in an appeal except what they already had (tampered with evidence?) Yeah, they would have loved for me to have appealed, so they could escape justification for what had done to me? Wasn't happening.
About 3 weeks later, Atos, who had been pretty quiet up until they had washed their grubby hands of my claim blaming DWP decision makers for end result (hmm??) now were contacting me. I got a phone call from Atos complaints dept (same dept. that laid blame to DWP and thrown out my claim) they said they wanted to talk, oh, REALLY!!! (I recorded the call and told them I was, they said ok).
It was obvious that the DWP had contacted them and right royally had kicked their asses into submission. Were Atos going to take the almighty fall for the DWP???
The woman from Atos JUST wanted to know what I was complaining about (??) Please!! God, give me strength, was she been serious? apparently so..
I told her. You know it. No need to repeat.
She said she would look at my report again made by the assessor but if there was no new evidence what could she do?
I simply asked her ‘why would one of your employees leave out vital information on a form if not to cause malice?
She was quiet. She didn't know why that had happened (oh, really?) I told her the DWP now had hard evidence I was on Trazodone on day of my assessment and again reminded her that I presented this prescription to her assessor on day of my assessment and that the assessor recorded it on her report, but little did I know the assessor only put in report ‘prescriotions presented’ and didn't NAME Trazodone by name, I told the Atos complaints woman that I think this was done deliberate to lead DWP decision makers into making an incorrect assumption of my side effects and illness etc, making most things I said I was suffering with (the side effects, etc, etc, etc) inconsistent with meds I was on - it worked.
Again, she was quite.
I said it seemed like I was left with no option but to sue this individual assessor who was responsible from the on start
of all the stress, disruption and loss of benefits to me.
Silence.
I said I wasn't going to accept the decision so someone better come up with answers and solutions sooner rather than later. She finally said she would investigate my complaint. However, I told her I had done with this, no more excuses, and just like I told DWP if I didn't get the result I wanted within 28 days, and I didn't care who admitted fault whether it was Atos or DWP then things were going to get ugly. It had took me 7months to learn that the governing bodies we so dearly depend on could cheat and lie to us, cover up evidence or tamper with it maybe, it was unacceptable for them to behave in this manner - it isn't big and it isn't clever. Just because they've got the power, and all that…
So off SHE went, to investigate my claims…

2 weeks later..

(It's now June, almost 7 months after initial assessment in Dec16).
I got a call last week from the DWP right out of the blue ..
The woman said she was calling regarding my claim for PIP.
I was quiet, she continued, she said she had received ‘documentation’ from the assessment team (Atos? She didn't say) and with that documentation she said that she was able to award me the enhanced rate of daily living for PIP.
Hurray! You might say. However, although I was glad they had finally come to their senses and I had finally got what I was previously on before this farce of a re assessment, but it was nothing more nothing less?

Alls well that ends well, yes?

NO.

I got to thinking, had any one actually owned up to these errors? NO.
Was anyone even going to.ask ‘how did this happen’? ‘who was to blame’?
What if it had all gone wrong for me and they really dug their heels in and didn't cave in? They have been well known to not cave in, I have read those horror stories, people dying while fighting for their rights, some too sick to fight anymore, the forgotten ones, those, god help us all, who are 6 feet under the ones who will be forgot about, no, I just couldn't stop thinking about the fighting that is still going on and people still dying due to the dirty tricks these dept’s. pull on us, I should know, I witnessed it first hand, luckily, I had my wife to help me, to write all those letters, I sure as hell couldn't have done that alone. But this is what the government want to rely on, vulnerable people, people alone with no help at hand, people too sick to fight and their battles are lost and some claimants paying the ultimate sacrifice, but that's ok to the government, one less handout to pay out right?
Well, no actually. This has to stop and if people like me don't fight for people who are not able to do then I have acheived nothing.

So, here we are. I made a decision to finally try and make someone pay for what myself and yes, my poor wife bless her (she isn't so well herself, she didn't need all this hassle and stress either..,) I have put a letter to the DWP siting them for MALADMINISTRATION. Now, it's not so much about what compensation I get but more about how I hope they learn from this episode that could have gone oh so very differently. Also I hope they look at decisions more carefully and stop taking us for the fools they obviously think we are… we are disabled and ill, not IDIOTS!!

So the letters gone into the DWP. I have asked for an ex gratia payment, this is when you believe you have been treated unfairly by a governing dept. where you feel errors have been made WITHIN a dept and they haven't acted correctly and behaved in a manner you find unacceptable.
You can't use maladministration unless you can proove errors etc, for instance if you have new evidence to help a claim go in your favour then you WILL need to appeal.
However, I think I qualify for maladministration … what do YOU think?????

To be continued ….

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DLA TO PIP ... MY STORY 4 months 2 weeks ago #192753

  • Gordon
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J

Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explain where everything is

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I can't really comment.

What I can say is that you are mistaken about the appeal process, a Tribunal is required to notify the claimant if there is a risk to their existing award, so that they withdraw the appeal.

Gordon

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DLA TO PIP ... MY STORY 4 months 2 weeks ago #192794

What an inspiration to keep fighting & not put up with these shoddy assessments.
Talk about feisty!
I just feel so scared all the time.
Please may I suggest you send a copy of this to your MP?
Best wishes Susie

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