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TOPIC: My experience so far

My experience so far 2 weeks 5 days ago #200264

Hello.

I wanted to record the details of and share my experience so far with my PIP.
I am disgusted, mentally exhausted and almost ready to quit... but I know that's what they want me to do.
In 2015 I applied for pip. I had been advised to claim DLA many times during the previous 7 years but I was proud and I "managed".
I have huge problems with stairs so requested a medical with full access. I was given a home visit, which turned into nearly three hours with a doctor and another person. They were incredibly thorough, decent and probing and I was delighted to be awarded highest rates for both. It was awarded Until 2018.
In 2016 I received a form, was I better?the same or worse. I was worse and told the truth. I was called for a medical which I had to travel to and was farcical. A behind the desk, a no eye contact young lady omitted or ignored most of the discussion; in her report and changed things. From behind her screen she determined I could manage independently and completely (I cannot), had minimal strength loss ( ridiculous) and was not in any visible pain (despite my grimace, my rigid stance and at times, tears). I lost my enhanced rates by single points.
I had joined this service for advice/help and hence I appealed. Mandatory reconsideration was back within five days... denied. I waited 8 months for an appeal date which was yesterday. I prepared, I had proof galore. My MIND support worker and CAB said my case was very well documented and to relax. I expected questions about stuff on the form. I had nothing at all to hide, no exaggerations or lies to try to remember but I had been very distressed over the months at the unfairness, the political push to get people to their absolute limit!
There was a judge, a doctor and a disability expert. Then a sour faced Rep from the dwp.
They told me they were only concerned about THE TIME OF MY MEDICAL and nothing since. They questioned me about who lived in my home. They questioned me about when my daughter age 21 had left home (which was after the date of medical) They questioned me about my other daughters illnesses and diagnoses.( we have genetic problems) . They questioned me about the car I drove and whether I was insured (in my name on it?) they wanted the current situation.... NOT at the time of the medical, they questioned me about a mental health report which is pending ( again, done well after the date concerned).
They made references which were not directed at me and talked in tones amongst themselves I could not hear properly.
They postponed. Pending my last year of gp records and a psychological report from well past the date they told me they were looking at. The last year of gp notes will span virtually the WHOLE TIME after the date they were supposed to concentrate on!!!
They were not friendly, I was intimidated and felt bullied. I had my support worker and my carer present. We were kept waiting a long time and was asked to leave the room for some time before being asked to come back in and be told they were postponing.
I am almost destroyed. It is unjust and unfair. My MIND support worker was appalled as was my carer/friend. After coming out I was ready to just throw in the towel. But today the anger is pressing me on. How disgusting and undignified.... these appeals are supposed to be independent people... but these were clearly on a different agenda.
I have previously been accused of things I had not done and had to fight against that to clear my name. This and other abuse has left its scars and also PTSD. This experience has just hit those same feelings all over again. To not be believed is something I truly struggle with, and this tribunal panel obviously believed nothing! It does seem like there were irrelevant questions to try to trip me up, to confuse me and loose me.
Is this the way the changes are going to be? No one asked me about my day to day life, no one asked me about the areas on the form where points were lost/removed, no one was interested in MY BODY ! They wanted to know more about my daughters diagnoses than mine, more about my carers/friends car and it's age.
I'm not worried about the gp notes, I've seen all doctors at the practice fairly regularly, and I have declared nothing more and nothing less than the truth. BUT what happened to being " heard" what happened to my chance to explain/ voice an opinion. With hindsight I wish I'd said the questions were irrelevant and not answered but, I'm not a rude person, I always try to help and frankly I am honest.

How many others have had this sort of experience?
The judge said I would be called for another tribunal in 3-4 weeks if the gp sends what's asked promptly. But the clerk said otherwise..... they only book a hearing when all the reports are in and gp reports usually take months. It previously took them 9 weeks to print a basic letter! The clerk said it won't be before Christmas... and doubts it will be at the same venue as they are set to close. The next venue being approx 1.5-2 hrs away. He speculated it might not be called until April 2018! (My original and proper award wasn't even due to end until late 2018!!!)
I have mental health support in place thank god, I was today offered emergency mental help , JUST because of this tribunal!
I feel just like they want us all to commit suicide, get us off the "books" permanently.
It shouldn't be like this!!

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My experience so far 2 weeks 5 days ago #200288

Sox

I'm sorry to hear that your Tribunal experience was not what you expected.

At this time, your options for a complaint are limited, not least because no Decision has been made.

Have a look at the following.

Complaining to the Tribunal Service

Gordon

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

My experience so far 2 weeks 5 days ago #200304

Thank you for reply. I'll read it carefully.

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My experience so far 2 weeks 4 days ago #200400

Hi. May I ask, when you have a tribunal adjourned and you receive a letter to explain why ..... is the following a standard reply:

A warning that the award can be increased decreased or cancelled altogether.
Followed by a more personal sentence saying this:
......but from the evidence in the papers it seems as though the present award may be at risk if she were to go ahead......"

Is this a standard kind of threatening reply please?
My whole experience so far has felt more like a personal attack and just wanted to know if everyone gets this rather intimidating comment /scare tactics.

There should be a new syndrome in my opinion. If you go into the pip application process and don't have a mental health element... then you by heck will have at the end.
Another PTSD.... post tribunal stress disorder!

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My experience so far 2 weeks 3 days ago #200418

Sox

I am really sorry but this is not a standard letter.

The Judge is issuing a warning that the panel do not believe, based on the evidence available to them that not only do you not qualify for a higher award, but also that your current award is not justified and if you proceed with the appeal then there is a good chance that it could be reduced or even removed.

This is not something that we can really give advice on as we have no access to the papers for your appeal. If you can, try and get face to face advice.. Do an internet search for "welfare advice" with your postcode, town or county.

Please take the Judge's warning seriously.

Gordon

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

My experience so far 2 weeks 3 days ago #200445

Both the citizens advice bureau and MIND have had input to my claim throughout.
Both were astounded to hear that the award was not awarded.
I have full gp support, definitive diagnoses of many debilitating illnesses including genetic with no real hope for improvement at all.
I already had a FULL medical in 2015 and was awarded considerarably more points and I have worsened since then.

Is this possibly a "change" beginning to the toughness of the tribunal service?

The mental impact this is having on me cannot be understated, my Mind worker is concerned for me needing emergency help.

Is there any way of having you look at some of my evidence as I have used your website advice plus had the cab and mind input.? It honestly not at all a case of exaggerating or delusion. I know some people are over confident but I am not one of them.

Can I ask.... on the letter it also said that the panel present at my tribunal are EXCLUDED from the next tribunal.... is this standard?

Thanks so much, I'm really at the end of my tether.

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