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Thread: PIP Tribunal - Fair warning and withdrawl

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    PIP Tribunal - Fair warning and withdrawl


    I have multiple sclerosis and was awarded 4 points daily living and lower rate mobility with 8 points.

    I appealed the decision and was rejected by mandatory reconsideration.

    I appealed the MR to trbunal. I had my tribunal today. The time process from assessment in November to MR in Febrary and tribunal today in July.

    I had a Welfare Officer helping to represent me. We discussed the case at length and there were inconsistencies in the assessment. We both agreed that some went in my favour and many did not. It was not a true reflection of my disabilities, of that much we can be certain.

    The tribunal judge was known to my welfare officer from previous encounters and he described him as 'one of the good guys'.

    My rep was called in 10 minutes before the start of the hearing was given fair warning that should we proceed, my current entitlement of lower rate mobility would be at risk, due to the fact that I have no medical supporting evidence.
    I was given the opportunity to withdraw my appeal before stepping foot in the tribunal room.

    Given that a lenient judge was giving us fair warning, we decided that the lack of medical evidence would go strongly against me and I could end up with nothing, so I withdrew. The welfare officer told me that in all the cases he has been to, no one has walked into a tribunal after having been given fair warning and come out better than they went in. The likelihood was, and is, that if you are given a warning before tribunal, you will likely lose points.

    Unfortunately, MS is a chronic autoimmune condition and not one that allows or requires assessments, evaluations or NHS involvement. I meet my neurologist once per year and am on disease modifying drugs - that's all they can do. Specific relapses can be treated with steroids if they are severe, but other than that I'm left without assistance.
    I went to my GP some months ago with pain and MS symptoms and he told me that I should contact my MS team, as he's not specialised enough. My MS nurse has a case load of 5000 patients and I see her once per 6 months for half an hour to discuss symptoms.

    All in all, I do not receive appropriate treatment that would allow medical evidence of my condition and how it affects me. Without the evidence, tribunal are likely to side with the health assessment carried out on behalf of DWP (which, let's face it, is biased)

    The moral of the story is the State is bigger than the person, and the rules are meant to be difficult to save public funds. If you do not have specific and appropriate proof then you are unlikely to succeed.

    Also, if you receive fair warning before tribunal - think very carefully of what you risk by walking in to that room.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Sorry to hear this - it's an appalling state of affairs and one I'm concerned about running into when my PIP comes up for renewal.

    The community mental health team I see are currently dumping long term patients for whom there is nothing more they can do and discharging them back to primary care with an emergency call out number to be used in a crisis. This means that at my next PIP review I will no longer have a regular contact with a psychiatrist or CPN who can provide letters of support for my application. As we all know, without that, things tend to go badly in any interaction with DWP.

    I asked, off the record, why after 25 years of continuous community care with twice yearly psychiatrist appointments and monthly home visits from a CPN I was suddenly deemed well enough to be discharged. The answer was money. The MH Trust is short of cash and under massive pressure to deal with new acute cases, plus have been transferred to a "payment by results" basis for funding. Chronic cases who will never improve don't give them a "result", but discharging them to primary care is seen as a result and therefore makes the trust money. They are therefore offloading as much of the case load of long term patients as they can by discharging back to GP care.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Given what you've said there it looks like the DM was generous, to a fault ?, in the first place.
    A suggestion that comes to my mind here is have you tried to get an OT's assessment of your difficulties through your local Social Services dept. This can be very helpful evidence in Appeal Hearings.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Hi just want to add to your post. I am going through a similar experience. I have been told by G.P she cannot refers me to a cpn. As they are only taking urgent life threatening cases. I was very annoyed upset by this. She did say it is suppose to improve by the autumn though. As government have to supply more resources in mental health patient refferals etc. So hope it does get better. And they they failed my pip claim appeal to. Saying not enough evidence. GP are suppose to give extra though evidence. So try that I am. G.P said good luck you both.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    @Jard I don't know what you mean with the DM was generous? If you mean the tribunal judge, they have to give a warning, or 'advice' as it's now PC known, when they feel that the decision may result in loss of entitlement due to a variety of factors. In my case it was insufficient medical evidence, but it could be that there were points awarded when they shouldn't have been at the health assessment, or that one, two or all of the panel have decided there isn't a case for further entitlement as it stands, and potentially even having questioned you.

    If you mean the DM for my health assessment, I was only awarded mobility because she saw that I found difficulty walking and found problems with my limb movements upon physical exam. She was anything but generous.

  6. #6
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I too am concerned about my change over to PIP. I was told years ago that every avenue had been tried and that nothing could be done to help me. As a result I just get on with life the best I can and rarely bother the doctors unless it is for something hat needs medical attention totally unrelated to my problems. Therefore no medical evidence, only from years ago.
    Thinking now that I should bother the docs after every fall I have even though up to present I have been lucky and got away with a few bruises.

  7. #7
    Hi there I suffer with a condition called friederchs ataxia.
    I am in the same boat only go to gp for unrelated things. I see my neurologist once a year as no treatment or cure.
    I have changed from DLA to PIP I lost my care component but kept mobility .
    I had brilliant medical evidence and told them my problems I have but after MR and another case manager looking at still the same descision so off to court for appeal.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    I was of the opinion that it was all about meeting those descriptors - and it is. But without proof, it's your word and possibly back up evidence from carers, family and friends, against what the tribunal panel class to be a medical professional who assessed you. It's difficult to fight against that without independent verified proof from health professionals to the contrary of the PIP health assessor.

  9. #9
    Its a sorry state of affairs that people are being discharged from their primary carer. I myself have just been told from my rhumatologist that he is discharging me as there is nothing else he can do for me.

    This is a blow as i am now in the process of claiming again and i wont be able to get any reports from him. I still have my OT though and will be speaking with him on my next appointment (27th) regards to a more detailed report based on his own examinations and observations of me rather than what i have reported to him.

    Im pleased you were able to still come away with your award and good luck for the future

  10. #10
    I have MS too, not on any disease modifying drugs because they would not be much benefit. None of the drugs I have tried for symptoms have been effective either.

    The last time I saw the neurologist he said, don't come back unless there is anything new to report. I actually thought I was doing the NHS a favour in saving resources by just managing by myself for 4 years, not to mention all the tens of thousands of saved not taking dmd.

    This caused big problems with my ESA claim and I had to go privately to see the neuro to get some up to date medical information for my appeal because the NHS waiting times were so long for referral.

    The system is crazy with conditions with long term medical conditions, particularly ones where there is little they can do.

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