Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support

Employment and Benefit Advice => Employment And Benefit Advice => Topic started by: Wits_End on November 07, 2018, 01:14:14 PM

Title: PIP mandatory reconsideration - advice?
Post by: Wits_End on November 07, 2018, 01:14:14 PM
So, we're going for a mandatory reconsideration of caree's PIP refusal.  You'd have thought that the fact that she's gone from lower rate on the general care component and higher rate on the mobility allowance to zero points might be enough to call the original decision into question, but still ...

Has any unfortunate already gone through this and got some advice to share?  Is there anywhere I could get advice/help in drafting the additional paperwork (not the Citizens' Advice Bureau!)?  At the moment, I'm not quite sure how to address this, since it will be me doing the drafting.  Should I write it from my point of view, so "[Caree's name] is ...", write as her, write as "we"?  I don't want to keep chopping and changing, but I suppose I could write one submission as her and another one as me, but I think they are going to overlap rather a lot, so possibly doing it in the third person, with [her name] and [my name] as appropriate might be best.

Title: Re: PIP mandatory reconsideration - advice?
Post by: agapanthus on November 07, 2018, 06:19:29 PM
Hello, yes, I have helped my son with a Mandatory Reconsideration before, but he was going from DLA to PIP. Am I correct in thinking this is the same? My son previously had low rate mobility, and medium rate care, and he kept the care component (was the same as no low rate care component - known as Daily Living with PIP). He lost his mobility altogether. He does not live anywhere near me but I have done a lot of support for him re benefits over the years. He does not have ME though (severe mental health issues).

So... not quite the same but I know the gist of it. In his case he never got the mobility component back, though there was a complication re that as the Govt were challenged in court after re PIP and mobility and mental health, so he might get it back eventually. He was only one point below the highest rate of care so that wasn't too hard to challenge. I had managed to gather a LOT of medical evidence for him for the original assessment (and he only had a paper assessment - did not have to attend), and I did send a bit more. However I suspect that they only really considered his Social Services needs assessment document which was detailed and complex and as a result of this he got 28 hrs a week of Direct Payments care - so you would kind of expect him to be on the highest rate. Did you ever get a needs assessment done and have a copy of that? It may not have been any use to send though if no help was offered.

I did mention in my previous post about the Benefits and Work booklet on PIP. Did you see that post? Do you have a copy and is there some advice in there? I am willing to get that to you online if you do not have that but would need an email address sent by pm. In addition there is a very good supportive group on Facebook called UK M.E. and Chronic Illness Benefits Advice Group. There are some excellent Admins on there (the one called Jane Clout is especially good) and they also have a buddy scheme on there so someone may be willing to cast an eye on what you have written. Also many documents in the Docs section on there. So they may be able to help with writing the Reconsideration.

I would advise not making it too long. I did it in the form of a letter hightlighting any descriptors or issues from the assessment that you feel needs to be reviewed as incorrect or not enough points and why they need to be changed. Preferably backed up with medical evidence if you have it.

I don't know about the rights and wrongs re writing it for someone else. In my son's case I wrote it as if he had written it to be honest, and typed it out and he signed it, and then put in brackets at the bottom that I had assisted him in doing it (ie I wrote that as if he had done it and written that if that makes sense). Then I separately wrote him some evidence as the person who knows him best, though he did also have evidence from his carer too. In your case you live in the same house and you are the carer, so your situation is different and you must do what feels best to you.

Title: Re: PIP mandatory reconsideration - advice?
Post by: Wits_End on November 08, 2018, 12:01:39 PM
Thank you, Aggie.  Yes, it's the transfer from DLA to PIP which is at issue here.  I'll have a look at the B&W booklet, thank you - is that a different one from the main one?  Unfortunately, I'm not on Facebook, so that avenue is out.  I think I may try the ME Association website to see whether they have anything to say: as I said elsewhere, it's really annoying that my browser won't recall all my thousands of bookmarks - I keep forgetting what options I already have!  I was hoping to keep it as succinct as possible, and just pick up on the main points which have been refused.

Medical evidence is tricky, partly because, as has been pointed out to me, GPs really aren't in a position to be able to comment on a patient's day-to-day living difficulties, and also because 2 of the GPs who have seen caree recently have retired, and she's only seen her new one once thus far.

Title: Re: PIP mandatory reconsideration - advice?
Post by: agapanthus on November 08, 2018, 01:08:42 PM
Hi again.
You need to log into the Benefits and Work site as a member and look at all the books relevant to appeals/reconsiderations as there are several. The main one is called Guide to PIP Appeals but there are 3 other useful booklets listed under the heading PIP Appeals that you should look at. Let me know if you have a problem finding them and I can send them to you.

Yes, I agree re keeping it succinct. I don't think I did more than 2 sides of A4 paper, but if I felt that they had missed vital info in terms of supporting evidence then I sent it again as a copy and highlighted things in it and quoted directly in the letter. It's very hard to get good medical evidence re ME I agree so I feel for you both. You can get copies of all of your medical notes, or just the relevant bits so it then may date back to the diagnosis and how many times help requested etc. Under recent legislation you should not have to pay a fee to get these. Has your caree seen any specialists at all? There will be letters sent to the Dr then. e.g. ME clinics etc. The letters are useful if any.

Title: Re: PIP mandatory reconsideration - advice?
Post by: Wits_End on November 09, 2018, 11:06:35 PM
Thanks.  We've received the report, and I've sounded off away from prying eyes again :)