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If Courts Can't Get Things Right How Can Anybody BelieveThem - Carers UK Forum

If Courts Can't Get Things Right How Can Anybody BelieveThem

All about money
Hi everybody,
A few years ago I was declared fit for full rate mobility DLA with middle rate care "Indefinitely" because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia plus other health issues.
However after the application and transfer to PIP I lost my mobility altogether.
My Cit. Advice Lady sent off Mandatory Reconsideration which again declined my mobility so I went to Appeal Tribunal.
This was over a year after the Mandatory Reconsideration result.
I went to the Appeal Court in absolutely freezing weather, it was absolutely bucketing down on the day.
I drove myself to the outskirts of the city, parked my car in a multi-story and got a taxi from there to the Courts because, a) no way could I walk the distance and b) even if I could walk I had no idea where it was.
In the paperwork I was told that the Clerk to the Court would either give me my total expenses in cash or give me a form to send off for them.
After asking the Clerk about expenses she said she would give me a form after the hearing.
She didn't - she was nowhere to be seen so I ended up having to telephone when I got home.
The hearing was what I would call, gruelling and I felt like a criminal.
At the beginning the Judge asked the DWP Representative who was sitting in on the case how Appeal Tribunal Panel was supposed to make judgement on PIP cases when it seems that ESA Assessments done a week after my PIP Assessment had shown that I have major mobility problems due to my health issues but yet PIP Assessment declined mobility.
The DWP Representative told the Judge that the criteria for PIP and ESA was totally different!
When I stated that my Assessment involved me struggling to walk over 70 meters to the Assessment Room down a hospital corridor which was over 34 miles away from me - the Judge retorted that I should have requested a home assessment.
When I also stated that previously I had my DLA - I was told that the law had changed and I did not qualify for the mobility part of PIP which was why I was there.
The questioning centered around how I managed to visit my Mother in hospital given it is out of town and the car park is over 500 yards from the hospital building.
My response was that my Mother is seriously ill and I am her only child - I have to somehow get to the hospital to visit her and it takes me a long time to walk from the car park and struggle to get to the building.
At no time was the discussion about my original Assessment over a year ago.
The end result was that my appeal was declined and I was given the Decision Notice.
As I left the room the Judge asked the Representative from the DWP if he would be sitting in on the next case - his response was no.
I left that Court feeling totally devastated, demoralised and humiliated - essentially I had been tried and in my own mind I had been found at fault.
I didn't look at the Decision Notice until I finally arrived home because I was faced with yet more freezing persistent rain and had to get yet another taxi and find my car.
When I got home and sat looking at the Decision Notice I discovered that not only had my mobility been declined it also stated that I was not entitled to the Care Component of PIP despite being awarded 8 points.
My point is that in my earlier working life my job was in a law environment. When we sent out paperwork etc it was checked and double checked so that there were no errors.
If, in a Court of Law, there are errors in the paperwork and judgement, then that judgement cannot stand and be legal.
That night I was so upset and demoralised I ended up telephoning the Samaritans and talking to someone for over 2 hours. They were so concerned about me they phoned me back a while after and again a few days later just to check that I was alright.
My Citizens Advice Lady sent off a request for the Court transcript and also pointed out the error on the Decision Notice.
Eventually I received a corrected copy however there was no apology for the distress I had been put under and the effect their error had had on my health.
I have asked my Citizens Advice Lady to challenge the decision by the Appeal Tribunal because if they got their paperwork wrong what else was wrong and mis quoted during that case.
The whole PIP system is not consistent nor is it fit for purpose.
End of rant.
Hi Milly, the DWP base their decisions on your ability to work, your health issues only decide what level of assessment you will have, from which the DWP will make their initial decision.

Did you enclose any medical evidence or a letter from your GP to confirm your difficulty with walking, and how it would affect your ability to work?

So how has it been left?
Yes my CAB lady sent in Consultant's and GP documents detailing my health issues and how they affect me.
Even a DWP person telephoned me to discuss the Decision Notice because they were confused about it.
My point is that I have debilitating health issues which are exacerbated by stress plus in the past I have had mental breakdowns and these are documented.
I could hardly move never mind walk when I went to the Tribunal because of the freezing weather.
PIP is not relating to how your mobility affects your ability to work - it has nothing to do with work - it is if you need support and care plus if you are able to walk 20 meters.
Seeing the Decision Notice when I got back home that day sent me into a major melt down and it put me in a position whereby I was phoning The Samaritans at 2 am in the morning and they had to "talk me down" - then they phoned me back on more than one occasion.
People who have serious health issues should not be put through such stress and situations which make them so demoralised.
As it is, my CAB lady is waiting for the details of the hearing, the DWP are doing their own investigation, I received a corrected Decision Notice but no apology for any effect the error had on me.
People making decisions do not take into account the way they treat genuinely very ill people seriously affects their health.
That needs to be highlighted to people at the very top who run these departments.