The Cost of PIP – Decision Makers – A Law unto themselves

In November last year I reported I’d received my PIP award and disagreeing with it I’d contacted the DWP;  due to the closeness to Christmas, the Call Centre staff member had put in my request for the assessment report and noted  it was “my intention to ask for a Mandatory Consideration” (MR), this was so as I would not run out of time if post was caught up in the Mail.  I duly waited for my copy of the assessment report, which arrived on December 23rd and  submitted my formal request for a MR along with the evidence on January 10th.  Five days later I received a letter dated January 11th, it had clearly crossed with my own submission in the post, it informed me the DMs had already carried out a MR and had, of course, upheld the original decision!

I duly phoned, well actually my daughter phoned for me as I was screaming mad, the next working day;  Nicki clearly informed them, that when I had contacted them back in November, it was to request the assessment report, and on advice from the call centre staff member I was advising them I would be asking for a MR, to keep within the DWP time scale. She went on to quote a DWP response to a FOI that states:

“While a request can be made for a Mandatory Reconsideration by telephone or in
writing, under no circumstance should an approach for advice be treated as a
Mandatory Reconsideration request. However should this occur, any erroneous
request can be withdrawn once the error has been identified and any subsequent
requests would be dealt with on their own merit.” 

The DWP call centre operator took down the details and said she would sent an email to the decision makers (DM), this is apparently the only way call centre staff can communicate with the DMs, the email requested they call me back and asked they review my initial phone call asking for my assessment report.

I waited to no avail until yesterday, when I received another letter stating, the DWP decision makers had determined my submission of evidence was a request to Appeal to Tribunal; this is despite the information in my reconsideration letter, the information taken during the phone call and their failure to phone me back!!

I immediately called them and spoke with a lovely woman at the call centre, she read the notes made, during the call with my daughter, and stated there were no further actions noted against it; she then whilst still on the phone with me, emailed the DMs explaining the situation and requesting another call back. More importantly she advised me. I now must initiate the Tribunal process within the next 4 weeks or lose my option to do in future!!

So I had to find the energy to complete a Notice of Appeal, and explain why a) it is out of time – it should have been completed within one calendar month of their MR (Jan 11) and b) I am actually asking FOR a MR?! I’ve also discovered I’m not alone in losing almost HALF my benefit inthe transfer from DLA to PIP

I was SICK of the whole Carbuncle of Welfare Reform before May 7 – now we await with trepidation the announcements of the next round of proposed £12Million of Cuts; we’ve already read of the possible taxation of disabled benefits and making it harder for sick people to claim state aid by introducing “stricter” fit-for-work tests and/or tighter limits on eligibility, what’s next remains as yet unknown.

What I am convinced of is it is time now for ALL of us affected by the discriminatory actions of the Tories, to come together and Fight Back in Unity; we must ensure that whatever campaigns, petitions, demos etc work collectively to complement each other in the Battle for Survival under a Tory Government

The cost of PIP? £35 less per week, Thanks #DWP! – This is A CALL OUT for Info

Well I’ve received my PIP award and hooray I’ve ‘scored’ more points than on my DLA and yet, despite this I’ve  been awarded ‘Standard’ rates for both Daily Living & Mobility Elements, to explain how this makes a real difference to me read on.

To get PIP at all, you must score between 8 – 11 points in both daily living / Mobility and to get the Enhanced rate it’s 12 points; the 2 elements are valued differently with

the Daily Living standard rate being £54,45 and the enhanced rate £81.30 per week,

for  Mobility, the standard rate is £21.55 and the enhanced rate is £56.75 per week.

This differs greatly from the old DLA which had three levels of award, the rates which are/were worth  for care

lowest rate – £21.55

middle rate – £54.45

highest rate – £81.30

and for the mobility component

lower rate – £21.55
higher rate – £56.75

I believe these changes clearly demonstrate how the government have reduced PIP spending by a total o£2.2bn?

Personally under DLA I received Mid Care & High Mobility, however under PIP I scraped in at a bare 8 in daily living and 10 for mobility costing me almost £140 per month!! I have reported my intention to ask for a Mandatory Consideration and will keep you posted; in the meanwhile…

…I’m trying to collect evidence of PIP being no more than another Government attempt to cut even more money from disabled people, further driving us into poverty; therefore I ask all of you to please share with me Your examples of PIP, have you received an award, was it worth more/less than before etc.

If you would prefer to share this info anonymously that’s fine and if you want to do so privately, please contact me at ratea62@gmail.com

THANK YOU in advance for your input Jxx

 

Footnote* From truthmeister – ”

As for saving money, the bungling incompetence of IDS has meant that a proposed saving of £1.2bn pa has actually turned into an increase in spending of £1.6bn pa to date, as per the IFS: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7447” Thanks

Claiming PIP – watch out for 20 metre discrepancy!

Are you in the process of claiming PIP or asking for a mandatory reconsideration? I had an email just before Christmas from Tired Git who has experienced precisely this, he offers the following advice:

“I wondered if you were aware of the discrepancy I have found in how the DWP interpret distances when they determine how far we are capable of walking to set the level of PIP awarded. In the application form for PIP the tick-box options for distances applicable to deciding the awarding of high or standard mobility are:

  • Less than 20 metres
  • 20 metres to 50 metres

However, Schedule 1 part 3 (2) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (as it appeared 16/12/2014 on the legislation.gov.uk website) contains the following definitions:

  • d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. 10 points
  • e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided. 12 points

‘Less than 20 metres’ is completely different to ‘no more than 20 metres’. One definition includes 20 metres, the other doesn’t. DWP have introduced confusion over whether a distance of 20 metres qualifies claimants to extended or standard mobility by introducing an application form that does not mirror the regulations. So which definition are DWP using to determine eligibility? Doh!

The difficulty is that I have been given standard mobility award because during the assessment  I used the term “up to 20 metres” According to the case manager, if an applicant mentions 20 metres, e.g. says ‘up to 20 metres’ like I did, the assessor will automatically put him/her into the longer category. Another bit of benefit saved!”

He closes with a suggestion that we ought not to say “up to 20 metres” but clearly state No More Than.

I’m going to try exactly this with my MR request as I’m 2 points off the higher rate and this has cost me £120 a month!!

Good Luck if you try this and please let me know how it goes

 

 

 

DWP Admit one metre rule for PIP is “Unfounded”

Anyone dealing with an incorrect mobility award for PIP – Take Note:

A FOI request has revealed the DWP admit the One Metre Rule is  unfounded and  agree ” it is time to review this figure” .

Read the full response below:

 

In your DLA1A Adult January 2014 form, titled Disability Living Allowance Notes, on page 10
question, 26 titled: Getting around outdoors:

You state: ‘the average adult step is just under one meter.’

I would like to be provided with the source of this statement.

Thank you for contacting us and bringing this to our attention.

Information published online quotes: ‘The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5
feet long, although this is dependent on age and health. It’s difficult to find a source of this
information which is typically quoted without reference.’

Investigations show that we have used this figure for many years and it has not been reviewed
recently. Discussions with a DWP Medical Policy Advisor have resulted in an agreement that it
is time to review this figure.

Thank you once again. It is feedback such as this which helps us improve the service we
provide to our customers.

DEAEP Desperately Needs Your Help:

DEAEP Desperately Needs Your Help: Click to Donate: http://gofund.me/deaepleics?pc=tw_cr_n … …

deaeper

Disability Enabling and Empowerment Project are a group of people who are helping disabled people with the problems that arise from the disgusting treatment from the Ian Duncan Smith and the disgraceful department that he runs.

We give our time to people for nothing but if we are going to carry on helping people then we will need financial help to carry on helping and training people. To date we have funded all admin and travel costs ourselves but our benefits will no longer allow us to do this; to this end we have set up our GoFundMe account.

We have so far successfully won over a dozen cases and helped numerous people with their benefit problems. We have also trained 6 people to be Peer Support workers and are looking to run more courses throughout the UK.

If you can spare even £1.00 this will help us to continue…

View original post 10 more words

Testimonial – DEAEP Training Works

What great News, another success story for DEAEP… btw the customer was awarded PIP Care & Mobility

Was training really worth the time and effort?

A couple of months ago I participated in DEAEP Leicester’s Peer Support in Action course which was very eye opening to say the least.

Was this training really necessary? Was I going to learn anything? Would the course content be relevant?

After this week’s WRAG meeting in Leicester and todays tribunal in Nottingham Yes, Yes and Yes.  Three answers that say it all.

With out this professional training and support from the DEAEP staff the two clients I represented would of stood no chance in attaining the results they really deserved.

So if like me you think that representing and supporting people who are scared of losing their meagre benefits just because they are disabled or vulnerable and need someone to stand along side them and give them a voice and support…..

Read the Rest at Was training really worth the time and effort?

Reasons for Supporting the TRUTH Campaign – IDS Time to Stop the Lies

Earlier this week Debbie and I started the latest stage in the TRUTH campaign, and launched a petition demanding Kathryn Hudson Parliamentary Commissioner For Standards investigate #IDS for persistently misleading both Parliament and the Public.

There are two primary reasons for our campaign; the ongoing misuse of statistics is not only a breach of the code of conduct #IDS is obliged as a Member of Parliament to abide by, but they result in the dangerous and inappropriate Policies disabled people are suffering from. The raft of Policies forming the Welfare Reform Act have been built on these distorted truths and the consequences are as numerous as the Polices:

The above examples are not the whole picture, particularly when we consider the negative outcomes on our health:

I could go on but I think you get the picture, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation got it right when they said     “our current welfare system doesn’t work“.

If any of the above offends, upsets or concerns you, might I remind you these real life issues are ALL the responsibility of one man Iain Duncan Smith, as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has overall responsibility for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); I’m not suggesting he personally designed the policies but he DID sign then off, he DOES regularly defend them with Lies, and it is this behaviour we are challenging.

Please SIGN our Petition, SHARE, BLOG, and  TWEET #IDSTimeForTruth about this Campaign

We may have started it but…it belongs to YOU.

 Disabled DYING

We’re DEAEP – Can WE Help YOU??

Disability Enabling & Empowerment Project, DEAEP, is a relatively new company run by disabled people and carers; we enable other disabled people to develop the confidence to regain control of their lives, supporting them through benefit claims and also training others to do the same.

Our Courses are aimed at disabled and chronically ill people, affording them the opportunities to expand their skill base and potentially improve their quality of life through enabling them to make positive steps towards Further Education and, or possible employment.

DEAEP has the capacity to offer not only, training and links to employment but we also aim to employ our successful trainees to act as peer supporters to others and potentially as other trainers.

DEAEP are currently running a Level 3 Peer Support in Action course which consists of 5 core modules aimed at anyone who wishes to train to help others. We also develop bespoke courses for other professionals engaged in working with disabled people and other disadvantaged groups

All the above is available in further detail on our website

DEAEP also run a professional representation service supporting people to complete benefit application forms, PIP/ESA, appeals etc; we will also attend assessments/ formal appointments with disabled or other disadvantaged people who find themselves needing support. DEAEP can support individuals from the start to completions of benefit claims.

If you or your company require any help whether it training or representation please contact us via our website.

DEAEP has the advantage of being the only company that aims solely to empower the disabled community and employs people with personal experience of the difficulties that disabled people face every day.

Disabled and becoming Self Employed – A Case Study

This is my  first official post for Deaeper, the blog site for DEAEP  (Disability Enabling And Empowerment Project), and wearing my professional hat, I wanted to share my experience of  working with 3 other disabled people, collectively utilising our skills and experience to become financially viably self employed.  The following has been adapted from a letter I sent to Kate Green MP in response to Labour’s plan to turn around £8 billion overspend on disability benefits, and the suggestions at the end are specifically aimed at Government.

DEAEP is a charitable social enterprise that offers training and support to sick and disabled people, unemployed, and other vulnerable individuals. Our training experience enables participants to, knowledgeably and confidently, actively support others during times of extreme stress; this could be attending ATOS assessments and, or to participate in social and community engagement.

Our training programme has been specifically designed by sick & disabled people to enable others develop necessary the skills, ability and confidence, to actively empower others to self advocate when needed. We can also offer the opportunity for participants to train as a skill sharer, thus enabling them to impart this learning to others. Alternatively participants might utilise this programme to go onto other further education or into employment. There is a the supervised practice element of the programme wherein participants will provide supervised advocacy for others.

This year we have supported over a dozen users through their varying claims, and issues with the DWP, we have helped people write successfully ESA & PIP applications, supported others with mandatory reconsiderations and represented people at tribunal, we have also enabled people manage their issues with job related training programmes. We have piloted out training programme and from this gained five volunteers skilled to offer this type of support to their peers.  All of the which has been at personal cost to ourselves both financially and in terms of health.

Our overall aim is to enable chronically sick and disabled people participate in society through the provision of an appropriate range of training opportunities, which allows participants to either enrol on Further & Higher Education, gain the necessary skills to confidently enter Community Engagement enter employment or, fully re-engage in Society; and to enable those too ill to work access the social security the are rightly entitled to.

We are experiencing several primary issues :

Our target group have no access to finances to pay for this essential  service

There is no money to help us ‘sell’ our corporate training to the people who want/need it; despite having hard evidence of demand from Unite the Union and several solicitors offices.

We have no way of paying for the administration costs of running the course.

The fact we are all disabled creates problems for us personally with the DWP

An acknowledgement by DWP that disabled people often require more time to complete tasks and their energy levels are low due to fatigue.

We believe the following would make a huge difference

A loosening of the earning on benefits regulations would allow people to continue receiving ESA/JSA until such time they become financially independent

Access for small companies to government grants/contracts which offer direct provision to disabled people

A government funded grant programme  enabling disabled people develop the confidence and self awareness to allow them access further opportunities

Changes to access to FE opportunities specifically aimed at disabled adults thus removing the current barriers

This is a précis of our experience to date and I would welcome positive feedback and comments from others on this post.

Thanks for reading – Jayne x

WAITING FOR A PIP ASSESSMENT FROM CAPITA – BEWARE

On Wednesday at around 1.pm,  I received a phone call from a woman informing me she was coming to assess me at home that day at 2.30.pm – It turned out she was from Capita.

I refused, explaining I’d had no notice of the appointment and I wasn’t prepared, after her attempts to persuade me to go along with the visit failed, I immediately phoned Capita. The woman I spoke with there stated a letter about this appointment had been sent on September 6 – I’m still waiting.

The assessment has been rearranged for October and a letter is on its way, but…as the only mail I’ve received from Capita took 2 weeks+ to arrive – I’m not holding my breathe.

I immediately posted this up in Facebook and have received several comments saying others had had similar experiences, below is one example

“i had nurse just turn up at my door wanting to do mine,no letter or phone call,was sent away with a flea in her ear,by my carer,was rearranged and on the day,they tried to move appointment forward two hours with out asking,wouldn’t see them til arranged time,its all a game to them,but they cannot treat sick people this way, hope your assessment goes ok,when you do have itx”

The messages I have are beginning to form a pattern, it appears it is not uncommon for Capita to turn up on your doorstep without warning, to carry out a PIP assessment.

If this happens to you or someone you know, I suggest you do as we have, refuse to let them in and insist they follow their procedure which states:

You will receive a letter with an appointment for a face to face consultation or  member of our booking team may contact you by phone to arrange this with you.  (their emphasis)

I was hoping Capita weren’t going to be another ATOS but…it seems the games are under way!

Please let me know if you experience a similar incident – I’m keeping an eye on this!