Author Topic: Advice required please PIP question  (Read 1516 times)


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Advice required please PIP question
« on: 07 May 2020 09:59AM »
I was transferred from DLA to PIP last year, I got nothing at all
I did a mandatory reconsideration and again got nothing
I then appealed and before it got to appeal I got a phone call with the decision maker telling me he had looked at my claim again and was awarding me 11 points for Daily Living and 8 points for Mobility If I was to accept his decision.
I did after a few days considering it accept and got the back payment

However I have now received written confirmation of this and it says I can appeal if I wish

I have 2 main problems that were rejected in my claim
Due to short term memory issues I cannot cook as I forget I put the cooker on and almost burnt the place down a few times
I can use a microwave BUT I often forget I've put food in there and by the time I remember it's stone cold again and unedible.

I was awarded 2 points because I can use a microwave but they said it doesn't matter if I forget the food is in there or not, and it doesn't matter if it's cold and inedible by the time I remember it
Is there any case law or judgements or advice about how being "able to use a microwave" actually means that the food has to be hot and edible at the time of using it?
I believe I should get points for not being able to use one as most of the time the food is inedible
in the The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013
SCHEDULE 1  it states as a matter of law that
“prepare”, in the context of food, means make food ready for cooking or eating;
So if the food is not ready for eating due to my short term memory problems due to forgetting I put the microwave on then shouldn't I get
e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal?
Anyone got any advice or suggestions regarding this?
Is it worth my applealing it?
I cannot hear the microwave ping due to hearing problems I cannot hear those tones unless I'm standing next to it
« Last Edit: 07 May 2020 10:08AM by lew247 »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #1 on: 07 May 2020 10:21AM »
I don't know what case law (decisions) there have been on it (maybe Monic will know), but you might want to argue that if you can't remember whether there's food in the microwave, you could forget to check whether it's burnt.  Devices that cook are only safe if monitored for things going awry. 

It's no proof, but I accidentally killed a microwave forgetting about it and when I came back the food was burnt to a cinder.  Would it be worth a search online for news reports about forgotten microwaves and accidents (mine wouldn't be there)?

Also, if you can't remember when you put food in, can you be sure you'll eat it whilst it's still ok to eat?  Food that is warmed up and left for hours can be dodgy to eat. 

Mind you, what bugged me is that although I got points in relation to food (with exactly the same problems you've got about forgotten food, and a very nastily burnt hand (full-thickness burns), it was very obvious from the report that they didn't read what I wrote, they just copied and pasted from a textbook that said manic depressives can't cook for themselves.  So if you can find a suitable entry in their guide for assessors, it's worth a look.  I did have a downloaded copy but it's out-of-date (my DLA -> PIP was 2017-18, ten months' saga).
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)


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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #2 on: 07 May 2020 08:22PM »
Hi Lew

You don't say what award you got or had previously.  I mention this because at any appeal tribunal they could remove points and you either end up worse off, better off or no change but the tribunal could give you the award for a shorter time.

The descriptors regarding preparing food are can you prepare a meal for one from fresh ingredients, now your argument seems to be that you forget to take the food from the microwave before it cools down.  It will depends if your papers say "claimant has no recognised or diagnosed cognitive impairment"  This would be what you would need to show but also which of the cooking points are you trying to get?
If you are looking for 1e e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. Then you need to show in your medical records that you have a diagnosed brain injury that show you require frequent prompting.

It doesn't do you much good to say I want to challenge this decision and you get the 4 points but the dwp take away the other points.  I had a client who got standard and standard and was 1 point away from enhanced but withdrew the appeal just before the hearing as they couldn't face the tribunal and depending on which panel we got they could have lost the mobility part.  Case law is tricky as some judges get angry when you quote it and will ask you how it affects another 3 commissioners decisions - I'm not confident enough as a lay person to argue with a qualified lawyer so I avoid case law but I do ask the judges to consider all new commissioners decisions when I'm aware of them.

You can PM me if you want to discuss it that way but its difficult to say without seeing the HCP comments and the dwp decision makers excuses.  
You can ask the DWP for a subject access request showing all the reasons for their decision. 

Being able to use a microwave is normally understood as can read the numbers on the packet and after being show how to operate the machine can press the start button 3 times for 3 minutes.   You said you have short term memory problems - does it say in other parts of the papers claimant could recall medication and what it was for.  Regarding your inability to hear the tones of the microwave, unless you are severely or profoundly deaf I don't think that would get you the 4 points as you could be expected to get a timer that flashes a light to show the cooking time has ended.  That would get you 2 points as requires an aid to cook a meal.

you can find the caselaw here

As for whether its worth the risk - only if you can justify every other point you got and have the cognitive impairment in medical records that shows you need prompting guidance and or supervision every few minutes to keep you safe.  Without knowing a lot more I cant really advise and my protect what you have attitude comes to the fore.

let me know your thoughts

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #3 on: 08 May 2020 01:59PM »
Monic to the rescue with realistic advice based on experience! 

I thought I'd got, based on case law and legislation etc. a good case to go to appeal on my PIP, but I decided it wasn't a good idea realistically.  Pedants like me come up with hair-splitting analyses, but experienced people like Monic say what it's really like, the sort of things you need to think about.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #4 on: 20 Sep 2021 09:51AM »
I gather many with hearing loss are attempting video assessments for PIP and most are failing to get them working properly and thus losing claims.  BSL Video assessment might work HoH assessments don't, because the technology isn't up to it.  Relay options are showing broken links and all sorts of issues and of course, a lot cannot use video effectively.

Are video assessments yet another con act being operated by the DWP to prevent claims from succeeding, and increase delays trying to 'time out' claims?  As I am aware the DWP does NOT do the assessments itself but subcontracts it?  They did when I made a claim for my partner.  The confusion in raising concerns is that these HoH people are lobbying and raising concerns at the wrong people.

Whilst the DWP has the last word, they don't undertake the actual assessments themselves.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #5 on: 20 Sep 2021 03:45PM »
With that sort of thing, I tend to make certain default assumptions.

My general view for starters, then my deductions, and application to this.

When people at the top want to make or save money, it filters down the system, but by the time it gets to the bottom it's distorted.  This has happened throughout history. 

So in relation to benefits, here's how I see it.  I'm talking about recent Tory and Coalition governments of the UK, but I don't see New Labour as awfully different on it.

Politicians want to save money.  Politicians in the same party and the same government may have different motivations and understandings, but agreements on how to go about things.

So some politicians believe the rubbish that means there couldn't possibly be so many disabled people and aren't interested in  having it explained to them about things like advances in modern medicine over recent generations meaning higher survival rates with disability, whether that's at birth or later in life.

Others know there are lots of disabled people but just like to pretend otherwise in furtherance of their small state beliefs or, as I see it, 'gimme the money, let them starve and blame them' beliefs.  (Yes, I'm a leftie.)

Meanwhile they also believe in contracting out.  Some believe it's more efficient, some believe it's cheaper, some want to give profit to their mates, some believe it's part of the general fight against all-controlling extreme leftism.

Ok, so some companies bid for contracts.  In doing so, they say they'll save money.

So at every level, people wanting to get promotion or even just keep their jobs aim to achieve that.  But people at various levels realise there are problems, not least that there are more disabled people than they were told.  Also, those cheating the system are the savvy ones and least likely to be caught or easily got rid of, so if you want to reduce numbers, you target the vulnerable ones.

The same happens with unemployment benefits and a range of benefits to reduce poverty for a range of reasons.

In any big organisation it can happen.   It's strengthened by certain established memes in parts of the media.  I'll use an analogy from unemployment benefits such as JSA, UC etc.

Young person has been out of work for ages.  He says he doesn't want a job.  What?  Disgusting!   You know there are lots of people like him because not only do you encounter them, perhaps in the supermarket, at the bus stop, online etc. but you read ab out people like that every day.

Actually, that young person does want a job, he just finds it less shaming to say he doesn't want a job than to say no one wants to employ him.  That's in the context of a society where a politician, senior journalist, 'personality' or whatever would say the same thing.  They didn't actually want to be minister for whatever because they have family commitments or have a passion for such-and-such a subject that's not a ministerial role.  Ditto starring in that film or running that company or whatever.

So the sense that there are lots of cheats leads to ridiculous targets being set, but if you want promotion, are you sure you'll try to meet your targets by getting rid of the cheats not the vulnerable genuine claimants? And what if you can't find any real cheats?  When I was a youngster we used to say the UBO (= jobcentre) is the only workplace where if you lose your job you still have to go into clock on the next day.
« Last Edit: 20 Sep 2021 03:58PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Advice required please PIP question
« Reply #6 on: 20 Sep 2021 04:04PM »
Thus the difficulty with trying to change what's going on is that you have to press different buttons with different people.

I still maintain, for instance, that when IDS created UC he genuinely believed it would be win-win.  Reduced welfare budget and better incomes for people who'd vote for his party, because lots more would get into work etc.

So in my opinion, where it went wrong wasn't the initial concept, it was his laziness in failing to commission and then properly study research into what potential problems there were and how to design it to address them, and his shameful failure to say he'd got it wrong and re-think it.  But that's a high proportion of politicians for you.

I give this example because I think he's the sort of person who can't expact to be seen to backtrack, he has to be persuaded of a way to 'improve' on his wonderful idea, hence why he feels safe to speak out against the removal of the £20 uplift.

But with, as I've said, different people in power having different motivations, it can take skill to address the right 'incentive' at the right parts of the system to achieve what you want.

I know the principle but don't have the skill to do it, which is why I'm not a politician.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)