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Advice required please PIP question

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I was transferred from DLA to PIP last year, I got nothing at allI did a mandatory reconsideration and again got nothingI 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 itIs 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 inediblein 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 getdescriptor 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

Sunny Clouds:
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).

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:
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.

On the edge:
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.


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