PIP reviews and tribunals: The DWP keeps piling on the pressure

An example of what the change to PIP will mean for disabled people, from a CAB blog article.

An example of what the change to PIP will mean for disabled people, from a CAB blog article.

Further to yesterday’s article on the hoax letters being sent out by (in this case) Atos, summoning benefit claimants to non-existent “assessment” meetings, a couple more developments have come to light.

Firstly, Mrs Mike has received a new letter stating that her assessment has been cancelled and she doesn’t have to attend. This writer shall be going in any case – just to make sure.

Secondly, it seems matters get worse if you are unlucky enough to be denied benefit after an assessment. What follows refers to Personal Independence Payment. First, let’s hear from a commenter who had to go through the ‘mandatory reconsideration’ procedure:

“With the help of my local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau), I made an application for PIP. As is normal, they refused it. The CAB explained they would, and requested a ‘Mandatory Review’.

“Under the old system, they would write a letter stating their reasons why the decision is wrong. Now, though, Atos will not accept this.

“Instead they are going to phone me at some random time of their choosing. I will then be expected to make the representation myself, without the representation or support I need.

“As a large part of my disability is related to my mental health, this is inappropriate, and causing me some severe anxiety.

Another example of how this caring government is making people more ill – this time by not letting them use the services of the CAB.”

Now let’s hear from a commenter who has gone further along the process and actually appeared before a tribunal:

“Just been to a Tribunal to have my PIP claim reconsidered. That is one of the most awful and scary experiences I have ever had, having to explain things that I fight hard to try to overcome and don’t wish to think about, to people whose decision will greatly affect my future.

“The woman who originally made the decision to deny my PIP application was also there. I felt the questions she asked showed a total lack of understanding of the basics. She seemed to think that a debt management plan was a course of some kind to help me manage money. She also didn’t seem to get that my mental health issues mean I can write something on a calendar, but that doesn’t mean I might not still either forget appointments or really not feel well enough to attend them.

“For anyone with mental health issues to have to go through the PIP claim process, Atos assessment and ultimately a tribunal, it is unbelievably cruel and careless. I have been extremely distressed today.

“I am also not going to find out for a few days due to my appointment time being so late in their working day, which is also upsetting.

“I know some people use mental illness as an excuse, [but] those of us who are genuine (and that surely is the majority) should not have to go though such an ordeal.

My friends in political parties and anyone else who cares and understands, please let it be known: THIS IS WRONG.”

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16 thoughts on “PIP reviews and tribunals: The DWP keeps piling on the pressure

  1. beret54

    THE mental health action group derby is shortly to launch a survey form on experiences of PIP and present evidence to DWP will post link to survey when its launched soon,
    Mental Health Action Group Co-ordinators
    Room 312, Kelvin House
    RTC Business Park, London Road
    Derby. DE24 8UP

    Tel: 01332 345966 ext 5
    Check out our Facebook page “Mental Health Action Group Derby”!

  2. nick

    it is very wrong but then the government knows that it can punish those with mental health issues as they look normal and any death that occurs of the sick and disabled is just regarded as a sorry and a typical DWP regret

  3. Andy Spencer

    Some 18 months or so i lost my incapacity benefits after being asscessed by Atos . I now applied for PIP 7 months ago and was given a date of 10 of Feb for Atos to come and visit me at home only to get a letter telling me its postponed till the 20 of Feb now . I was devastated when i lost my incapacity benefits cause i had no other income . In order for me to survive I had to release my private pension from the firm that i had worked for 28 yrs . I have worked for about 40 yrs of my life and never been on the dole or benefits . And now due to serious back problems amongst other illnesses that i have and need financial help this government and their cronies has decided to kicked me up the ass and thrown me on the scrap heap . When i see people like Ian Duncan Smith on tv talking about cut backs and saving for the government , i feel sick to core of my stomach and hatred . Personally I can’t wait for the elections to come to put my vote where it matters .

  4. Jeffery Davies

    A benefit they realy dont want one claiming
    when rtu ids spoke he’d get 600,000 off I wonder
    did he realy mean that dla 600,500claiming cars
    that 600,000 would fail through the change over to
    pip how devious was cams to allow this devil to deny
    you jeff3

  5. Levinas

    The first claimant should invoke the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments in that it is discriminatory to the claimant to expect them to 1- Make representations using a device that in and of itself puts them at a disadvantage due to their disorder/difficulties and 2- to do so without representation they’ve secured being there to represent them. Again invoke EA to secure their presence. They won’t like it, will argue against it but stick to invocation of reasonable adjustments under the EA to refuse the use of a telephone for contact and lack of representation Equate the representation to the use of a wheelchair or crutches to expose how discriminatory it would be to refuse, comment that it opposes justice to have this thrust upon them. They could also send an email revoking any consent given to release Atos from the DPA and reassert their rights, ergo Atos is not lawfully allowed to hold, nor use your home phone number-All communication therefore will have to be via letter as address is all they can hold. This is how I tackled Atos and WCA for ESA, I’ve not had the hurdle of PIP yet.
    Second claimant-Is it usual to have the decision maker at the tribunal? Again I’ve only had to attend ESA tribunal hearings but this sounds somewhat ominous to me. Were they on the panel? I doubt they could legally be if independent and wonder if sent by DWP to oppose the claimant? I’ve had DWP turn up to oppose, think it might be usual when there’s a big award at stake. Again argue the case, hopefully with representation and support, to give you breathing space from the DWP rep.

  6. wildthing666

    When people try to say this or that will help I say “like f*** it will!” If they say about abusive language I tell them they can leave in a body bag if they wish. The shock on their faces is normally enough to agree with what I say. I think more people actually need to stand up to these tribunals and say what they want when they want. After my failed appeal I took it out on JCP (job Centre Plus) little knowing that it’s medication causing me to be aggressive. In 2010 I elected surgery for my condition that 6 years earlier the same surgeon wouldn’t touch, saying the likely hood of me coming through it unscathed was as little as 25% or less and since 2010 I have sailed through every ESA assessment including a visit to their home ground for the first one.

  7. paulmac49

    We all know these tactics from the Tories, as they did the same to claimants who changed from IB to ESA.

  8. nick

    on a positive note the likes of IDS and co won’t even be alive in 20 years time but the public still have to learn in the meantime that when you put people into power you need to be mindful that they’ll turn out to be a bad and so the cycle of hate towards the sick and disabled continues

    The world is full of hate and thats only because of those in power and with history keep on repeating itself the world for many will always be a dark place

  9. Phill Evans

    Of course it is wrong. They, the politicians and beurocrats KNOW it is wrong. They simply dont care.

  10. Pete B

    The DWP keeps the pressure on because they want people to give up.If people give up and stop claiming,Duncan Smith can claim they were scroungers anyway,because they gave up their claim.

    Duncan Smith seems to know,along with a lot of others in this Government.The value of Propaganda.I have never seen Propaganda used,against this countries citizens so much in peace time.It really reminds me of Germany in the 1930,s.Its frightening,and if others do not find it frightening its time to dig out your history books.

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