The day I got back home from my hernia operation, I received a letter from the Tribunal Service.
Probably the best ‘dreaded brown envelope’ I’ve ever had.
Without my knowledge, a PIP Appeals Hearing had been held in my absence and to cut a long story short, I won the case. And so ends 11 months of diabolical stress.
This would not have happened without the support of Stuart and Marie Nixon, and my MP, Anna McMorrin.
A reader of my blog put me in touch with Anna and she took up my case, expediting it through the system.
However, I could not obtain crucial evidence from my MS nurse, as the DWP had told them it would be disregarded. I have since found out GP’s and MP’s themselves are also being told that their evidence will be similarly disregarded.
This goes completely against the DWP’s own published guidelines:
From the DWP’s own PIP guidance booklet
Sending in additional supporting evidence
We want to use the widest range of evidence when we assess PIP claims to
ensure awards are made correctly and claimants are paid promptly.
It is very important that claimants provide us with any relevant evidence or
information they already have that explains how their condition affects them.
Information that will help us to assess a PIP claim
Reports about the claimant from:
• specialist nurses
• community psychiatric nurses
• social workers
• occupational therapists
• hospital doctors
• support worker
Not only that, the DWP has admitted that Capita PIP assessors do not need expertise in medical conditions they assess.
So let me get this straight. We cannot submit medical evidence from those who know us best. And then they send us an assessor who has no real knowledge of our condition.
I call this out as blatant discrimination. It’s a guaranteed no-win situation.
Although my case has been resolved, this does not end here.