Because I am chronically physically ill, in a way they cannot argue with .... I actually manage to get some benefits paid to me.
As such I have been on ESA 'Support group' since 2009 .... Two weeks ago I receive a letter saying "You have an appointment to discuss your getting ready to return to work" ....... What?
My wife telephones them and eventually gets hold of the name on the letter .... Amazingly he admits that this is an error on his part and that the letter is incorrect; indeed I have no need to be interviewed.
Good Grief; Well, that was relatively painless!
Next though ..... Like most everyone else who had been on DLA then found themselves changed over to PIP; it was and is a nightmare.
Myself I had been on DLA, highest rate care and mobility, life time award with no assessment required because of medical history, since 2009; But in 2016 I am 'assessed' for PIP.
My PIP assessment was completed at my home by some guy who 'used to drive an ambulance' a glorified taxi driver it appeared, not a paramedic ...... It is at home because I cannot guarantee to be well enough to attend appointments anywhere.
We recorded this guy ... The DWP PIP 'rules' say you must inform them and use a certain type of recording device ... If you are at home, then that is not legal; you can record them how you like without informing them. It is as well we did because he simply lied.
Personally I have a 6 wheel NHS prescribed heavily customised power wheelchair. Ergo they could not touch my higher rate mobility. NHS power chairs are hard to get and they pretty much give anyone an automatic pass for Enhanced PIP mobility. 12 points. Move on, nothing to discuss. (NOT
if you have bought one your self however, or have bought a powered scooter ... then you will have to argue)
Instead then, this guy in 2016 attacks me where he can. It is
a fact I picked up a nearly empty mug of cold coffee and took a sip ... he says nothing .... But this action in his opinion meant I could shower, cook meals and probably cut the grass on a good day.
Therefore I was awarded Enhanced rate mobility, but only Standard rate care. Mandatory appeal put in, same result. We do a full appeal. Send in all the information and a transcript of the recording of the assessment. As long as you supply everyone with a transcript, it is admissible in the court.
ONE YEAR LATER!
.....Yes, it took a year to get a court appeal hearing. They are swamped with PIP and DWP appeals.
We arrive at court for the appeal hearing. As I wheel into the court room itself with my wife, we are told by the chief adjudicator .... "No need to stop, really sorry you had to come, you have obviously won your appeal."
The DWP/PIP people never even go to these things ... They know however that only 20% of people appeal ... but 80% of those appeals are won.
Anyway ..... we get a thumping great back payment cheque and a 3 year pass.
2019, early December, they are back again .... 2hrs of questioning and cross questioning in my home. Questions so personal that even a Dr would not go there. It appears they want to embarrass people into not answering or barely answering these oppressive/intrusive questions ... Then they can say what they like and you'll get nothing.
Of course we were ready to appeal again ... But today we get a PIP letter ..... Full award, Enhanced rate Care & Mobility with a 5 year pass.
We suspect after the last appeal they understand they have better fish to fry.
However we are going to appeal the 5 yr pass until the next re-assessment.
My claim is no sort of scam. I am chronically ill, my health continues to worsen with time, 30+ tablets a day, constant pain and so forth.
However this process of my wife spending two days filling out the damned forms, then the whole 'Spanish Inquisition' re-run makes me very angry and consequently, even more ill. Therefore we want 15 years ... By which time I suspect it will be a moot point.
A top tip to anyone - When you fill out the PIP forms, then do it precisely and answer every question fully as possible ... Then make sure you keep a photocopy of it before sending it in. Send it recorded delivery.
Remember it is 'on the majority of days'. Yes some days I can pick up a cup ... mostly
Then you do get really dumb questions such as "Can you operate a microwave?". Do not just say "Yes"
Well, yes, I can touch a 'touch button' on a microwave .... But I cannot open the damned tin, get it into the microwave or get it out ... So it is a stupid question.
People really need that photocopy for the next assessment so you know exactly what you said because they are looking for any anomaly to create an issue.
There is no doubt they are trying to stop any payments they can. It is clear that assessors lie, constantly. Both have with myself. They give you misinformation, they make up and allude to rules and laws that are non-existent.
You can beat these people, if you deserve the claim obviously.
However it is a totally combative system in our experience ..... You will almost certainly have to appeal properly to the court system and you have to work at it.
One has to treat it as seriously as they do at the DWP/PIP offices when they are trying to stop or reduce your claim. That is all they care about.
Understand that these people are NOT your friends at any point.