Proof the DWP intentionally misleads Personal Independence Payment applicants

DWP - Department for Work and Pensions sign

Following my journey through the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application process and first stage of appeal, I can show how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are intentionally misleading applicants. The way they are operating is leading to disabled people losing out purely on how things are worded.

Cartoon picture of 6 people, consist of a amputee with a child, wheelchair user, blind person with a service dog, man with crutches and a elderly lady with walking stick. Above them is captions as follows Personal independence Payment - PIP, DWP Department for Work and Pension
personal-independence-payment

It’s no secret that applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a stressful and difficult exercise. However, I will now show you how they are misleading claimants so they can avoid paying those with disabilities what they are due.

Application Process

The easiest way for me to show you, is by starting from the beginning. So when you are filling in the form to apply for the first time, near the beginning you will come to a section that asks for the details of your GP (General Practitioner) and other relevant health professionals.

Nothing unusual here. Nor is the next page as shown that asks for you to give consent so that that may contact them for information to help them in their decision.

I want to bring attention to the consent form wording ; “We may want to get information about your health condition of disability.” The word “may” will be important later on. In my opinion, it gives the impression that they will contact your doctors or others involved in your care as they will obviously know how you are affected day to day.

So you send that form away and usually they send back another form with more detailed questions. These will include questions such as; do you have difficulty with x,y,z and then you detail how you are affected. All relatively simple.

Evidence

Throughout the process they will state that you can enclose evidence yourself. This can include, reports from doctors, social workers and others. I advise you all now that if you can please ensure that you do otherwise it will make things more difficult later on.

The lies begin

Letter to myself from Atos advising they have contacted my health professionals - A. Tiffin
Letter to myself from Atos advising they have contacted my health professionals – A. Tiffin

So you have sent off your forms and all you can do now is wait. About a week after sending everything away you may get a letter like shown above. As you can see I was advised on the 4th of June 2018 that;

“We’re writing to let you know that we’ve asked for more information from people involved in your treatment of care”

By this you can only assume one thing; they are writing to the people you listed on your application form. While it may appear that way it is simply not true.

I then received a letter dated just two days later; 6th June 2018 stating that they had looked at all the evidence from my health professionals and decided I need a face to face assessment. They automatically arranged a Home Visit with the date and time shown on that letter.

I have already written about my home assessment and you can read about that by clicking here as it isn’t relevant to this article as such.

Decision Letter

So you’ve had you assessment and after that you probably aren’t feeling too optimistic. You then have to wait up eight weeks for the dreaded brown envelope.

When my decision eventually came I was surprised but also angered at was enclosed. While I had been awarded the enhanced rate of mobility they denied me the enhanced rate of daily living allowance by 1 point.

I wouldn’t normally be bothered however their reasoning angered me.

They stated that my mental health did not affect me at all. I’ve previously written how my Borderline Personality Disorder and anxiety affects me so this annoyed me.

Mandatory Reconsideration

I therefore decided to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This is the first stage of appealing any decision they make on a benefit claim.

What happens is they send back your case to a DWP (Department for Work and Pension) decision maker to see if they should alter their decision.

I gave details on how my life is affected and also stated that my psychiatrist of 8 years could confirm this. I stupidly assumed they’d written to him.

It all becomes clear

The end of my Mandatory Reconsideration Letter from DWP - A. Tiffin
The end of my Mandatory Reconsideration Letter from DWP – A. Tiffin

Yesterday 2nd September 2018 I received the Department for Work and Pensions decision on my mandatory reconsideration.

They had rejected it. The wording of the decision makers process was almost identical bar one thing. The last paragraph.

They state; “we would only contact your GP or relevant doctor if the health professionals needed further evidence to make a decision however if they feel they have enough evidence we would not go out for it and it would be for yourself to provide the information.”

I was initially confused because as I stated above, they had told me they were writing to my doctors on the 4th of June.

Now I find out not only they hadn’t but it was my responsibility to send anything they need. This is not clear at all. This is obviously why the use the term; ; “may contact” when you initially apply.

Many doctors will charge for a medical report, with some saying if the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wanted one they’d write. In my opinion the Department is breaching the Equality Act 2010 because it is placing barriers in a claimants way.

Compensation for claimants?

This is a clear case of maladministration as set out in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) own guidance. It states if a claimant is told something but the Department do not follow up on this then the Department has committed maladministration and the claimant may be entitled to compensation.

Conclusion

Picture of a person thinking, holding a pen to their lips looking at a question mark icon

When you look at the process in detail and take a step back you come to one conclusion. This is intentionally misleading.

Yes, it may be common sense to include your own evidence but that’s not always possible for many different reasons.

They are trying to say that a 25 minute assessment can determine in depth how a claimant copes. That’s just not possible.

I will be taking my case to the tribunal to challenge this decision however I am in contact with legal experts on whether of not the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have committed a breach of any laws. If so I intend to challenge them on this as thousands of claimants are unfairly be misled.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

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37 thoughts on “Proof the DWP intentionally misleads Personal Independence Payment applicants

  1. reminiscent of my claim I was only awarded standard in both (I missed the higher rate on both by a single point)- the assessor who visited my home blatently lied on her report- she said I rememberd all my medications without hesitation- actually I couldnt remember most of them and had to direct her to my prescriptions for the list. She also assumed that my walking ability was fine having watched me take 4 steps with a crutch from the door to a chair. The anxiety I suffer was brushed aside as I apparently held her gaze confidently- I lost the sight in my left eye due to a stroke and this eye was the one that provided the “confident gaze” after 15minutes of intense questioning I burst into tears- I’m 50+ bloke and only normally cry at familial death! The fact that I have the ability to drive apparently precludes me from suffering stress if I drove to unfamiliar places- I made the mandatory reconsideration request but it was declined because (with different wording) I was making up any mental health problems. I appealed- it took a year but I won on the mobility and limitations due to anxiety (I was awarded 5 extra points)- I failed on the higher rate for support.
    Keep badgering- stay hopeful stay positive- good luck

  2. As you said they mite get reports from them. But I was told its up to the assessor if they get them. Thay all so tell you that the DWP give you the answers not them. More lies from them and this government is pay then

    1. Get all your info from the hospital and ask for a copy of any letter they send your GP it saves spending money on subject access requests later on. Up to £50 per hospital and £50 for your GP but once you start getting copies of letters from any letter sent to your GP you only need X-rays and Scans every 2 years or so.

  3. Any claimant losing PIP at anassessment should appeal, As its now 71% of cases at appeal are won ,We all know they have set targts to reach so DONT be afraid to appeal

  4. They did write to my GP and asked for information, but all the GP sends is a basic form naming the conditions you receive treatment for and they do not comment on your daily living. An example was my GP wrote “muscoskeletal disorder” which can cover anything from very mild backache to severely disabling condition. They did not ask any of my hospital consultants for info.

    You do definitely need to try and get your own medical evidence to send with your application, it makes a big difference.

  5. On asking my gp for a letter supporting my pip application,a changeover from dla,I was told that the dwp have written to them stating that gps are not qualified benefit assessors and therefore should not comment on their patients claims .So far from getting information from your doctors they are actively discouraging them from giving details of their patients conditions.Instead we are left with a system where assessors (qualified after a few weeks training in filling in forms) are the judges of people with varied,complex medical conditions that they have little or no understanding of.They are notorious for lying,ignoring evidence,cut and paste records and basing reports not on facts but opinions .The system is an abysmal failure at anything other than driving claimants to despair,causing innumerable deaths and worsening heath conditions .This is obviously exactly what the dwp want.

    1. Apart from visits to your GP for check ups and minor ailments, Specialist in their field of medicine also write to your GP with their findings, so Audrey Pool get an SAR in to the hospital for all the info £50 and your GP also up to £50 then ask any hospital specialist you see to send you a copy of any letter they send to your GP that way your records are always up to date unless you have a lot of X-rays and Scans then you just ask for them every so often at £50 per time for all the X-rays and scans. Beat them at their own game.

  6. It looks like the DWP already do know that this is unfair (at least as far as ESA is concerned) as a court ruling confirmed this back in 2013 (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22620894 ) . So it looks like the DWP are playing a delaying tactics game here by not applying this ruling to PIP, even though in principle, and morally, they *already know* that what they are doing is unlawful here. They are just delaying as long as they can, waiting until someone challenges this unfairness with regards to PIP rather than ESA. As a claimant with Autism (and by very nature of a diagnosis of Autism I *cannot* be expected to communicate my own difficulties as communication difficulties *is* my disability!) how on earth am I meant to obtain medical evidence stating this fact by myself? The consultant whom diagnosed me has since passed away so I have no way to provide “recent” evidence. I will be watching this development closely as I am in the process of moving from “indefinite” DLA to PIP.

  7. I’m really considering suicide I’ve had dla indefinite for up to 16 years, i got changed over to this fraudulent cheating pip and had my mobility withdrawn after breaking my back. Following the decision to take my high level of mobility away I became really stressed out, couldn’t see any light at all which i believe lead to me taking a Stoke. I’ve had a home visit on new evidence i sent in after lying in hospital for 11 weeks but to be honest i don’t hold much hope!!

    1. I also had DLA lifetime award and took it to appeal then tribunal At the appeal they adjourned it for 8weeks on 26th February I had 10 points and needed to get 2more points At the tribunal I lost everything this was on 20th July ,more than 8 weeks I was totally gutted I’m now a prisoner in my own home now And yes I did consider suicide I’m 67years old This is all wrong

    2. Hi Robert, I am sorry to hear of your plight, please seek assistance if you are feeling like this. I’m in no way undermining how you feel and as you may or may not know I was in a similar situation in March and ended up in ITU. It isn’t the answer though.

      I know it is difficult but I promise that there are people out there who care and want top help. If you want to talk please please contact me via the contact me form. I would like to know that you are ok or see if I can help.

      I’m free anytime.

  8. Just how it is. Can they rob us of any more.? I am a 62 year old and won’t get my pension until I am 66. SIX years later than expected. Following a breast cancer diagnosis in 2007 and the treatments that go along with this dreaded disease I have been unable to return to work. My General health has deteriorated for various reasons to the extent I have mobility problems due to chronic pain and chronic fatigue . As my health worsened I claimed DLA approx 6 years ago. When it was renewed in 2014 I was awarded the low rate of care and the enhanced rate for mobility. It was also awaded stating it was for an indefinite period. I decided at thhat stage I would utilise the mobility element of it to lease a car.
    The dreaded brown envelope arrived in May with a PIP form to be completed, As my health issues are complex I supplied the names of 5 health professionals……… May I add not one of them was contacted for a report on my declining health. I received their decision two weeks ago. 10 points for mobility and 8 points for care. So I lose my car. I’m devastated, I intend doing a mandatory appeal but I await a copy of the assessors report.
    I know a lot of people abuse the system and there is a need to weed out the good from the bad. But at my expense. I’m so weary and angry . The trouble I now have to put myself through to beg for a few pounds makes me sick. I am worn out with such an unfair system.

  9. I went through the PIP assassination in 2014! I turned up with two people and when the nurse said you are only allowed one person in with you I replied ” You two go in I’ll wait here as between you , you know everything about me!” She then allowed us all in. She started off then after about 2 minutes she said ” The information you supplied is old?” To which I instantly replied ” It’s still bloody relevant though!”
    How else do you describe an hereditary illness?
    At the end she said ” I have no Idea what your illness is or anything about it!” then she asked if she could shut the door and in a quiet voice said ” You will get an award!”
    I got home 2 hours later and instantly clicked send on an SAR I had prepared that morning. They made the decision 5 days later and I got it on the 1st of the following month and my SAR 17 days later.
    The DWP once told me that you cannot request an SAR before the decision is made? Well FECK ‘EM I did and got my award letter after 10 days, 5 in to post and info after 18 days but I already knew the result. 10 years of peace from them. If they contact me before 10 years they are going to have a fight on their hands as to the wording on the form.

  10. The dwp should be tried in the criminal courts for there horrific crimes.everybody must get all evidence together to proceed with relevant charges they deserve.without evidence it cannot be made possible with everybody’s evidence what they have done will stand.this is the only way to put a stop to the dwp horiffic crimes to sick disabled and people who barely cannot get a meal.

  11. You gave Atos/DWP contact info for your GP (“Main”) and Psychiatrist (“Further”) (plus any Social Services) right?

    Atos (IASS) clearly state that they’ve “asked for further information from people involved in your treatment or care”.

    But then –

    “we would only contact your GP or relevant doctor if the health professionals needed further evidence to make a decision however if they feel they have enough evidence we would not go out for it and it would be for yourself to provide the information.”

    TOTAL BS.

    So what is the “Further health or social care professional that supports you” section on THEIR OWN FORM for???

    Find the Scottish versions of –

    Fraud Act 2006 –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents

    Fraud by false representation –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/2

    Fraud by abuse of position –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/4

    Fraud by failing to disclose information –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/3

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    (Meaning of Public Function) Human Rights Act 1998 – (ATOS Quacks count)
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmbills/045/08045.i-i.html

    Disability Hate Crime – Criminal Justice Act 2003 (section 146) –
    Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/section/146

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/33/part/XI/crossheading/torture

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx

    What is your Local Council doing about ATOS-DWP criminals?

    Care Act 2014 (england)
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/contents/enacted
    PART 1 – Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect – Section 42
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/section/42/enacted

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care worker offence –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/section/20/enacted
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care provider offence –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/section/21/enacted

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    These are mostly CRIMINAL Offences.
    Fake Court, Appeal Tribunals will just cover-up their crimes

    Perverting The Course of Justice –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/public_justice_offences_incorporating_the_charging_standard/

    These are mostly CRIMINAL Offences… so **Call The Police**

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges –
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/section/26/enacted

    Misconduct in Public Office –
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

    And **Always Record Everything**

  12. My song received DLA for the last 30yrs due to his learning disability now after PIp assessment they say he can do everything whereas he canot cook ,cannot travel alone,scared of people ,he cannot hold proper conversation as an adult 50yr old they simply rejected even mandatory stage ., it 1is scam to get people off, noe daughter who is GP taking the case to Tribunal , I cannot do it I am 82yr old She will win I know

  13. Good on ya! !The more people come together about these horrific crimes Inc universal credit etc the evidence needs to be mounting up on them then they can be tried in the criminal courts for manslaughter and attempted murder but everybody must all come forward names etc…. eve dense plenty of it then justice can be done I’m sure everybody must now fight and fight the enemy that dwells upon us!

  14. Well should we all get the ball rolling and try them in criminal court I am also on about the deaths they have caused on universal credit…pip …esa we all have to fight this evil amongst us criminally and hopefully justice can be done.

  15. We have to get everybody who has had a bad issue with the dwp all there evidence including those who have died through them the evidence is as high as a mole hill and try the brains of all this crimes…Ian Duncan Smith. Esther mcvea for manslaughter and attempted murder in the criminal courts.but the evidence won’t work on just 1 person it would for a appeal…However you need the enidence of the thousands of people to put the bastards away for good!

  16. Suicide is not the answer do that and they know they have got away with it.everybody affected by the dwp needs to take it to the criminal courts for serious crimes and neglect.but everybody must giv evidence affected and I’m sure we all will get some justice b strong don’t let the bastards grind u down that is Wat they want less to pay let’s all come together with Wat we got and try Duncan Smith and Esther mvvea.

  17. I am my son’s appointee. He has just started DLA to PIP changeover. The lies started on first phone call, when they asked me for contact details of professionals involved and then said we will contact them and if needed then send the application form…bet they have never made an award with no application form!

    1. That’s ridiculous. That’s a straight case of “maladministration” you cannot be fairly assessed without that application. Fight it to the end.

  18. My name is Gez I suffer from epilepsy and spinal damage plus PTSD I was getting DLA and two and half years it stopped been fighting for PIp since but I won’t give up

    1. Hi Gez. I’m so sorry to hear that. You are not alone and if you need help just drop me a message. We are a community here

  19. Well done You-they are buggers,aren’t they !!

    I’m going through exactly the same thing: have recently transferred to UC from JSA.The JC+ took my details but I keep saying they’ve got things wrong so I make an appt to sort it out & when I’m there they telll me it’s all ok-but their explanations are confusing-one staff member even said “I don’t know how it’s all worked out-but if they say that’s what you should get then their right “!!!

  20. The DWP,& Assessors are liars, how can thousands of us in all different parts of the country be telling lies, How are all Our Professionals liars? How can desk admin over rule Top Consultants, Drs and anyone that is trained in known real illnesses, This crap writing I can award you, Who are you to say I cant your not trained you prob having even goggled it, My Assessor was a Phyiso and said me and medical science are liars ( to my face), there was no such thing as Spinal Cord Simulator, Well thats why the NHS Are doing these implants at 25grand a piece because Admin staff and Assessor know better so now I am going to PALS to report the fact I have been told by Assessor and DWP agreed no such thing so I want it in writing why St Thomas hospital done my trial and awaiting the implant, Because thats serious waste of money and the effect its had on my life, ( well this aint a life), And I will send a copy to DWP and Capita

  21. My daughter has learning difficulties selective mutisim doesn’t like being left in the house on her own at anytime I have to go everywhere with her and won’t go out the house on her own as she has panic attacks and won’t talk to people other than very close family and her partner who also has similar problems has had 3 pip interviews with 3 different people in 3 different places the 3rd one at home asking the same questions still waiting for decision her partner Lorna who has learning issues and anger issues and also panic attacks when going out alone has been turned down but hasn’t received the letter yet had to phone to find this out but won’t know why until the letter arrives and they didn’t know why we hadn’t been sent the letter as it should of been sent weeks ago but has been put on limited capability for work by her jc advisor it’s a discrase I’m now worried that they are going to turn down my daughter’s application as her and Lorna have 1 difference between them that’s the anger issues and selective mutisim every other difficulties they have are the same.

  22. That’s what they did to me ,15 years on from accident at work when I damaged my back for life they took it away from me , which you could help me fight it

  23. Great article, it shows that if you understand all of the gobbledygook you are fit for work, the fact you have no legs or arms and are on a ventilator, doesn’t matter.

    One question I would have is: Can we put an expenses claim for the 3 or 4 £30 charges for health professionals to provide us with evidence?

    1. I’ve asked about the costs before but they won’t have it.”claimants responsibility” is their usual line.

      Thank you for the kind comments I just tryto say it like it is

  24. My daughter had a PIP assessment at home. My first introduction to capita and a young ‘assessor ‘ with a laptop. Everything was ‘zeroed ‘ when we received the result and her disallowance after18 years. I screamed at the DWP on the phone. Said I would not go to tribunal, I would go to the papers, my MP and the papers. How dare they assume to know better than doctors, surgeons and consultants. They overturned their decision and reinstated the previous payment amount. What a total waste of money and resources.
    She was called for another assessment last year and I was prepared for another fight. Five ways house in Birmingham did the assessment though I do not know why. This time it was with a very professional young man who actually asked questions apertaining to her problems. She was verified as unfit.
    When i spoke to staff at the centre they told how upsetting it was to see the people who were literally dragged in to go through the sometimes inhuman process

    1. Many assessors are very work to the Capita rules thing, Fiveways House is a scary place and people who you see are very disabled should never be near the place.

  25. when having assessment at home, I tell dwp/crapita, that there will be a advocate from MIND with me and a news paper reporter, they then decide a paper based assessment will be done, they cannot legally stop your benefit without proving, by law, that your health has increased so much so, that you don’t qualify for pip anymore, I take out a county court summons against dwp for £5k, this is for money lost by me in reduction of council tax benefit and working tax credit, dwp have 14 days to reply to court, they don’t bother, they reinstate my benefit as they know they have no proof about my health

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