PIP appeals: the cruel truth

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PIP appeals: the cruel truth

Post by sassy on Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:52 pm

A 62-YEAR-OLD man with terminal leukaemia, who was wrongly denied benefits supposed to ease the extra financial burden of living with serious illness and disability, finally had the decision overturned at a tribunal – the month after he had died.

In another case, a 28-year-old woman with a spinal tumour had to be taken to her benefit tribunal by paramedics in an ambulance. Proceedings were immediately halted while the horrified tribunal judge went to tell Kirsty Garnett, outside, that her case was successful.

Universal credit isn’t the only government welfare reform causing extreme distress and hardship. Despite government assurances that those with terminal cancer or other life-shortening diseases would not have to face the ordeal of tick-box assessments for the new personal independence payments (PIP) at the hands of health professionals from Crapita and Atos, that is not the experience of many sufferers.

‘Truly shocking’
Duncan Walker, the welfare advice worker who represented the bereaved family and Ms Garnett, said theirs were but two of more than 30 “truly shocking” cases he has handled in the Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford areas during the past year. In every one, the cancer patient had been told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that following their assessment they were ineligible for any PIP support – only for a tribunal to later award them the highest rates of daily living and mobility support. (Payments can range from £22 to about £140 per week.)

In a third case, Walker, an advice worker for Unite Community, himself witnessed a Crapita health check of a man with stage four lung cancer, and was alarmed by the assessor’s subsequent report. He told the Eye that he had seen the man having to use his bottled oxygen repeatedly – yet the assessor reported “no signs of breathlessness”. The report also said there was no need for a review for another two years – despite the man’s prognosis giving him just months to live.

Walker told the Eye: "These cases are absolutely horrendous and should not be allowed to happen. What is clear is that assessors pay little or no attention to what is written in claim forms, doctors’ notes and other accompanying material. In the worst cases, the process is a dishonest sham.”

Extra misery, stress and financial hardship
Even in cases where doctors have completed a special certificate stating that a patient is likely to have less than six months to live – which is supposed to lead automatically to a fast-track PIP award – the final decision about whether to conduct a medical assessment, by someone who could be a nurse or an occupational therapist by training, is still left to the very companies who profit from carrying them out.

What is also shocking is that that there are no meaningful checks and balances in place at the DWP. It is supposed to carry out “mandatory reassessments”, or reviews, when claimants challenge the refusal of benefit. A freedom of information request in the summer revealed that a key performance indicator for those carrying out the mandatory assessments has set a target to refuse 80 percent – making a mockery of the process.

In Walker’s experience, the reassessments are upholding nearly nine out of ten rejections. No wonder the tribunals are overwhelmed and are overturning nearly two-thirds of DWP decisions. The scandal is the extra misery, stress and financial hardship sick people and their families suffer in the meantime.

http://www.private-eye.co.uk/issue-1456/in-the-back


Have to say, have a personal interest in this. My eldest daughter began passing out at work, the discovered she had a auto-immune disease, but she was determined to try to keep working. Then she was so ill at work they had to call and ambulance. It was discovered she had myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation and swelling of the heart and the sac it is in). It appeared this was caused by the auto immune. On further investigation they discovered she has a genetic heart disorder apical hypertropic cardiomyopathy (swelling and hardening of the left ventrical so the heart can't pump sufficiently). She also has a damaged artery in the heart which they can't operate on, as they said the auto immune will attack a site that is damaged by surgery. Luckily the rest are clear and not blocked in any way. Because of the heart problem and her muscles not getting enough oxygen, the auto immune has progressed rapidly and she now can't stand for very long and is in a wheelchair. My grandsons are being wonderful with her and we go down as often as we can. But with all this, PIP turned her down. She is 48 and has worked all her life up until now. It has gone to mandatory reconsideration, which you have to do before it can go to arbitration. Meantime, all she is getting is ESA and we are having help with bills, as one son is now looking after her full time and the other is only on basic income and doesn't always get a full week. Now, you all know I have lost one daughter. Extra stress with my eldest causes immense strain on her heart and with the weak artery, the results could be fatal. The Government give bonuses to staff that turn down applications and that is pure evil. This country is being run by the worst of people for the rich and fuck everyone else. I hope they all rot.

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Re: PIP appeals: the cruel truth

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:04 pm

I've said it before, but it seems to me that some people are getting this allowance for no apparent reason, and others are not getting it when they clearly need it.

On a side note, there seems to be an increase in autoimmune disease, and I really hope there's a breakthrough soon. It seems that it can be triggered but not untriggered. It can be controlled, but the drugs used can be quite toxic.

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Re: PIP appeals: the cruel truth

Post by sassy on Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:06 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:I've said it before, but it seems to me that some people are getting this allowance for no apparent reason, and others are not getting it when they clearly need it.

On a side note, there seems to be an increase in autoimmune disease, and I really hope there's a breakthrough soon. It seems that it can be triggered but not untriggered. It can be controlled, but the drugs used can be quite toxic.


I've wondered that about auto immune. There is so much pollution in the air that we can't see etc etc, who knows.

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Re: PIP appeals: the cruel truth

Post by Raggamuffin on Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:08 pm

sassy wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:I've said it before, but it seems to me that some people are getting this allowance for no apparent reason, and others are not getting it when they clearly need it.

On a side note, there seems to be an increase in autoimmune disease, and I really hope there's a breakthrough soon. It seems that it can be triggered but not untriggered. It can be controlled, but the drugs used can be quite toxic.


I've wondered that about auto immune.  There is so much pollution in the air that we can't see etc etc, who knows.

Yes. Nobody knows what triggers it, but there are several theories. Stress is one possible culprit, but there are probably others. There's a lot of talk about inflammation in general, but that's not necessarily the same thing.

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