I got rejected when I applied for PIP (click here to read all about it), so I applied for a mandatory reconsideration, meaning someone else just has to look at my application again. This week, I received the outcome of my mandatory reconsideration.
Obviously, I got rejected again. I received the letter in the post dated exactly one month after my first letter, not the 12 weeks I was told it may take.
The strangest thing about the letter I received is that it doesn’t actually mention any of the things I asked to be reconsidered. Instead, the assessor gave me a strange list of their definitions of: needing an aid, needing prompting, needing assistance and needing supervision. I don’t think anyone has actually looked at my answers to the questions I was asked on the phone, when I called to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. The letter ends with, “Whilst we acknowledge that your condition causes you some restrictions, the total points awarded do not meet the threshold for an award of PIP” and, again, I have received 2 points.
Whenever I think about my original rejection letter, I’m torn between laughing and crying, because a lot of it didn’t make any sense. This outcome paragraph is probably worse, because it ignores my whole application.
I’m genuinely convinced that it’s a standard reply, because the example it gives of needing assistance is related to mobility and I didn’t discuss any mobility issues in my application.
I committed to reviewing the whole process, so at this stage, I decided to appeal.
Appealing any benefits in the UK means your application is sent to a tribunal, where a panel will review the decision made to deny your application and can overturn it, if they see it.
It was actually easier to fill out the form for the appeal than it was for the mandatory reconsideration, as this one didn’t have to be done over the phone. I have to say, the DWP are not consistent. The appeal paperwork can be done on a form online. It asks for all your details again and then, simply, you say what you don’t agree with and why. As many things as you want to discuss, all as fresh points. This meant I was typing out about my own medical conditions myself, instead of relying on someone on the phone to record accurate information (which they didn’t the last two times). I wrote everything in my last blog post, but I split it up into the sections they score points on.
I had to say if I’d be available for the tribunal meeting and I had to fill out all my availability for the next 4 months.
At the end, it asked if there is any further information I wanted to include. I figured, at this point, I didn’t have anything to lose and if someone was going to say I can function fully, whilst living with TN, I want them to experience the full guilt of knowing what a day in my life is really like in my own word, so I copied and pasted two large sections from two different blog posts into the end of my application.
If someone is rejecting my application, they are doing so knowing a little of how I feel on a day to day basis.
I’m not holding my breath for the decision to fall in my favour, but I feel better that I got to say my bit.
I will hear back from the DWP by the 19th December, one month from the date of my paperwork being filled out.
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