Severely disabled woman left ‘feeling suicidal’ over battle for disability benefits : Welfare Weekly

A severely disabled woman says she is contemplating suicide and can no longer “face life” after a prolonged battle with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for disability benefits.

Patricia Nimmo, 62, from Hull, says she was forced to give up her job as a carer in 2016, due to suffering with Fibromyalgia and severe arthritis in her hands, but has reportedly been told by DWP decision makers that she isn’t eligible to claim the full amount of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance for all sick and disabled working age adults as part of the Government’s sweeping reforms to social security benefits, but has been met with widespread critism due to inacurate assessments and record-high appeal success rates.


Source: Severely disabled woman left ‘feeling suicidal’ over battle for disability benefits : Welfare Weekly

This is now the 3rd time I have had to appeal PIP

The 3rd time Steve has had to appeal PIP. Are they listening, No, are the assessors truthful, No, is this fair, No

How many Nos will it take for PIP and other welfare benefits and the respective assessors to be managed to benefit claimants and the activities related to these benefits by DWP officials to be made a criminal offense.

View the appeal

This is a copy of my appeal;
This is now the 3rd time I have had to appeal PIP, this time because of changing descriptors. Maybe I am not explaining my difficulties to others in the right way, it is probably my fault. At the time of the interview, I had my sister with me which lifted my mood a little, and not wanting to show weakness I put on a brave face as they say, and possibly did not show the full extent of my condition. I have HEART FAILURE this is not getting any better, it is in fact getting worse. Feeling like I constantly have to defend myself, and struggling daily just to do normal things is having a negative effect the quality of my life. The stress of worrying about this interview contributed to me having another heart attack. I was convinced I would lose money, which did happen! I now have to seriously worry about losing my home. My condition has significantly worsened since the first PIP claim in 2016, how can you now reduce my PIP ? All this extra stress is just adding to my feeling anxious, nervous and I am terrified about what else is to come. I do have suicidal thoughts more frequently now and have therapy. All I wish, is to be awarded what I deserve and be allowed to heal as best I can.

Point 1. “You said there was no evidence of my difficulty to eat, manage medication, managing health conditions, communicating, reading and understanding and engaging with people”.
I took my sister to help, and as a witness. I told him that I couldn’t cook anything. I had burnt pans and forgot to switch off the oven whilst trying to cook for myself , so my sister cooks and freezes my meals for me. I have missed important appointments and put off confusing letters until I am in the right mind. My sister keeps stocks of my more potent pills to prevent me taking them all at once. I kept running out of important pills, so my sister also arranged for the chemist to help, and now I have doses boxes so she can control and check I have been taking my medication.

As for communicating, reading, and engaging with people. I spend most days in the bedroom not wanting to see or hear from anyone. I need lots of encouragement just to get up. I am not sleeping and sometimes behave aggressively if people come uninvited, even family members that arrive unannounced. I cancel appointments, put off shopping until someone takes me, I am breathless all the time (even at rest now) and have angina if I push too hard. The cold weather also makes my heart beat faster. So not just the depression, the physical act of moving keeps me inside. My moods and coping changes daily so I sometimes cannot open bills and just put them aside until I am reminded. Or important decisions are forgotten and I have to apologise a lot.

Point 2. “You can plan and follow a route of a journey unaided”.
Again, my sister took me to the interview. Both she and I did tell him, I cannot plan a journey and need to be taken to places I don’t know, because of ‘overwhelming psychological distress.’ What would happen if I had a puncture, ran out of fuel, got lost or had a heart attack? I would just not go and cancel the appointment.

Point 3. “You can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres”
I cannot move 20 Mts without pain, dizziness and breathlessness. The assessor said he observed me walking 26 minutes. No he did not. I did tell him I felt angina pains and I did say at the interview that during a gout attack I am unable to lift my foot, never mind walk a step. I have just had a recent gout attack and can feel the pain now, ready to flare up again. After the recent heart attack which caused more damage to my heart, my movements are more tiring and I am breathless even at rest.
I am getting angina attacks just climbing the stairs too quick.I knew he did not believe most of what I was saying. I had had a heart attack the day before and not wanting to wait for another appointment, I waited and went to the appointment. I told the assessor that I thought I had an angina attack but he didn’t believe me.

The report he’s sent is very different from the assessment as my sister will confirm. I am glad I took her, but it stopped me from showing the full extent of my condition because I was embarrassed. I felt set up right from the start. I saw him watching every little step and movement. Very unnerving. This seems to be the default position “you are lying, and I will decide if your ill or deserving” Also I wondered whether they received commissions for achieving certain hidden targets.The actual daily activities are getting harder for me, he just saw me that day, and made a really uninformed decision. He is not in a position to decide what my condition entails.I may have to move again as I now am paid 150 pounds less until I win my appeal… I don’t know how they are getting away with this. A large percentage of us get so stressed we think about suicide regularly, its deliberately made hard and some cannot go on and end it. Yes I have seriously thought about giving up, but I am lucky to have a family that anchor me.. I am determined to get what is due. I have worked over 40 years and believed that I was paying into a system that would look after me and mine.. until I die. How wrong was I. I can categorically link at least 2 of my recent heart attack to both Universal Credit and PIP. It is inhuman to be treated like this when I need to focus on managing my heart failure, not whether I can afford to heat my home. (Which I can’t at the moment).
I will keep going and try to enjoy my limited time without anger.



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Thousands of benefit claimants with Multiple Sclerosis told they are ‘not disabled enough’

The whole process is geared to find claimants are not entitled to the benefits, as in many instances the assessors do not listen to the claimants, already have preconceived ideas about a claimants condition, the majority if not all of theses preconceived ideas being wrong and also blatant lying by some assessors.

The whole process is weighted against claimants.

Where incorrect decisions have been made, these should be investigated by an independent body to see if any illegal or dishonest actions have been undertaken by any assessors and where found these assessors should be prosecuted.

Hundreds of thousands more PIP claimants would challenge awards… if they could | DisabledGo News and Blog

New government research shows that hundreds of thousands more claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) would have taken further steps to challenge the results of their claims if the system had been less stressful and more accessible.

The research, carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by Ipsos MORI, has cast fresh doubt on government claims that only a small proportion of disabled people are unhappy with the decisions made on their PIP claims.

DWP has repeatedly claimed that only about nine per cent of PIP decisions have been appealed since it was launched in April 2013, and that as few as four per cent of all PIP decisions have been overturned at appeal.

They have used this to suggest that this means that the overwhelming majority of claimants are happy with the PIP assessment system.

But the new research, based on more than 1,200 interviews, explains why many disabled people who applied for PIP decided not to appeal against an award, even if their claim was rejected completely or was lower than they believed they needed.

The research found that, of those PIP claimants who decided not to request a mandatory reconsideration (MR) – the internal review stage of the process, after a decision on a PIP claim has been made – 10 per cent took that decision because they thought it would be too stressful, four per cent did not know how to seek an MR, and seven per cent said they did not know enough about MR to proceed*.

Only three-fifths of those surveyed said they had not sought an MR because they were happy with the award they were given.


Source: Hundreds of thousands more PIP claimants would challenge awards… if they could | DisabledGo News and Blog

Over a third don’t appeal PIP due to the stress

The whole process is deliberately made to be stressful to lead claimants to not appeal and so complicated so that some claimants will not fully understand the system of claiming.

Those claimants, being a minority, who are committed to defrauding the system will know it inside out as they, more likely than not, will be successful in their claims.

So the complicatedness of the system is there to thwart the genuine claimants, a complete reversal of what is said it is there for.

PIP Appeal Success Rate Hits All Time High

Same Difference

The latest statistics from the Tribunals Service reveal that almost two thirds of personal independence payment (PIP) appeals are successful.

The success rate for PIP appeals in the last quarter of 2015-16 stands at 63%. This is up from 53% in the same quarter last year. Appeals success rates for PIP claimant have gone up every quarter since they first began.

The number of appeals that were heard has also risen in the last year from 3,826 to 15,971.

It will be a source of huge embarrassment to the DWP that even after the introduction of mandatory reconsideration before appeal, the majority of claimant who go to tribunal win their case.

Employment and support allowance (ESA) appeal success rates also remain high. There were 14,691 ESA appeals in the last quarter of 2015/16 with a success rate of 58%. This compares with…

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Three In Five Claimants Winning PIP Appeals

The companies Atos and Capita and the PIP processes are not fit for purpose. This is evident due to the success rates of the appeals. The whole process is about saving money, but when the inital decision is wrong and an appeal is made and successful this is additional costs. To save money the inital assessments have to be correct, but the processes and the Government are just about demonising the sick and disabled.

Same Difference

Huge numbers of disabled people are being wrongly denied Personal Independence Payments (PIP), tribunals are ruling.

A staggering 61% of rejected claims for the benefit are overturned on appeal – inflicting unnecessary stress and extra expense on people, say campaigners.

The number of successful appeals has mushroomed to around 82 every day, figures slipped out by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show.

One case raised by a Labour MP involved a man with such severe heart pounding during an assessment that paramedics had to be called.

But his claim was rejected – a decision which was reversed later.

Read more: Law students overturn 95% of ESA ‘fit for work’ judgements

A multiple sclerosis sufferer had her PIP payment slashed despite being unable to drive and able to walk only short distances, with the aid of a stick.

Disabled people have also protested at having to wait many months…

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