PIP TRIBUNAL WIN AFTER BENEFIT REFUSED ON TRANSFER FROM DLA
Our Client suffered from “no warning “ low blood sugar attacks which could not be predicted. Her family had learnt to recognise the signs of an attack. She had been on disability benefit (DLA) for many years. She was required to move to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). As part of the move to PIP she was asked to attend a medical assessment.
The criteria for award of PIP are different from Disability Living Allowance. The DWP assessed our client on the papers alone. The papers included a letter of support from her GP. She did not “pass” the medical assessment and received no award at all. Our client requested a review under the mandatory reconsideration procedure. The outcome was still a refusal to pay PIP at any level.
She then consulted Keith Hollywood one of our benefits experts. He advised her on an appeal and prepared detailed submissions on the facts of the case and the law.
The DWP had argued that as she did not suffer from the symptoms of her condition i.e. hypoglycaemia “lows” for most the time she was not eligible. We explained in our submissions that our client had attacks on about four days each week, the effects lasting for about half an hour.
One of the main evidential problems arose from the fact that her family over many years had learned to spot the early warning signs. They were therefore able to manage her condition. This meant there had been no hospital admissions for over 7 years. Nor had there been any falls or accidents.
The most recent caselaw was found. We argued that even if family members could provide supervision from time to time she still needed continuous supervision.
We claimed that the PIP descriptors were met and amongst other arguments that:
- The DWP had made an error in saying that she had to have the condition “most the time”.
- The DWP had not carried out a face to face assessment when one was clearly called for
- The case was not suitable for a paper review
- The need for supervision was continuous because of dangers arising from an attack when cooking, and the danger of social dysfunction
- That therapy supervision was required for her injections four times a day
We managed to successfully argue that the symptoms i.e. “no-warning” lows meant she needs supervision 100% of the time because of her being unaware of the warning signs and the risk of injury to herself during a low. Even though her sons could provide such supervision, there was still a need.
At the tribunal our client was awarded PIP at the standard rate for the mobility component and PIP at the higher rate for the standard living component.