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Thread: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

  1. #1

    PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety


    I tried claiming PIP last year on the basis of my anxiety and my hyper mobility syndrome. I have social anxiety and can't go out without someone with me. I don't really socialise (and never without support) and struggle with interaction. My hyper mobility has led to multi-directional instability in my shoulder which means it partially dislocates several times a day. I can't raise my right arm above my shoulder or put it behind my back. I need help washing my hair and for things like fastening my bra, getting jackets on, etc.

    I was initially awarded 3 points in daily living and 4 in mobility. I done my mandatory consideration but the decision was upheld. Apparently I didn't appear anxious at my interview despite the breathing exercises I had to do in the waiting room to calm down, the fact I had to take my nana with me, had suffered sleepless nights in the run up and had spent the morning in the toilet. But I didn't look anxious so...

    I went to tribunal in January and unfortunately lost. My adviser from money matters said that it was a poor tribunal - that the doctors were asking me questions as if to back up the DWP decision rather than make their own. The doctor had asked why I wasn't banging down the doctors door begging for help and how I could be overwhelmingly anxious if I could drive a car (I had repeatedly said that I don't drive while anxious and that driving a car didn't involve dealing with people.) I was asked barely anything on the physical side. Really just why can't you fasten your bra at the front and then slip it round? I explained that that kind of twisting movement would cause subluxation and pain.

    My adviser asked for a statement of reasons which arrive yesterday (3 months after my tribunal). It basically says that there's a contraction between my evidence and what the doctor though. They said they believe I answered questions glibly, was vague and was deliberately exaggerating to get an award. They said that the lack of specialist treatment of referral especially regarding my 'claimed mental health issue' showed my difficulties weren't as bad as I was making out. I had told them at the tribunal that I was on a waiting list for CBT (which is about 9 months) and was seeing the physiotherapist for my shoulder. They also wrote that I was unreliable and lacked credibility so they wouldn't waste time explaining why I was refused each descriptor. They finished by saying that the letters from my doctor and surgeon confirmed my diagnosis but didn't contradict their belief that I was exaggerating.

    I spoke with my adviser this morning and she was quite angry about the whole thing. She was angry that they've obviously mistaken my anxious behaviour (which is worse when interacting with people) as deception. She said that saying I'm unreliable and then refusing to explain why I failed each descriptor is a bit of a cop-out. However it's quite hard to argue against the unreliable reasoning. She's going to see if there's any case law about credibility and mental health issues to back me up.

    Unfortunately my adviser is going on holiday until the 17th May and I have to apply for upper tier tribunal (if I have a case) by 21st May.

    Does anyone have any experience with something like this? Do you know of any case law that could help? I think the whole thing in completely unfair. Anxious behaviour can often make someone look cagey and that they're lying. I wish they could realise that I was freaking out and anxious rather than lying. I feel like my struggles have been completely invalidated. The reason I may have appeared vague at the tribunal was because I had brain fog and I had to stop answering questions a couple of times because I couldn't talk for crying.

    Any help and advice is welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    I have social anxiety and didn't pass ESA medical years ago so I only know how it feels and not much else.

    I think advisors are the key to getting the appeal won. Really talk honestly. Cry, shout, be deeply honest with him/her they're human at the end of the day.

    I know if I claimed PIP I wouldn't get. You're courageous to have gone through this. I know it sounds lame but praying to the powers that be could help. The government truly don't have all the power to break you. I've heard people committing suicide as ATOS denied them benefits. They're like plain clothed police officers at DWP.

    All I can do is wish you well, you deserve the best in life xx

  3. #3

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    Thanks for the reply.

    During my initial f2f interview I tried being honest and giving as much detail as I could to the interviewer but twisted that to say that showed I didn't have anxiety because I was calm enough to give and remember info about my struggles. I was really disheartened after that but was told the tribunal would be much more impartial. Then my tribunal went terribly. Even my adviser said she thought I had given enough evidence to get an award and that he felt I was treated poorly during the tribunal.

    Unfortunately arguing for an upper tribunal is probably going to be impossible because they're questioned my credibility and flat out said they believe I was making things up to get money. Without case law I've lost. That's why I was hoping to find some case law to help. Given that I have social anxiety I find it really difficult to speak to others, especially if I don't know them. The tribunal panel have obviously mistaken my anxiety symptoms (brain fog, stuttering, etc) as me lying and I was wondering if this had happened to others.

    Otherwise I'm going to have to go reapply and start from the beginning again. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go through it again but, to be honest, I was so angry after reading their statement of reasons that I am thinking about reapplying. The good this is, my adviser will help me through the whole process this time instead of just the tribunal. Still, I hope I can find some way to appeal to upper tribunal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    You are entitled. They are too greedy. Maybe advisor or even manager can write a letter and also get doctors letter? I hope for you to be safe and well and win this case.

  5. #5

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    Utterly dreadful but it doesnt suprise me in the i worked full time as an Estate Agent Manager for 15 years, then had to go part time as this was better than giving up on a business id built but of course half the pay too so applied for PIP and filled out a 40 page (no joke ) essay, went to two assessments where they were very opptomistic (even just 20 a week and thing to recognise the reason i can not work like i did.......but yep guess what ....."Nil Points" because i can feed and dress nothing wrong with me they say....Woooow....should have tried the physical pain route you get with this illness (heart, head preasure, bladder and IBS issues, ulcers through stress and non eating etc etc!!) Maybe they will acknowdge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    Maybe this website might be useful:
    All things are possible.

  7. #7

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    Thank you and thats very kind and true xxx

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    Talk with your MP mine is very good Though I don't claim anything.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Re: PIP Credibility Vs Anxiety

    You've got more chance of catching the bubonic plague than claiming PIP for anything other than a terminal illness, and even then they question it! Good luck though and keep your chin up x

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