Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cystic Fibrosis – Part 2: Transfer from DLA to PIP 6

Update on my fight against DWP's decision on my PIP application:

Today I received by post a copy of the Consultation Report Form (PA4).

Immediately I telephoned my Social Worker and made an appointment for us to go through the report together with the intention of building a case towards my appeal.

It is very clear from how the report has been carefully written by DWP that they are focusing on how my CF affected me during my 1 hour interview and at present.

DWP has disregarded how CF affects me on a daily basis according to what I stated in my application, which was supported by clinic letters.

The interviewer (Ms Rachel Ford - a nurse since 1991) has omitted from her report details I gave about how CF affects my day to day living.

DWP has included activities they believe to be relevant. For example they included being able to answer the door as a social activity whereby I'm interacting with people face to face on a regular basis.

Social interaction I have done in the past include:
  • dog walking daily with my partner,
  • attending a film making group once a week,
  • and visiting my friends on a regular basis.
However as a result of a serious illness I had in 2009, my social interactions stopped in fear of exposure to illness.

I have made attempts to kick-start these again, but my motivation hasn't been strong enough to do this.

I know I go the gym to maintain my lung function, but I don't go there with a friend and very rarely interact with anyone. I simply do my routine and then go home again where I feel safe away from infection.

In my application and at the interview I stated how I don’t prepare or cook meals anymore and often need prompting or assistance to cook a simple meal.

DWP writes about how I am able to attend the gym. I am yet to find a link between the gym and being able to prepare or cook a simple meal?

In my application and at the assessment I stated how I have difficulty with managing medication. However DWP has decided I have no issues with managing medication based on my knowledge of what I take, why I take it and what time I should take it.

Although I know what my medication does and what times I should take it, this doesn’t mean I am able to manage my treatment. There have often been occasions I missed medication. I have assistance to manage medication and a lot of supervision via regular hospital visits to monitor my health condition. All in all this can take more than 3.5 hours a week.

In the report, the interviewer suggested I can walk more than 200 meters based on witnessing me walk only 12 meters.

What I have described so far is a small sample of where the interviewer and DWP have failed in their knowledge of how CF affects a person on a daily basis based on a claim form and a 1 hour interview.

DWP have even stated that the presence the functional restrictions brought on by CF on a day to day basis doesn’t exist.

The next step is I am having a meeting with my Social Worker tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, 13 April 2017) to plan what will be included in the letter of appeal.

My DLA officially comes to an end on Sunday, 16 April 2017.

I am hoping once I have been successful with my appeal I get a back payment of what I am rightly entitled to.