Non-motoring > Govt Help Line re PIP Miscellaneous
Thread Author: zippy Replies: 24

 Govt Help Line re PIP - zippy
Just off the phone to the PIP helpline.

Today I have been holding since 11:30ish, that 3.5 hours to try to speak to someone regarding a PIP claim for an unwell friend (awful hold music and thank goodness for speaker phones) who has been paying his National Insurance contributions for about 30 years!

Got through to someone who made out that she couldn't hear us and cut us off after about 10 seconds.

The reason for the call is that they have come back with so many questions in a letter that has already been answered and want more and more information - much of which has been answered already. This is after a different letter asking for another set of info so it seems that they ask a set of questions, which are answered, this prompts more questions but lose the first set of answers in the meantime!

Shocking service.

There should be a social contract - you pay your taxes, including VAT for those that don't earn enough for NI etc and you should be entitled to a decent service from the GOVt.
 Govt Help Line re PIP - Manatee
For some reason big orgs want to offer a phone service but not pay to do it properly.

I told Scottish Power to sue me yesterday, so that someone will listen to me when we get to court.

I must have gone through the whole story at least 10 times now.
 Govt Help Line re PIP - Bromptonaut
There are several excellent websites on the assessment process. You may also get help through a charity such as Age Concern or Mencap (depending on the condition involved).

Some areas of DWP have 'Adviser Only lines which charities can access.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Thu 1 Jul 21 at 17:28
 Govt Help Line re PIP - zippy
>> There are several excellent websites on the assessment process. You may also get help through
>> a charity such as Age Concern or Mencap (depending on the condition involved).
>>
>> Some areas of DWP have 'Adviser Only lines which charities can access.
>>

I took our friend to a local charity / support organisation yesterday for help with the PIP claim.

Absolutely superb service.

They basically re-wrote the claim running through lots of elements that we hadn't even thought of - but are true - like difficulty getting food, difficulty cooking, takes two hours to dress, can't get in to the bath for a shower etc. etc.

They also called the DWP to arrange an extension and cleared the re-asked questions.

I hadn't even thought of using a local charity so thanks for the idea Brompt!
 Govt Help Line re PIP - bathtub tom
>>Shocking service.

I've said before, there's an excellent BBC local radio advice service in my ballywick. Is there one in yours?
 Govt Help Line re PIP - Fenlander
The year before the pandemic I guided a very deserving relative through this process. What a nightmare. The paperwork was bad enough but the assessment interview was a farce.

It was held in rent by the day office space and interviews undertaken by some sort of contract company staff who might as well have been rent by the day too.

The application was refused with apparently about 80% of the factors they look at not meeting PIP requirements. However in their very detailed section by section rebuttal the interviewer had misrepresented what they'd been told as if their sole purpose was to deny the PIP and meet a target... frankly they lied.

There is a step before appeal called a reconsideration and we submitted this with polite but determined evidence the interviewer's skewed interpretations were so wrong and close to malicious.

A few weeks later a letter arrived saying we were correct and giving several thousand pounds backdated lump sum plus a full level monthly PIP going forward.

So OK we got there in the end but the whole experience was detrimental to the claimant and more importantly without the support of someone with time, research skills and a good admin ability the justified claim may never have succeeded.



 Govt Help Line re PIP - bathtub tom
Fifteen odd years ago, I was redundant. I had a review meeting by whatever the unemployment office was called at that time, each Friday at 16:45. It was a farce. I was always called late and the other staff would be closing and locking their drawers, before pulling on their coats. It was a brief 'box ticking' exercise.

I played the game and after nearly six months I was called for a review interview. I told them what I found and suggested I be signed off. I wasn't eligible for benefits after six months due to my other income.

Shortly after I found other employment!
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
So my unwell mate who has been working all his life up until this year is now on universal credit.

A stroke makes it difficult for him to speak and pick anything up.

I have been at his house since 8:45AM, UC had a booked to call him this morning at 11AM.

No call came. (The phone is charged and active. I have made a test call to it.)

I checked his online account and it says their call was not answered and several others had been missed. His number is listed correctly. There are no missed calls on his call log.

No call was received. I was with him all morning.

They are threatening to stop payments.

Been waiting on my phone for 45 minute now.

I'm not sure if it is incompetence or just a sneaky way to cancel payments.

 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
Has he had his first payment of UC?
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
Yes.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
OK so not eligible for Help to Claim:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/claiming/helptoclaim/

Has he had a Work Capability Assessment? - the process starts with form UC 50 about how your condition affects you and moves to a telephone or face to face assessment with a 'Health Care Professional'.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 6 Oct 21 at 13:20
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
Yes and he's been signed off as unfit to work, though only on appeal. Despite being almost unable to talk without it being drawn out and stuttering and grasp / hold objects the "professional" suggested that there would be some jobs available to him!

Went through on appeal and a PIP payment is being made, though this has not come through yet.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
The outcome of the 'professional' assessment does not surprise. I saw somebody a couple of years ago who had received a hear/lung transplant and had other issues too. She just about made it from disabled parking at the Civic Centre to the adjacent door and maybe 20 metres across the atrium to the office we used.

Apparently she could, bend stretch and touch her toes!!

So he's been assessed and found to have Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity?

Do you know why they needed to speak to him?
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
>>
>> Do you know why they needed to speak to him?
>>

They want to check what efforts he has made to find work!

They have done this a few times and it’s by appointment over the phone. I have always been there for the call to explain the situation but today the call never came through.

He has a current fit note saying he can’t work and that has been copied to them.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
I would argue that, based on his fit note, the Job Coach should give an easement so that although technically in the 'All Work' group and required to seek work he's not actually expected to do so.

After the Work Capability Assessment, provided he has been found to have at least Limited Capability for Work, he would be in the Work Preparation Group so any activity would be around improving his chances of finding employment.

CA link below explains the work activity groups:

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/what-youll-need-to-do-on-universal-credit/claimant-commitment-what-group/

If there's still an issue then consider approaching his Local Citizens Advice.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 6 Oct 21 at 16:05
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
Thanks Brompt!
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
Just to be clear did I understand correctly that the Work Capability Assessment was successfully appealed and that he's now been confirmed as having, at least, Limited Capability for Work?
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Wed 6 Oct 21 at 17:00
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
Yes. The appeal was successful but doesn't seem to have been processed by anyone at the DfWP.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Falkirk Bairn
I would get on to the "money problem page" of the Daily Telegraph.

A story published in the DT could see the problem resolved in a matter of days.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Manatee
Write to his MP. Seriously. That is appalling, but I suspect not that unusual.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
>> Write to his MP

The local MP is one who said the minimum wage should be reduced for some members of the community!

We have written and have received a standard thank you for your letter response.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bobby
Somewhat ironic suggesting that they should write to Tory Telegraph to complain about how Tory Britain treats its citizens.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
>> Yes. The appeal was successful but doesn't seem to have been processed by anyone at
>> the DfWP.

Did the appeal go to a Tribunal or were you one of the lucky few who succeed at the Mandatory Review stage?
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - Bromptonaut
The issue of how claimants who are ill but in the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process came up today on a professional forum.

Under the old legacy benefit system somebody claiming Employment Support Allowance and in the WCA system with a fit note would be exempted from work search requirements.

In UC they're notionally in what is called the 'All Work Group' - same conditionality as Job Seekers. A fit note can cover up to four weeks but easement after that is down to Work Coach Discretion.

Zippy's friend should be beyond that point now as he's won an appeal and 'passed' the WCA. Issue seems to be getting DWP to act on that. If, as per my question upthread, it was a Tribunal decision it might be worth a quick check with HMCTS to ensure (a) decision has been conveyed to DWP and (b) when.
 Govt Help Line / Universal Credit - zippy
Just been reading about BJ's free (he's apparently not paying) £25,000 per week holiday.

Seems fair that universal credit is £3,898.08 per annum!
Latest Forum Posts