Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: Monic1511 on 09 Jan 2018 10:03AM

Title: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 09 Jan 2018 10:03AM
To meet the criteria for the disability element of tax credits you need to pass the disability test
I am too lazy to retype this so itís a photo attachment and hopefully you can read it
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 13 Jan 2018 05:13PM
 >thumbsup< >star<

I remember back in 2004 when I got the job in the call centre and finding out about tax credits, they really make a  big difference to self worth and quality of life. They also help pay our mortgage for our home which is wheelchair accessible.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 13 Jan 2018 07:43PM
Someone has been told this is one of 3 criteria they have to meet to retain the disability element of working tax credits but they're looking into it. They certainly didn't know the criteria for this point and they do meet this criteria so we'll see about the other 2 points being necessary or not. Of course if their tribunal date was soon they would automatically get it again as I'm sure they will win their tribunal. Their DLA was stopped last April though so they've been in deficit for months. 

Quick question, they've borrowed money from a relative monthly in order to eat/live which they intend to pay back once they win their tribunal. As the backdated amount may go over the savings allowance will this backdated sum lose them money as it's seen as income? By the time they've paid the relative back there won't be much left. But they'll also get backdated disability element of housing benefit which is good and will help. It will be good to get their rent covered again. The DWP doesn't seem to realise the devastation the loss of benefit and the appeal process causes. It should be illegal for it to take a whole year before you get to Tribunal,  it should be 6 months max. I don't have any relatives to borrow from so I dread to think where I'd be if this were me.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Big Muff on 13 Jan 2018 07:56PM
No the backdated payments will not be treated as income by the DWP or savings for a specified time = HMRC I would assume treat it as they would if it had been paid timeously .
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 13 Jan 2018 09:47PM
Backdated payments are ignored for 52 weeks, as for the length of time it takes to get to tribunal that depends on how many appeals are lodged and then taken to tribunal.  The tribunal service can only do so many appeals a day and welfare rights advisors can only represent if they have staff.  My own employer only accepts morning sessions and even then itís 2pm some days when you get away, there are 10 rooms in the venue and esa pip DLA appeals all need 3 panel members, JSA CSA housing and tax credit appeals all need 1 judge. So roughly 10 judges, 7 GPís 7medical members, 10 clerks, 3 security staff - around 40 staff, 10 reps, and 30 cases heard.  Itís a costly business!  On a bad day there will be 3 of our staff up at appeals so that 3 surgeries not covered.  I have 3 200 page files to read and prepare and thatís just one session. 

The appeals venue I am describing has at least 6 of the 10rooms open in the afternoon, and before someone suggests they have the afternoon off, nae chance, each case has to be written up, dwp contacted if decision was favourable or challenge to the judge put in if it wasnít favourable.  Itís another hours work minimum after an appeal for each case.

This is why you cannot rush appeals, if the dwp were clearer in what they were looking for and the specifics of the criteria for a benefit there would be less appeals.

Rant over - I am really just avoiding the bundle of appeal papers sitting in front of my but I need to read them soon  >devil<
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 23 Feb 2018 12:45PM
My friend finally has their tribunal date. They received the letter with the tribunal date in yesterday and that day was 364 days after receiving the DWP letter telling them they didn't qualify for PIP and turning down their claim. It's taken this long to go to reconsideration and then requesting a tribunal appeal. It's disgraceful. They've been borrowing money for a year already just to live. The tribunal date is the end of March but at least they finally have a date.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 23 Feb 2018 01:11PM
Just for a brief smile - you get an extra day on the disregard, because it's a calendar year of 365 days not 52x7 days; but watch out, it's still 365 days even if it's a leap year, so take care to declare that capital if you get asked about it on what seems to be exactly a year later if there's been a February 29 in between!
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 23 Feb 2018 07:28PM
Now they have their appeal date they can look at their submission and make sure that they cover all the points they want raised.

I do a written submission and only put it in front of the panel just before the appeal, the panel will want it 14 days before the date but if that's not practical you can go on the day and just read the submission to the panel if they wont accept a written copy.  We have to do this if there is a visually impaired member of the panel.

Once / If the panel makes an award DWP have 28 days to challenge it after that it should be another 2 weeks before they money goes to their account.  If DWP are going to challenge a decision they don't process the payments but if they accept the decision they just process the payment.

Good luck to them anyway
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 24 Feb 2018 03:32AM

A surprising thing happened yesterday the DWP phoned them and 'made and offer' of standard living which they would backdate to April 5th last year. My friend's husband who's the ill one just wants to accept the offer as he's really suffering with physical problems enhanced by all the stress of this and all the money they owe various people because they've had to borrow to live for a year now.

But my friend phoned her MP who suggested that they contact the DWP on Monday to ask whether they could receive the money from the offer but intend to continue to Tribunal as they know that her husband qualifies for enhanced for both living and mobility. Personally I'm wondering if they accept the standard living for now then that would be seen by the tribunal panel that they've agreed with that decision for standard care, whereas they're not agreeing that standard living is the correct award.

The MP's caseworker is accompanying them to the tribunal. He used to be a DWP decision maker and says that my friend's husband qualifies for enhanced in both living and mobility and that's the claim being made and he's set out the paperwork explaining the points he should be awarded for each element and describes the physical difficulties he has.

Before the change over from DLA he was receiving highest level care and lower mobility.

Basically years ago he was driving and was attacked while in his car by another driver in a road rage incident and was repeatedly hit over the head with a hammer leaving him brain injured. He is constantly dizzy and has vertigo all the time but every single day he blacks out and falls to the floor unconscious and because of this he cannot be left at all. Many days he's too debilitated by his condition to do anything. They have all the information on brain scans and all the neurological injuries and full info on the care he needs. My friend used to get carer's allowance for caring for him but of course everything stopped a year ago with the lack of any award for PIP by the DWP. 

My worry is if they accept the back dated money for standard living that then means they can't argue for enhanced living at tribunal as it might be seen that they've accepted the DWP's decision for standard on care. Funny that having waiting a whole year for this tribunal date that the DWP suddenly has 'an offer'!
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 24 Feb 2018 10:29AM
If they accept the offer then they cannot go to tribunal.  The tribunal must backdate to the decision date and in my opinion you go to tribunal, back later just a quick reply now
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 24 Feb 2018 02:02PM
Thanks, I've messaged her that. She's pretty low but I hope she manages to wait to their tribunal in March, they've waited a whole year for this date, they can't give up now.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 24 Feb 2018 07:53PM
OK Fiz
just a shot at a submission based on the very bare basics you have given me. 
We are asking the tribunal to overturn the decision dated 1/2/17 and consider an award of enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility.  we are asking the tribunal to consider the following descriptors:

We are asking the tribunal to consider the following descriptors based on the fact that the appellant has traumatic brain injury and cannot be left alone due to unpredictable blackouts.  He cannot complete any task safely repeatedly or reliably.

Daily Living Activities
1. Preparing food e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4
The appellant cannot concentrate enough to safely prepare a meal for himself - he loses track of the tasks he is trying to do and due to the unpredictable nature of his blackouts he is a danger to himself in the kitchen

2. Taking nutrition
b. Needs Ė
(i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or
(ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or
d. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. 4
Many people with brain injury forget to eat or if their co ordination is impaired cannot cut up food so there are points here,  also if he cannot control his movements he could burn himself with hot fluids

3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
 (ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition. 1
This one is simple as he needs supervision to monitor his blackouts

4. Washing and bathing
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe. 2
e. Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower. 3
Due to the blackouts he needs supervision when bathing - he may not be able to get in and out of a bath without help due to the vertigo

5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs. 2
If his co-ordination is poor this could be an issue either cleaning himself after a bowel movement or getting on and off the toiley

6. Dressing and undressing
 (ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing. 2
Does he need prompting to put on clean clothing and would he bother if his wife was not there, if he doesn't feel the cold does he go out in the snow in a tshirt?

7. Communicating verbally
c. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information. 4
Is his speech impaired and his can he chat or does he get his words mixed up

8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
c. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information. 2

This is a concentration thing - can he read a magazine or does he lose track of the article.

9. Engaging with other people face to face
c. Needs social support to be able to engage with other people. 4

The appellant no longer socialises with people as he finds it hard to cope with the conversations and will not speak to others unless forced to

10. Making budgeting decisions
b. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions. 2
He no longer handles any of the finances as he forgets to pay bills and finds it hard to keep track of spending, without support he would accrue substantial arrears.

I can easily see 19 points for daily living

Mobility Activities
1. Planning and following journeys
f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12
The appellant becomes lost if he goes out alone and as he has unpredictable blackouts he cannot go out alone.

PIP - Mobility
2. Moving around
b. Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided 4
c. Can stand and then move unaided more than 20
not sure how far he can walk
 possibly 16 points for mobility

That's just a quick glance at a submission.  Once the PIP appeal is decided you would then write to the carers and send in a LATE reconsideration against the decision to close his wife's Carers Allowance. 
Put in a new claim but ask for backdating to the date that the PIP was refused from.  The reasons for lateness are that you had to wait on the DWP and HMTS revising an incorrect decision in the first place. 

Now if they appeal is won they will get back all the PIP, they should get the carers allowance back as well so tell them not to give up and accept a shoddy illegal offer.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 25 Feb 2018 01:45PM
Thank you Monic. I will update you with any news.

Is it unusual or common for the DWP to turn down an application so no award given, to stand by that decision at the reconsideration stage and then suddenly change their minds with a tribunal pending and phone them up to make an offer? Nothing has changed since turning them down initially and at the reconsideration.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 25 Feb 2018 06:09PM
Itís not unusual but indicates that the dwp know that they have made a mistake and the tribunal judge may tear a strip off any dwp presenting officer who will have to defend their case. By offering standard rate care they are trying to avoid the judge giving them heel and trying to pacify a clearly ill claimant.  By not offering mobility they are trying to lessen their losses, it has nothing to do with doing the right thing.

Standard daily living letís the claimant get either sdp or carers allowance but if there is no mobility the dwp saves £58/week.

Yes tribunals are stressful but dwp are at it with this bullying tactic.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 25 Feb 2018 09:29PM
That's bloody awful, Monic  >steam< a long way off from when I joined the then Department of Social Security in 1999 and its mission statement was : 'To pay the right person the right benefit at the right time'.  Of course nothing was perfect in those days, but now it's like the DWP views the claimant as some kind of enemy  >erm<

All the best to your friend and her husband at the tribunal hearing, Fiz.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 26 Mar 2018 05:49AM
Bumping this up as my friend and her husband have their tribunal this morning. I will let you know how it goes later.

Their adult son has applied for PIP and he was awarded 0 points for care and 0 points for mobility. They're asking for a reconsideration and then would go to tribunal for him if that's not successful. Has it ever happened that someone has been successful at tribunal having been given 0 points for both care and mobility by the DWP? I'm thinking they're unlikely to be successful but I'm no expert.

In my view my friend's husband (so back to my first sentence, sorry for diverting to a different case in the middle) should be awarded enhanced mobility because of his regular black outs. I'm unsure about the care side as I don't ask personal questions. It's been a long 15 months since his DLA to PIP transfer and his PIP application awarded him nothing. On DLA he'd been on the highest level for both care and mobility on an indefinite award because he won't get better with his brain injury.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 26 Mar 2018 02:11PM
He was awarded enhanced mobility and standard care. They're very happy. The caseworker who accompanied them is contacting their local council to sort out the disability element of benefits etc . They've had to borrow a lot of money to live but the back payment of 15 months of PIP plus 15 months of carer's allowance is going to be a fair sum. I'm so pleased for them. The stress of this for them both has been immense. I cried happy tears for them when I heard. I felt 100% sure he'd be awarded enhanced mobility because he regularly has blackouts but I had less idea about any care award.

Very happy!  >bubbly<
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 26 Mar 2018 09:01PM
Hi Fiz
Good news and all the premiums will be backdated as well.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 28 Mar 2018 08:20PM
They received their letter from the court today and it said their award is for 10 years which is brilliant. Makes sense because the brain damage is a permanent thing. I hadn't realised PIP could be awarded for 10 years but I'm so pleased they know they won't have to go through all this anytime soon.

They're making an official complaint about the nurse assessor. They know of others assessed by her, also incorrectly and not just slightly incorrectly so they're putting together a file to send to both the GMC and the government with evidence of the stress and mental ill health it has caused many people.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Monic1511 on 28 Mar 2018 09:30PM
Iím glad they are complaining about the nurse as these folk need to be stopped or drastically retrained.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: neurochick on 28 Mar 2018 10:07PM
My PIP award was made for a minimum of 10 years too so its certainly possible.  It may well be for even longer than that because the letters actually say that you won't be re-assessed prior to [X] date.  In my case the date given was 10 years from the decision meaning that the award is for a minimum of 10 years but it could be for longer if they choose not to re-assess me at that date.
Title: Re: Working Tax Credits disability element criteria
Post by: Fiz on 29 Mar 2018 06:45AM
That's really good neuro, I'll ask them if the wording of their letter was the same or similar. That would encourage them though I know they're already chuffed with a 10 year award.