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DLA evidence

 

Elliot Kent
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I am starting to see DLA-PIP appeal bundles containing the following template submission (emphasis added):

X was given the opportunity on [date of claim], as part of the reassessment claim process, to identify and bring forward any medical evidence used to support his award of DLA. X didn’t ask for any DLA medical evidence to be used in support of their PIP claim.

It is interesting that the proposition seems to be that the claimant needs to identify, locate and provide the evidence rather than the DWP checking their own records. Note the subtle variation from what the Upper Tribunal was told in GD v SSWP (PIP) [2017] UKUT 415 (AAC) which was:

PIP Reassessment Claimants are asked at outset if they want the DWP to include their DLA medical evidence when considering the PIP claim.

      [ Edited: 10 Jul 2018 at 04:30 pm by Elliot Kent ]
Mike Hughes
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Will keep an eye out for that. I now routinely advise conversion cases to

- think carefully as to whether they do want DLA stuff included when asked the question.
- understand that they ought to routinely be asked the question and so should query it if they’re not.
- remind DWP that a PIP 1 should come out before a PIP 2.

At tribunal hearings it’s useful to point all the above out and to remind DWP of the public law principle that you use what you have. You don’t seek a view as to whether the claimant thinks you should.

     
benefitsadviser
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We get to them too late for that unfortunately. Damage already done.

I am having a load of DLA -> PIP appeals postponed due to departments failure to provide original DLA stuff or a full submission justifying how they can regard people as no longer being disabled.

I still don’t know how clients are supposed to supply DLA evidence. Most haven’t a clue WHY DLA was awarded in the first place, never mind storing “evidence”

     
Elliot Kent
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benefitsadviser - 10 July 2018 04:01 PM

I am having a load of DLA -> PIP appeals postponed due to departments failure to provide original DLA stuff

I’m in the same region as you I think and have also noticed large numbers of directions requiring the production of the DLA papers.

As it happens, I’ve just had one turn up on my desk in the case which prompted this thread.

 

     
Billy Durrant
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Do you know how long DWP keeps DLA medical evidence? I suspect not that long due to its usual absence from any material provided under SAR

     
ClairemHodgson
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Billy Durrant - 10 July 2018 06:06 PM

Do you know how long DWP keeps DLA medical evidence? I suspect not that long due to its usual absence from any material provided under SAR

their retention policy is online

whilst i can of course, as can anyone, understand why they want to archive off where they can given the volume of records they have to store, i think their archive/destruction policy is seriously shortsighted - they can’t possibly know that some bit of info they hold/medical report they had done won’t be relevant for some future decision on some benefit recipients claim ...

 

     
Elliot Kent
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Billy Durrant - 10 July 2018 06:06 PM

Do you know how long DWP keeps DLA medical evidence? I suspect not that long due to its usual absence from any material provided under SAR

The GD case cited above quotes the DWP as saying:

5. The Secretary of State has also provided the following answers to my questions:

“a. PIP Reassessment Claimants are asked at outset if they want the DWP to include their DLA medical evidence when considering the PIP claim. Where DLA medical evidence is used, then that evidence will be attached to the claimants PIP file and marked as supporting that PIP decision. This will be kept for at least 2 years if the PIP decision was a disallowance. Or longer if the decision was an award. If there has been no request from the claimant to use their DLA medical evidence for their PIP claim then the old DLA evidence will be destroyed 14 months after the DLA decision has terminated. The PIP retention period is 24 months if the evidence is no longer classified as supporting. Once the DLA evidence has been included as part of the PIP claim it will have the same retention as any other PIP supporting document.

b. There is a departmental policy regarding document and data retention. However, benefits decide what fits their circumstances as documents can be retained for longer/shorter if there is a valid business need e.g. DLA is roughly 14 months for documents but PIP is 24 months due to the potential linking provision of Regulation 15 of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013, but is consistent within each benefit.

c. Please refer to answer a. Normally the DLA File is destroyed 14 months after it ceases to support an existing award. This period starts from 7 months after termination of award. The computer record will keep for 7 months and then close. The paper file will then be destroyed 14 months after that. However if any of that DLA evidence has been considered within the PIP claim then that evidence will support the PIP decision and it will be kept for as long as the PIP decision is current and 2 years after the PIP is no longer current.

d. If the DLA medical evidence has been used to consider the PIP claim then this will be include in the evidence bundle sent to the tribunal.”

I don’t think that policy describes the reality in every case though. Sometimes what you get seems kind of arbitrary. I recently got sent a file containing two mid 90s claim/renewal packs, one decision pro forma from about 1998 and a GP factual report predating all of the other documents by about five years. All of these documents are corrupted almost to the point of being unreadable and, in retrospect, it was probably not worth waiting four months for the DWP to pull them out of archive.

     
Hattie S
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Does this mean that the DWP and the tribunals will definitely consider and give weight to evidence that might be a few years old? My understanding has always been that it was basically pointless to provide any medical documents that were more than about 6 months old as it wouldn’t be considered up to date enough. One of my big problems with a lot of my clients is that a lot of them are long term sick or disabled so they don’t have up to date medical documents. If this is confirmation that older evidence is considered appropriate that would be very helpful to us…

     
Oldestrocker
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X was given the opportunity on [date of claim], as part of the reassessment claim process, to identify and bring forward any medical evidence used to support his award of DLA. X didn’t ask for any DLA medical evidence to be used in support of their PIP claim.


I would be very interested in seeing a copy of the script used during the telephone call to start the transition off.

From memory the script I saw a few years ago made no mention of the DLA file being used. The only time such an offer is mentioned is when the DWP decide to offer a PIP1 to the claimant

 

     
Oldestrocker
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Hattie S - 12 July 2018 03:43 PM

Does this mean that the DWP and the tribunals will definitely consider and give weight to evidence that might be a few years old? My understanding has always been that it was basically pointless to provide any medical documents that were more than about 6 months old as it wouldn’t be considered up to date enough. One of my big problems with a lot of my clients is that a lot of them are long term sick or disabled so they don’t have up to date medical documents. If this is confirmation that older evidence is considered appropriate that would be very helpful to us…


I have given up with the DWP on that score. They put out the info on the PIP2 saying that over 2 years is too old, then they accept that they are willing to look at anything no matter how old. From my point of view I simply ignore what the DWP say or want - all evidence of any age must be submitted but only if it is still relevant.

     
Vonny
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Oldestrocker - 12 July 2018 06:17 PM

X was given the opportunity on [date of claim], as part of the reassessment claim process, to identify and bring forward any medical evidence used to support his award of DLA. X didn’t ask for any DLA medical evidence to be used in support of their PIP claim.


I would be very interested in seeing a copy of the script used during the telephone call to start the transition off.

From memory the script I saw a few years ago made no mention of the DLA file being used. The only time such an offer is mentioned is when the DWP decide to offer a PIP1 to the claimant

See page 18 of the current sample PIP1
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/713113/pip1-claim-form.pdf

 

     
Billy Durrant
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Elliot Kent - 10 July 2018 05:25 PM
benefitsadviser - 10 July 2018 04:01 PM

I am having a load of DLA -> PIP appeals postponed due to departments failure to provide original DLA stuff

I’m in the same region as you I think and have also noticed large numbers of directions requiring the production of the DLA papers.

As it happens, I’ve just had one turn up on my desk in the case which prompted this thread.

 

At tribunal yesterday(West Yorks) with a claimant who previously received DLA HRM and awarded just 4 points for PIP Mob. Judge began hearing by asking if I wanted hearing adjourned for production of DLA evidence (I didn’t as we didn’t need it). After decision made restoring HRM the judge preceded to lecture the PO on importance of producing DLA evidence in cases where HRM previously awarded but nothing under PIP and asked him to feed it back to the powers that be.

     
ClairemHodgson
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currently got a case (also west yorks) to reinstate client’s mobility.  DWP submissions included loads of mobility papers back to when it was first introduced (i.e., ,before DLA, even), very useful when doing my submissions…..

mind, getting a date for hearing would be good

     
Billy Durrant
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ClairemHodgson - 19 July 2018 06:47 PM

currently got a case (also west yorks)...

... getting a date for hearing would be good

13 months and rising from submission of SSCS1 in my experience

     
Mike Hughes
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Billy Durrant - 19 July 2018 09:08 PM
ClairemHodgson - 19 July 2018 06:47 PM

currently got a case (also west yorks)...

... getting a date for hearing would be good

13 months and rising from submission of SSCS1 in my experience

Varies by area but I’m unaware of anywhere it would currently be described as acceptable.