PIP - OCD and washing and bathing
Just preparing a submission and hoped someone can give me some tactical guidance.
My client was previously on SR DL PIP awarded in 2017 scoring 11 points, upon review in Feb 2019 she was awarded zero points. Having met her for the first time a couple of weeks ago (at the Tribunal which was cancelled because the video technology wasn’t working!) I got her agreement to submit our written reasons for disputing the decision which I’m now doing.
(TBH I think she was lucky to score what she did the first time round for all the descriptors, some of which I don’t think applied, but I think she should have scored higher on others).
My query relates to washing. Her OCD means that she always baths and showers, ie one immediately followed by the other, 3 times a day minimum. She can take anything from 30 mins to at least 45 mins for this task. She has had to change her work patterns, starting at 10.00 rather than 9.00, because of the time involved, she can still miss the start time of 10.00. I want to argue that she takes at least as twice as long as the average for other people (she is not choosing to spend that time ‘relaxing’ in the bath but spends it trying to make herself feel clean), and I believe she would satisfy the timescale side of things.
Unfortunately she is quite clear that assistance/prompting from someone would not help, it would actually make things worse because she needs to be allowed to do things in her own way.
Looking at the washing descriptors, she does not seem to qualify on any of them. I was hoping I could argue that she would meet 4g, ie ‘cannot wash and bathe at all’, but the pesky last bit states that she would ‘need another person to wash their entire body’ which, in her case, doesn’t seem to apply. (She was given 2 points for prompting last time).
We seem to be OK going down that argument for dressing, as in 6f ‘cannot dress or undress at all’ because it doesn’t have the additional bit about needing someone else to help, and there is case law that covers this.
So, to get to the point eventually, would it be best just to leave the washing descriptor out on the basis that I don’t think she would score or to put it in with the forlorn hope that the Tribunal won’t notice!!
Without the washing points she might be OK with 4 points for meals, 8 points for dressing (if we’re lucky) and 2 points for budgeting so it’s not vital but it all depends on a following wind and crossed fingers for what the Tribunal accepts.
See link to case law below Helen