October 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm #75696Using facebook? No PIP for you…
A shocked welfare rights worker, posting on Rightsnet, has revealed how his client had their personal independence payment (PIP) appeal refused because of the amount of time the claimant allegedly spent on Facebook.
Accused of lying
The claimant had appealed to a first-tier tribunal about the decision on their PIP claim and attended an oral hearing with a representative.
Whilst considering their mental health, the claimant was asked by the panel whether they ever used Facebook. The claimant replied that they did so ‘now and again’.
After all the evidence had been taken, the claimant and their representative returned to the waiting room while the tribunal made their facebook logodeliberations.
However, when they were called back before the panel to hear the decision, the claimant was accused of lying to the tribunal. The medical panel member had the claimant’s Facebook page open on their smartphone and was reading from it, clearly taking the view that the number of posts was too frequent to be regarded as ‘now and again’.
Because the evidence gathering phase of the appeal had ended, the claimant was not allowed to respond, they could only listen to the decision of the tribunal in shocked silence.
Thus they were given no opportunity to challenge the accusation that they were lying or to explain that their partner also used their Facebook page.
Instead, they must now go through the lengthy process of asking for a statement of reasons from the tribunal judge – which can take many weeks or months to be provided – before asking for the decision to be set aside or appealing to the upper tribunal.
Breach of natural justice
There is a very strong probability that the decision will be overturned because it is such a flagrant breach of natural justice: the decision was based on evidence acquired by the panel itself from elsewhere and the claimant was given no opportunity to comment on it.
But, as well as leaving a big question mark over the quality of training for tribunal members, this episode also raises the possibility that claimants’ use of social media may in the future be used as evidence when making decisions on benefits entitlement.
If all the facts are collected and the claimant is given the opportunity to comment on them, this may just be another indignity that claimants are expected to learn to live with. Either that or claimants will need to make sure that their online life is kept as private as possible.
But if decisions are made based on partial evidence and wrong assumptions, as in this case, it will simply lead to more unfairness and injustice for sick and disabled people.weebleParticipantPosts: 44Joined: 23/09/2010October 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm #97030Re: Using facebook? No PIP for you…
Nothing surprises me anymore!
They ‘Big Bruvva’ DWP been using social media to soy on us since its invention.
My assessor raised bis eyebrows when I told him that I went to Vfest even though I had helpers, used a mobility scooter and stayed in the disabled access area, i’m sure that it went against me!
They’re probably spying on us right now!
Sooooo……. TWO MASSIVE FINGERS TO YOU DWP!!!ShellybearParticipantPosts: 364Joined: 09/12/2010October 21, 2015 at 9:41 am #97031Re: Using facebook? No PIP for you…
I’ll second that. I think they may have already established from a few of my posts that I’m not a fan.
Just another reason to despise them & reinforce my loathing of fiendbook too. For some though, it’s a genuinely useful way of staying in touch & now your usage is monitored ?! For the wrong reasons. It beggars belief. Are we expected to just sit in a dimly lit room, no heating cos we can’t afford it & stare at a wall ?
If only the DWP put as much effort into supporting people as they did trying to catch them out & avoid paying what’s due. Just imagine…
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former selfI, Disabled BlokeParticipantPosts: 540Joined: 29/10/2010October 22, 2015 at 9:43 pm #97033Re: Using facebook? No PIP for you…
The sad thing is this person was suffering from mental issues or depression (not sure exactly) but surely interaction with others is needed as a road to healing the problem. Just heartless.weebleParticipantPosts: 44Joined: 23/09/2010December 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm #119462Reply To: Using facebook? No PIP for you…
Isnt it enough that we are often trapped in our own homes, unable to get out and keep in contact with our family and friends. Also there are support groups on facebook. I have found so much useful information from a wheel chair users group on there as well as a disability travel group.
Im being assessed for the third time this year on Friday by capita and once again getting all stressed about it.
Despite letters from medical professionals that I have a degenerative disease that will probably kill me, they still insist on coming out to ask if I can touch my toes or reach my arm in the air. It really is disgusting and humiliating.7rainbowsParticipantPosts: 23Joined: 15/02/2015December 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm #119464Reply To: Using facebook? No PIP for you…
Hi 7rainbow, you are right. It can be humiliating and degrading with these assessments and reassessments as we are forced to face, state and recognise all our failings.
I'm always the animal, my body's the cage
I blog about nothingness www.amgroves.comAMParticipantPosts: 4,751Joined: 05/03/2015
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