Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber), December 01, 2016, [2016] UKUT 540 (AAC)

Resolution Date:December 01, 2016
Issuing Organization:Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
Actores:MW v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP) (Personal independence payment : General)
 
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MW v SSWP (PIP)

[2016] UKUT 0540 (AAC)

1

CPIP/1423/2016

IN THE UPPER TRIBUNAL Case No. CPIP/1423/2016

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS CHAMBER

Before M R Hemingway: Judge of the Upper Tribunal

Decision: The decision of the First-tier Tribunal made at Stockport on 25

February 2016 under reference SC944/15/01496 did not involve the

making of an error of law and shall stand.

REASONS FOR DECISION

  1. The claimant, as was accepted by the First-tier Tribunal (hereinafter ``the tribunal'') suffers from medical conditions which include fibromyalgia, asthma, depression, hypertension, back pain and haemochromatosis. She had previously been in receipt of the higher rate of the mobility component and the middle rate of the care component of disability living allowance (``DLA''). On 26 June 2015, seemingly largely on the basis of information provided in a report compiled by a health professional of 11 June 2015, the Secretary of State decided that payment of DLA would cease on 21 July 2015 but that from 22 July 2015 the claimant would be entitled to the standard rate of thedaily living component of personal independence payment (``PIP'') for an ongoing period. It was also decided, though, that there was no entitlement to the mobility component of PIP.

  2. The claimant sought a mandatory reconsideration of the above decision and on 15 October 2015 the Secretary of State, whilst confirming all other aspects of the original decision, also decided that there was entitlement to the standard rate of the mobility component of PIP from 22 July 2015 for an ongoing period. So, that was to run in tandem with the award of the daily living component. The claimant, though, was not content with that award and appealed to the tribunal aided by her representative from an organisation well versed in providing advice and representation within the welfare rights field. Her representative sent some written material to the tribunal in advance of the hearing and asserted, therein, that sufficient points ought to be scored in order to ground entitlement to the enhanced rates of both components. The tribunal held an oral hearing which was attended by the claimant and her representative. However, it found against her to the extent that not only did it decide she was not entitled to the two enhanced rates which she had sought but that she was not entitled to the standard rate of either component either. More specifically, with respect to daily living it said she scored only 7 points and with respect to mobility only 4.

  3. The tribunal clearly and rightly appreciated that in the circumstances it was necessary to say something by way of explanation as to why it was deciding there was no entitlement at all given that the Secretary of State had considered that there was. It did so in its statement of reasons for decision (``statement of reasons''). It made the point that it had warned the claimant that such was a possible outcome and that she had decided, nonetheless, to proceed. As to that, it said this;

    ``15. Prior to the hearing, at 2.45pm, the tribunal invited [the claimant's representative] to spend some time with [the claimant] to make her aware that the Tribunal would be considering the entirety of her award, including the points already awarded and the decision to be awarded the standard rate of both daily living and mobility components. [The representative] confirmed that he had already commenced discussion with [the claimant] regarding this.

  4. [The claimant] came into the Tribunal at 3pm, pushing a wheeled frame and holding a walking stick in her right hand. [The representative] confirmed that [the claimant] fully understood that the tribunal were considering the entirety of her award. The Tribunal reiterated again to [the claimant] that the Tribunal could decide to keep the award the same, could reduce it, or could reduce the award. [The claimant] confirmed herself that she understood the potential implications for continuing with her appeal.

  5. The Tribunal were therefore entirely satisfied that [the claimant] was aware of the potential consequences for her existing awards if she proceeded with her appeal.''

  6. Pausing there, at paragraph 16 the tribunal had twice said it had...

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