I finally have a date for the tribunal to appeal the decision on my application for Personal Independence Payment 👀 (1st February). The stakes are high. Success would mean:
- I would be eligible for a higher rate of housing allowance from the council which would mean that Launchpad could house me in my own place.
- I would receive extra monthly benefits income from PIP.
- The benefits payments would be backdated to the start of my application (October 2020). It could be £1000-2000.
Losing the tribunal would mean starting again with a new application. Launchpad had suggested they could help me with a new application once I’ve been housed by them (and they were much more confident in success, even without needing to appeal the decision). Being housed by Launchpad is going to take some time since I have to specifically wait for a ground floor room in a shared house to be available, which isn’t as common as a ground floor flat…hence the need for PIP and recognition of my mobility needs.
This letter with the tribunal date also states that they are now being done over the phone in response to Coronavirus 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️. I can just picture it. Phone in the middle of the table with the benefits advisor, clumsy back-and-forths and interrupted explanations and missed points. It’s gunna be fucked. On the other hand I won’t face the discrimination I’d definitely receive in person from my physical appearance of perfect health. I’ll still receive discrimination from my ability to articulate though. They hate the fact I have a physics degree. They just can’t compute. There’s no way I’m a ‘victim’ in their eyes. But man, I can’t see how a tribunal could at all be effective over the phone. It’s not even a video call. Just over the phone.
I’ve got to laugh at the anti-climatic end to this endless application process. The appeals, chasing up missed letters, printing and scanning of documents. You have it all stacked against you from the start. Incidentally I’ve had no issues receiving letters from the independent tribunals service. It was only PIP which was deliberately failing to send me decision letters on three separate occasions. It is a known tactic that they use to make the process as difficult as possible, and they stepped this up last year because of the increase in applications since Covid.