UC50: where to put info that the questions don't specifically ask for — Scope | Disability forum
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UC50: where to put info that the questions don't specifically ask for

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Commanded2bwell
Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
Anyone who has claimed PIP will know the score: you try to answer the questions in a way that permits you to put in the information you need to put in, knowing that the questions are phrased to try to block you from doing that. It's a work of creative fiction, almost!

It's no different with UC50. I'm claiming for autism, but also for a couple of physical problems. One of those is severe heat intolerance (this is a thing). I've had it for years but no one has ever been able to treat it. It rules my daily life. I'm always too hot and suffering feelings of mental confusion and claustrophobia from it.

Anyone got any ideas on the best section in the UC50 form to put this into?

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  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,214 Scope online community team
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    Hi @Commanded2bwell.

    Personally I'd put my issues with heat (my engine runs hot all the time, so I struggle when it gets warm) in the 'about your disabilities' section, then referred back to it when needed with any of the other sections.  So, if it causes me issues with thinking properly, I'd mention it in section 12, as it could affect my judgment.  

    It's such a pain, so I totally get your frustration with the forms.
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
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    Hi Albus,

    Have you ever had any formal diagnosis of the heat problem? The closest I've had is hyperhydrosis, which is vague and describes a symptom, not the cause. Various doctors have suggested it's a dermatological problem, but it isn't. It's definitely internal.

    If I have to visit an office, I usually carry a small USB fan. I can't bear the idea of sitting there sweating like an endurance athlete, or an addict in withdrawal. Not a good look in those kind of environments.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,214 Scope online community team
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    Hiya @Commanded2bwell

    I've not had any formal diagnosis, as we've always just assumed it was my anxiety making me warmer than usual, one of my ways of dealing with anxiety was to always keep a hoodie, coat and hat on in public, so that really wasn't helping haha. 




    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,103 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hyperhidrosis is a condition, & it can be focal or generalised. Sometimes the cause is unknown, as in the idiopathic primary type, whereas the secondary type, as it's name implies, is due to an underlying condition.
    I think you should just describe how this affects you, even if it hasn't been put down to an underlying disorder; it can also be genetic in many with the primary type. If it doesn't seem to fit in with any of the descriptors, I'd just write about this under 'Other information.'
  • AtlasShoulders
    AtlasShoulders Community member Posts: 42 Connected
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    I would also recommend having a look at the What Do They Know website (link below). This is where Freedom of Information requests are made to obtain certain documents. You will find a selection of documents from Capita and IAS (who assess PIP on behalf of DWP) with guidance to their Health Professionals on how to assess certain conditions. It is quite helpful to understand their thinking/perspective and then tailor your responses accordingly.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/search/Autism requested_from:dwp/all
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,682 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm not an expert and this is just based on how I approach the form but I would say you might be focussing too much on what the issue is and not the impact of it. If it rules your daily life I imagine it would be relevant in most of the questions. 

    It would surely be dotted through every answer explaining how it impacts that. It may not get you points in every descriptor but acts as evidence as to how and why it impacts you and builds support for your whole claim. 

    Don't be afraid of repeating yourself.

    I struggle with heat a lot, my internal body temperature has always seemed screwed up (although I think mine is to do with sensory processing). But from my experience I'd say it impacts coping with change, going out, coping with social situations, eating and drinking, behaving approriately, awareness of hazards, starting and finishing tasks and it would be explained in various ways with different examples in each of them
  • Commanded2bwell
    Commanded2bwell Community member Posts: 79 Courageous
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    Thanks to all for the advice.

    Thanks chiarieds, I think I was letting my frustration with it colour my answer, there. The problem, I suppose, is less about the specificity of the diagnosis and more that there just doesn't seem to be any treatment for it. It just happens, and that makes it very frustrating.

    Thanks Bibioklept. I had only entered hyperhidrosis in one answer. I've now found numerous places where it applies!

    The only problem is that my attached pages is now at five, and looks likely to hit six or seven! And that's typed, font 11. All this despite my best efforts to be keep everything brief while still containing the information and context. I ended up attaching almost the same amount of material for my PIP claim, and I suspect that was one of the reasons I was initially rejected (some poorly trained private contractor took one look at the wall of text and thought "No way! I'm not paid enough for this.")

    I'm using the following basic format to structure my answers, which I found somewhere online:

    1 What condition or medication causes you problems with this task?
    2 How does your condition cause problems (regarding the specific question, eg. coping or going out)
    3 Does your condition/medication make everyday activities impossible for you, much more difficult or can you still manage?
    4 Can you give examples?
    5 How much of the time are you affected in this way?

    This helps break into answering the question when faced with the blank page, but doesn't help keep the answers short!

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