Another newbie...and another PIP experience tale. — Scope | Disability forum
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Another newbie...and another PIP experience tale.

CAPSLOCK
CAPSLOCK Community member Posts: 3 Listener
edited January 15 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Firstly, hello and Happy New Year to all.
I'm glad to find this site, and the vast amount of information it contains. I was finally diagnosed with MS early last year, after having very strong symptoms for a long time. After the diagnosis, and an almost three week emergency admission stay in hospital, I had to wait almost seven months to begin any sort of treatment (Ocrevus). I applied for PIP four months after my release from hospital, which I was subsequently turned down for. Despite including a lot of medical evidence, my report came back that my neurological health was fine - I have parietal white matter lesions and other lesions from MS which have affected me greatly in many ways. The whole thing was like a work of fiction: quite how the assessor interpreted my replies and inferred things from other replies was quite incredible. I was granted LCWRA and Universal credit, but seemingly I'm not ill enough for PIP, despite sleeping 16 hours a day and having severe tremors and other issues. I had to stop working a year ago, despite not wanting to. I'm now in massive debt, had to scrap my car because I cannot afford to keep it, and have literally lost the lot.

Having had further advice, I applied again but this time with a very large amount of medical and professional evidence, including an OT report stating the equipment I need (and now have) at home, and that I should move to a ground floor property on one level. A letter from the MS dept coordinator at my hospital was also included. I didn't apply for mandatory reconsideration because of being unable to get reports and letters in time - due to staff shortages. My MS nurse was off sick for many months, and I didn't know who to contact or what to do. The delays and lack of response (and treatment) undoubtedly went against me. Now I am being treated and have some useful support, yet my second, very pushy and terse assessment phone interview made me feel like I was making it all up. Forty years of military and public service employment, yet I'm a a liar. How can I get medical evidence when nobody responds for weeks and I am left high and dry?

The question I have is this: can I get a copy of the phone assessment I had last week prior to my decision letter?

Thanks for reading , and any advice on getting a copy of the assessor's report from the DWP will be appreciated.

Comments

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,313 Scope online community team
    edited January 15
    Hi @CAPSLOCK, welcome to the community. For some reason your post was caught in a filter of ours but I approved it :) sorry about that if it was confusing!

    I've also struggled financially with my Crohn's and ADHD, I've also been rejected for PIP once and am going through it again now!

    You can request a copy of the assessment report from the DWP as soon as they mention that they've received it, you can do this over the phone by calling PIP. Some people recommend against it as it can often just increase the anxiety and worry, but I understand wanting to read it to have some idea of what the decision may be.

    No matter the decision, there are appeal processes still! 

    I see you mention military service, have you tried contacting groups such as the Veteran's Gateway for support? I am not familiar with exactly what they offer but a brief view of their front page it seems they have a range of support options.


    I'm just going to move this into our PIP section, we've quite a few members who are very knowledgeable about all the PIP processes :) 
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • CAPSLOCK
    CAPSLOCK Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you for your reply and advice - much appreciated.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,863 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @CAPSLOCK - welcome to the community from me also, & a Happy New Year to you too :)
    First I'd like to say that some people feel they've had a terrible assessment, & get a good decision, as well as vice versa!
    Second, if a claimant doesn't get the decision they hoped for, then an assessor's report can prove an awful distraction. You would be appealing the decision letter, not the assessor's report, which is only a recommendation after all. Decision makers do tend to go with the assessor's report, if needed, but not always.
    Lastly, which may surprise you, over 50% of claimants who submit no medical evidence whatsoever are actually awarded PIP. It is your own anecdotal evidence that is the most important overall.
    I'm ever so sorry about your experience previously with PIP, & respect your military service, thank you. Please kindly let us all know how you get on, &, if needed, we'll be there to help in whatever way we can.

  • CAPSLOCK
    CAPSLOCK Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    edited January 17
    Thanks @Chiarieds, I'll try to be optimistic, but I'm really not. The answers to the type of questions (and tone) in the assessment are very open to inferences in relation to other questions. I will be surprised if I'm assessed as getting anything whatsoever, but I'll post on here the decision when I get it. I gave anecdotal evidence and examples, but my companion listening in noticed the assessor then asked questions specific to my answers, which were designed to undermine them. Is speaking with the CPN (last time was beginning of December) and having prescription anti-depressants counted as 'under treatment'? Is having a daily visit to ensure I take medication 'prompting'? 
    Trying to get a consultant to write a report is almost impossible, so I had letters from Occupational Therapy and the coordinator at the MS clinic I attend. The disease modifying therapy I have is six-monthly, not weekly. Am I 'under treatment'?

     I want to look at the assessors report so I can have help to prepare for a tribunal if necessary. In the opinion of my companion listening in to the call to support me, I think I'll need to.

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