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To Appeal or Not?

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cossamaximus
cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener

Okay, thanks for coming to my post. Hope you are all well?

This is long, youve been warned    :p

I have recently had an assessment, and two days later I called up the DWP and requested a copy of the assessors report, which I now have in my possession.

I am aware that the assessors report is guide for the decision maker to use as they deem suitable, however, with only being provisionally scored (on the report at least)

8 for living, and 10 for mobility.

I fear, with regards to the living entitlement being a border line standard rate score of 8, I could even end up getting nothing if the decision maker so chooses to knock me down elsewhere…and, for mobility I strongly believe I should have been scored higher.

I believe I am in this position because the assessor based two of her suggested scores on information she choose to omit from her reasoning, even though the true reasons were discussed during our telephone assessment. Which, to note, I did record and have since transcribed.

 

For the most part the report is relatively accurate; however, the assessor has taken focus upon my anxiety and depression and has used them as reasons to not score me any points in two activities.

She did this by justifying the lack of medication and or professional intervention, and infrequent GP visits when focusing on the anxiety and depression, and she stated my social and occupational history was showing motivation, (by this I don't know what she meant), and thus the above negates the need for prompting, and therefore prompting can be disregarded for activities 3, 11 etc, etc, and thus was marked 0 on activities 3, Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, and 11, Planning and following journeys.

The issue I have with her reasoning is that she solely focused on my anxiety and depression even though the reasons I gave were in relation to how my main condition, fibromyalgia was affecting me and caused me the need for prompting.

So, as many of you know fibromyalgia can cause memory issues like brain-fog and forgetfulness, which for me anyway is rather prevalent as I am forever forgetting things. Not to mention being exhausted all the time, and sleeping a lot can make you miss things, and become forgetful.

So, to mark me as zero on activity 3, managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, seems deliberate, especially since she didn't use any of the information given with regards to my fibromyalgia and how because of my forgetfulness my partner manages and monitors my medication for me, completely ignoring the multiple times I stated we use a pill box too (which is an aid, and scores me 2 point.) Not to mention my partner sets multiple daily alarms both on my mobile phone and our Alexa devices to prompt me to take these medications as she isnt always around to prompt me herself.

The main reasons this is required is because my fibromyalgia causes me to be forgetful, couple this with exhaustion, and sudden bouts of overwhelming fatigue I am often falling asleep during the day, often missing my medication window. All of this was explained to the assessor, yet for some reason she focused on my secondary conditions, using them against me to mark me a 0. 

I believe I should be scored as so…

3b (2 Points).   

Needs either –

(i)                      to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or

(ii)                    supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition.

Activity 11, Planning and following journeys, is a little bit more complicated, the assessor still focused on my anxiety and depression however, rather than my fibromyalgia and how that was affecting my ability to undertake a journey unprompted.

For the same reasons stated above, falling asleep due to fatigue and exhaustion, brain-fog causing forgetfulness etc, my partner has to prompt me both in person and via alarms she sets for me in order for me to leave the property and undertake any journey. This is a necessity that I cannot be without, because without these prompts, I would have a repeat episode of forgetting to undertake a journey, much like when I completely forgot to collect the kids from school, and my partner called me, nearly an hour later than the time I should have left to tell me the school had rang asking if everything was ok, asking if I was still going to collect the kids? This phone call and the sudden realisation of my forgetfulness resulted in me becoming overwhelmingly panicked, stressed and feeling guilty, but due to my lack of mobility, I also felt rushed, and this just amplified all my emotions, making me feel extremely sick. Then add all that on top of my fibromyalgia induced pains and I was simply unable to drive, and thus refused to go, resulting in my partner having to pay for a taxi to bring the kids home, which she could ill afford. It was because of this event that being prompted became a necessity for me, in order for me to be allowed enough time to safely leave the house and undertake a journey without becoming overwhelmingly distressed. It is essential for me to be able to deal with my symptoms while driving, like pain and fatigue, so to avoid becoming overwhelmed by psychological distress is very important, otherwise undertaking a journey wouldn’t be safe.

I believe I should have been scored as so…

11b. (2 points)

               Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.

I just fear that when the decision is made and I know this deep down, that it is either going to be exactly the same as the assessors suggested points or lower, as I do believe it is extremely unlikely for the DWP decision maker to mark up an assessors report.

SO? Do I appeal or not when the decision is made? Or be satisfied with potentially being awarded standard living and mobility.

 

Thanks for soldiering through.

Tim


Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Activity 3 managing and monitoring a health condition, you have the descriptor points incorrect.  for needing prompting or using an aid to take medication it's 1 point and not 2 points, which is 3b. See descriptors here. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf
    Activity 3c is 2 points but this only applies to therapy and not medication. 

    May I ask if you have mental health conditions as well as fibromyalgia? 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    Activity 3 managing and monitoring a health condition, you have the descriptor points incorrect.  for needing prompting or using an aid to take medication it's 1 point and not 2 points, which is 3b. See descriptors here. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf
    Activity 3c is 2 points but this only applies to therapy and not medication. 

    May I ask if you have mental health conditions as well as fibromyalgia? 
    Anxiety and depression. 
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    Activity 3 managing and monitoring a health condition, you have the descriptor points incorrect.  for needing prompting or using an aid to take medication it's 1 point and not 2 points, which is 3b. See descriptors here. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf
    Activity 3c is 2 points but this only applies to therapy and not medication. 

    May I ask if you have mental health conditions as well as fibromyalgia? 
    Also, regarding 3b, I forgot to double check, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    11b is 4 points, not 2 points. I'm not convinced that it would be possible to score 4 points with the information you gave here. Once a decision is made if you're not happy then I'd advise you to get some expert advice from an agency near you.

    In the mean time I'd advise you to have a read of this. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    11b is 4 points, not 2 points. I'm not convinced that it would be possible to score 4 points with the information you gave here. Once a decision is made if you're not happy then I'd advise you to get some expert advice from an agency near you.

    In the mean time I'd advise you to have a read of this. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria
    I don't think I am complelty with it to be honest, I have 4pts written down here, yet still wrote 2pts on this post, thanks again for correcting me. I will have a ready of the infoamtion you linked me to. 
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    I have about another 13 weeks or so before I get the DWP's decision. Still then its stress, stress, stress...I literally cannot help it.

    For the last 12 months or so, all I have been doing is being passed from pillar to post on the journey to being diagnoised with fibro, I just havent been focused on the anxiety as such, just the pain, and now my GP and I are going through testing medication for the Fibro, until that is resolved we wont be looking further into my anxiety as the meds for fibro are often used to treat other things too, one step at a time and all that, but the assessors don't think like that, if anxiety meds are too low, or your not seeing a shrink, then it isnt bad enough!
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    I have about another 13 weeks or so before I get the DWP's decision. Still then its stress, stress, stress...I literally cannot help it.

    For the last 12 months or so, all I have been doing is being passed from pillar to post on the journey to being diagnoised with fibro, I just havent been focused on the anxiety as such, just the pain, and now my GP and I are going through testing medication for the Fibro, until that is resolved we wont be looking further into my anxiety as the meds for fibro are often used to treat other things too, one step at a time and all that, but the assessors don't think like that, if anxiety meds are too low, or your not seeing a shrink, then it isnt bad enough!

    I hope things work out well for you.  Best wishes 
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    My assessor seems to think that beacuse my meds aren't high enough and or im not currently seeking speciulaist help that I am not affected by these conditions, I have been struggling through unknowingly for about a year, so I was a bit busy dealing with treating and getting to the bottom of what I now know to be fibro. I even told my assessor, my GP and I were getting my meds right for the fibro first before dealing with my anxiety and depression, as usually the drugs used for fibro are also at times used to treat anxiety etc

    Im just a natural born worrier, and all I do is stress out till I know whats going on, and for me my reward, if any, may not be known to me for another 13 weeks or so.
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    My assessor seems to think that beacuse my meds aren't high enough and or im not currently seeking speciulaist help that I am not affected by these conditions, I have been struggling through unknowingly for about a year, so I was a bit busy dealing with treating and getting to the bottom of what I now know to be fibro. I even told my assessor, my GP and I were getting my meds right for the fibro first before dealing with my anxiety and depression, as usually the drugs used for fibro are also at times used to treat anxiety etc

    Im just a natural born worrier, and all I do is stress out till I know whats going on, and for me my reward, if any, may not be known to me for another 13 weeks or so.
    Ask your GP for strong medication 10mg/500mg of Zapain phosphate painkillers if you feel current medications are not effective. They won't know this unless you tell them. 
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • cossamaximus
    cossamaximus Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    My assessor seems to think that beacuse my meds aren't high enough and or im not currently seeking speciulaist help that I am not affected by these conditions, I have been struggling through unknowingly for about a year, so I was a bit busy dealing with treating and getting to the bottom of what I now know to be fibro. I even told my assessor, my GP and I were getting my meds right for the fibro first before dealing with my anxiety and depression, as usually the drugs used for fibro are also at times used to treat anxiety etc

    Im just a natural born worrier, and all I do is stress out till I know whats going on, and for me my reward, if any, may not be known to me for another 13 weeks or so.
    Ask your GP for strong medication 10mg/500mg of Zapain phosphate painkillers if you feel current medications are not effective. They won't know this unless you tell them. 
    I will talk to the doctors about this soon, thanks for the information.
    I actually got my reward today, and have been awarded standard living and mobiliity, im happy, im not not going to appeal too much stress and well tbh I don't know if i'd even achieve anything if i did.

    Thanks All
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    edited March 27
    Options
    @Admin_Scope

    Please could you stop editing my post, I wrote 30mg/500mg but you changed it to 10mg,  why?   It is only advice on the basis of what the poster said, and it is up to his/her GP to prescribed. 
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    Options
    Blimey, this could be me writing this.

    I have exactly the same points and issue as yours, with the assessor ignoring the anxiety and depression.
    My assessor seems to think that beacuse my meds aren't high enough and or im not currently seeking speciulaist help that I am not affected by these conditions, I have been struggling through unknowingly for about a year, so I was a bit busy dealing with treating and getting to the bottom of what I now know to be fibro. I even told my assessor, my GP and I were getting my meds right for the fibro first before dealing with my anxiety and depression, as usually the drugs used for fibro are also at times used to treat anxiety etc

    Im just a natural born worrier, and all I do is stress out till I know whats going on, and for me my reward, if any, may not be known to me for another 13 weeks or so.
    Ask your GP for strong medication 10mg/500mg of Zapain phosphate painkillers if you feel current medications are not effective. They won't know this unless you tell them. 
    I will talk to the doctors about this soon, thanks for the information.
    I actually got my reward today, and have been awarded standard living and mobiliity, im happy, im not not going to appeal too much stress and well tbh I don't know if i'd even achieve anything if i did.

    Thanks All
    Typo, Sorry I meant 30mg/500mg Zapain cocodamol. 
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
    edited March 27
    Options
    @Admin_Scope

    Please could you stop editing my post, I wrote 30mg/500mg but you changed it to 10mg,  why?   It is only advice on the basis of what the poster said, and it is up to his/her GP to prescribed. 
    There are no records of any editing of your post Andrew? If a post has been edited, even by an admin, it will usually show a record and a timestamp. Just as your post I'm quoting here shows "edited:  9:40am".


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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,127 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @Admin_Scope

    Please could you stop editing my post, I wrote 30mg/500mg but you changed it to 10mg,  why?   It is only advice on the basis of what the poster said, and it is up to his/her GP to prescribed. 
    I seen your comment yesterday when you posted it and you did type 10mg and not 30mg. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.

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