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PIP Home Assessment

chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
edited November 2016 in Disabled people
Hi,

I'm new here and this could be my last resort.  I'm not sure what help I can ask for so if the following isn't allowed then I'm sorry.

I have an assessment with Capita on Monday and due to not being able to travel I can't attend, they are aware of this as it was all put on my application form.  The first appointment was made at an assessment center 40 miles away, so they were again told I couldn't travel and that I needed a home assessment but they said without a letter from my GP stating that fact, seeing as the 1st appointment was only 2 weeks away and given that I needed time to get the GP letter, that all they could do, was change the appointment to a center 3 miles away which gave me an extra week to get the letter and that once they had received it they could change it again.  I got the letter, sent it recorded delivery and they have received it, but now they are saying that it makes no difference as their 'Health Care Professional' has said I can't have a home assessment as they are usually for terminally ill people.  I now don't know what to do.  I can't travel to the medical, (which is scheduled for this Monday 8th August) but if I don't go they will say I haven't turned up and my claim will be stopped even though they are fully aware of my situation.  A friends husband was given a home assessment without even asking for one, even though he COULD have gone to the assessment center so the 'terminally ill' statement is complete rubbish.  

Can anyone please advise what else I can do, I'm at breaking point now and really can't cope with much more of this.  

Capita have everything they need to give me a home assessment, but they just don't want to know.

Just to add this has been going on for 3 weeks now and although we have done everything they have asked they just keep moving the goalposts to make things as difficult as possible..  

Many thanks for reading.

(NB. If you have any questions about PIP or any other disability benefits-related issue, try asking our online benefits advisors)

Replies

  • codfishermancodfisherman Member Posts: 9 Listener
    i know just how  you  feel i am in the  same boat i have massive bouts of diarrea and gout which stops  me from walking ; my walking is  very  very restricted  to just the  house and  no more than 20 yards  iwas`nt  even told  that  ahome visit  was  possible  even though i couldn`t walk  i had to go to edmund house in birmingham  and could`nt even get close  to park  2/-3/4hrs  peak time in the  city to do a25min  journey 1way systems and  severe traffic build up meant we  were  stationary  for  hours  and  we  could  not  even get a phone  number to  phone  them to let  them know  we   are  completely grid  locked when i did get there 35mins  late they  said they would`nt see  me i was  very ill  that day  and  when i got  home i just collapsed  in the  door  way and  lay on the  floor  for  hours  and i could`nt  move
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Sorry to hear you also had a bad experience with these jokers.

    It seems though, that we are just two of many and Capita think they can treat people however they want.

    My Landlord, who has to do all the phoning round etc for me as I get too stressed on the phone (typing this is bad enough, but at least I can take as long as I like on here and I don't have to actually face anyone) even called into Disability Solutions yesterday and even though he didn't have an appointment, when he explained what was going on, they rang Capita straight away in the hope that they would have more 'power'.... they didn't and were shocked and appalled at Capitas disinterest in helping someone.

    They managed to get Mondays appointment cancelled and were told that we had to ring DWP on Monday (after the scheduled appointment time) to tell them why it had been cancelled and why I couldn't have attended anyway, and we have to ask them to pass it back to Capita.  Then on Friday, we have to ring Capita and ask them for a 'Paper Based Assessment' instead.  In the meantime I have to get 'more info' from my GP but this time in the form of a letter stating all my problems, how they effect me, how long I've had them, a list of medications, etc etc etc etc etc etc!  All of which they have already had, but they want it all again.  Why all this is necessary I really don't know.  I haven't refused to have an assessment, only said that I need a home one  People who are quite able to get to one of their Assessment Centers are only a daily basis, without asking, are getting home assessments, so why are people who DO need one, being disallowed?

    Anyway on Tuesday of this week, my Landlord made his 4th call to Capita on my behalf and ended up asking to make a formal complaint about this fiasco and was told that he would get a call back within 48 hours max, but the person he spoke to said in reality the timescale (to assessment) and they way this had happened, they would put it through as urgent, so it would 99% be within 24 hours to ensure there was enough time left to try and get things sorted.  Unsurprisingly the call came today, with just under an hour left to the 24 hour maximum.  The formal complaint has been officially made and everything has been listed.  My Landlord has told them everything and apparently they can check back as 'ALL calls are recorded'.  When asked if THIS call was also being recorded, he was told yes, so he asked why he hadn't been informed that it was.  The Capita guy then got defensive and didn't really know what to say, so my Landlord told him to add this fact to the list of complaints, which he has done.

    I now have to wait for a letter confirming the complaint which should advise me what happens next.  So I will keep you informed.

    My Landlord is also sending an email to them, itemizing everything so that we have a 'paper trail' of our own, as Capita can't really be trusted.

    All this idiocy, with the amount of people it's happening to, must be costing an absolute fortune in money being needlessly spent, that taken together with the work involved with Mandatory Reconsiderations, and then the Appeals Process surely is costing more than if genuine people were treated fairly in the first place and they were allowed what they were entitled to.  Doctors and Judges alone don't come cheap, so I dread to think of the amounts which are involved
  • codfishermancodfisherman Member Posts: 9 Listener
    i just feel its  the  end now  for  me i feel totally  raped  and i have lost everything including my dignity!! if this is  what our fathers  fought for   i just wish they haddent!!
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Got a letter from Capita yesterday acknowledging my complaint and saying it will take 20 days till I get some sort of reply.  In the meantime, my Landlord rang the DWP yesterday as advised by Capita seeing as the assessment was cancelled due to me not being able to attend.  No surprise that the DWP told him a completely different story of what happens now, so yet again Capita have no idea what the protocol is.  Suffice to say, DWP will now refer it to one of their departments who will look at it all again, decide whether or not to refer it back to Capita or do a paper based review or even send it back to Capita for THEM to do a paper based review.  He was also told that it will take a min of 2 weeks, so Capita saying that he should ring them on Friday 12.08.16 to ask them for a paper based review, was another load of rubbish as it's down to the DWP to decide apparently.  Email been sent to MP about all this, but so far had no response. Formal complaint to Capita has now been amended to include the latest misinformation we were given, so will have to wait and see what they say.  Found out also from DWP that my current DLA might be stopped for 'failure to comply'  although how this can happen when my Landlord has spent over a month trying to sort things out is beyond me.  It's Capita who's at fault here, yet it looks like I'm going to be penalized for THEIR incompetence!  GP has supplied ANOTHER letter for DWP/Capita and given me more pills to take alongside all the rest.  Not that it will help, nothing will when you can see no point in anything anymore.  I tried to keep as hopeful as possible etc, but I'm not in the best place just now it's wrong that they are allowed to torture people like this!
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    edited February 2017
    Hi Chasnbons,

    I was horrified when I read your post and what you've been through in trying to get the home assessment you clearly need. Home visits are not exclusively reserved for terminally ill people, anyone who is unable to attend an assessment centre and has medical evidence of a need for a home visit will be entitled to have that assessment carried out in their home. 

    I realise my post is quite late and you may have since progressed further down the line and managed to sort things out. If not I would like to talk to you some more about this.

    I also want to point out that there is a call for evidence for the Second Independent Review for PIP and I would strongly encourage you and anyone else who has claimed PIP to submit evidence to the review. It's really important that we all participate and share our stories. Scope will be submitting evidence and if you would like to talk to us about your experience please get in touch with minesh.patel(at)scope.org.uk telephone: 020 7619 7375.

    I really hope that you manage to get this resolved and please do let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Hi Debbie,

    thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately no further along.  Still waiting for a letter from DWP to let me know what's happening.  In the meantime I'm just getting worse mentally, I feel like I'm on a helterskelter  going round and round further and further down.  No way of stopping it or way of getting off.  I can totally understand how and why people decide to end it all and you are made to feel that there is nothing wrong with you and that you should just pull yourself together.  

    Oh if only things were so easy!  I thought this new form of system was supposed to make things easier for genuine claimants not drive them into the ground and stamp on them, in the hope that they will decide against claiming anything.  Which to be honest if it wasn't for my Landlord, I would have probably done myself and who knows I might have even ended up as yet another who was 'permanently' off ANY sort of benefit!  I also haven't had a reply from my MP as yet but I live in hope.

    I have already submitted evidence, well my Landlord did, to the Independent Review, anonymously, as I'm only just up to reading things on here and typing a reply, I can't cope with the stress of having to speak to someone on the phone.

    I suppose it's just a waiting game now and I will update this thread as and when there is any more news.
  • PhilipPhilip Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    If you go to the assessment, they will take it that you can travel & not housebound, I got told that when I went for my PIP assessment
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Which is why they try and force people to attend.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Ok so today was day 20 of the 'we will reply to your formal complaint WITHIN 20 days' so my Landlord rang Capita to be told that the 20 days was only an estimate, and he couldn't get the guy on the phone to understand that that ISN'T what the letter or their website states, it is an actual timescale not an estimate.  The guy just kept saying the he was very sorry that we weren't happy with the response!!!  We HAVEN'T HAD A BLOODY RESPONSE THAT'S WHY I'M ON THE PHONE NOW!!!!!!!  On asking who he should complain to about the 'complaint's department' he was told they they answered to nobody, but the the guy slipped up and said that there was a 'head of customer relations' and actually gave her name.... SAFINA AHMED should anyone else need to know.. so my Landlord has now emailed her and asked her to look into the complaint, if she doesn't, then we go higher.  He's well and truly got his teeth into this now and won't stop till we get answers.  On another note our local MP has also been in touch with Capita regarding this fiasco and has demanded answers.  He has also been in touch with.....

    Penny Mordaunt MP
    Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work
    Department for Work and Pensions
    Caxton House
    Tothill Street
    London
    SW1H 9NA

    and although I won't post exactly what he's said on any forum, suffice to say, it's not a very supportive read where Capita are concerned as this extract shows....

    Therefore, I would be grateful if you could reply, with your comments on
    why Capita are still contracted by the Government despite evidence
    that suggests they are incapable of providing a good service, so that I
    may respond to my constituent’s concerns.

    Hopefully this may go some small way to Capita going the same way as Atos, at least I hope so.

    Will keep updating as and when I have more info.
  • tesco47tesco47 Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Thanks 4 mp info may come in handy I too am having problems with capita . 
  • tesco47tesco47 Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    I'm insisting on a home assement because there is no parking at venue at all and nearest car park over 1000 metres away . Now need to get docs letter , absolute bull s**t 
    they want a fight I'm ready !! 
  • codfishermancodfisherman Member Posts: 9 Listener
    The Venues were designed to catch you out if you can make it to the venue then you are not classed as disabled so they save the country money
  • tesco47tesco47 Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Now my gp on holiday 4 week
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Thanks everyone for your updates. I'm finding them really helpful and i'm sure people reading the discussion will find them helpful too.

    @chasnbons you've done the right thing by getting in touch with your local MP and getting support from them. I'm sorry that you still haven't had a response to your complaint but hang on in there and hopefully the response will arrive soon.

    I urge anyone having similar difficulties to get in touch with their local MP. You can find out who your local MP is and how to contact them using the following website http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ 

    @tesco47 is there another GP at your surgery who can write a letter for you or are there any other health care professionals you're in touch with who can write a letter for you? Could you try the local MP route to see if they could write a letter on your behalf?

    Please keep posting your updates and drop me a line if you need help with anything.

    Have a good day all :)
  • codfishermancodfisherman Member Posts: 9 Listener
    i have  heard that there is  a16 wk waiting  time  for them to get back too  you ;;the  government  are to blame  letting these idiots  run the  country;; i phoned   my councillors  they never  even  returned  my  calls  or offered  any help too me ;; they said  if there is anything we can do to help you please dont hesitate to contact us    well i  did  contact them   and  guess  what  they  have done nothing what a  suprise!!
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    @codfisherman has your assessment been rescheduled yet or are you still waiting for contact from them to arrange this? Hope you're ok today.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Just logging this for the record.  Look at the last paragraph here http://www.capita-pip.co.uk/en/complaints.html the bit where it says this....... 

    We will acknowledge all complaints within two working days, outlining the steps we are taking to examine the situation. We will provide a full response to your complaint within 20 working days. The full response will include information about what you can do if you are not satisfied with our response.....

    So it's now 3 working days and counting and no acknowledgment from SAFINA AHMED.  So the same rules obviously apply to the people 'higher up' in this joke of a company.... just ignore and/or don't do anything which the company states will happen on their website.

    @codfisherman you need to contact your MP not your councilor.  If your MP refuses to help then try this..... http://www.parliament.uk/documents/pcfs/current-inquiries/Complaining about an MP Mar13.pdf  You can read what your MP is supposed to do for you here,,,, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmcode/1076/107602.htm#a3 
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    @chasnbons I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this delay and lack of response in your complaint unacceptable. I also note that there's no information on the website about what happens if you're not satisfied with the response (if you get one). There should be some clarity on what people can do after the internal complaints procedure. This just seems to be a further barrier. I think the next stage will be the Independent Case Examiner but they won't intervene until the internal complaints procedure has been completed. Surely there would be no harm in contacting them informally to ask what can be done if Capita are not working to their agreed timelines? Have a look at this link and let me know what you think and whether you decide to contact them.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-case-examiner/about#corporate-reports
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @DebbieVoakes Thanks for the link, but it would seem that they too are only interested in 'after the fact' matters, see part 2 here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-take-a-complaint-to-the-independent-case-examiner/how-to-bring-a-complaint-to-the-independent-case-examiner

    What good is it if you can't complain till you have had a response yet you can't get a response to start with?  No matter which way you turn, the buck keeps getting passed and NOBODY will take ANY responsibility for people being treated in such a disgusting manner.  I wondered if it might be a good idea and maybe help people in the future if I were to make a video and post it online saying exactly how these companies, Capita and the like, DWP and everyone else involved in this whole sorry mess are being allowed to get away with the things they are, how desperate they are making people feel and how they are ruining that last vestiges of a normal life some people have, by making them feel so bad.  Culminating with me committing suicide to show (Yes I have seriously thought about it a few times) just how bad things have got.  

    But I though better of it, as they (DWP) are even managing to cover these facts up according to DNS so it would be pointless and would have no effect on the powers that be, save for being one less lower class benefits scrounger for them to worry about!

    What chance does anyone have in winning the fight, when the people you are fighting against and the people you need help from, are all in league together and paid by the same Government?  A Government who no matter what they may try and get you to believe, are so 'anti giving deserving and warranted genuine cases the benefits they need', are still try to tell terminally ill people that they are fit for work!
  • codfishermancodfisherman Member Posts: 9 Listener
    the women that were at edmund street (capita)shouldnt  be  a,llowed  to do that job  for  no1  they  havent  got  common sence  2  no manners  absolutely  no   no people  skills  at all and  as  for  sympathy /compassion  they  will  only  say  we  are told  what  we  can  and  cannot  do   /or  allow  any thing/excuses  ;; i only  wish they  were in our  shoes  they  would  sit there  whinging  all  day they  certainly  didnt have  any  qualifications   if  they  had  they  would  not  have  treated  us  like  we  were  abunch  of  scrounging  criminals  i hope  myillnes  doesent strike them   down
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    @chasnbons I will look into this a bit further for you. Please could you email me at the helpline so I can get some more information from you? [email protected] mark it for me and add your community name so I know who you are.

    Many thanks 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    edited December 2016
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    So today I get an email from my MP saying that he tried to ring Capita this morning but couldn't be put through to Customer Relations as they were TOO BUSY!  But the person on the phone apparently told him that a response letter was done on 05.09.16 and has been sent out and it should arrive by tomorrow.  Not sure as yet if the response is to the MP or to my complaint, but have asked which.  The person also said that someone from Customer Relations had tried to ring me yesterday (My Landlords phone as I find it too stressful to speak to them) but the line was engaged.  Coincidence or another lie?..... You guessed it ANOTHER BLATANT LIE! My Landlord had NO calls from ANYONE yesterday, therefore it is impossible that his phone was engaged.  My anger and frustration with these [email protected]????DS has now reached new heights, while my mood and the feeling of worthlessness has dropped to an all time low.  I will update again when I get a copy of the response letter.
  • tesco47tesco47 Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    They r taking mobility cars off of our Paralympic athletes preventing them from training DISGUSTING !! 
  • tesco47tesco47 Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    So today I ring my docs as not heard , they haven't got letter sorted and now won't be done till Monday my assessment Wednesday, feel like everything against me . All I can think about is how will I cope without my car. Not sleeping had enough and not even got to seeing their so called doc yet . 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @jokipokemon I know exactly how you feel. Had a response from Capita which basically just dismisses each part of my complaint and says they can't uphold any of it, no surprise there then!  So we are requesting that it be reviewed as they have not looked into all parts of it and not taken into consideration the TWO letters from my GP, only the initial claim form.  It's just wrong on every level that they are allowed to get away with this kind of treatment.  I will pass the letter on to my MP and advise/update when I hear something from someone.  Just when you think you can't get any lower you discover that you can, and it sure makes the other 'options' look more appealing as time goes on. Everyone has their breaking point and I feel mine if much closer now than I dare to admit.  What is wrong with these people do they have no compassion what so ever?  I wonder if they would treat their own families in the same way.... I bet not!
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Further update I had a reply last week from Capita saying that they couldn't uphold any part of my complaint and giving VERY vague and unconvincing reasons so the outcome. They actually only addressed 3 points which were to do with the procedure they use and the letter itself was really just a bog standard one, when in fact there were a lot more things which I'd asked for answers to regarding the way their employees work and the things they try and get away with telling claimants, things which are both untrue and against what they should be doing to adhere to the DWP guidelines they should be working within.  The letter states that I have the right to ask for it to be looked at again by a more senior member that the person who first looked at it.  So Safina Ahmed was emailed again requesting this, and that she needs to look at this herself.  Today I have received an acknowledgement letter, which is again from a standard 'Complaints Handler' and not from someone more senior as promised, and definitely not from Safina Ahmed, who I have asked to get involved!  What is it with these people, who the hell do they think they are????  I now have to wait ANOTHER 20 DAYS for the result of the latest response from them.  Which is apparently a 'final look' this matter.  Well I'm sorry but if they/she doesn't answer ALL my questions regarding their conduct, then this certainly ISN'T their last response, as I'm sure me (well my Landlord as I couldn't face it) going to the papers and news channels will get some more answers.

    I also had a text today from DWP saying that they have accepted my reasons for not attending the assessment center and that they will 'contact me again if they still need to see me'  What this actually means apart from I'm presuming at the moment they won't be penalizing me for 'non attendance' is anyone's guess, and I suppose I just have to wait AGAIN till someone contacts me!  This is beyond ridiculous now and I have lost just about all hope of this ever being sorted, at least for it to be sorted in a fair way and in my favour.  I have yet more days/weeks/MONTHS by the looks of things, of no sleep, constant worrying and my life (for what little it's worth) going even further down the toilet.  Is it any wonder people get to the point where enough is enough and they do the unthinkable?  On a daily basis it looks a more appealing option to me rather than having to carry on like this.  Sorry but that's truly how they make you feel.

    Will most likely update again when I have more to tell.  Thanks for reading.
  • PhilipPhilip Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    I know how you feel Chansons,  I worked for the DWP at Wear View House,  Sunderland & towards the end of my career there I was harassed, bullied & discriminated against because of my physical & mental disabilities. I made an attempt on my life due to the treatment I received from two managers, when I told them what I tried to do, they laughed. In the end I left the DWP,  they won! That's the sort of people we deal with when we deal with the DWP, all they care about is ramming the work, doesn't matter if it's right or wrong it won't affect them, they still get paid at the end of the month!
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @Philip Sorry to hear of the grief you had and I hope you feel better about things now.  Where I come from we have a word for these sorts of people, unfortunately I can't put it on here as it would be removed and most likely me along with it ;)
  • PhilipPhilip Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    Chasnbons I really do feel much better, I've thought of a few words as well
  • don4u2001don4u2001 Member Posts: 17 Listener
    It's sad what I am hearing my mum had a home visit by a lady specialist she was skinny and tall and she asked my mums career everything and showed her all the medications and the careers letter and GP letter and they still cut of my mums benefit my mother suffers from fibromyalgia and epilepsy how cruel are they and I have asked for the mandatory reconsideration 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    It's been a bad few weeks so I haven't posted anything for a bit.  I eventually got a home assessment which took place yesterday and I still haven't recovered from it.  1 hour and 40 minutes of torture.  The woman was very pleasant but I still felt that all the questions were very pointed and that there was an undercurrent of her not believing what she was being told.  Anyway after much stress and upset we got through the questions and it came to her getting me to do the 'movements'.  Some I could do with extra pain, some I couldn't do at all and then on the last one (bending forward and sliding your hands down your legs as far as you can) my knee gave way and I ended up on the floor in agony as I twisted my back nastily.  Strangely she ended the assessment immediately afterwards and left.  In fact it was like she couldn't get out quick enough.  So now I have even more pain than usual as I seem to have pulled something under my ribs :(  

    Oh and I got the results of my MRI on Monday which she was told about, it has shown that I have a lateral tear of something in my hip and also 2 discs which are 'bulging forwards'.  My Landlord was given the info over the phone and couldn't remember what exactly is torn so I will have to wait and see what the Doctor says when I go see her.  She's actually been very good and rang Steve with the results like she promised (to stop me worrying about it being cancer) and also so she could arrange an appointment for me to see her before her surgery starts so there will be hardly anyone about when I go, so this might ease the stress a little of me being in a public place.  I will keep updating when I know more about anything.

    Also it was day 20 yesterday for Capita to get back to us about the complaint and you guessed it...... not a word from them since the acknowledgement letter!  But I DID get a letter from DWP saying that I can have a copy of the telephone conversations Steve made to Capita if I filled the enclosed form in, so that's been done and I now have to wait for a CD to arrive with the calls on it.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @chasnbons,

    It's lovely to have you back, I'm really glad that you've posted. I know the last time we spoke you were in bad place. I hope things have gotten better over the past couple of weeks?

    Thanks for telling us about your home assessment, it sounds really in-depth and thorough. Did you find it exhausting? Lots of people I speak to feel exhausted once it's over. So much anxiety is felt in the run up to the assessments and then all the arranging that goes into it as well. We only need to look at all the problems you've had just trying to get a home assessment. It's really hard work and takes up a lot of time. I really appreciate how detailed you've been and I'm know others appreciate it too. It helps so much to hear about people's experiences. People feel supported knowing that others are going through the same things and have the same worries. It's good to hear that your Doctor has been so supportive and reassuring.

    I hope the complaint with DWP/Capita is resolved soon.

    Best wishes
    Debbie


  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Hi @DebbieVoakes

    Things aren't much better to be honest but I felt I should update the post.  Exhausted doesn't cover how I felt and I have a bruise on my side where I must have banged on the chair as I fell.  I know the assessment for PIP is done but I still have the ESA one to deal with, I had to re apply for that weeks before the PIP one yet I'm still waiting for them to contact me and no doubt when they do, it will be the same scenario all over again.  It just seems like you never move any further forward and I now have at least 4 to 6 weeks of worry while waiting for the decision letter to arrive, a letter which will no doubt show me as receiving no points!

    We had an email from the MP last night with a copy of a letter from Penny Mordaunt attached.  Unfortunately I'm not allowed to post the words I'd like to use about her on here, but suffice to say she obviously didn't know who her father was!  One line in her letter made me feel sick to the core regarding claimants suicide rates.  She seems to think that suicide and claiming benefits aren't linked, which I suppose is true to a certain degree, but what she doesn't seem to grasp is the way she and her cronies are allowing claimants to be treated by the likes of Capita etc, certainly DOES have a direct link.  There are only so many times you can cope with being accused of being a scrounger and that there is nothing wrong with you etc etc, before you get to the point where there seems to be no point in continuing with anything and sadly more and more people seem to be going down that route.  If someone treated an animal like they treat claimants, they would be fined or imprisoned, so I wonder when a benefit claimants welfare was deemed to be lower than that!

    I will update when I have more news....... which could be some time as I can't go any further with anything until I get some replies, and we all know how slowly they do these things..... as slow as they can, in the hope that we have died in the meantime!
  • julierosejulierose Member Posts: 23 Connected
    i just read and more on here of the same thing ,we really need to rise up against this unfair treatment ..they want to save money they dont care who from ,disabled people to them are the bottem of the pile ,so we always suffer most when they need save a bit cash .i had an home assesment as i can not physically or mentally cope with travelling ,my assesment says i can so i scored 0 ,i struggled to walk with a crutch 10 steps from the door to my chair to let assecsor in ,my assement says i can walk 200mtrs or more ,he spent 15 mins max here asked me to aknowledge about 5 questions typed a lot did 1 min test on my hand movements ,how is this even legal .
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @julierose The Government want to save money but spend more than ever on this ridiculous process, you know the one, you get assessed (money spent) you score zero points. you get a reconsideration (more money spent) you still score zero points, you go to appeal (an obscene amount of money spent - Doctors and Judges etc don't some cheap) and you get dozens of points!  You get the correct award which is backdated to when you first claimed, saving the Government nothing in benefit payments, plus it has cost thousands more than needed for you to be in the place you deserve to be.  This is what Governments do, they say they are saving money while all the while wasting it on needless reconsiderations and appeals.  They would rather we all died and stopped the inconvenience we cause them!

    This is 'legal' because it's the same Government who make the rules and they are hell bent one way or another, of spending as little as possible on the ones who need the most help!
  • PhilipPhilip Member Posts: 37 Courageous
    I worked for the government in the DWP &!had to leave because of the treatment I received at the hands of two managers, nothing was done about them, that's how they treat disabled people who work for them, in fact, that's just how they treat disabled people. THe government should be made to face up to the fact that they can't keep going after soft targets
  • julierosejulierose Member Posts: 23 Connected
    i agree i have read some really unfair treatment on so many disabled people .i was told i could complain and should about the assesor who came to see me and how he could of made asssumptions that he did .but to be honest i dont have the mental or physical strength to fight the system  in a battle i cant win . i spoke with the PIP help line who were very helpful and understandiing and who said themselves i should complain ...my doctor is now writng to them and they took a full statement from me  but who knows what will happen ..
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    As things stand I can tell you EXACTLY what will happen...... nothing!  My complaint is still ongoing thanks to my Landlord, I couldn't possibly have done what he's done.  Even with my GP and MP on side, we are still getting nowhere.  Capita employees think they can treat people however they want and nothing will be done about it, which it seems with this Government, it won't.  The ONLY thing you can be certain of where this horrendous excuse for a company is concerned, is that they will tell you one thing and do the complete opposite, whilst telling blatant lies both TO and ABOUT you.

    The sad fact is, that the people they employ to do the assessments are in fact qualified medical 'professionals' (and I use the word professionals in the loosest possible sense) so surely they should have some compassion and morals, unfortunately though, it would seem not.  If they tried to use these tactics in the NHS they would be out on their ears and in front of a Judge, which is nothing less than they deserve.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Just thought I ought to update on the latest events.

    Two weeks after my assessment I got the dreaded letter regarding ESA.  The DWP although they have accepted I need a home assessment for PIP, decided in their infinite wisdom, to then send me an assessment appointment for ESA at an ASSESSMENT CENTRE!!!!!!!  Do these people not communicate with each other?  Anyway Steve rang them and although aparently my GP filled a 113 form in back in July, which they received, they also want him to send ANOTHER letter which states that I HAVE to have a home assessment.  So that has been sent and I now have to wait again.

    Now closer to the edge than I have ever been and sick with worry I wasn't sure how I was managing to keep going, in fact if it wasn't for Steve I dread to think where I might be.

    This afternoon the postman came with the brown envelope of doom, which I duly sat and stared at for an eternity.  When I eventually had the courage to open it I collapsed at what I was reading.  NOT the news I was fully expecting, but a rather one hell of a shock.  I've been granted enhanced care AND mobility for four years and I still can't quite believe it.  So now I just have to battle through the ESA claim.

    I'd like to finish this post by thanking everyone for their continued support ans an extra special thanks you to @DebbieVoakes I wish there were more people like you in the world, your caring means so much and I will be eternally grateful to you.

    I will update again when I know more about the ESA claim in case it helps anyone else.

    Thanks again everyone xx
  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    chasnbons: good for you with the PIP award.
    i requested a home assessment for PIP but was told by the advice centre who phoned them up that they only do it for people who were completely housebound which is bit unfair, I get out but not often and then with difficulty (mental health problems), the advice centre person is taking get me to the assessment and helping me with it, I didn't think I could get there and attend it, and not on my own.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @pip The advice center told you wrong!  Stick to your guns, get a GP letter saying you can't travel and maybe get your MP involved (that's what I did)  If you go to the assessment center you WILL lose points.  This is a ploy for them to prove that you can do more than you say you can.  I know it seems a lot of messing about but it will be worth it.  Capita or whoever is dealing with your case, will have to pass it back to DWP if you tell them you can't get to an assessment center and DWP will ask for confirmation from your GP in the form of a letter stating that you are unable to attend an assessment center, It takes a while but they should then approve the request as if the don't they are breaking their own rules and codes of practice by not making special arrangements for someone who would is unable to attend, either physically or mentally.  Good luck :)
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Wow @chasnbons! You've made my day! 

    My heart sank when you told us about the ESA and what would appear to be the repeated ordeal of organising another home visit which your GP has already asked for but now needs to send another letter in. I would expect that the ESA assessment will be quite straight forward and the correct decision made at the outset. If not, you have our support to help you through it.

    I then carried on reading and was absolutely blown away by the PIP decision you received in the post yesterday. After everything you've been through to get here, all the trauma, distress and battling. This is absolutely the right decision. It's awful that the process has been so traumatic but you've done all the right things and you kept going. Despite all of the hurdles and hoops you've had to jump through, you kept at it and you kept fighting. Not only did you keep fighting but you inspired other community members to do the same and to not give up. You shared with us the rawness of the ordeal and yet you still managed to find the strength to support and encourage others when it was incredibly traumatic for you. 

    Your kind words brought a tear to my eye today, I really appreciate what you wrote, more than you'll ever know. Thank you so much.
    Thank you also to everyone who has joined in the discussion and supported each other. This community is so unique and it's such a pleasure to be a part of it.

    Have a lovely day all

    *Group Hug*

    Debbie




  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @DebbieVoakes I got up this morning thinking it was all a cruel dream and then saw the letter on the kitchen table and knew it was true :)  I still can't quite believe it if I'm honest!

    It's been a very long and difficult road but I consider myself half way along it now with just the ESA  'street' to conquer, but my advice to anyone in the same or a similar situation is carry on, no matter how hard it gets!  I was lucky to have Steve doing most of it on my behalf, and I'm sure others will have a family member or friend who will help them (Don't forget your GP and MP, they are there to help you!)

    Talking of GP's Steve discovered that mine filled a 113 form in and sent it to DWP so he rang the surgery and we are getting a copy of it tonight (for free) so that we can see what he said to them, will let you know what's what when we've read it.  

    As for my 'kind words', they were nothing less than you deserve, you really have played such a big part in all this for me and just saying thank you really doesn't seem enough.

    You mentioned the rawness, that's a really good word for it, and at times I've been glad that swear words get removed from here as there have been some choice ones, I can tell you!  But really my main reason for logging everything on here was in the hope that it might in some small way help someone else in their down moments.  It is always a comfort if you know you are not alone (which is another thing you did for me) and if people can hear/read a true account of how someone is being treated then maybe it will prepare them for 'battle'.  Plus if gives an insight as to how these people are allowed to treat claimants.

    I wish people the best of luck with their own claims, and again no matter how disheartened you might feel at times, make sure you carry on.  If you don't then THEY will have won and you won't get the help you so rightly deserve!
  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    @chasnbons, thankyou, the assessment people said I had to be 100% housebound to have a home visit, I'm housebound but not completely,
    the advice centre secured an assessment in my home town and she will take me
    to it, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get there and attend. they've written to say the location is back to another town, so I will ask her to take this up with them again, I can't arrange things like this myself, not completely, I do have some fair days, but I'm often too poorly.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    100% housebound my rear end, they are lying to you (something they seem to do very often I was told at one point that you had to be terminally ill to get one!) Get you GP to send a letter stating you can't go to a center and get you MP involved.  It's despicable the things (blatant lies) they try to get away with!
  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    chasnbons the advice centre person is coming with me to the pip assessment at a local office. 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @pip If you're 'happy' to go along with the 'local' assessment center assessment then all well and good, but I feel you are playing into their hands by doing so.  You've already asked for a home assessment and were told 'no' due to their lies, and bowed down to them.  

    By attending the assessment center you have proved to them that you didn't need the home visit in the first place (that IS they way they will take it, trust me on this) and everything else will no doubt be now classed as 'suspect' by them. Also bear in mind that the assessor WILL be watching you both before and after the assessment, even before you enter the building and also when you leave, looking for anything that they can use against your claim.

    I REALLY hope that things go your way, but I fear you will now have an even bigger uphill battle to get/keep the benefits you so rightly deserve.  You have to bear in mind at all times that these people on the whole (yes there are a few honest ones - but not many) are there to trip you up at every opportunity and their ultimate goal is to get people off benefits.

    Really sorry if this sounds harsh, but harsh or not, it IS the way they work, good luck and let us know how you get on.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @pip I just had a quick look on disabledgo.com and I wondered who exactly the 'advice center' or 'assessment people' you mention is/are?

    If they are these people https://www.chdauk.co.uk/ then you should be aware that they are also Maximus, one of the companies which do the actual assessments, they are like Atos and Capita.  This is taken from a post about the state of assessments and the lies they tell
    • ATOS are no longer doing ESA assessments, lost contract last year
      • Read the article. ATOS still has 2 contracts to do PIP assessments
      • Maximus AKA the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments AKA The Health Assessment Advisory Service have taken over the contract, though ATOS still gets paid to provide the LiMA software for ESA WCA's ('medicals'). Maximus are just as bad.

        ATOS are still assessing people in the majority of the UK for PIP - and every PIP assessment report I've seen is also full of untruths.

        The problems come from two directions: first, the covert targets that the Health Care Professionals work to, and second, the flawed software. LiMA automatically fills in a report based on the answers to a few questions. The PIPAT software was roundly denounced by a software expert here http://voxpoliticalonline.com/...
        None of these assessments deal with the real complexities of a person with long term sickness and/or disabilities.


    If they are the same people who are going to accompany you then maybe you should think about getting either a family member or friend to escort you instead, as taking someone with you as an escort, who is from/also works for, the company who are going to assess you has to be a really bad idea, as they will no doubt also be watching your every move on the journey, ready to report back to the assessor.

    The lengths the Government will go to, to try and get genuine people off benefits is mind boggling, wrong and if it isn't already, then it should be illegal or at the very least claimants should be freely told that they are all one and the same company, without having to trawl the internet to find out for themselves.

    All the money wasted in allowing these practices to continue is disgusting!


  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    chasnbons thankyou, the advice centre is an independent charity, and she Is taking me there and will sit in at the assessment. Otherwise I doubt I'd make it. what sort of things do they ask? glad you got the award.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Glad it's someone independent :) They can ask about anything you put on the form you filled in, plus it seems anything else they like no matter how irrelevant! The husband of Steve's friend at work was asked how they managed to keep their house so clean and it was commented that he had lots of nice jewellery on! What the latter has to do with someones fitness for work is questionable to say the least, and the assessor was told so, in no uncertain terms by his wife!
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    And if they fail to trip people up, then they'll just make it up.  My assessor stated in her report that she 'observed' me to take my handbag off over my head and put it on the floor from where she 'observed' me to pick it up at the end of the consultation. Whereas the reality was that I never at any point before, during or after the consultation took my bag off.
  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    edited November 2016
    I'm glad the welfare advice person will be there with me from what you tell me.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    The comment by the assessor about the claimant's jewellery intended to imply that they were spending benefits on luxuries and so didn't need the money.

    I deliberately only wore a watch to my assessment and I recommend all claimants to do the same. Don't give those trying to force you off benefits any excuse.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @Matilda Yes I (and they) knew that, but the point of the assessment is to determine whether or not you qualify for the benefit NOT for them to decide what you spend it on.  Although as it happens, the jewellery has all been bought as presents by family and friends so has even LESS to do with the assessor. They make enough assumptions about a claimant which ARE directly linked to benefits already, without them commenting on things that have nothing to do with it.

    The trouble is they are allowed and even condoned in some cases to do and say whatever they like, as if they are some kind of Gods, the Government are aware of this and refuse to do anything about it.  The be all and all of it is, as long as the Benefits bill is cut drastically then it doesn't matter how this happens or how many people are hurt in the process.

    Ok on this occasion I consider myself to be very lucky in getting PIP, but the reality is, seeing as I have been allowed it, some other poor sod will have the nightmare appeal scenario to go through, to try and get them off it.  Or maybe they will take my ESA away to compensate for it, only time will tell I suppose.

    I've made a small step along this (ESA) road by getting a home assessment approved, but there's still a hell of a long way to go.

    The laughable thing is, that although I have to go through this horror again to keep ESA, I have received a form today telling me that I might be able to get the Sever Disability Premium part of ESA.  All I have to do is fill in the form they have sent and according to what I have read, as long as I live alone (ie no dependents living with me) and nobody gets Carers allowance for me, then I should qualify for it!  I won't hold my breath here either, but what does seem strange is that with one hand they want to take it away and with the other they want to give me more!

    I will keep you updated as and when I hear something.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    It sounds like you have a good chance of keeping ESA, chasbon.

    It appears that tribunals know how incompetent and corrupt the assessment companies and government are, and that is why so many decisions are overturned on appeal.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    @Matilda I hope you're right about keeping it.
  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
    edited November 2016
    I do go out to the surgery for example, but not by myself, I take taxis each time, so I'll have to say I couldn't get there on my own (I've agoraphobia etc) or the welfare advice person will for me. it's a worry!
  • fedupfemalefedupfemale Member Posts: 28 Connected

    I was refused a home visit on the grounds that in my pip2 form my carer mentioned I get angry and aggressive. They then wanted me to attend a f2f at a assessment centre. This all dates back to the beginning of September. Now I am fighting for a reconsideration for not attending my medical. I thought the medical was cancelled as I had involved my MP and from the letter she sent me that's how I took it. I have had my DLA stopped.In one letter I was told to ask  them to look at it again but in another letter my Mp got from the compliants team it told me to ask for a MR which I have done. Today I missed a phone call from PIP and rang my Mp to see if she could find out what they wanted but so far she hasn't been back intouch. I suffer from Agrophobia,panic attacks,depression,OCD list is endless. I haven't been out the house in years and I am now at breaking point because I too feel like the goal posts keep getting moved.

    Do they ring you to tell you that you haven't been successful and they want to hear you break even further? I think its a very very cruel way of doing things

  • pippip Member Posts: 72 Connected
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Hi, sorry I haven't updated this for a while, but 'real life' got in the way.  Anyway I'm still waiting to hear from ESA as to when my HA will be, apparently there are no HCP's available in our area to do the assessment, so it continues to be a waiting game, which although it adds to my stress levels, it is nothing I can change.  

    Steve had to ring about the Severe Disability Premium as I had heard nothing from them, only to be told that 'it hadn't been looked at yet', but the person on the phone said they couldn't understand why and that they would push it through as urgent!  I thought 'yeah whatever' and resigned myself to yet another waiting game.  

    This turned out not to be the case...... two days later. yes you read that right, TWO DAYS!!!!! a letter arrived to say that I'd been granted the payment from the date I was granted PIP and that I was entitled to an extra £61.85 a week because I am severely disabled, PLUS an extra £15.75 a week because of the Disability Income Guarantee (I knew absolutely nothing about this bit and had never even heard of it)  Stunned isn't the word, and I'm not complaining, but I do find it weird that by changing over from DLA to PIP suddenly a whole new world of entitlements has opened up, as when I was on DLA I was only getting about £71 a MONTH in total.

    My point in posting this is not to brag, but to try and let people know that it IS worth sticking with the process and not ALL claims turn out badly.  I'm fully aware that if it hadn't been for Steve and his tenacity, that I wouldn't have had any success as I'm simply unable to do these things myself, and I will be eternally grateful to him.

    This just leaves the ESA to get sorted (you'd think that with all the latest evidence about my disabilities and decisions which have already been made by DWP, it would be very simple) but I'm under no illusions here, Capita or some other nasty vindictive, uncaring company have to be involved and will no doubt go against every earlier report and diagnosis (just because they can) and upset the apple cart, not to worry though as although it will likely be an horrendous experience, at least Steve and me now only have one thing on which to focus the fight on.

    I will update again as and when I hear something from them.

    Thanks for reading and for all the support I've had from this site over the last months, and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy (as possible) New Year.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Great news about the Severe Disability Premium @chasnbons! Sorry I've not been around much lately. We've been pretty overwhelmed at the helpline so I haven't had many opportunities to get on here.

    I'm starting to have withdrawals though and I miss speaking with everyone. Things have quietened down a little bit in the run up to Christmas but this changes minute by minute at the moment. I will always try and check in when I have some spare time and i'm always available at the helpline if i'm not on the community just email [email protected]

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2017
    It's always lovely to see you here @DebbieVoakes :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Thanks @Sam_Scope, lovely to be here! I sure have missed you all x x
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks @DebbieVoakes hope you have a great Christmas and New Year hun, you deserve it for all the good work you do xx
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Awww thanks @chasnbons that's lovely! I hope you have a lovely Christmas too and I'm sure we're all hoping for a much better New Year. 2016 has been a shocker! Better times to come hopefully! x x
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Just a quick update, to say there is nothing to update.  Still waiting for my Assessment date for ESA home visit :(
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    The update I REALLY wasn't expecting to be doing....

    Ok so we received a letter on Friday from Capita regarding our complaint, 3 months late but at least they have replied.

    It has four points of reference on it which were complained about and I will list each one in order with their answer (boiled down to basics)

    1- Delay in responding to complaint

    Three months delay is below their standard, caused by the backlog of complaints so they have brought in extra staff to ensure no further delays.

    2 - Our request for copies of all telephone calls to Capita

    Capita say that this is down to DWP as it's DWP who have the copies and they should be in contact soon...... we had them weeks ago and Capita were informed about it, proving they still don't know their ass from their elbow!

    3 - The way in which we were addressed in Capitas response letter

    They agree that the way we were addressed was unacceptable and they are committed to improving, so they have spoken to the person who drafted the letter and 'provided appropriate feedback' (Obviously not sacked the person for being so rude) and they are sorry for any upset caused.

    4 - The arrangements for my home assessment

    This part is THREE A4 PAGES LONG! with lots of the usual blah, blah, blah stuff, but is also sprinkled with admittance of guilt.  This mainly being that it should have been done better and misinformation had been given by some members of staff.  One phone call in particular is highlighted  and they admit that THIS SHOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED!  

    Apparently they have a 'quality champion' within their CS team who has 'provided a full account of the call to the CSM and feedback has been given to the agent (someone else obviously not sacked for ineptitude!) 

    Three out of the four parts guilt has been admitted leaving only a subsection of part 4 where they deny that someone said that home assessments were reserved for terminally ill or severely disabled people.  They have stated that they have listened to the phone call (strange how they have a record of it but said we had to get copies from DWP).  The problem is, they have listened to the wrong conversation (our fault as we put the wrong date in the complaint letter)  Anyway they have now been informed of the correct date and even given the times the agent stated the fact (he said it TWICE) so once they have listened to it we should have a full house!

    So there you have it, guilt admitted but basically nothing done about it.  That is until we read the last paragraph of the letter, which we actually didn't believe what we were reading, here is it in full.....

    We aim to deliver a quality service for all claimants going through PIP assessments and are committed to making improvements.  To reflect the poor customer service you have received, I would like to offer you a gesture of goodwill of £100.00.  Should you wish to accept this gesture, please contact the Customer Relations team with your bank account details and we will process the payment.

    Although the money is nice, I get more satisfaction from the fact that they have admitted their wrong doings and if it means one less person is treated they way we were, that's worth far more to me than the cash, which I will be giving to my Landlord, because if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't be writing this post now. 

    I hope this update gives others the courage to continue to fight against the hideous things they (the Government) try and force upon us.

    PS

    Still not heard anything yet from ESA :(
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Morning @chasnbons,

    I'm really pleased to see that you've finally had a response to your complaint. Well done for pursuing this all the way! I really hope that others who have had bad experiences like yours take up complaints. We can't change anything if we stay quiet and accept things the way they are. I really admire your courage for seeing this through and I hope that other people draw from your experience. You're right about the money, the apology means more and if your complaint helps them to improve their practise and make the PIP journey a better experience this is worth more.

    Thanks for keeping us updated with the progress along the way :)

    It doesn't come as a surprise that you're still waiting to hear about the ESA. I hope that this is also resolved soon.

    2017 is going in the right direction so far, let's hope it stays that way.

    Very best wishes
    Debbie 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Thanks @DebbieVoakes onwards and upwards as they say, you yourself have played a big part in all this as well, by trying to keep me upbeat and motivated about it all, so a BIG thank you for that hun x
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Hi all, just a quick update, another letter arrived from Capita, saying that they have reviewed the correct phone call, regarding the 'HA's only for terminally ill people' fiasco, and they have now agreed that it is what we told and that it shouldn't have happened.

    The relevant CSM has been given the information and 'appropriate action' will be taken with the individual involved'

    Something in the letter might not be too widely known so I will quote it all for future reference in case anyone should need it...

    In a very small number of assessments, we do not have home visit appointments available when requested by claimants.  In this situation, in order to avoid booking an unsuitable appointment and potentially triggering the failure to attend (FTA) process, WE ASK CLAIMANTS TO CALL US UNTIL AN APPOINTMENT THAT SUITS THEM BECOMES AVAILABLE. While we recognise that this may be inconvenient for some claimants, we have this process in place so that we can see claimants without further delay.

    So the thing is why wasn't this process offered to US and if it is true that they do this, then why haven't I heard anything from ESA since they told me there wasn't any HA's available?  The keep ringing option wasn't offered in this case either!  Needless to say, I am still waiting :(
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Morning all.

    I've not been here for a while but I thought I ought to update on my ESA fiasco.

    I FINALLY got a HA date 06.09.17 between 10.30 and 12.30.  We (Steve and me) waited for the Doctor (yes an ACTUAL Doctor) to arrive.  By 12.45 he hadn't arrived so Steve rang Maximus and was told he was running late and should be with us in about 15 mins.  30 mins later he still hadn't arrived so Steve rang back and was told they couldn't contact the Doctor and they were worried about him but that he SHOULD turn up eventually!!!.  45 minutes later still no Doctor so Steve rang back again and was told that IF the Doctor turned up that we were to turn him away as it was now outside their accepted time scale for being late and that they would send me another appointment out as soon as one was available on out area!  I was out of my mind by this time and it took me 5 days to start to get over it... just enough time for them to send me another appointment letter and start the stress up all over again.

    Steve had booked time off work to be there with me which had been a total waste of time so he put in a complaint and it turned out that someone had cancelled their appointment but the Doctor had cancelled  mine instead of theirs!

    The new appointment was for 09.10.17 at 9am (now 2 hour window for this one, but an actual time) but this time the guy coming was a physio so I was even more wound up as I don't see how a physio can be qualified to assess mental health.

    Anyway the day dawned and I was close to a nervous breakdown.  Steve sat in the living room watching for him arriving so he had the exact time (he notes EVERYTHING down in case it's needed later).

    8.55 the car pulls up and he comes through the gate onto Steve's property at 9am prompt.

    9.14am he went back through the gate!  No I haven't mis typed that 9.14!

    Things went as follows...

    He came in (Steve had warned him when he answered the door how wound up I was) he asked if it was OK for Steve to answer the questions for me, which I nodded in acceptance, and Steve questioned him about whether or not he was qualified to assess mental health (the answer was only that he was qualified to do assessments, which means he's had Maximus's minimal training.  Then spent 7 minutes confirming who I was and looking at my meds etc, Steve gave him loads of further evidence which he didn't read then told me that he could see what a state I was in and that if I preferred I could go to my room, which I didn't as I couldn't get off the chair as though I was paralyzed with fear.

    He continued asking Steve questions for a couple more minutes and then stated that he had enough information and the assessment was over and left and I hadn't said a word to him!

    Stunned and exhausted I collapsed onto the floor literally sobbing.

    Three weeks later the dreaded brown envelope arrived.  When I'd plucked up enough courage to open it, it wasn't the decision letter but a letter from Jobcentreplus saying that due to a recent change, they had looked into my claim again and that my money had been increased and I'd been moved from the WRAG to the support group!

    The next day I got a letter from HB saying that due to a change in my benefits they had reassessed my HB and they had increased it by a whole £0 (what a waste of paper!)

    These 2 letters led me to believe that I had been granted ESA but I hadn't had the ACTUAL decision letter (I still haven't) so I asked Steve to ring and find out when I should get the letter.  They told him that it should have been posted on 31.10.17 and that it should arrive soon.  He asked them to confirm that ESA had been granted and they did saying 31.10.19 is the date they may need to look into it again.  He asked for a copy of the Assessors report and they said they would post it out and that I had been awarded the magical 15 points (strange how it never seems to be more than 15)

    Anyway that was a week ago and as yet nothing more has arrived.  My benefit went into my bank last Saturday and it was the higher amount, so that's another plus point, but why does it take so long for them to send the decision letter out when they have obviously made their decision, everyone and their Mother's clearly have been informed of this, apart from the most important person, namely me!

    So that's it, hopefully all sorted (apart from the letter) for 2 years and I might be able to calm down a bit now.

    To anyone currently going through this keep your chin up and try not to let them grind you down (too much).

    One final thing because Steve had lost work time for the assessment that never was, he was sent £100 as compensation, yes that's TWICE they have done this so if you have a complaint make sure you register is in the loudest possible voice, as they WILL listen if you shout loud enough, although threatening them with your local MP helps as well ;)

    Take care all, and good luck.

    Best wishes from Christmas and the New Year (can't quite believe I just said that lol)
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @chasnbons, thank you for sharing your home assessment experience with us: it sounds like you've had a rubbish time of it trying to get things sorted, but I'm glad that things have been somewhat resolved. I hope your decision letter arrives soon and you can have some more peace of mind!

    Many thanks again for sharing, I'm sure there will be many people who read your story and find it helpful/applicable to their own situations. Hope today is as kind as possible to you! 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,131 Disability Gamechanger

    One important thing to add to this. The PIP face to face, regardless of where it takes place, is not a medical. The assessor can do functional assessments such as a musculo-skeletal assessment or a hearing test BUT only if you haven't already provided up to date information.

    If you have provided up to date results then the DWPs provider guidance says these medical elements of the face to face should not happen. You need to give separate verbal consent for this so (separate to the one which allows the assessment to begin) so you could refuse.

    Better to advise them they're wrong then carry on anyway else they can do you for a failure to attend (despite your actually being there). Will make them look silly at a later stage. I have examples of the HCP functional assessments bearing no relationship to the clients own specialist e.g. visual acuity tests conducted wrongly. and with results which bore no resemblance to those done by an ophthalmologist!


  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @chasnbons,

    It's really lovely to hear from you again and with such an in-depth account of how things went with your WCA at home and the subsequent ESA award. 

    It's no wonder you were feeling the way you were in the run up to the assessment, during and afterwards. You had such a bad time with your PIP and going through another assessment so soon was bound to cause the greatest of distress.

    I'm so pleased that the right decision has been made and you'e been moved to the support group. I hope this gives you time and space to recover and rebuild.

    Those decision letters do have a habit of coming out late. I often hear from people who find out that they've been awarded a benefit from sources other than the actual decision letter. It's hard to believe until you've seen the decision letter!

    Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. It's really good to see that Steve was compensated too, rightly so. It's also really reassuring for others reading this that sometimes the right decisions are made first time around. 

    I'm sorry that your overall experience with the benefits system has been so tough. I wish I could say that the worst is over, but Universal Credit is coming, and this has problems of its own. 

    For now though relax, recover and have a lovely Christmas (can't believe I'm saying that either). Here's hoping for a great new year! 

    Very best wishes
    Debbie
  • chasnbonschasnbons Member Posts: 60 Courageous
    Hi @Debbie_Scope Thanks very much for your lovely reply hun, if it hadn't been for your support and kind words in the early days of this fiasco I seriously wonder whether I would be writing this today!

    I just hope that it shows that if you battle on and don't give in, the right thing might just happen in the end.

    If by reading my posts it helps just one other person, then it will have been worth it.

    Stay safe and keep well and most of all.... thanks for being there when you were needed.

    Lots of love and best wishes x
  • NairbNairb Member Posts: 32 Connected
    I have a hone visit next week I didn't ask for one but I sent in a card with all my home visits on from the stroke team the stroke team are coming again to see me tomorrow I am going to ask one of them if they will come to see me next week when I have my pip home assessment so they can be here at the same time has the asseser 
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