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Should I complain to DWP now or wait for my PIP decision

ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
Hello, I had my PIP medical yesterday and it went really bad. I posted here yesterday about it  As the medical progressed and I was explaining things I said that I couldn't do certain activities safely or repeatably  or pain-free .. This is because of O.C.D. resulting from a brain injury and also weight bearing issues because of spinal stenosis and herniated discs.in lower spine.( I was run over by a car .) The O.C.D. makes me check and check etc repeating things over and over also problems relating to and interacting with people.The spinal problems mean that im in pain all the time whilst im weight bearing and I loose power in my legs without warning when I walk sometimes. So anyway as I was explaining about the safely repeatably or pain free problems the assessor said to me " are they your favorite words " I get very emotional easily because of the brain injury and I took offense at what she said. So at that point I said I wanted to complain also saying that I was entitled to take advice from the internet in how to represent myself. The medical went from bad to worse there was another comment when she said " you keep yourself obsessively clean but don't shave ! " The medical continued like that all the rest of the way through. I complained to the center manager when I was there and when I got home phoned ATOS to complain and also emailed them with the complaint. They have acknowledged the complaint and it will take 20 days to respond they say. I have lots of reports like M.R.I. scans of spine and documented evidence of the brain injury and reports from the national center for anxiety disorders and trauma re my O.C.D., all which ive put in to the DWP. so Im not worried about the evidence the DWP have got on my disabilities only the way the assessment went .

I worry all the time so I apologize if this might be a daft question but do you think it would be a good idea to complain to the DWP about the PIP assessment in the meantime or wait on my result ? Ive kind of burnt my boats so to speak by already complaining to ATOS and just dont know what to do now.  

Thanks in advance, id be so grateful for advice on this from a benefits advisor .

David

Replies

  • dogfatherdogfather Member Posts: 61 Connected
    Sorry to hear about your problems with the assessment. You could start by contacting the DWP and asking for a copy of the assessor report. This will give you some idea of the points score you may get. 

    Once you you get your pip results from the DWP you can ask for a mandatory review, if you are not happy with the result 
    I hope this info helps a little, fingers crossed you get your pip award.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @ocdman As it's so soon after your assessment your next step is to ring DWP in the next day or so to request a copy of your assessment report. You have compIained to ATOS but when you get your report there may be other things you will want to complain about. So you could write to ATOS will a fuller knowledge of what went wrong. I sent emails to them which were ignored so a letter would be better. 
                I waited till my PIP claim was processed and I'd accepted the award before writing to the DWP about my ATOS complaint but this was just to inform them and bring them up to date on the progress of my ATOS complaint. That was in mid. June. I have had no acknowledgement or response from DWP since then. I've just rung DWP to ask about my letter to them and was told that ATOS complaints about the assessment are nothing to do with DWP as they are completely separate organizations. So just from my experience it's more a question of making DWP aware that you have complained which you can do by letter or anytime when you speak to them by phone. You can also mention your ATOS complaint in your Mandatory Reconsideration letter if you need to do one later on but don't go into detail as the MR is just about trying to correct the things you disagree with as regards the result of your assessment. However you're not at that stage yet. 
               I hope that helps. The advisors may have different advice but in my opinion it's better to concentrate on your claim with DWP and treat the ATOS complaint as a separate issue.  
  • bevhartles1965bevhartles1965 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Without any doubt at all our benefits system is a total shambles ! It makes me so angry I could cry. I ended up having a total mental breakdown because of the stress when I left my abusive husband because the system is simply not there for people in need, it is set up for those that know how to abuse it ! I can honestly say I was more secure in the abusive relationship than what the system advised me I had to do, how sad is that and this is supposed to be 21st century .Good luck ! they really need to sort these bullies they employ to do atos.
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Hi everybody,  Thanks for your replies , after a lot of searches and reading peoples posts on various sites,unless an advisor says different I dont think ill complain to the DWP. after reading lots of things on the internet they would probably just ignore or say its not them its ATOS and refer me to them and ive already complained to ATOS . 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @ocdman

    If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by the DWP (or their agent), and that this may affect your award of benefit, then if you can bear it, you really should complain - in your case it sounds like without doubt you were treated unfairly, and we do not know whether this will affect your award, but from what you have written it seems like you may have been disbelieved, which may be of detriment.

    In my view claimants should complain not only to cover themselves in case of the unfair treatment affecting them adversely, but also so that it is logged in the DWP statistics that you were not happy with the treatment you got.

    As to how to go about complaining, I would be inclined to agree with @Matilda and request a copy of the assessor's report in case there is anything in there that needs to be added, then either prepare a written complaint, go to your MP and ask them to make a complaint on your behalf, or possibly both.

    I hope this helps, and if it is going to stress you out to pursue a complain then no need to do so, you can wait for your decision and if you do not agree with it, challenge it by Mandatory Recon then Appeal. Only complain if you want to, but don't be put off!

    Kind regards,

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Thank you Mary for your answer. It fully answers my questions.

    Thanks again

    David
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Mary, I fully appreciate the excellent advice given by the Scope Advisors but I have to say that it describes how the complaint system is supposed to work in theory. In practice, from my experience, I have hit a brick wall or two walls if you include DWP. I have complained to both DWP and ATOS as you advise. The latter took over 5 months to come to the conclusion that my complaint is unfounded. Which it is not. I wrote to DWP dated 15th June and have had no acknowledgement or reply of any sort. I rang them yesterday only to be told as @ocdman mentioned that it is nothing to do with them. This applies to ocdman at present as his PIP claim is in the early stages and until he has experienced maladministration or unfair treatment by the DWP, which is usually caused by ATOS anyway, he has nothing to complain about to DWP. Complaining with no outcome or an unsatisfactory one causes more stress on top of that caused by the assessment itself. Anyone thinking of complaining needs to know about the possible outcomes, positive or negative, and be strong and determined enough to deal with either scenario. The advantages of complaining to ATOS are to improve wellbeing by knowing you have done something and to let the DWP know you are not happy with how your assessment or report was done but you can do that by just telling them you have complained to ATOS. .
                 I tried to involve my MP and he answered my first email with a not very helpful reply and further emails were not responded to, so further stress involved. I'm not saying all MP's are the same. Something needs to be done and soon about these corrupt assessment companies who are ruining people's quality of life. Such a corrupt organization as ATOS or IAS as they now call themselves should not be allowed to lie and cheat the most vulnerable in our society the way they do. 
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Just a quick question, my pip claim was refused it arrived today , usual nightmare story of it being full of lies etc . When it came in there was a two page written explanation of the refusal. Is this the same as an assessment report ? There is enough information on this written refusal explanation for me to be going on with on my reconsideration request but if its not the same as an assessment report perhaps I should now ask for it ? 

    Thanks for any advice as usual 

    David
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    The decision letter is not the same as the HCP report so you should ask for it straight away.
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi ocdman,

    You should definitely request a copy of the HCP report but I wouldn't let it stop you start to write your mandatory reconsideration. I find the reasons on the decision notice are very standard and very poor. Most of the time it'll say "You said you have difficulties with cooking. I have decided you have no difficulties with cooking" without actually a factually-based reason. The HCP report will be much more detailed than the decision notice although you won't agree with it. To be honest, if you wanted to put as much into it as possible, it might be best to wait for the HCP report, but make sure you put the mandatory reconsideration request in within one month of the date of decision.
    It is also very important to try and get some medical evidence from your GP or any other medical professionals involved in your care to back up your points and disprove theirs.

    Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @ocdman Your decision letter and the assessor's report are not the same thing but the decision reasons will have been based very much on the same reasons given in your report just very much shorter. The decision may even appear to have been copied from your assessor's report as that's what the Decision Makers do. Just to add to Lee's advice as you haven't yet got your report you may need more time to do your mandatory Consideration. You can ring the DWP maybe at the same time as asking for a copy of your report and say that as you haven't had the report till now can you have more time to do your MR. They should give you another 4 weeks from the date of the phone call. If that happens ask the name of who you are speaking to, check the time and date of the call and write all this down along with the new date to cover yourself. Then do your MR as soon as you can.   
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Thank you lee and wildlife. I've started on my reconsideration letter going through the points of refusal and explaining what I said and provided that contradicts them. Actually, when I submitted my claim it was like an a4 booklet with MRI scans and letters from the national center for anxiety disorders so there is not much extra I can add. All the evidence was there.  A couple of things im going to add though are information of O.C.D. being a cognitive disorder ( it was said that it was not cognitive or intellectual or learning impairment ) but im sure it is so im searching for factsheets of studys  etc and they said my walking gait was normal , it isnt so I found an explanation on wickapedia to back up my claims re this . after feeling so down yesterday im back on the hope search .

    Thanks again

    David
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @ocdman Glad to hear you've got your fighting spirit back. I too am still fighting even though I've accepted an award for now I will not stop till my assessor is made to face up to what she did. Remember you can ring as well as write to find out why the Decision Maker is ignoring all your evidence you just ask for a call back from a Decision Maker. Stand up to them, they are getting away with things that they would be in a lot of trouble for in any other circumstances. Good Luck with your MR although you shouldn't need luck when you've got evidence that proves you're right..
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Wildlife, Lee, Mary, thanks all for your responses. I haven't really got anything to add except to say that in a complaint like Wildlife's, where there is no response or a response that is entirely unhelpful (which is far too common), there are options to complain further. A DWP complaint can be taken to the Independent Case Examiner, which I believe Wildlife is doing.

    This is all very time-consuming of course, but where you don't hear from them, it may often be reasonable to take it to the next stage. The DWP's own description of their complaints process talks about 15 working days for certain responses, which is a lot less than you are likely to experience in practice! But I think that allows you to go to the next stage if you don't get a response. It's helpful if you can remind them of the deadline in the complaint correspondence.

    Eventually these complaints will start to make headlines when the Independent Case Examiner and the Parliamentary Ombudsman produce their reports. And then maybe we will see things improve. In the meantime, of course getting your decision changed is the important thing. You may find that despite your very detailed reconsideration request, you have to go to a tribunal, but please don't be put off at that stage, if it comes to it, as many people win their appeals.

    Will 

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    Yes I am with ICE now but they are snowed under with complaints. They told me they're working on a 14 month backlog. So I might just about get an answer before my review is due in 2 years time, doesn't help me now, though. The only advantage to a complaint appears to be that telling DWP you've made one helps to get your claim changed at MR stage. 
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Thanks ,posted of my reconsideration request providing more back up on my claims also mentioning that I put in a complaint in writing and had confirmation of receipt from Atos. So now its fingers crossed time again.. 
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @ocdman Don't expect a quick answer from ATOS as they are working on complaints from around 6 months ago. You can ring them anytime to check on the progress.
  • ocdmanocdman Member Posts: 52 Listener
    Thanks wildlife , yes I think you are correct, even if I get an answer from Atos I don't expect much. What gives me hope at the moment was something you said. you said people that tell the DWP of complaints made to Atos have a better chance at the mandatory reconsideration. I told the DWP on my MR that I made a complaint to Atos on the day of my medical assessment. SoI have done everything possible. Lap of the gods now !
  • lixsharp13lixsharp13 Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Good luck David. Keep us posted :)
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