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Be aware !!

Hi everyone, I really wanted to share this with as many people as possible as what has transpired this week for me with regards to my pip claim. My journey from the DLA to PIP started in May of this year when i was invited to decide if I wanted to see if if i could claim PIP . After several days i decided that yes , id like to try . The first point of origin was to call the 0800 number they give n if my memory serves me right i had to have my details, my bank account and my GP's and consultant details . I just want to clarify that upon giving this information that I was led on that phone call that the health professionals ive got dealing with me would be contacted with the start of my PIP claim. I received my 'how my disability affects me ' form with only a few days to fill out before the cut off date ( as they send ALL our correspondence mail 2nd class to us ) so I didn't have time to get in to my CAB for some assistance to word it all properly. It was around 4 weeks later I got my appointment through for my face to face assessment, not going to lie i lay awake for two nights before my appointment worrying about the journey and the actual meeting itself as it is for so many of us the unknown! I had no one that day that could attend my appointment with me n rather cancel n possibly lose money ( as in a letter from ATOS/CAPTITA/MAXIMUS it states those on other benefits may have their benefits stopped!) I reluctantly went, now here's what ive found out for those that haven't got to this stage yet , those ' health care professionals ' are told to 'informally observe' us . Which in laments terms means watch us walk into our appointment, they look for how easily you can walk , they note down how far it was ect n it's actually THAT information they all use on their assessment, now going back to the beginning of my journey i told you that id given GP , CONSULTANT details ect . At the face to face i was also led to believe that the DWP had medical information about me , I found out that this in most cases is a complete lie ! In actual fact NO information is gotten from anyone, it is in fact YOUR responsibility to provide up to date information regarding your own health ect. In only rare cases do the PIP assessment actually request medical information, they do not write to anyone who can collaborate your evidence ect. In fact it is your 'how your disability effects you ' form that marks you for the precious points! And unfortunately if you're like me that has got adaptations to help you cook n I mean that in the loosest of terms , or can pull yourself up out of bed or bath bar to be able to sit under a shower n easy clothes to put on , then im terribly afraid you will not get ANY points whatsoever! Also definitely, definitely ask for the health care professionals assessment on the day as mine had dates that were wrong, apparently no significant pain relief was observed ( id taken pain relief as id got out of my car as I knew that id have to do something in regards to a physical medical) . To add insult to injury my motability letter came before my actual decision, to which caused such distress as i cannot walk the desired 2 or 3 bus lengths very well at all and also to inform you that the 'reliability criteria ' that is set out in government guidelines isn't being used correctly. Look it up , it states that we have to be able to walk that criteria every day and in all weathers and situations. How can that be at a face to face ? They see us in an appointment for what is normally around an hour! So my advice to all the lovely ppl just about to start your journey, don't be fooled by all the lovely ppl behind the phones, nor the what seems to be pretty basic form they send out. Inform your GP , CONSULTANT ect that you need up to date information about YOU, go to CAB n get help filling out the form , take someone with you to the face to face and definitely challenge your award if like me you are ill n got not one single point! I've now as of yesterday started to appeal , after a very lengthy phone call to the PIP department manager i raised my disbelief and concerns to he's sent a MR email to said department, he was quite abrupt and im unsure whether im to fill a form in ect ? However after looking in the CAB website it tells us to put everything in writing that im opposing, this will be attempted over the weekend now n also on Monday morning im straight to my GP about getting a statement from him n my Nuerologist. I've got until the beginning of September to get the information in for my supporting evidence. Which I really think is so wrong because if the DWP had been upfront from the beginning i would have gotten all information, including up to date information, and secondly they should have been honest about it actually being us that had to get our medical information too . Apologies for waffling on but be aware n don't make the same mistakes myself and probably lots of other ppl have made thinking that the PIP process is the same as the old DLA process!


  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Coreen and welcome
    Thank you for sharing your experience,Unfortunately your story is not uncommon. I have to warn you that the first stage of appeal which you are going through (MR) has little chance of changing the decision, about 11% I have heard. The next step is to appeal to a tribunal which will take an impartial look at all the evidence, but that is not for now.
    I wish you the very best of luck with your MR and please ask if you need assistance with anything

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    Hi @coreen75
    Welcome to our website & online community.
    Thank you very much for your info  I'm sure that it will come in very helpful to many people on here who haven't got to that stage moving over from DLA to PIP.
    Please please let us how things go & please let us know if we can help you further???
  • coreen75coreen75 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks for your replies , they are very much appreciated. I have however this weekend contacted my MP and awaiting an appointment, more so for her to raise this in the commons as there are far too many ppl with much worse illnesses being let down, the trap is thinking that you are going to be treated the same way as when we all applied for DLA. Clearly the PIP system is about how independent you are, I just don't think it's fair that you fill in a form about how you deal with your disability n it's on what you say and ATOS observe on your face to face, is in face how you get points ( or not as the case maybe) whether I actually win or not really does not matter now , but I am going to kick up that much of a fuss someone, somewhere will hear me ! How many of these terribly ill ppl thought that they'd be treated fairly? Quite a lot... but unfortunately it's apparent now that if you can wash , put clean clothes on, cook n eat even a simple meal n be able to medicate yourself then you have met their criteria for independent living! But what about on the horrible days ? When you can merely make it to the loo n can't even get up to make something to eat , let alone get a shower ect ? This really really needs to be addressed . It really does make you wonder how 'disabled ' you have to be to get anything.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    There is provision within the system to address variable conditions. Unfortunately the assessors don't pay it any heed and most claimants don't know about it.

    ‘Reliably’- the most important PIP word It’s vital that, before you complete your form, you understand that just because you can carry out an activity, that doesn’t mean you are prevented from scoring points for being unable to do it. 
    Guidance issued by the DWP states that you need to be able to complete an activity ‘reliably’ in order for it to apply.  According to the guidance, ‘reliably’ means whether you can do so:  
    • Safely – in a fashion that is unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person. 
     • To a necessary and acceptable standard – given the nature of the activity.
     • Repeatedly – as often as is reasonably required.
     • In a reasonable time period no more than twice as long as a person without a physical or mental health condition would take to carry out the activity

    It is a good idea to involve your MP as you say it  needs to be raised in parliament.
    DNS reports that Labour MP Neil Coyle has agreed to push for a Commons debate on evidence of widespread dishonesty among healthcare professionals who assess disabled people for the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP).
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @coreen75,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you here.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with PIP and I'm sorry to hear that you had such a tough time. Have you had a look on our website about Mandatory Reconsiderations and appealing a DWP benefits decision? The following video may also be of interest to you:

    I hope this helps. If you have any questions, then please do get in touch!
  • rosie55rosie55 Member Posts: 40 Listener
    Really don.t know how atos can decide how many points u can get after seeing and observing u 4 an hour but it depends who you get coz I've been to two and one was lovely and told truth and one was complete lies.there is 24 hours in a day  and pip is based on the help/suffer  u need most of the time not just an hour .maybe they should go to people's homes for whole day and see how they struggle from morning to night and c what carers actually do for them day in day out .x

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    True, Rosie.  And it depends on whether your assessment is on a good or bad day.  People tend to judge disabilities by what they can see.  Even Tribunals do this.  They could see my deformed hands, which are always the same, so this helped.
  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    I was seen in a good day unfortunately. So she based everything on that, which contradicted what my GP and consultants wrote mostly. You can't see what I have, nor can you tell what I see if hear.
  • WobblyshirlWobblyshirl Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I'm currently waiting for my decision letter and a copy of the assessor's report I've requested.  My assessment lasted all if 30 mins!  I was able to ride my scooter into the interview room so my assessor didn't see me walking other than a few steps from the scooter to the chair I'm looking forward to seeing comments about walking.  She tried to trip me up when asking about pets!  I have a little dog which prompted her to say oh I expect it needs walking errm well yes sometimes, she walks I ride my scooter.  Hubby chipped in that she has a garden to run round in.  What amazed me was her typing onto a laptop but she couldn't have put everything down so is this where 'poetic licence comes into play.  She must have a fantastic memory!  Bearing in mind she was typing for part of the interview didn't leave much time for assessment.
    I was asked to reach round my back which I did kind of wincing with pain.  I probably should have refused.  She couldn't have seen how far I reached, I commented that it was impossible to do my bra up.
    Watch this space!
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @coreen75 I don't know if you've written your MR letter but you can ring DWP for extra time to do it. This is especially useful if you're having to get your medical evidence later as you are doing as this takes time. The advisor's name should be noted down when you ring and the time/date (date of call!) and the new date you are given to do the MR which should be 4 weeks from the phone call. You say you spoke to a Manager at DWP? You can also ask for a call back from a Decision Maker who will be able to give you more information about the evidence they need to change your award. I agree that the number of claims changed at Mandatory Reconsideration is small but I DON'T agree with keeping telling people before they try. If you do it with this attitude you will fail. Pull out all the stops and be determined to win and you will get it changed. Each person is different therefore the standard advice doesn't always apply. As you didn't get any points and didn't have any medical evidence you have an excellent chance of getting PIP at this stage if you use all the rights you have to keep in contact and get the message across. Making a complaint to your assessment company also helps but you must then tell DWP you've done that as that gives you a better chance of changing your PIP award too. Good Luck I'm sure you will succeed.
  • coreen75coreen75 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited August 2017
    Hi everyone, my apologies for not answering sooner , I've been so poorly the last few days. However on Monday afternoon a lady from DWP rang and introduced herself, she's a manager and is looking at my claim again, she did ask if id gone to my consultant n GP as she wants something with a bit of 'umff' . My gp however is wanting £40 for a supporting letter. I went yesterday to CAB n the person i saw said that it needs to be a fantastic letter for £40!!! So a little unsure about what to do as the neurologist is sending me a letter about my condition ect n not charging me. I have also this lunchtime received the report I requested from ATOS. She's basically got dates of diagnosis' wrong , she has basically said I can do everything n I am independent. I agree with the above person, that my assessor was more interested in typing than looking, she's says I was fully engaged and talkative. Now if she'd have been paying attention she would have noticed that I was nervous , teared up a few times over the interview. Especially when she asked me the last question, which made me a blubbering wreck! So much so that she shoved me out the fire exit door to my car literally a few steps away. But proceeded to put in my report that I walked all the way round to my car ??? Few lies n definitely some non observant comments in my report. But also im slightly shocked that on the latter bit of the report it states I should be reviewed in 3 years??? My whole life has been turned upside down all because of lack of information ect . The government really needs to stop penalising people for being ill ...
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    Unfortunately, your story is an all too common one.  My assessor wasn't as bad as yours but she told some lies and made a preposterous inference.  My assessor, a paramedic, was typing most the time as well so she couldn't listen, too.  I was awarded standard rate both components for five years.  MR made no change.  But Tribunal awarded me enhanced rate both components indefinitely.

    Only 20% of MRs succeed but 65% of Tribunal appeals do.  It's stressful making a Tribunal appeal - but the success rate is very high.  Of course, I am very pleased that I appealed to a Tribunal.
  • coreen75coreen75 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Yes im hearing that MR doesn't for many get anywhere n it's actually at tribunal that a lot of people are actually getting somewhere. I looking at all of my case think the DWP are actually knowingly waiting for the medical information to overturn the decision. The manager told me more or less that over the phone. However I'm at a total loss that the nurse that wrote the report about me did however write that I should be reviewed at a medium rate (3) years! Taking all this to CAB on Friday morning n going to get them to help me write a formal letter as my MR seems to have been done over the phone last Friday when I rang to complain about the scoring ect.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Hi @coreen75

    So sorry to hear about the way in which you have been treated.

    I think you have made a good move in getting the help of your MP.

    Good luck with the MR and do let us know how you get on!

    Kind regards,

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • coreen75coreen75 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited September 2017
    Hi , just wanted to give an update regarding my pip journey . On last Saturday , i received my mandatory reconsideration . I got no points . Went to my local CAB , they have sent relevant form to welfare rights for tribunal stage . To say im low is an understatement . Also worrying about the time frame about handing my car back and receiving the £2000 cheque ? Does anyone know of how long this takes as this was my only link to the outside world !
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Best thing to do is ring motobility
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    @Coreen75 Yes people do have to get their own evidence but that's because the assessor's are not doing their job properly. According to the DWP PIP assessment guide which was only updated in Sept. 2016 assessor's are supposed to review the claim and decide whether evidence or more evidence if there is some is needed and arrange to get it. If you make a complaint at anytime during your claim then this could be mentioned along with the way you were led to believe you didn't need to get your own evidence. Also just to say you don't need to give up trying to get more points at this stage even though your MR failed. You have already spoken to a case manager who asked for more evidence so use that to your advantage and ring again to speak to another case manager. You can book a call back to discuss why you are getting rejected and hopefully come to an arrangement as to what evidence they need to look at your claim again. You have nothing to lose. DWP can change the award right up to Appeal and as this has been applied for you are keeping all your options open. I did this and was successful in increasing my mobility to higher rate. I know you have a long way to go from 0 points to higher rate to keep you mobile but increasing your points at this stage will help towards needing a smaller increase at Tribunal. Making a complaint as mentioned earlier helps to get your claim looked at again even after the MR. You can do this by email to ATOS (now called IAS) the address is on their website. Complaints are flooding in about lying assessors and they take a long time but this is just to be able to say to DWP you're not happy with what has happened to you.     
  • coreen75coreen75 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    edited September 2017
    Thank you so much for the reply , not going to lie ive got myself that ill with it all ive had a massive relapse . My other worries are now that the other benefit ive been claiming will be reduced at some point n im dreading it as ive got bills that I need to pay . I've been trying to find a job that can suit me even on my tired days . But the moment you say you have a long term health problem n been out of work they won't employ you . I just don't understand how you can be recognised ill for one benefit n be told no to something else . I had a face to face for my other benefit at the beginning of the year , she was very good n explained that im staying in that much im housebound . PIP on the other hand has been another story... however my citizens advice has been fantastic but ive now been passed on to welfare rights to sort out the tribunal . Here goes nothing !
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