PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP "Consultation" yesterday morning

Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Member Posts: 100 Courageous
Hello everyone, hope you are all as well as you possibly can be.
Well; had my assessment for entitlement to PIP yesterday;
we never know exactly how these things have gone, until we receive the good old 'Brown Envelope', but it wasnt as soul-searingly torturous as I expected. After being let down relatively late last week by my advocate, I was accompanied by the woman from ConnectUs who deals with me. She had attended these affairs before, but said that mine differed in some ways from the assessments she had previously attended. When I buzzed the door intercom and gave my name and said that I was there for PIP assessment, I was corrected, "You mean pip consultation?". Again, at the interior reception desk, I was corrected again, rather more curtly, that this was an appointment for "PIP consultation". The assessor herself also corrected me when I said it to her; so, consultation it now is, then?
She was a nurse - didnt offer any further specific field than that, so I didnt press her - and started the session by reassuring me that she knew (from reading my form and letters from my GP and MH services) that being out in public and talking face to face with people i didnt know was excrutiatingly difficult for me, and that if at any time the questioning was upsetting me, to let her know. She asked me if I had any pets, if I owned a mobile 'phone, and if I watched television; if I used my walking stick every time I went out. I had included in my form that I used aids to put my socks on and had elasticated laces in my footwear and used long shoe horns to get them on, and she surprised me a tad by asking how I managed to get my trousers on, but my answer appeared to satisfy her.
She went on to ask about my rage, what triggered it, and so on; she also asked about suicide, thoughts of murder, questions about the fact that I had opted for counselling over increasing medication, and my concerns that there was too long between counselling sessions for comfort. When I told her that there had been two suicides among my siblings, in 2002 and 2011, she looked at me as though I'd hit her, and typed furiously for over five minutes. I was asked how I felt about my sister and daughters doing all my shopping, cooking and budgeting;  I told her that I was ashamed by it, and when I said that my family werent actually aware that I was claiming benefits, that I had told them I was merely 'off work sick' she seemed genuinely shocked, saying that "Claiming benefit when you are unwell is nothing to be ashamed of, you should tell them, as soon as you get home today"....... which took me by surprise a bit.
The other surprises were that I was asked to attempt just one, seated, physical action; the rest of the 1 hour 50 minutes were taken up with slow, clearly stated questions about how my depression and anxiety affected my daily life, and each question was repeated at least once throughout. This surprised me also, as I have heard that a lot of people who have recently attended these assessments have had their mental health issues all but ignored, whilst being forced to submit to struggling through PE exercises. 
My medication blister packs were checked, and my prescription list, and it was all over.
Before we left the room, she actually gave me advice on how to  get MH to regulate my counselling sessions better, and asked me again about walking; I told her again, that the walking stick made little difference to how far or how quickly I walked - that I had had walking difficulties since an accident in 1997 and that my gait had merely worsened with age, and that the stick was a balance/prop aid for my random dizziness and visual disturbance spells, more than it was a walking stick. I thanked her for her patience and her time, and she again said that I should tell my daughters the truth about my situation as soon as I got home. Leaving, we made our way out to the street, and, as I sidled down the steps while Sharon went to bring the car around, I looked up and the nurse and another person were watching me from the window, and they continued to observe me until I was inside the vehicle.
So, in summation, my assessment didn't conform to what I had conditioned myself to expect based on the experiences of others; the nurse/assessor herself appeared to not actually be a vampire or a sociopath... but you never know. Time will tell.
I hope me detailing my experience here will be of interest and help to others who are going through the same tribulation I was in recent weeks, and I want to thank everyone who supplied me with priceless information and invaluable support on this forum. My gratitude and love to you all.
Baz.

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Barrylad1957 I am really pleased that your experience was better than you expected.

    I suppose we often only hear about the bad experiences when people need help after them on here so it is really good to hear that some assessors (or consultants?) are trying to do a good job.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello glad everything went well.  I know personally speaking as everybody who has been through this experience whether ESA or PIP.  Hope you get a positive outcome.
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  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Member Posts: 100 Courageous
    @Sam_Scope
    Thank you, Sam. It was, as I said, a lot less painful than I had anticipated. The nurse seemed to be okay, she certainly fooled me if, in the final anaysis, she actually wasnt, but, I can only wait, and see. Waiting times for The Big Brown Envelope locally are bandied about as being anything between three weeks and six months?
     Also, Sam, in other news, my MP has been in touch with the DWP, and has gotten me a date for my long-awaited Work Capability Assessment, next month, and has asked for it to be recorded (which was something else I wasnt aware could be asked for) - so, after almost a year in the Phantom Zone Of Perpetual Worry, things are moving on apace for me. Thank you again to all for the brilliant help and encouragement I've received on here. Like I said, I'll be pleased to be able to share any news and experiences I have that may be of help or comfort to others. The waiting/not knowing has been excruciatingly hard for me, so I understand what others must be going through.
  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Member Posts: 100 Courageous
    @thespiceman
    Thanks mate. Whilst it wasnt exactly what could be seen as 'fun', it certainly wasnt as arduous as I had worked myself up to believe. The journey down to town was strewn with far worse horrors, but, hey, thats Birkenhead for you  ;)
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I really am pleased for you @Barrylad1957 - I know it isnt easy to fight your own corner but by getting support and advice from others and getting your MP involved, you are doing brilliantly.  Fingers crossed for you!!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for replying.  I had to go to a city for my assessment.  Parked in a multi storey in the disabled bays.  Looked at this map they give you with the appointment.  Does not look far forty minutes plus I still walking or trying to walk absolute agony.  Asked the local bobby who was doing his beat where this place is.  Walked with me thanks to them found where it is no way on the map 15 minutes walk.  Sweating like mad and the calmness of my support worker and plenty of cold water to drink.  Had about ten minutes to compose myself.  The woman doing the assessment was for once totally different to everything I had.  So there you are.  For once I had a good experience and I can I add anyone doing these assessments please have some one with you.  I know it certainly helped me.  Having a support worker with me.
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