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Appearance

ellenlow17
ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
hi again. Well hopefully I will attend my PIP assessment by Atos after last one was cancelled 1-2 hours beforehand. Looking for opinions....do I make the effort to look “respectable” with best clothes on and hair done or just casual and comfortable the same as I do every other day ? 
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Comments

  • Rosiesmum
    Rosiesmum Member Posts: 75 Connected

    I can only tell you what the assessor wrote on my son's form that he was well turned out (in pj's) well groomed (explanation was provided of help he needs) and DM used this as sign he could look after his own needs.

    I would dress as you usually do especially as you may have a wait if they are running late and may have to sit on chairs that are designed to be uncomfortable with no arms.

    I wish you the best of luck as I can imagine how nervous you must be.

    Have an explanation ready,preferably backed up by medical evidence if they ask you if you can do something and you struggle.

    Reread the descriptors before you attend so you are aware of how you fit them if you do.

    I have had three good experiences with ATOS and only one bad one so there are good assessors out there,try to get a good nights sleep,hope all goes well for you

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    @ellenlow17

    Do not dress up.  Let the assessor see you as you usually are.  Dressed up people can appear to be less disabled than they are - and assessors are very influenced by what they can see.  Assessors comment in their reports on the appearance of their interviewees and descriptions of a well-groomed appearance do not count in the interviewees' favour at the DWP.
  • ellenlow17
    ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    I thought that might be the case but feel better that other people confirmed it. Thanks very much 
  • ellenlow17
    ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Thanks to Rosiemum too for her reply.  I’ll let you know how it goes!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    I don't mean to be rude when I say this but they are people out there that would love to be able to dress up everyday but CARN'T may I just remind you that this is Not a job interview it's a disability assessment. And if you can  show them that you can brush up well,   I wish you the best of luck. Some ppl out there carnt even lift an hair brush to their hair,  and if they have got someone to do it for them they are so poorly their hair is the last thing on their minds.  Good luck with your assessment. 
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Good luck with your assessment, @ellenlow17.
  • ellenlow17
    ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Thanks Matilda
  • ellenlow17
    ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    edited December 2017
    Budgie2 thanks for your comments and good wishes.  I do honestly know there’s people who are worse than me but it takes me a huge effort to dress nicely and style my hair even with my husbands help. I can promise you it’s not a thing I do much!  Some days I’m not out of pj’sand always have comfortable casual clothes when I do go out.  I do have a lot to be grateful for and I am always aware of that I hope you have  a nice Christmas  
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    Budgie2 thanks for your comments and good wishes.  I do honestly know there’s people who are worse than me but it takes me a huge effort to dress nicely and style my hair even with my husbands help. I can promise you it’s not a thing I do much!  Some days I’m not out of pj’sand always have comfortable casual clothes when I do go out.  I do have a lot to be grateful for and I am always aware of that I hope you have  a nice Christmas  
    Hope you have a nice Christmas too and peace be with us all.
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    Appearance is always more important for ladies than it is for us men. However, I would suggest you only dress up as much as you can do on your own, without help from others. You need to express a true sense of yourself rather than what someone else can make you and it will be assumed that you did it on your own so can be self destructive to show more than you can manage.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • jazzylovesthis
    jazzylovesthis Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Just be how you are on a normal day I would say but if as most ladies do you would like to dress up a bit then why not? Isn't it terrible that we have to worry about these things to get the help we are entitled to. Very very good luck x
  • freckles
    freckles Member Posts: 258 Pioneering
    My niece went for a pip assesement she had some make up on they said if you can put make up on you car,nt be that ill so be aware they do look at your appearance
  • ellenlow17
    ellenlow17 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    Thanks everyone I’m grateful for all your replies 
    merry Christmas to you all x
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2017
    @Topkitten and @freckles are absolutely right.  The more well-groomed you are, the more the assessor will assume that you can manage bathing and dressing without help.

    My assessment report stated that I looked tidy and kempt, the implication being that I had no difficulty with bathing and dressing.  And another member reported that at her tribunal hearing the disability person challenged her need for PIP because she was wearing shoes with heels and earrings, i.e. therefore she must be able to walk normally and have no manual dexterity problems.

    The Disability Rights Handbook recommends that people do not dress up for  appeal hearings, just be their usual selves.  Of course, the same applies to assessments.

    Do people really want to risk losing points by giving the wrong impression that they have no problems with grooming when in fact they have?  Because assessors look for any excuse not to recommend points.

    I suspect that the reason many people are surprised to be awarded less points than they deserve is because they present themselves as not disabled, though in fact they are; and overestimate what they are able to do, out of pride.

    Assessors and tribunals are very influenced by what they can actually see for themselves.

  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @ellenlow17 I agree with everyone. I was described as well kempt  even in my everyday clothes. Be aware of fastenings on clothing and make it clear you had help to  dress if you did. I too think appearance shouldn't come into it at all they should listen to what you tell them and read all the evidence to make decisions. Any comments about personal appearance in my opinion is a violation of our human rights. You wouldn't accept this in any other situation in life so why is it acceptable for PIP. It also contravenes their customer charter about treating people with respect. Sorry but that's how I feel. Other comments I had on my report included "normal complexion" (I was deathly pale) "didn't look tired" (I was very tired) "didn't appear anxious or agitated" (not true I was both). Do hope you get an honest assessor.
  • janice_in_wonderland
    janice_in_wonderland Member Posts: 265 Pioneering
    Hi everyone 
    I once attended a mental health appt wearing make up - he knew I was hiding my sorrows back then 

    25 years later I seldom wear make up 

    I haven't washed my hair for 2 weeks yet I look & sound ok but I'm constantly battling with feeling unstable 

    assessors probably judge ppl for acting worse 

    its frustrating having invisible illnesses as I feel old before my time 
  • Rosiesmum
    Rosiesmum Member Posts: 75 Connected

    There's no easy answer really is there? Unfortunately  though assumptions are sadly being made by the very people DWP and ATOS etc) who are privy to our most intimate details because a person may look groomed.

    A lady I grew up with is severely affected by spina bifida,but is the most lovely,positive person I have ever met and always wears makeup and has her hair done as it improves her sense of wellbeing.She is in her fifties now.

    My son had no hair on his head by 19 so took the decision to shave it and grow a beard for least maintenance. This is carried out by family members.

    What I mean is it has nothing to do with age it's personal choice.

    Others with a disability who may have worked all their lives and need the lift of at least being able to turn out looking well kempt aren't asked by society how long it took or who helped them and as I say if medical reports are provided to the HCA to prove help needed why is it deemed necessary to have to dress in a perceived way sadly...

    I admire David Blunkett who always wore a suit and was well groomed but you were able to easily see his disability,why should it really be any different for people when they have a hidden one?


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Everyone makes assumptions based on first impressions. When we were young and looking for love, didn't we dress to impress ? When we were able to look for jobs we dressed approprately. When we look at other people we do make assumptions, we look at people parking in BB spaces and make judgements without knowing any more than what we see. Assessors are people and will do the same, they make a first impression call on how you walk and dress. You do not have to impress an assessor, it is not a date or a job interview but you do have to be confident and comfortable. Don't dress down, it will not feel right to you. If you have a favorite outfit, that make you feel good, whether it is an old sweatshirt and jeans or a smart suit, then that is right for you.
    Wear what is comfortable and empowers you the most to be confident.

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 215 Listener
    It all depends on what your disabilities are that  affects on your ability to be well dressed and groomed, if you can look your best at all, and think your entitled to pip by all means do!  this is why I said it's not a job interview...Yes some  ppl that truly have a disability can groom to their best ability.. but if you say your in your pj's most times and casualy dressed., why would you want to go in your best outfit and your lovely hair doo, just to be turned down your pip application. Go has you and not somebody else..my mum is in her 40s she was the most stunning looking woman 2 years ago now she looks like my grandma I need to tell her she needs her hair brushing otherwise the thought wouldn't and doesn't enter her in her mind.. My mums going to look how she looks everyday with dribbles of food down her clothing where she's missed her mouth because of her herondous hand shaking her long  toenails are long enough to make her trip because she won't let a chiropodist through the door... This is how my mums going to look when she has her assessment at home (HERSELF) all I am saying is be yourself how you are most of the time.. If you have good supporting evidence then don't worry has much has to  what best outfit to wear on your assessment.  again Good luck
  • Rosiesmum
    Rosiesmum Member Posts: 75 Connected

    @Budgie2 When is your Mum's assessment due? It's horrible waiting isn't it...

    Best of luck and hope it goes well for you,as her appointee make sure you have ID ready for yourself too I completely forgot as I was in such a flap !

Brightness

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