Hi, my name is Brina! — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is Brina!

Brina Member Posts: 1 Listener
I joined this forum because i'm my Daughter's Carer & it falls on me to do all the pip paperwork, evidence gathering etc as she is struggling, being disabled, through uni at the moment. Her condition is called POTS for short. Capita did her home assessment, at which i was present.  Even now after just having the pip reconsideration rejected, even though the Assessor got actual factual info wrong, like the number of time my Daughter needs to take her meds everyday, and logging the wrong year of study she's in - to which i provided proof to dispute without any doubt, i still find myself astonished & flabbergasted at the level of diseased duplicity of judging and symptomatic humiliation put in place by a government it seems,l is hell bent on getting the benefits bill down regardless of the human cost. 
Not to mention the fictional observations claimed by this Assessor; who 10 minutes into the Assessment put her computer away, proceeding to drum her fingers rudely on the table for the rest of the duration of the interview, even going as far as to make directory comments about my Daughter Cardiac consultant. It was i who answered the door and escorted her out. She never requested that my Daughter stand or walk or even left something, yet claimed she observed all this in her report.  My Daughter recorded the interview as she suffers from brain-fog, a side effect of her POTS condition, and because she thought it might be handy to refer to in future, in the event she would have to do another such assessment. i Cant tell u the roasting i got from a member of the DWP on the phone.  He told me the recording was illegal and that i couldn't use it as evidence. 
The condition POTS, is basically that feeling we've all had on occasion we've stood up to fast often exclaiming so, and reaching a hand out to steady ourselves.  This is because when we stand a little valve in our heart closes shut - stopping all the blood from falling to our feet.  Only a POTS suffer experiences this every time they stand up to varying degrees, often falling straight back down and even blacking out for a time.  I believe this is why no medical exam was asked of my Daughter, because the Assessor know fine rightly what would happen if my Daughter stood up; ie, confirming everything we told her as fact.  The mandatory reconsideration was a waste of time; it was almost a duplicate of the original decision with a few bits added here and there; not even addressing nor making reference to the proved inaccurate factual errors in the report - it's left me wondering if they even read the letter accompanying the evidence. i now have to start appeals process.  It's one thing if the Assessor makes deductions u disagree with but quite another when these deductions are based on complete falsehoods.  Even after all this, i still feel disconcerted and uncomfortable  calling the Assessor a lair but i just dont know how else to put it.  If only the Assessor had done her job professionally.  It really dose worry me the number of so called Medical professionals who are prepared to to outright lie.  I dont think they've even stopped to consider the damage they are doing not only to the most vulnerable people but to there actual chosen profession.  A system that offers cash incentives for each refused application can never work, let alone gain the confidence and continued support of the electorate.  Perhaps when the pip successful appeal rate gets around the ninety % mark someone in office might take action.... lets hope  My advice to everyone, appeal then reapply then appeal again until u feel like u've been taken seriously and treated like a human being not a number to tick off on some list somewhere.  I'll let u all know how the appeal gos, but dont anyone hold their breathes because i've been told the appeal can take up to a year.


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Brina and welcome to the community.

    Sorry to hear what  you and your daughter are going through. 

    Recording the interview is not illegal, but there are strict rules which need to be followed in informing them you are going to record the interview and the type of equipment needed. If not and they notice you recording they will terminate the interview, and you are likely not to get the award. In general secret recordings are not allowed to be  used as evidence, but there was a recent case where an appeal judge did allow it. I suspect the government has done something about this to avoid it happening again.

    You are spot on that the government is doing everything it can to lower the number of awards, and sadly their attempts have been very successful. People dropping out of the process when they get the claim or after the mandatory reconsideration or while waiting for the appeal.

    Success rates at appeal are around 65%, but this includes those who opt for a paper appeal and those who decide to attend the appeal. Something worth considering is that a successful appeal is more likely to succeed if the claimant appears.

    The latest I heard the appeal process takes 4 to 8 months, not 12, depending where you live. Though when you win they are likely to tell you they are going to request further information from the appeal panel to see if they have a case to appeal, the vast majority of the time they don't.

    On the appeal do not get dogged down by what happened and concentrate on the PIP criteria. You can find them at https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system and why you disagree with the points allocated. There is an excellent free booklet on how to go about appealing at http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal?gclid=CK3SlKXIjdUCFVAQ0wodiLMBrA

    Good luck and hope your daughter is enjoying her studies.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Brina Just wanted to welcome you to the group and express my sympathy for the awful time you appear to be having. Words are pretty meaningless in such a situation, I know, and I don't want to insult you with platitudes.
    You are among friends here.
    Very best wishes to you,
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Brina and welcome

    You are not alone and we see many similar bad assssments on the forums

    As has already been said, your appeal should concentrate on showing that your daughter meets the criteria.

    It is important to make a complaint to Capita about the assessor. Any bad assessor should be brought to task.

    The complaint and the assessment are two separate issues, the tribunal are only interested in finding the truth about how your daughters functionality is affected. They have no interest or power to persue bad/ incompetant assessors.

    Please do come back with any questions

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Hi @Brina,

    Firstly welcome to the community - I hope you find this a supportive and helpful environment to be part of, its great to have you on board.

    Secondly, I'm really sorry to hear about what sounds like a dreadful experience with you daughters assessment. I work on the helpline at Scope and sadly we hear this a lot - (but then again, the nature of a helpline is that people aren't calling you to tell you life's great). As @geoark has already mentioned the success rate at appeal is quite high; do you mind me asking if you've got any support from a local welfare advice service? If you haven't it might be worth seeing if you can get an experienced case worker to help you with this process.

    I'm not sure whereabouts in the country you live, so if you are interested in seeing what local support might be available you could use our services directory to check using your post code:


    Alternatively, if you haven't got any available we do have experienced benefits and finance specialists at the helpline. Although we don't casework we can book you a telephone call so you can at least talk it through with someone - if that's helpful? Our contact number is 0808 800 3333 and we are open normal hours from next week Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

    I hope it all goes well and please do keep us updated.

    Best wishes,


    Scope helpline


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