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PIP claim debate in westminster. she wants your experiences.

feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
edited January 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA

Laura is going to be debating PIP claims on Jan 31st and wants to hear peoples experiences of it, you can email her here: [email protected]
or post on her facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LauraPidcockMP/photos/a.1287054758082459.1073741829.1280298325424769/1540916739362925/?type=3&theater

i've already put my experience in and my thoughts on the criteria, seen a lot of bad experiences in the comments already too but every little helps if you want to add your own.

apologies if this isn't allowed or someone else has already made the topic and i didn't see it, just thought maybe this forums would be interested. plus it's nice to have a voice and be listened to when things don't work for us.


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @feir
    Thanks for sharing! Im sure this will be something our members are interested in!!
    Senior online community officer
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Hi Feir and Sam

    Thanks for the heads up on that, I will try sending details of my own experiences with the DWP about PIP.  I'm not on facebook but will find a way to convey my views.

    Is Laura not aware already of Scope and other websites that have logged many many detailed accounts from people who are now distraught from all the shenanigans that have gone on recently?

    Wonder how many MP's will even bother to turn up or listen!

    We can but try : )

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    I'm sure I filled something in a few months recently about this. But will add something again.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    DONE!  That made me feel better..
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited January 2018
    This is what I sent her and have had a reply. Woohoo: 

    Hello Laura, 

                          Please, please please use this in your address to Parliament. I had a PIP assessment last January. My assessor said she was a Paramedic. The assessment was a dreadful, traumatic experience. I was treated like a lower class person, snapped at if I didn't answer straight away and by the end of the interview I was in tears. A week later my assessment report arrived. I was horrified to read all the incorrect statements and, yes, downright lies written about me. My assessor even made up a story about me holding a water bottle between my knees and peeling off the plastic label round the middle using my left and right hand. There you have her reason for writing this to show I have no problem using both hands. This never happened and is NOT the way you open a bottle of water!!!!! During the following week I was so ill I had 5 Occular Migraines which I normally suffer from. These are stress related and I'd never had so many in such a short space of time. I phoned an ambulance thinking I was having a stroke but fortunately not. However I was by then in a state of shock. I also suffer from complex PTSD but no consideration was made of this by the way I was treated. I complained to ATOS but they rejected this and it is now with ICE the Independant Complaint's Examiner who are so snowed under it will be August this year from May last year before they investigate my case. I also contacted HCPC about my assessor's qualifications but they didn't want to know. I was even accused of trying to get more benefit. I also contacted ICO the Information Commissioner's Office as ATOS/DWP are contravening the  Data Protection Act by collecting, recording and processing incorrect data about me but they also rejected that there was a case to investigate. So we have nowhere to go when things go wrong. Hope that is enough as it's only the worst of what happened to me. I did get an award but only for 3 years with review after 2 and not what I'm entitled to. Please feel free to pass this info. on to anyone who is interested. Thank-you.

    RE: PIP experience
    PIDCOCK, Laura <[email protected]>
    Today, 17:02
    Dear Pat,


    Thank you so much for taking the time to contact me with your experiences to help build a case for the Westminister Hall debate on Personal Independence Payment (PIP). I can assure you that I will do all I can to try and highlight the range of often harrowing experiences that people go through whilst trying to claim PIP in the debate next Wednesday and try to argue for a better, more dignified system.

     In Solidarity,

     Laura Pidcock MP

    Member of Parliament for North West Durham and Shadow Minister for Labour

  • debkenzo
    debkenzo Member Posts: 110 Pioneering
    Dear Laura Pidcock
    Praise the Lord that we have someone like you to help us fight this continual battle. No matter how many times this topic has been discussed on this forum, as long as this atrocity is still happening to people, then we can't mention this enough.  Bless you. :)
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    i've only just heard of her @sleepy1 so don't know much. i did have a quick look around at stuff before posting today (because i didn't want to 'promote' anything that seemed useless or pointless) and from what i saw it seems she's a scottish MP who is interested in benefits and campaigns in this area. no idea if she'll change anything but i'm happy to support her in trying.

  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering

    that's the debate, free to watch and you don't need a tv license to view it either. if you don't want to watch, or can't for any reason, here's a brief(ish) summary.

    she mentioned that not all disabilities are covered by the form,
    terminal illnesses should not be being reassessed,
    the assessors aren't even qualified to diagnose the disorders they are supposed to be assessing,
    people feel like they've been lied about in assessments,
    tribunals are wasting judicial time and take too long to get a tribunal date (over a year in some cases),

    opposition mention that more people with mental health issues get PIP than DLA, that's all they said in response to all of the above.

    laura starts going on about how many more people aren't even entitled to the benefit and give up because the appeal process is too much for them to cope with, she also mentions food bank usage, and how the disabled community are being scared or treated like they are fraudsters or not worthy of help, then she tells a few personal stories of people who have contacted her,
    she asks for medical professional documents to be considered before an assessment even,
    and says the PIP process is failing,

    opposition saying the PIP service was brought in because of labour and says it wasn't brought in to cut costs because they spend a lot more using it, and mentions that only 22% of mentally ill people got the highest rate of DLA because you had to be completely incapacitated to get it but 66% get it under PIP, and more people with visual impairment get PIP. and it's a mistake to think that the DLA system was better than the PIP one. he accuses the opposition of grabbing statistics out of thin air. he mentions 1 in 3 people who were awarded a life long claim under PIP their condition will change within 12 months. and that they should keep being assessed so they don't miss out on higher rates of benefits.

    different guy now, not sure who he is but he's saying the PIP process isn't working as it should because 55% of people are getting their benefit cut after reassessment. and that people are finding they can't cope with appealing. he also mentions a story about someone who his condition got worse so applied for a higher rate and they took his award of him completely. :(
    he says nobody chooses to be on PIP and we should remember disabled people are vulnerable,
    another guy saying the system should be changed as it's degrading.
    woman now saying the whole welfare system has been turned into a dehumanising experience under this government. there's been a few more personal stories about how people are suffering under cuts. she's asking about the PIP reviews and what this entails exactly and how long it is expected to take,
    another guy saying that terminally ill people are getting benefits reduced and the process needs to be reviewed,
    epileptics being mentioned now and how their benefits have been reduced most of all, they ask make sure people with training on epilepsy review people with the condition, also mentions that PIP should be helping people to retain their independence,
    another guy saying the tax payer is paying the cost for messing up, and claimants with their lives, mentions pseudo professionals when it comes to assessments and the claims system shouldn't be degrading,
    personal stories now one about someone being denied a home assessment and there's not enough assessors in her area, other services are being out under pressure having to help people with appeals, mentions it's hard for aspergers and agoraphobics to get to assessments,
    next guy backs her up, and more personal stories,
    kind of tuned out after this but there was some talk about people with mental health issues and them being arrested.

    not a bad debate really. i don't think the tories were listening though, and most fo them walked out when a protestor managed to start shouting at them from outside the room. no idea if anything will be done without more pressure from the public.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    [quote]the assessors aren't even qualified to diagnose the disorders they are supposed to be assessing,[/quote]

    They're not there to diagnose you. But as I found, mine was clueless as to what my disabilities really. For example:
    - I don't have my certificate of visual impairment, (DWP do have a copy, it's from 2007 and I've moved since then) therefore, I can drive. But the type of visual impairment I have makes it much harder. This is well documented by RNIB, Nystagmus Network and any hospital consultant I've been seen by. It's not just "you have enough vision, you can drive". I also have other health issues that make driving difficult. I did an eye test which backed up my claim.
    - She asked me what Hyperacusis was and then decided it caused no problems.
    - Because I hear, I don't have any hearing difficulties. That's not how Hyperacusis or Auditory Processing Disorder works at all. And why would I be under a hearing therapist if I had no hearing difficulties>
    - My Autism causes me no difficulties at all. Yet, my friend (who admitted he knows very little about it) sat and told her the opposite.
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    i do agree their criteria for disability does not cover everything and although it can give an idea of what someone can or cannot do it doesn't take into account that someone can do certain things but need help despite this.

    i think it's more that the assessors don't understand what they are dealing with is why that complaint about them not being qualified to diagnose pops up but from personal experience they definitely diagnosing me as mentally healthy when that's not the case and someone who has spent way more than an hour with me diagnosed me as otherwise.
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    Morning to all you fit and healthy cheating scoundrels ; ))

    I jest of course but think this is what has been ingrained in the minds of so many that have been brainwashed and given so much power to decide on the fate of people who are not well and need help.

    Government are saying much more has been spent on disability than ever!  I would like to see a breakdown on that to see where all that money has gone, does it include payments to assessment providers, extra staff at DWP to cope with all the complaints and appeals?

    Just how much of this so called extra disability spending spree has actually gone to the disabled people that need it I wonder???

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    I'm also wondering how much hasn't been claimed. Funny how that never gets mentioned.
  • Salamka101
    Salamka101 Member Posts: 41 Courageous
    I don't doubt for a moment that spending on the disabled is out of control. Fact is PiP was intended to save money and was set up to reduce the claimants on long term higher rate DLA by 20% hence the 20 metre walking trap that has caught so many of us out. Muddled thinking since these were the most likely to be capable of  work just unable to get it without reliable transport. PiP further confused the issue by conflating mental and physical disability since these are not the same and require to be treated differently. It also combined two quite separate former benefits assuming that all former claimants of higher rate DLA also claimed the daily Living component. I , for one, didn't. I worked.
    I don't blame anyone who persuaded their GP to diagnose some forms of mental illness that pushed the boundaries beyond the original limits the Government tried to set but there is no doubt the Courts opened the doors to far more spending than was ever intended. That in turn led to the Government pressurising the DWP and it's minions to put more pressure on claimants in any way possible up to and including allowing harsh dubious assessments waved through unchecked on MR.
    In short PiP has been a total fiasco from start to finish.
  • sleepy1
    sleepy1 Member Posts: 297 Pioneering
    There has to be some way to determine who really should be entitled to help but it seems now the cost of implementing those strategies has far outweighed the cost of actually making any savings and robbed many people of the help they urgently  need and instead put them through hell.

    Logic tells me if someone has a documented medical condition that can be verified from their GP or another qualified consultant who has known them for a good while, WHY on earth would the dwp decision maker choose to ignore all of that and base their decision purely on the advice of some stranger with very little knowledge of your illness who during a short meeting will do nothing more than type a whole load of twaddle (mostly lies). Then the dwp send a letter to say basically your a liar nothing wrong with you we are stopping your benefit so burger off.

    I digress as to the logic of it all, not just for myself but the millions of tax payers money that has/is being wasted.  

  • SimonH
    SimonH Member Posts: 7 Listener
     Sent Email to   [email protected]   RE: My PIP Experience  23/2/2018   waiting for response
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    SimonH said:
     Sent Email to   [email protected]   RE: My PIP Experience  23/2/2018   waiting for response
    thanks, they had the discussion but i'm sure she's still campaigning about this.
  • symphony
    symphony Member Posts: 11 Listener
  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    edited February 2018


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