Confused about who decides on paper based assessments — Scope | Disability forum
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Confused about who decides on paper based assessments

kah22
kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
Recently I helped my GF fill in her PIP transfer form. She suffers from bipolar and has a distrust of ‘officialdom’ in the broadest sense of the word

Anyway I must have done something right for after two planned f2f assessments she received a phone call that she didn’t have to do a f2f

Here is my confusion.I live in Northern Ireland and Capita are responsible for all PIP assessments in NI. From the beginning my GF was completely out of it when thinking she’d have to do a f2f so I concentrated very hard on trying to get apaper based assessment.when the second f2f was scheduled I visited my local MLA’s Office (our local assembly) to see what he could do. The first piece of advice was to get a letter from her GP saying something along the line of she shouldn’t travel. Done.  Doctors letter off to Capita

With the letter safely in the post the MLA sent an email to one of the Senior Civil Servants running PIP here in NI asking for a paper based assessment and giving a broad outline of my GF problems.  Within three days she had a telephone call from Capita saying she didn’t have to attend the interview that it would be paper based.

Here is my confusion: Capita are the group that decide on what kind of an assessment should be carried out BUT it looks very much like they changed their minds after my MLA contacted a senior official within the Dept. Is this normal?

Another thought that crossed my mind was that a PBA might be more beneficial to the claimant as there is no one sitting opposite just looking for reasons to deduct points..I’m a cynic ! Perhaps with a PBA claimants might just get that extra few points they need

Another idea occured to me; with the Governments U-Turn On Mental conditions and Capita’s own financial worries they might all be trying to avoid a bigger mess
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Comments

  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Kevin, @kah22
    Congratulations, first of all, on what you appear to have managed to do for your girlfriend :smile: What you've done is to get a politician - I take it - to sit up, take notice and intervene, and much as we might hate it, politicians are often the most powerful allies in such circumstances. So well done.
    I don't think there can be much doubt that the f2f is the modern version of the Victorian Ladies' Charities, summoning people to appear before them precisely because they know it will make it more uncomfortable and difficult. Their simple aim is to reduce the amount of benefits paid out, seemingly regardless of any suffering they may cause. Paper based assessment might well be better for claimants, but I don't think making things better for claimants is any part of their philosophy.
    And yes, like you I suspect that the Carillion farce, the discovery that in trying to save money they've actually had to spend more to deal with the consequences, May's insecurity in the role of PM and Capita's own failings make this a very good time to apply whatever pressure we can.
    Warmest best wishes to you and to the GF,
    Richard
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    edited February 2018

    In a sense we here in NI are lucky in that it is a small pool and as such everyone knows everyone else. While in my MLA’s ( Member of the Legislative Assembly) Office the MLA and his office manager were both referring to the PIP Civil Servant by his first name. Certainly seems strange that the change from a f2f to paper based assessment came only days after that email was sent. 

    Maybe it’s because our politicians are back around the table talking again that the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) don’t want to upset anyone and maybe now is the time to squeeze a little harder. If necessary squeeze I will  :)   >:) 

  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Kevin @kah22
    Yup. Keep on squeezing :smile:
    Best
    Richard
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Hi @kah22 have you had any word on the paper based decision, my son is having one as well, it’s been over a month and it’s still with Capita.
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    No. No word yet but I’ll get back to the Forum when a result comes in
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering
    kah22,

    Congratulations on avoiding the f2f assessment for your partner. You're right that it is usually the assessor who decides whether or not a face to face assessment is needed. But I can also see that it's possible where an MLA contacts a civil servant who then contacts Capita, that could be sufficient pressure for them to agree to paper based only. After all, Capita are dependent on the contract with the Social Security Agency, so in a sense, the civil servant can tell Capita what to do...

    I think the smaller populations involved in N Ireland probably make this sort of intervention more possible too. I think you're also right that with the pressures the Assembly have been under they'll be wanting to avoid criticism and help people as much as possible. So indeed, use those factors to get the right result.

    I think many of our MPs in GB wish they could be that helpful, but they are often overwhelmed and the bureaucracy is much bigger of course.

    Good luck and do let the forum know when you have a result.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    I’m curious, but I’ve noticed in a number of post, both here and in Forums elsewhere, that  in GB  it seems unusual to have a Paper Based Assessment. Any idea what the figures are?

    I’ve been doing a bit of checking and here in NI it’s running at 12.5 percent. When I think about it thatks quite high and yet there seems to be a higher proportion been knock off: Concerns raised over NI assessments
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous

    I was incorrect in my opening post. I was doing some calculations the other day, taken from government statistics for Sept/Nov 2017. The figures showed there were a grand total of 24,160 claims for PIP in NI (of those 150 fell under special rules the remainder were a mixture of new claims and reassessments) 

    Of the 24,160 the DfC confirmed, under a FOI request, that 1970 of those were paper based assessments which is just a fraction over 8%, (not 12.5% as I originally stated.) Assuming that the larger number of cases under special rules were paper based that takes the rest down to about 7.58% for ‘ordinary’ cases.

    Is that a higher or lower percentage than in the rest of the UK. If only out of curiosity I  really would be interested in knowing what are the figures across the water like?













  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    mayfair said:
    Hi @kah22 have you had any word on the paper based decision, my son is having one as well, it’s been over a month and it’s still with Capita.

    As promised I’d get back to you.  Received a text yesterday  the 12 March informing me that they had now ‘received the written report of your PIP assessment...(and)...that as a guide you should here from us within 4 weeks.’ I’m assuming though that is just a rough guide to keep themselves covered

    That kind of surprised me because the good people over at benefitsandwork reckoned that on a PBA I should here the result within about 2 to 4 weeks we’re now into the sixth week and looking at, possibly, another 4 weeks. That puzzles me!

    Still there is one bright side that’s DLA guaranteed for another few weeks anyway
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    @kah22 thanks for letting me know, we are now into the 6th week of a PBA as well, thought it would have been a bit quicker 
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    mayfair said:
    @kah22 thanks for letting me know, we are now into the 6th week of a PBA as well, thought it would have been a bit quicker 
    Have you got the ‘we passed it over,’ message yet. Keep me informed
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    @kah22 I have had no letter,text or phone call from them, I’m only getting my information from phoning them. 
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    @kah22 the assessor’s report was received by the DWP on the 21st of March, have you received any decision yet?
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    mayfair said:
    @kah22 the assessor’s report was received by the DWP on the 21st of March, have you received any decision yet?
    No not yet. With a bit of luck sometime this week or early next week. They sure as hell keep you waiting.
    From what I’ve read online my own guess will be low rate care and no mobility. Possibly but unlikely no award. I’m shaping up for the next round  

    In going to start a new thread entitled Subject Access Request SAR. Let me know your views 
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    @kah22 hopefully you hear from them soon, do you know if they contacted any of the medical professionals that you put down on the form?

  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    edited April 2018
    No word yet  :s

    We’re running into the final week and I’d hoped the decision would be in by Easter.  Still if the Decision Maker had a nice break they might award maximum points.  Well we can hope  :)

    Anyway Happy Easter everyone

    Kevin
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    @kah22 I’m still waiting as well phoned on Friday it’s still with the decision maker and with them closed Monday and Tuesday it’s going to take a bit longer. Happy Easter to you and hopefully you get word soon 
      
      
  • kah22
    kah22 Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    edited April 2018
    Thought I’d pop by and give an update.

     We received a text on 12 March informing us that the department had received the assessors report (based on a paper based assessment) and that we should here from them within 4 weeks

     So far no PIP news but she did receive a letter this morning from ESA telling her that they had received new information and she was been placed in the ESA support group, she was there already. I’m hoping that that new information came from the PIP people and that that is a good omen for PIP.

    What do you think? I’ll come back when I’ve more definite information Kevin
  • mayfair
    mayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Sounds good you should receive the decision letter soon, I hope you hear word soon as it has been a long wait for you both 
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you asked for a copy of the report ?
    PA3 I belive for paper based

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste

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