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Further Evidence and the responsibility of requesting it.

YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
edited April 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Over the past 5 years since I started on the PIP roadway it has never been clear to me as to who is actually responsible for gathering further evidence to assist the assessor.

In the first instance when completing the PIP2 you are asked to send evidence in that you already have to hand. 
Then looking at the assessors' guide it clearly states that if they want further evidence that would help them complete a report then they would get it.
Indeed on the claim form you are asked to give full details of who these people are that could provide this further evidence.

I'm not saying what actually happens but what should happen.



Replies

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    You are the claimant and you’re making the claim. You have the sole responsibility for providing evidence to make the case for your entitlement. 

    There are very specific and limited circumstances in which the HCP might consider getting additional evidence and there’s neither a mystery or any contradiction about it. It’s set out at para 1.41.1 in https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684001/pip-assessment-guide-part-1-assessment-process.pdf#page15
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks Mike I did read that and to me it reads that the assessor should look for further evidence if they feel that it would help.
    Additionally they should consider evidence handed to them at the assessment. At my last assessment when I tried to do that they handed it back to me without reading any of it telling me that they don't deal with that - that's the back office's job.
    If a claimant brings further relevant evidence to a face to face consultation which is not already on PIPCS, the HP should always take a copy of it and consider its relevance when completing their assessment report. The copy of the evidence should be sent to the CM with the completed report.

    At the end of the day I can only send what evidence I hold at home which as you rightly say is my responsibility to send it to them. The DWP clearly say that I should not ask for any additional evidence or pay for it. They even go so far as to say not to send any evidence in that was sent in with the last claim and that any evidence should not be older than 24 months - on that point I now understand that I have to ignore both of those statements.

    Are you actually saying that I should be proactive and seek out further relevant evidence to confirm the difficulties I have even if I have to pay for it? 

    It's really confusing. It is being said that I have to ignore what the DWP say.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    No, my line with people is that you only seek medical evidence if it fills a specific gap. The best evidence you have is anecdotal i.e. your own stories.
  • whistleswhistles Member Posts: 1,603 Disability Gamechanger
    Is this pip2 the review form or the original form.

    The claimant provides everything. I get that.
    They didn't contact anyone on the further info list on my form, so I deemed that as they didn't need further info because they had it. 

    Since they tell you not to pay for anything you don't have I didn't, however that did Imo run an element of risk of them not bothering to contact anyone on that list. If they don't they are taking your word for it that these people even exist.

    I don't know why you would need to bring evidence to the assessment? Surely that's all gone in with the forms. If it's a review you have had time to gather what you need because you have an end date. 

    Do not follow me, I don't know where I am going.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    A PIP 2 is the original form. You should not bring evidence to the assessment. It’s not the job of a HCP to assess all your evidence. They are there to just discuss you. You should send it in with your claim form. 

    The people listed on your claim pack will never be contacted unless any of the conditions set out in the provider guidance are met. 
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    No, my line with people is that you only seek medical evidence if it fills a specific gap. The best evidence you have is anecdotal i.e. your own stories.

    Thanks Mike I do fully understand what you are saying - I'm just trying to equate what the assessor is supposed to do according to their instruction book as with further evidence supplied at the assessment and what actually happens.

    In my case this was a report from the hospital in that they assessed me on their machine as not being able to walk more than a few yards safely. 
    My story is fine, but that is all it is a story. I could be the biggest liar in the country or someone that continually under plays their difficulties. Surely some proof is needed apart from what I say to show that I am a credible claimant?
     
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    whistles said:
    Is this pip2 the review form or the original form.

    The claimant provides everything. I get that.
    They didn't contact anyone on the further info list on my form, so I deemed that as they didn't need further info because they had it. 

    Since they tell you not to pay for anything you don't have I didn't, however that did Imo run an element of risk of them not bothering to contact anyone on that list. If they don't they are taking your word for it that these people even exist.

    I don't know why you would need to bring evidence to the assessment? Surely that's all gone in with the forms. If it's a review you have had time to gather what you need because you have an end date. 


    It was both a re-assessment for PIP in 2015 and a review in 2017.

    Not everything is as black and white as you suggest. All of my medical issues continue to be treated one way or another. The report I mentioned was one that  had been sent to my GP only a few days before the face to face assessment. It was a factual report setting out under test conditions how my spine, pelvis and hips performed on a walking machine in the hospital using different gradients and speed.
    It backed up completely my 'story' as to the difficulties I have when attempting to walk anywhere. They didn't read it but they should have as per their own instruction book. The result of that re-assessment was that the assessor suggested that I could walk between 50 and 200 metres using an aid. The report said that I could only walk a few metres safely and no more than' 10 metres without falling off the machine.
    When I sent it in to the DWP with the MR application they changed their decision to give me enhanced mobility. At the same time I told the DWP to read the 3 page report from my GP together with the Social Services assessment again which was sent to them with the re-assessment form. They must have done as the increased the Care award from standard to enhanced as well.
       
  • whistleswhistles Member Posts: 1,603 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2018
    If it was straight forward, everyone who applied would understand the forms, supply what was wanted and be on the correct award- if they fitted the criteria.
    The dwp don't understand their own forms since those with MH problems are being looked at again, all 600,000.
    Do not follow me, I don't know where I am going.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    whistles said:.
    The dwp don't understand their own forms since those with MH problems are being looked at again, all 600,000.
    That had nothing to do with understanding forms. That was a problem caused by a court decision that like they did with DLA they interpreted the law in a different way to what it was deemed to cover. So the government changed the wording so as to stop others using that loophole. Then the government were found to be wrong in changing the rules so it all ended up back where it started from with claimants being awarded points that the government never intended to happen when PIP first came out.
    PIP will end up like DLA did with courts ruling so much that the DLA rules that the government passed become so wide open. DLA ended up nothing like what the government intended it to be. 
  • whistleswhistles Member Posts: 1,603 Disability Gamechanger
    I probably wasnt on DLA then. Hasn't heard of it, just struggled on. 
    Was it not for MH problems then? That's harsh.
    Do not follow me, I don't know where I am going.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    Never trust the DWP. a) Most of them don't seem to know what they're doing, b) They're incompetent, c) They don't follow their own rules, d) Some of them outright lie. 

    Yes, they're supposed to seek evidence from your listed medical people, but: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/the-pip-files-dwp-documents-show-absolutely-shocking-failure-on-further-evidence/

    The DWP expected that the assessors would need to request further evidence in about 50% of cases. ATOS and Capita have fallen *way* short of that, particularly recently .

    Also, further evidence you bring to your assessment should be copied, read by the assessor, and sent on to the DWP. Their own guidance says so. Often they don't know that, but hey.

    Finally, the assessors are supposed to read your forms and all your further evidence before the assessment. This info should be referenced in their report. The DWP Case Managers should do the same. If they haven't, that's a good way to get the assessment report thrown out.

  • justg72justg72 Member Posts: 173 Pioneering
    Wayley When I went to my PIP F2F review all the computers were down and the assessor said that she could not access my form or seizure diaries. None of my evidence was looked at, I did not want the assessment to go ahead but it did. I did put a complaint in regarding the matter. I also told them I was not asked many questions. I then asked for a copy of my assessment the assessor had answered all the questions even though I did not get asked them. My report arrived and she said that I had scored a 0 in both daily living and mobility. So I now have to appeal with a MR. So do you think my assessment could be thrown out? Also there was no reference in the report about the computers and that my evidence had not been read.
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @Waylay
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    @justg72 Oh ugh. The HP should have looked at your form(s) and medical evidence before your assessment or afterwards, when they wrote the report. The fact that they didn't have access to it during the assessment probably affected it, but they'll argue that it didn't, and when it's the DWP vs you, they win.

    Did you record the assessment, by any chance? Did anyone take notes? Did you have anyone with you? These things might not make much of a difference. They often argue that it's your (and your friend's) word against the HP's, so there's no way to resolve it.

    If you want to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration and/or appeal, this is what you need to do:
    1) Take this test: http://www.mybenefitsandwork.co.uk/pip/indexxx.php . Remember to focus on how your function is affected by your conditions for each of the questions. If the test says that you should get an award:

    2) How long ago did you get the decision letter? If it was less than a month ago, you can donate Mandatory Reconsideration (which probably won't help, but which you have to do to be able to appeal). If it's been longer than a month you may still be able to get an MR. Ask for details on the forums.

    2) Take a look at each of the activities, and see whether you explained how your conditions limit your function for each activity, and whether you can link any of your further evidence to what you say.

    Remember, your actual diagnoses don't really matter! It's all about how your function is affected. So, instead of writing: "I can't prepare and cook a simple meal without assistance because I have osteoarthritis", write: "My osteoarthritis makes it impossible for me to hold cutlery tightly, so I can't cut up food in preparation for cooking. I need someone else to do this for me. This is the case on 90% of days. I occasionally (10% of days) have a good day (weather, temperature, rest, medication), and can prepare food for cooking by myself." Make sense? 

    Could you write your application better, knowing this? If yes:

    3) Call and ask for a copy of your assessment report (PA4). Follow up with a letter (recorded delivery is best). 

    4) The definitions of words used by the DWP are very specific, and the details of how they score things are complex. If you can get some help, I would. Even with help, I'd suggest joining the benefitsandwork website. £20 for a year, amazing guides for how to do everything, and great forums, with a fairly expert mod answering questions. Their guides give advice for MRs, appeals, challenging the assessment report, etc. 

    Which activities do you disagree with them on? Start writing them up. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I know a bad assessment and 0 points is incredibly aaaaargh!!, but you won't get more points by writing down everything they did wrong in the assessment/report. Prove the points you think you should get.

    5) Once you get the report, see if there's anything wrong with it. It sounds like there should be, given your description! If there's enough wrong to challenge the report, you can do that in the MR, or when appealing to a tribunal. This may result in you being called for a new assessment, btw.

    That should be enough for now! Keep an eye on those deadlines....
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    @justg72 I'm challenging my report because mine contains egregious errors (e.g. I don't see a psychiatrist, I've been discharged from the pain clinic). If the HP had read my forms or evidence it would have been immediately obvious that he was wrong, and he'd have corrected it. I also covertly recorded my assessment (naughty me).
  • justg72justg72 Member Posts: 173 Pioneering
    Hi Waylay
    Thanks for your support and guidance it means alot. You have been really naughty but who can blame you when their reports are incorrect. I asked the assessor to watch  video evidence of me before, during and after a tonic clonic seizure, she point blank refused. If she had seen this she would had seen how bad my seizures effect me. My daily tasks all comes down to safety of me and my son. For example not been able to use boiling hot pans and the oven when making a meal because of the consequences should I drop to the floor and have a seizure which is happening alot with no warnings. I wish I would have taped mine because it would prove that I was not asked relevant questions concerning my illness. I was asked not many of the questions however the assessor has answered them. As for the computers been down this affected many others who were assessed at the same time as me. How can it possibly be a FAIR assessment when important evidence could not be accessed. I am still awaiting a response from the complaints department I will just see what they say.
    Thanks again and good luck with your PIP. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    Yadnad said:
    whistles said:
    Is this pip2 the review form or the original form.

    The claimant provides everything. I get that.
    They didn't contact anyone on the further info list on my form, so I deemed that as they didn't need further info because they had it. 

    Since they tell you not to pay for anything you don't have I didn't, however that did Imo run an element of risk of them not bothering to contact anyone on that list. If they don't they are taking your word for it that these people even exist.

    I don't know why you would need to bring evidence to the assessment? Surely that's all gone in with the forms. If it's a review you have had time to gather what you need because you have an end date. 


    It was both a re-assessment for PIP in 2015 and a review in 2017.

    Not everything is as black and white as you suggest. All of my medical issues continue to be treated one way or another. The report I mentioned was one that  had been sent to my GP only a few days before the face to face assessment. It was a factual report setting out under test conditions how my spine, pelvis and hips performed on a walking machine in the hospital using different gradients and speed.
    It backed up completely my 'story' as to the difficulties I have when attempting to walk anywhere. They didn't read it but they should have as per their own instruction book. The result of that re-assessment was that the assessor suggested that I could walk between 50 and 200 metres using an aid. The report said that I could only walk a few metres safely and no more than' 10 metres without falling off the machine.
    When I sent it in to the DWP with the MR application they changed their decision to give me enhanced mobility. At the same time I told the DWP to read the 3 page report from my GP together with the Social Services assessment again which was sent to them with the re-assessment form. They must have done as the increased the Care award from standard to enhanced as well.
       
    Perhaps I should clarify. The intent is to gather enough evidence to be able to make a decision. For all the talk about making the right decision the process as it currently stands is about no more than having enough evidence to make a decision.

    So, the evidence you sent in at a late stage of your claim could, mad as it seems, be rightly disregarded if DWP believe they already have enough information to make a decision. This makes sense because you have to draw a line somewhere and make a decision. Claimants could send in a new document once a week forever more if that were not the case. 

    The MR process then worked correctly for once and took your document into account and realised it couldn’t be squared with the HCP report. The only thing wrong in your case is that when your report went to the DWP originally they should have sent it to the assessment provider. This is because provider guidance says they should not do functional testing if up to date functional information is available. Your face to face ought to have been only a chat and should not have included any functional testing.

    As much as anything then you appear to have had to go to MR simply because your document went to DWP too late to influence the decision and too late to be forwarded to the provider. 
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    I can see your logic Mike but it still doesn't explain why and how the assessor is allowed to refuse to accept and read evidence handed in at the assessment. The instructions specifically say that any new evidence handed in at the assessment should be copied, read and used during the assessment. It certainly doesn't say that the assessor can refuse to accept it.

    Thank goodness I retired when I did (2008) from public service. If what you are suggesting is actually happening my conscience would not have allowed my staff to make ANY decision without reading ALL of the evidence and information. And should new information come in after that decision had been made then again I would have  expected that the original decision would have been reviewed for as many times as was appropriate. 
    As the Service allows any evidence received at any time that throws light on possible past fraudulent activities to be used, likewise my attitude that the same level of responsibility should be given to late new evidence to be used to question if the award should be higher without the claimant having to ask for it.
    There is/was a rule that an officer should always strive to ensure that the decision is accurate and that it remains so.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,312 Disability Gamechanger
    To be honest I think it’s hopelessly optimistic to expect any HCP to do anything more than see the claimant and write a report having read documents already submitted such as a claim pack. There are simply not enough hours in the day for them to read, digest, copy and forward and it’s wholly unreasonable to have any such expectation, putting aside that you’re giving a private company documents over which they have no jurisdiction nor obligation. The HCP put together one piece of evidence following a discussion. If you want a decision maker to consider other evidence then send them to DWP.

    Let’s say for arguments sake they do as you say. Based on my experience of what happens on the day of tribunals when people bring extra evidence in, I would estimate that the length of time of any assessment would then be doubled from 30 minutes to an hour. That would halve the number of assessments in a day. To put that into perspective ATOS/IAS are currently booking appointments on both days of every weekend to clear the backlog!
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    To be honest I think it’s hopelessly optimistic to expect any HCP to do anything more than see the claimant and write a report having read documents already submitted such as a claim pack. There are simply not enough hours in the day for them to read, digest, copy and forward and it’s wholly unreasonable to have any such expectation, putting aside that you’re giving a private company documents over which they have no jurisdiction nor obligation. The HCP put together one piece of evidence following a discussion. If you want a decision maker to consider other evidence then send them to DWP.

    Let’s say for arguments sake they do as you say. Based on my experience of what happens on the day of tribunals when people bring extra evidence in, I would estimate that the length of time of any assessment would then be doubled from 30 minutes to an hour. That would halve the number of assessments in a day. To put that into perspective ATOS/IAS are currently booking appointments on both days of every weekend to clear the backlog!
    Thanks Mike. I may well be optimistic in my expectations and I agree if the assessor was to do as I have said the queue would be miles long.
    However it is part of the contract that ATOS accepted. To just say that it would take too long to do that 'so we will ignore it' is plainly wrong. Personally I would expect ATOS to increase the number of assessors and reduce their bottom line profit if they want to be taken seriously. 
    At the end of the day the DWP inserted that rule for the assessor to follow and as such I for one expect them to follow it. Personally I don't care how they do it, all I want to see is a following of what is expected of them. Indeed if a claimant was of a similar mind and decided not to carry out an action because it was 'too protracted' I do wonder how the DWP would deal with it.

    But hey I am probably over expecting miracles when it comes to these assessors.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    @Yadnad, Yes, there are all kinds of things that the assessors and CMs are supposed to do, but which they don't. For example, it's abundantly clear, from the number of serious errors, that neither of them read my forms or my evidence. The thing is, the DWP likes getting people off of benefits, so they're not going to complain! Also, apparently ATOS gives the assessors 15 minutes to read forms and evidence before the assessment, which isn't enough for many claim packs. Grumble.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2018
    Waylay said:
    Also, apparently ATOS gives the assessors 15 minutes to read forms and evidence before the assessment, which isn't enough for many claim packs. Grumble.
    I found that out a while back so came to the conclusion at the time that it would be a waste of my time in filling out the form to that extent knowing that it would not get read. I just ticked the various boxes.

    How wrong I have been. Filling the form in has nothing to do with the DWP or the assessors it is the Tribunal that you have to worry about.  
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    Exactly, @Yadnad. And you do get assessors who actually do their jobs, sometimes.
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