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Terrible Face to face home assessment and no points awarded

bluebird18bluebird18 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi guys!

This is my first time posting so please bear with me. 

I recently had a home face to face assessment for an annual review. I was awarded PIP after the changeover following another home assessment in 2014 which awarded me PIP until January 2019. No other contact from DWP since. 

The assessment was awful, the guy arrived 45 minutes early, refused to wait for my person of support to arrive and said if I didn't let him in to carry out the assessment then he would class it as a refusal and was in and out in 25 minutes.

Assessor was dishonest about start and finish times on the report, stated he was there for an hour, gave me zero points, rushed through the questions, and omitted SO much important information about how my illnesses affect me, my medication etc it was ridiculous!

Ive sent off a formal complaint to Capita but they said they will only deal with the complaint about the assessor and not the report. Said to send a separate letter off to PIP who will deal with that.

Is this the norm for PIP assessors and reports these days? Im astounded!

I have long standing depression and bi polar disorder, anxiety and some other physical health symptoms. This has been such a bad trigger for me. The assessor has basically worded that I have NO functional issues regarding mobility and disregarded the daily help, care prompting I receive too. Said my mental health fluctuates so rapidly that an annual review would be appropriate. Awarded me zero points in both mobility AND care but wants me to have an annual review? Im confused.

Any advice would be very much appreciated. 

Replies

  • lillybellelillybelle Member Posts: 458 Pioneering
    An MR is needed. Send in ASAP. I sent mine in within 2 weeks of assessors decision when I had calmed down abit and could think straight.
      In exactly 2 week I had the decision over turned so no back pay needed.
    but I did have an award to start with.
    but the sooner you get the ball rolling the better
    dont give up the fight as too many people do
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Many assessors are incompetent, dishonest and their reports are very factually inaccurate.  As lillybelle says, ask DWP for a mandatory reconsideration (MR).  You have 28 days from date of decision letter and send by recorded delivery.

    Disability Rights UK site has a good guide to all stages of PIP.  Try to get some f2f advice from CAB or similar.
  • jackykinsjackykins Member Posts: 16 Connected
    this is going on all the time its not fair the government bodies who deal with this should be informed and a petition done its disgraceful 
  • amy798amy798 Member Posts: 29 Connected
    Unfortunately this happened to my mum and a few of her friends who are severely disabled. Assessors don’t care in all honesty, it’s just money for themselves at the end of the day. But as lillybelle said, don’t give up as that is what they want you to do. Good luck and do research on the Internet - it really helps; use CA website to write a good MR or search google on that matter to ensure you include everything needed 
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    Mine said i crouched at the interview, i still can't do that now. They also said the corner shop is over 200metres away in their opinion and one thing i do know is opinion means nothing when it comes to facts, it's only 80 metres according to google also. And they said i was dressed properly, i was dressed but hadn't fastened my jumper as i couldn't reach the part that needs fastening, don't wear underwear as it's too fiddly to put on and had no socks or shoes on despite it being cold coz i have to ask people to put those on for me and i forgot to ask anyone and don't notice the cold as i'm too hot most of the time anyway so no i wasn't dressed properly. My hair wasn't brushed either as i struggle with that and nobody else can brush it when i'm in pain as it hurts when they try to, it was several says since i'd had a wash but as i don't move about much i don't smell too bad and 2 weeks since my hair was washed. Oh and i didn't look mentally ill despite my therapist diagnosing me with moderate depression (moderate doesn't sound too bad but when you look at the criteria it basically stops you from functioning at all). i told her i couldn't stand to make a meal yet they put that i could make one, i never made a meal while the assessor was here so not sure why she said that.

    They just give their opinion, but like i said opinion means nothing when it comes to facts. Unfortunately you have to be doing well mentally to be able to appeal and i was not so they basically got what they wanted at the time, which was me to get nothing and to be unable to defend myself.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    It is worth going all the way to appeal despite the hassle as 69% of appeals succeed.  Tribunals know that many assessors are incompetent and dishonest.
  • bluebird18bluebird18 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks so much guys! I havent had the decision back yet BUT with 0 points, Im sending the letter to PIP in advance. I was disgusted with the asessment. Will keep you updated if you'd like. 
  • sandyp196sandyp196 Member Posts: 133 Pioneering
    I had a pup review in march. The assessor turned up at 8.10 am when my appointment was a 9.15am. I was asleep when she knocked the door. I let her in before I realised the time. When I did realise and knew my mental health worker wasn't due for another hour I told the assessor she would have to leave. There is more to this account how she tried to persuade me to go ahead with the review but iv said it a few times on other posts. 
    But the fact I asked her to leave made it into the assessors report! I still don't knkw why. She didn't mention on the report she turned up an hour early, only thay I asked her to leave. She waited outside my flat for the hour. It was very intimidating.     
  • bluebird18bluebird18 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Doing PIP assessments, knowing full well that the claimant has 'mental health issues' as either their primary or secondary reason for the claim, and putting unnecessary distress and pressure on them by pulling these stunts is abhorrent. These assessors are fully aware of what they are doing! Turning up an hour early in your case, 45 mins early in mine and pressuring people to go ahead without their support person/s present is reason for complaint enough. They really need to re-assess this whole PIP assessment procedure..knowingly causing distress and unnecessary delay tactics/back and forth communication to vulnerable people so that some might not even bother requesting a MR or go to appeal is disgusting. 

    My assessment report was 24 pages of utter drivel. 24 pages!!! for a 25 minute visit? 
    They've had a 16 page letter of complaint tearing both the report and assessor apart. 
    Good luck with yours Sandy x
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2018
    Maybe there is a very good reason why they come early. What better way to catch someone unaware than to ring the door bell 60 mins before time.

     Waiting until the allotted hour will have the claimant ready and waiting, the recording equipment set up and running in secret and the person giving support to the claimant calming the claimant down with all of the paperwork and copy of the claim form all laid out ready. 

    It is a tactic used by many bodies - it is done to catch them unawares and panicking.

    Or maybe they are so lacking in forethought and don't understand that if they are ready you should be too irrespective of the early hour.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 915 Pioneering
    @bluebird18 and @jackykins The DWP know all about this. They don't change it because it's doing exactly what they want: getting people off benefits! They don't care that they're driving people into destitution, making them sicker, or causing suicides. If you have the physical and mental wherewithal, fight them. They're doing it on purpose, and that is bloody EVIL.
  • sandyp196sandyp196 Member Posts: 133 Pioneering
    I think when you have experienced this system once and had to appeal. Beg, go to tribunal, rely on food banks and use all your energy trying to get from one week to the next without losing your home or getting a visit from the bailiffs, you learn pretty quick to look after yourself in this system. 
    3 years ago when I had my first pip assesment I would have let that assessor in and made her a cup of tea while apologising for my rudeness at being in bed when she came. I would have gone ahead without my support worker and just hoped for the best. 
    Ofc I got refused the first time and had to go to appeal. This time I don't do anything without support and witnesses. Thanks to experience and sites like this one. I know more about the law now and I will use the information to protect myself the best I can. 

    If ypu ever have a home assesment and they turn up early ask them to come back at the right time. Claimants have every right to do this. Iv since checked out my assessors claim that claimants are made aware 'appointent times can fluctuate.' This is not true and they can't enforce it. 
    I showed my assessor the appointment letter and asked her to show me where it said the time could fluctuate. She just shrugged her shoulders as if to say it had been worth a try. 
    My OT also rang the dwp to complain the assessor tried to persuade me to go ahead without support and asked if it was true about appointment times fluctuating.  The dwp said no.
    I know people say we onky hear the worst accounts on sites like this, but that doesn't make it any less cruel. I'm pleased many are getting what they need without being treated bad. It doesn't excuse the fact many thousands are being treated badly and many many disabled people are being made more disabled and even die in terrible poverty and isolation.
  • bluebird18bluebird18 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    *update*

    Received a text on monday, they had enough information and would be in touch in due course..they also sent that in a letter 3 weeks ago..PIP went in today..£30 short..they stopped my award Monday. 

    Phoned them to be told the letter of complaint I sent to CAPITA and gave PIP a copy of to hopefully assist with my claim was 'possibly' looked at but that the DWP certainly don't reply to letters from claimants. 

    Would not accept a request for MR over the phone as I need to have received their decision letter first and would not discuss it further with me. Said I needed to read their decision first.

    With the bank holiday, and legth of time it takes for DWP mail to arrive, it could be 2 weeks. I then have 2 weeks to get an MR in with evidence. I cant do this..next appointment with a GP or psych is very last day of June :( 

    My stress levels are through the roof this morning and can feel an episode of either mania or severe low mood creeping up on me.

    I dont know where to go from here
  • lillybellelillybelle Member Posts: 458 Pioneering
    Start your MR letter now. Use your report if you have it as they have no doubt taken their decision from that.
    obviously don’t post it untill your letter arrives and then you can tweak it if necessary 
    don’t wait untill GP appointment. That can be sent at a later date.
    when I did my MR I sent it in within a week as the sooner it is done the sooner the decision is made and if necessary the sooner the next stage begins.
    i had the result of my MR in 2 weeks in my favour.
    Dont sit around getting stressed up about it. Think about what will be put into the letter, why your disability needs you to be cared for etc. 
    Do not call the assessor a liar, that will not earn you points. ( even if it was true)
    as if this claim goes to a tribuneral a judge will be reading it.
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