My assessment nightmare
it clearly states on the PIP renewal form that you are not to speak of or supply documental proof for any condition that you reported to them when you were first awarded PIP as they are already fully aware of those.
Implying that all those conditions will still apply within the consideration, and as the main part of the form is asking you if those previous conditions are worse, better or the same, so obviously they must be included. I had been awarded standard Daily living component and enhanced mobility component allowance for five years based on my previous conditions, I had completed the renewal form and answered that all my original conditions (Which are all of the type that can only stay the same or get worse) were mostly still the same, one had gotten worse and I gave details with an accompanying letter.
So why did I have to go for the Face to Face assessment in the first place? if those conditions were good enough for the award four years ago, why aren’t they now?
Now reading the report from the select committee find this
"We also recommend the Department makes clear to claimants being reassessed that they should not assume information from their previous assessment will be re-used, and should be prepared to re-submit any supporting evidence already provided!"
Well how can we re-submit if we are told on the form not to? Also this implies that I will be re-assessed only on the new information I gave and all the serious conditions which awarded me the PIP for five years will be ignored? His cannot be acceptable.
Anyway my assessment was a nightmare
I was tricked and lied to. I was familure with the building that the meeting was to take place in, but not with its inside. I knew that there was a sign on the outside saying that you had to phone in advance if you wanted a blue card slot.
I phoned Monday 21st May 2018 and was told “Oh don’t worry the barriers will be down.” Ok that’s fair enough, but while I was on the phone I asked where the office I would be attending was inside the building and would it be far to walk? Because I cannot walk far because of the pain I am in, I intended to ask my wife to bring my camping chair out of the boot of the car if I had to break a long walk into bits. I was told clearly that the office was right inside the door with no long walks.
Complete and utter lie.
When we attended today we entered through the door and I immediately took a seat in the waiting area now in more pain from walking from the car to there. Then my wife went to the desk and did the registration, and then the nurse who was conducting my assessment called my name and we were to follow her. Her office was obviously as far away down the corridors as it was possible to be. Had I not been lied to I would have had my chair with me and could have broken up the distance as I have done before by sitting on my chair and recovering enough to face a bit more, with no chairs in the corridor, deliberately I assume, when I reached about 10 or 12 metres and was in agony all I could do for some relief was stop and lean against the wall lifting my most painful leg off the floor.
I am now forced into a situation where I either sit on the floor or then would need two strong people to get me up or lean on the wall to recover as best I could, which I did, but recovery from the increased pain is not as good with that method as sitting.
I have to say this trickery is absolutely abysmal to try and force the disabled to walk the distance to the office just so they can say the patient was able to walk that distance so is not entitled to mobility. Disgusting and is entrapment.
Walking down the corridor with the aid of my wife I expected the assessor to stop at any second and enter a door, instead I find myself tricked into suddenly being in the middle of a distance that I would not normally attempt and have no choice whatsoever but to complete it as best I can, irrespective of the pain it caused me. These are callous uncaring actions and are not acceptable, I would rather they had taken me in a closer room and punched me in the gut demanding to know if I was lying as it would have physically hurt me less. By the time I got onto a chair in her office I was in a great deal of pain, but she showed no concern whatsoever.
The interview got off to a very bad start, I had read in documents on government pages on the internet that made clear that I had the right to ask the qualifications of the assessor, when I did she got very loud and short with me, saying “I am a nurse” and when I asked “yes but in which area”? Meaning possibly physio or mental health or whatever, she just barked “everything.”
Waving her ID, which was still around her neck at me from the other side of the table making me feel I had now upset her and turned her against me from the get go.
I had read the results of the select committee’s recommendations and the
department’s replies, but despite what had been said about transparency, there
was no attempt by the assessor to position me so I could see her computer
screen, in fact the opposite! I was positioned at the other side of her desk
looking at the back of it, and there was no mention by her of would I like to
see the screen?
Also from reading the report and bearing in mind how long has passed
since the recommendations were made and bearing in mind the PIP department’s
response to the recommendations about recordings which was
“We agree that this does not go far enough to help build trust in the system and therefore we intend to make recording the PIP assessment a standard part of the process. We are currently exploring potential options to test the recording of assessments, including video recording.”
That response had been made some time ago and thinking they must have
set something up by now I asked her if she would be recording the session.
Again I received severe attitude and was told in no uncertain terms that if I
wanted to I would have to use my own equipment and supply two recordings. I
tried to point out to her that I had read the select committee’s report and the
responses from her department in which it stated the above. I was not allowed
to finish the statement, so I then said that I had read that it had been
decided that expecting the claimant to pay out the kind of money required for
that kind of system was ridiculous and her department had said the above. She
barked that I probably read it wrong!
I politely pointed out to her that I am a retired Airline Captain and it is very unlikely that I would read it wrong.
“I don’t care what you are” she said. These are our rules and threw the leaflet across the desk at me, following with “Well would you like to terminate this interview now then”? I have to say I was absolutely astounded by her attitude, I was already extremely stressed and in a great deal of pain and now I am feeling intimidated and disliked and angry that the assessment started with an attitude like this. I am fully convinced now that my questions had completely turned her against me and therefor the outcome of the assessment came as no surprise.
Panicking and trying to salvage the situation I actually said to her, “Well
I had no intention of upsetting you and turning you against me before we even
get going, I was just asking a few questions that I believed I had the right to
ask,” she completely ignored me and again asked if I wished to cancel the appointment, It became obvious it
was what she wanted, but I did not and I asked her to continue.
Still feeling an overwhelming need to salvage this situation and feeling I now had an aggressive, unhappy and biased against me assessor, I then said “Well I expect at some point the department will catch up with the recommendations”.
But I felt that the way she had spoken to me with total disrespect had shattered whatever confidence I had left at this point and felt sick in the pit of my stomach. As the interview went on she mellowed only a fraction and I and my wife both agree that we would at no point have described her demeanor as friendly, in fact we would describe it as hostile with her often commenting on my replies by saying things like “Well yes but you find ways to do it though don’t you?” Or in the case of needing assistance or and aid she would say, yes but you could do this or that making me feel I was being interrogated and no matter what answer I gave it was not accepted.
My wife was present and other than being asked who she was and what was her name, she was asked nothing about me by the assessor throughout the whole assessment.
I made it clear to her that I was concerned about the walk back, but no effort was mad whatsoever to get me a chair to sit on half way or anything and I had to struggle to the point I could go no further and lean against the wall with a foot off the ground until the pain had eased enough to do a bit more, I got as far at the waiting area and had to sit for half an hour before I could go to our car, she came out and left after we had been sat the for ten minutes and as she walked by said "Are you ok?" I said "Hopefully I will be" finally when we were in the car and my wife was just about to reverse out a car went behind us and my wife commented, "That was the assessor." My god had she really sat in her car waiting to watch me come out to mine! Beggars belief.
I have Spinal Stenosis, Spondalitis of the spine, Arthritis everywhere bad in my feet and have had two operations on one shoulder and one on the other, waiting for another. I have Fibromyalgia and everything associated with that, I have had major surgery for bowel cancer which spread down meaning I lost most of the pelvic floor weakening my lower limbs. I have a permanent stoma, I have had 9 operations on my tummy and my tummy muscles are atrophied and weak, The top of my left leg is totally numb and I have had deep injections to try and help but they say they don't know what to do and think it was something damaged in the major surgery when I had half my guts removed. and just for a final kick in the teeth I have asthma.
Everything proved conclusively with documentation from Surgeons and doctors, Everything ignored for the final decision to be made by a case worker with no medical qualifications. Has the world gone completely mad, How can these criminals be allowed to get away with this?