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PIP f2f asking about pets

MEMPHIS23MEMPHIS23 Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Ive been on higher rate PIP and MOBILITY for 3yrs.Ive deteriorated in that time,and was forced into attending a f2f which was living hell,i havent heard back yet and it was over 3 weeks ago.The question which keeps springing into my mind is,"why did he continuously ask if id any pets"?  I have inherited an indoor cat,that my carer sees to,hes my only company,i have no family at all,why do they need to know that????

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @MEMPHIS23   Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Sorry what you are gong through. I myself had an assessment few weeks ago. Usually takes anything from six weeks to eight weeks or longer.  So  was told. .

    Sorry to tell you that but you are not alone with your frustrations.  

    We are a supportive community. Care and share.

    Lots of information, advice and plenty of new friends.

    I had similar sorts of questions in my assessment as well. This is part of the worrying and anxiety you start to say. Did I say enough?. Am I successful and got the benefit here's hoping?

    Best wishes to you hope you get a successful outcome when it comes.

    All I can add we are here to help and advise.

    Ask the community anything we are friendly.

    Anytime want to listen some one from our community be in touch.

    Please take care

    @thespiceman
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @MEMPHIS23!
    Thank you for sharing this experience with us all. I hope there will be many community members who will be able to relate to your situation. It can take 6-8 weeks to get an answer so you should get one soon. Please do keep us updated and if you need anything then please do not hesitate to be in touch! :)
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,
    During a face 2 face assessment they do ask some claimants about pets and it can sometimes be a trick question. Basically, they could say that because you have a pet then this must mean that you can do the things you say you can't. For example, if a person had a dog and they state they can only walk a certain distance, they could turn around and say that you have a dog, which needs walking therefore you can't possibly have problems walking. This doesn't mean that your review won't be successful though, far from it.

    Decision times vary across the country and it all depends on the backlog in your area. Have you asked for a copy of the assessment report to be sent to you? If not then ring them and ask. This report will tell you what the decision is likely to be as they mostly go with the report. Hopefully not too long now though. Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • PinPin Member Posts: 139 Pioneering
    I got asked this too, but just once. The answer was yes - two Guinea pigs and I was then asked if I fed them and cleaned them out myself. I said yes (I should have explained I buy pre cut veg for them but didnt think about it) and my mum interjected that I am not very good at it and I’m not coping with them (a constant argument between us.). Still waiting for the decision though. The guinea pigs are fine I should add, they don’t let me forget to feed them!

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I was asked about pets.  Looking after pets especially dogs can indicate a high level of energy.
  • leannexlushleannexlush Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi everyone 
    I simpathise and i do remember them asking me that i have two cats and it didnt go in there favour as my older cat paws me when im going downhill and he guards me while i sleep so funny ithought it was a fluke but no its true 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,936 Disability Gamechanger
    I’ve posted this previously in relation to tribunal but it’s as relevant here.

    There are no “trick” questions. It’s a statement which annoys the heck out of me as it implies assessors are all stupid and set out to deceive and such cheap stereotypes don’t actually reflect the sheer numbers of people who have had  assessments and get PIP without incident. 

    Tribunals for example are usually listed 20 minutes apart so, apart from the appeal papers, they need questions which cut across lots of functions. So the car question is brilliant because it indicates grip; mobility; dexterity; the ability to do something repeatedly; concentration and stamina. Instead of thinking negatively about such stuff think about what they’re getting at and your answers will be much better and more detailed. Similar questions include whether you’ve been on holiday recently. It feeds into mobility (getting across an airport); stamina; the ability to cope alone; the need for aids and appliances.

    Same applies to HCP assessments. Limited time so they need questions which cover multiple activities. 

    So, of you have a dog that naturally leads into questions about walking and bending, grip (on a lead or a can opener) and so on. A cat might suggest you can lift light things. A rabbit or Guinea pig suggest similar and all might invite questions about the frequency you go outside. I can’t see a single thing wrong with being asked something which relates to your daily life and which tests multiple functions and the consistency of your evidence. It’s there to make your life easier not harder.
  • PinPin Member Posts: 139 Pioneering
    I got the impression the issue is with being asked the same question repeatedly and the things which are assumed that don’t reflect reality. For example presumably the assumption will be if I can prepare veg for them why can’t I do it for myself - when I don’t, I buy packets of things. Or a rabbit means you go outside - when it’s a house rabbit. I’d rather be asked more questions than assumptions made.

    I didnt object to being asked anything (still waiting on a decision) but I was only asked each question once. I can understand why it’s infuriating to be asked the same thing over and over.


  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    There are many ways in which having a pet and looking after it could show what you can and cannot do. Feeding them is obvious but taking a dog for a walk, clearing up any mess cats or dogs make indoors or, in some cases, outdoors, another is your ability to get to the vets and dealing with the waiting room and the vet staff. I suspect this has been included to catch out those that really shouldn't receive the benefit. Personally I would love to have a pet for company but have had to accept for a long time that I could never look after it properly because I simply cannot make certain movements that would be necessary if I had one.

    Having recently gone through the initial application process I am waiting to hear if I need to have a f2f assessment and the stress of waiting for the letter is driving me crazy as is the expected argument when I tell them I am housebound and cannot attend one. I certainly understand why some people find this more distressing than others. We are not all the same or have the same abilities to deal with the process well.

    The process is not easy and I think that is deliberate, to discourage people from claiming in order to save money. The large number of short times before reassessment is most likely for the same reason. I have read a few posts on here where someone appears eligible but has given up trying to get it or keep it.

    I hope it goes well for those waiting to hear.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • APrivateGentlemanAPrivateGentleman Member Posts: 1 Listener
    edited April 2020
    If I can help, the pet issue questioning appears to be a double edge sword...You have to remember that ATOS/IAS uses a number of subsidiary small companies to carry out its work, very rare that they do their own assessment contracts these days, this "can" hide accountability and "possible" counter legal action against them...The subsidiaries are trained in using intelligence information relating to the client if there is cause for suspicion...One way to refute or put in jeopardy your application is looking into online social media accounts...For example you tell them you have no pets, when they check the famous big 4 sites, they see you with a dog or cat, they know you have been telling a mis-truth, so they will change the paper work in accordance with the element of doubt...(Don't be fooled in thinking they haven't the time to check, its in their interests to catch the claimant out)...Interviews glean them "around" £400/"approximately" and bonuses are paid should any appeal tribunal fail...(I have heard that some assessors claim they can access cloud type data base storage via their IT departments, to view photos of garden scenes)..."You have to remember this is a them and us situation", you go into any of these meetings with a level playing field ethos and you may be very disappointed on the 24 month call ins that you have to go through....Best of luck to all of you and I hope the "Universal Basic Income" comes in as soon as possible, to free us all from this awful exposure +++ A Very Private Gentleman.
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    edited April 2020
    I’ve posted this previously in relation to tribunal but it’s as relevant here.

    There are no “trick” questions. It’s a statement which annoys the heck out of me as it implies assessors are all stupid and set out to deceive and such cheap stereotypes don’t actually reflect the sheer numbers of people who have had  assessments and get PIP without incident. 

    Tribunals for example are usually listed 20 minutes apart so, apart from the appeal papers, they need questions which cut across lots of functions. So the car question is brilliant because it indicates grip; mobility; dexterity; the ability to do something repeatedly; concentration and stamina. Instead of thinking negatively about such stuff think about what they’re getting at and your answers will be much better and more detailed. Similar questions include whether you’ve been on holiday recently. It feeds into mobility (getting across an airport); stamina; the ability to cope alone; the need for aids and appliances.

    Same applies to HCP assessments. Limited time so they need questions which cover multiple activities. 

    So, of you have a dog that naturally leads into questions about walking and bending, grip (on a lead or a can opener) and so on. A cat might suggest you can lift light things. A rabbit or Guinea pig suggest similar and all might invite questions about the frequency you go outside. I can’t see a single thing wrong with being asked something which relates to your daily life and which tests multiple functions and the consistency of your evidence. It’s there to make your life easier not harder.
    They still trick questions.

    If you want to find out if someone can grip something.

    You can either ask directly saying "how good are you at gripping things, and can you give examples"
    Or you can be deceiving and ask another question which is indirect, and then make "assumptions" based on the answer.

    I think its especially a trick question if the answer has already been provided e.g. why ask questions that are already answered on a form ,or have already been vocally answered.  The reason to do that is you checking for consistency and trying to catch the person out, if they inconsistent just a single time, that can lead to a descriptor not been awarded.  I accept that not all assessors may do this, but I think you going too extreme to claim that every single assessor has no trick questions, and isnt trying to catch people out.

    The main issue I have with what you just described, is it leads to descriptor scoring based on "assumptions", and I have a big problem when assumptions get made, I think its grossly unfair.  Just because other people might be affected by a certain thing, it doesnt mean its the same for you, and for that reason an assumption shouldnt be made.

    The car question doesnt necessarily mean someone has good stamina, dexterity, grip, mobility, concentration either.  I know people that can just about drive, but cant get in and out of a bath and need mobility aids to walk more than a few steps.

    I big example of this is that if someone has a f2f one to one with the HCP, the assessor may make an assumption they can socially engage with people and give zero points, purely based on an assumption that because they were able to get through the assessment it must mean that they can handle all social engagements, this is indeed often stated on reports.

    I think its only not a trick question, when the reason is explained why the question is been asked.

    Evidence should "always" be weighted higher than balance of probability.  If evidence is provided and its not believed, then other evidence should be found to counter it, I dont think its reasonable to use an assumption to counter evidence.

    Luckily I dont get asked these silly questions now, but if I was asked if I had a pet, I would refuse to answer without an explanation for the question as to why its relevant.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,936 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m a little concerned about your approach here to be polite but frank. On another thread you took something I posted; misquoted it elsewhere and then used it to claim other people in a “welfare group” had said I was wrong. I then explained my answer in a huge amount of detail and you went quiet.

    Now we have a thread reactivated from 2 years ago with, if I may say so, a rather “interesting” post about IAS which probably deserves a reply in itself and you have decided to come on board and challenge a post of mine which is nearly 2 years old. 

    Okay then, I’ll take that at face value for the time being rather than assume I’m on the end of what’s beginning to look like a targeted attack. Point by point:

    1 - I’ve already dealt with the perception there are trick questions in the 2nd and 3rd para of the answer of mine you have quoted. I won’t repeat it. You’re free to disagree. I doubt it serves anyone well to believe such a thing but some people persist in doing so and so be it. 

    2 - “Grip” impacts prepping food; taking nutrition; medication; bathing; toileting; dressing and budgeting. Tribunals are generally very experienced. If direct questions worked then, given the limited time they have, they would ask direct questions. Ditto HCPs. Their experience, and I have to say mine too, is that direct questions don’t work. 

    3 - Tribunals do not routinely make assumptions. They are inquisitorial and ask open and closed questions. The fact someone has put “an” answer on a claim pack does not mean they have put “the” answer on a claim pack and indeed, if they had put a sufficient answer with anecdotal detail etc. then most likely they would not be at an appeal in the first place! 

    Tribunals are absolutely entitled and indeed obliged to identify inconsistencies but they’re not obliged to resolve them all. It is not a criminal court. Matters do not have to be decided beyond reasonable doubt. They only have to be decided on the balance of probabilities. Assumptions don’t get made because of trick questions. They get made because findings of fact can be made by balancing contradictory evidence and deciding what is fact on the balance of probabilities. You may well have issues with that but it has been the law since approximately 1966.

    4 - I agree with you re: questions about driving and I would also say that the HCP approach to social engagement is shockingly bad and generally close to an almost wilful determination to misinterpret what the law says. None of that means that asking questions around either issue are trick questions. I refer you back to my 3rd and 5th paras and have nothing to add.

    5 - as per point 3 above you may feel the burden of proof ought to be higher than the balance of probabilities but it is not and never has been for 54 years. Assumption is never used to counter evidence though. Wrong inferences may be drawn but that’s a slightly different thing.

    I doubt most people understand the consequences of having a different burden of proof. There is no lower burden of proof than the balance of probabilities and it’s what allows the matter to be decided by an informal tribunal. 

    The alternative is a higher burden of proof which would then oblige the moving of such cases into the court system; an openly formalised adversarial approach (which would in most people’s view be hideously inappropriate given many people feel the inquisitorial approach is already often adversarial and genuinely distressing) and would impose a threshold for benefit qualification and evidence requirements that huge numbers of people simply wouldn’t meet. Probably not the outcome you or others would be looking for!

    6 - I see no issue with being asked a question and asking in return what the relevance is. However, it’s not hard to see that as potentially being perceived as adversarial and likely to lead to a negative outcome. I’ve never known it end well for a claimant as most won’t/don’t stop at challenging the one question. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,936 Disability Gamechanger
    If I can help, the pet issue questioning appears to be a double edge sword...You have to remember that ATOS/IAS uses a number of subsidiary small companies to carry out its work, very rare that they do their own assessment contracts these days, this "can" hide accountability and "possible" counter legal action against them...The subsidiaries are trained in using intelligence information relating to the client if there is cause for suspicion...One way to refute or put in jeopardy your application is looking into online social media accounts...For example you tell them you have no pets, when they check the famous big 4 sites, they see you with a dog or cat, they know you have been telling a mis-truth, so they will change the paper work in accordance with the element of doubt...(Don't be fooled in thinking they haven't the time to check, its in their interests to catch the claimant out)...Interviews glean them "around" £400/"approximately" and bonuses are paid should any appeal tribunal fail...(I have heard that some assessors claim they can access cloud type data base storage via their IT departments, to view photos of garden scenes)..."You have to remember this is a them and us situation", you go into any of these meetings with a level playing field ethos and you may be very disappointed on the 24 month call ins that you have to go through....Best of luck to all of you and I hope the "Universal Basic Income" comes in as soon as possible, to free us all from this awful exposure +++ A Very Private Gentleman.
    My recall is that ATOS subcontracted to the NHS about 17 years ago rather than small companies and none of those companies or indeed IAS gather the kind of evidence described. You are confusing the assessment process for disability benefits with referrals of cases involving living together, overpayments etc. for means-tested benefits. Such matters are dealt with in house by DWP and not out-sourced.

    Your information on bonuses is out of date and there is not, to the best of my knowledge, any reporting mechanism whereby DWP would report the outcome of an appeal hearing back to IAS at any level to calculate any kind of bonus. Were that to be the case IAS won’t be making a lot of money given that 76% of such appeals currently win! 
This discussion has been closed.