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My PIP experience

N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA

Hi Everyone,

I'm basically making an account because I was extremely stressed out trying to pre-empt what was going to happen in my PIP assessment but couldn't find much help on the internet.

I wanted to share my experience on what questions I was asked and what movements they asked me to do. Albeit everyone has different disabilities (not all disabilities are physical) but just wanted to share my experience to hopefully put peoples minds at ease and hopefully don't get too worked up about it.

Nick

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,152 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @N_J_12345

    Welcome to the community!

    I'm sure many members will gratefully appreciate that! :)

    Ami :)
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected

    Thanks Ami...

    Please see below for my current medical condition, what I expected at my PIP assessment and a run through of what actually happened at my assessment.

    Current Condition

    Just so you are aware of my condition, I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago which long story short ended up leaving me with a collapsed spine (crushed part of it) leaving it permanently damaged and also affecting nerves in mainly my legs.

    What I Expected

    So when I got my PIP assessment letter through the door I instantly thought 'Sh*t what does this mean, does this mean they don't believe I have a disability anymore even though I have been on DLA for the past 6 years?' and I instantly starting looking online to try and pre-empt what the assessment is for, what they ask, what they do, who assesses you etc and for the next 2 weeks and even on the day of my assessment I was completely worried about everything that could happen during & after the assessment... however I found a variety of different experiences, some being 'they were nice a friendly' and quite a lot describing the experience as 'patronizing, embarrassing, shameful they try and catch you out with questions and so on' so I tried to cover all aspects to try and prepare fully because last thing I wanted to do was have what I have my benefits stopped when I fully believe it is something which gives me independence. 

    The day of my assessment

    On the day of my appointment I went with my mum as she knows more about my medical history than I do. My appointment was at 8:30 (even though the centre only opened the doors at 8:35) so I parked in the closest bay possible and used my stick to walk and check in at reception and sit in the waiting room. Ive read online that they strategically do things to test you (Heavy doors, buzzers low so you need to bend down, different types of chairs) but my mum opened the door, the buzzer was shoulder height and the receptionist seemed nice enough, however I didn't notice that some chairs had arms on them and some different. We sat down in the chairs for what seemed like an hour but it was only 10 minutes, my name got called so I walked towards the room (also rear online that the assessor will walk behind you to watch how you walk & judge you plus also leave the door closed to see if you can open it) however the assessor seemed pleasant, walked beside me and even held the doors open for me..

    I sat down in the chair which weren't the comfiest so I was constantly fidgeting, was offered water so all seemed fine..
    Before we started, the assessor asked if we had any questions and my mum asked if she was allowed to prompt me if she thought I wasn't giving a full enough answer she said yes that's fine and I also had a copy of my questionnaire (which I was allowed to look at for reference but I didn't need it)..

    Questions (From what I can remember)

    How did you get here today (Car, bus, taxi)?
    Did you drive?
    Who is this with you?
    What is their name?
    Do you live with them?
    Who do you live with?
    Do you live in a house, flat, bungalow?
    Do you have a dog?
    (I answered 'my partner has a dog as I don't walk him and he's a 10 year old small dog so he just sleeps all day')
    Regarding your previous medical history what operations have you had? (my mu answered)
    You've put in your questionnaire that you get distressed/anxious travelling to unfamiliar places or contacting unfamiliar people, what causes this?
    What are your hobbies?
    What do you enjoy doing?
    Do you ever go out with friends or family?
    Where do you go?
    How do you get there?
    Do you work?
    What do you do?
    Is it office based?
    From your car to office how far in distance is it?
    Then how far is it to your desk?
    When you get dressed, how do you get dressed and tell me how you get dressed including the equipment/aids you may use?
    When you have a wash, how do you was and tell me how you bathe including any equipment/aids you may use?
    Is there a canteen/kitchen? How far is it to walk there?
    *These are most of the questions that I can remember, if I can remember anymore then I will post them*

    Physical Examination

    I was told that if any of the actions I knew were going to hurt me then I can say I cant do them and we move on..

    Was asked to stand up (was allowed to use my stick) and follow the same actions as what the assessor was doing. From what I remember it was just movements with different parts of your body..
    Moving your head -  tilting it side to side, look up, look down, circular motion
    Arms - Arms out in front of you, to your side, back to the front, hands pointing to ceiling then pointing to floor, cross your arms onto your shoulder, then behind your back (one at a time).
    Legs - Stand on one leg, can you squat, legs straight and bend down to touch your toes.
    Then next part I was asked to lie on the bed which she also said 'if you wish you can do it in the seat instead' so I sat back in the chair....
    Legs - Lift them up in front of you (one at a time), under the chair (one at a time) The assessor then held my shin then calf and asked me to push/pull against her.
    Hands - asked to squeeze fingers....

    That's was basically the examination done and was then asked if we wanted to add anything else then that was the end of the whole process and the assessor said 'so that's everything done and now I will write my report up and send this off to the DWP for them to send you a letter with their outcome, and they don't give out lifetime awards like they did with DLA, I think you would be looking at getting re-assessed in maybe 3 years, however my recommendation will be only assessing you maybe after 5 years as its pretty straight forward by looking at your questionnaire, medical evidence & personally that this is something you need'

    So I went home like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and instantly de-stressed about everything.
    Although I am yet to receive an outcome on what I have/haven't been awarded however I am fairly confident that everything went OK and completely over exaggerated the whole scenario of what was going to happen.

    Hopefully this lengthy explanation gives people a full insight as to what may happen in your assessment, however please bear in mind that these questions maybe be tailored to my condition (bad back) which means someone who has a mental illness maybe assessed completely differently...

    Thanks

    Nick



  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @N_J_12345 and a warm welcome to the community! Thank you very much this, I am sure it will help a lot of members!
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    Great post thanks for sharing and Hopefully you’v not long to wait on your award letter 
  • PinPin Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Pin said:
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
    No not asked to see anything, was told by the assessor that she would write up her report and that then goes off to DWP then I get an outcome in the next 3/4 weeks. Is that not when I see what the assessor has wrote down in her report?
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    N_J_12345 said:
    Pin said:
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
    No not asked to see anything, was told by the assessor that she would write up her report and that then goes off to DWP then I get an outcome in the next 3/4 weeks. Is that not when I see what the assessor has wrote down in her report?
    I received the assessor's report with the decision notice.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP don't automatically send a copy of the report out to you. If you want to see it then you have to ring DWP and ask for a copy to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision will be because it's rare they go against it.
    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.
  • lozzer25lozzer25 Member Posts: 89 Courageous
    N_J_12345 said:

    Thanks Ami...

    Please see below for my current medical condition, what I expected at my PIP assessment and a run through of what actually happened at my assessment.

    Current Condition

    Just so you are aware of my condition, I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago which long story short ended up leaving me with a collapsed spine (crushed part of it) leaving it permanently damaged and also affecting nerves in mainly my legs.

    What I Expected

    So when I got my PIP assessment letter through the door I instantly thought 'Sh*t what does this mean, does this mean they don't believe I have a disability anymore even though I have been on DLA for the past 6 years?' and I instantly starting looking online to try and pre-empt what the assessment is for, what they ask, what they do, who assesses you etc and for the next 2 weeks and even on the day of my assessment I was completely worried about everything that could happen during & after the assessment... however I found a variety of different experiences, some being 'they were nice a friendly' and quite a lot describing the experience as 'patronizing, embarrassing, shameful they try and catch you out with questions and so on' so I tried to cover all aspects to try and prepare fully because last thing I wanted to do was have what I have my benefits stopped when I fully believe it is something which gives me independence. 

    The day of my assessment

    On the day of my appointment I went with my mum as she knows more about my medical history than I do. My appointment was at 8:30 (even though the centre only opened the doors at 8:35) so I parked in the closest bay possible and used my stick to walk and check in at reception and sit in the waiting room. Ive read online that they strategically do things to test you (Heavy doors, buzzers low so you need to bend down, different types of chairs) but my mum opened the door, the buzzer was shoulder height and the receptionist seemed nice enough, however I didn't notice that some chairs had arms on them and some different. We sat down in the chairs for what seemed like an hour but it was only 10 minutes, my name got called so I walked towards the room (also rear online that the assessor will walk behind you to watch how you walk & judge you plus also leave the door closed to see if you can open it) however the assessor seemed pleasant, walked beside me and even held the doors open for me..

    I sat down in the chair which weren't the comfiest so I was constantly fidgeting, was offered water so all seemed fine..
    Before we started, the assessor asked if we had any questions and my mum asked if she was allowed to prompt me if she thought I wasn't giving a full enough answer she said yes that's fine and I also had a copy of my questionnaire (which I was allowed to look at for reference but I didn't need it)..

    Questions (From what I can remember)

    How did you get here today (Car, bus, taxi)?
    Did you drive?
    Who is this with you?
    What is their name?
    Do you live with them?
    Who do you live with?
    Do you live in a house, flat, bungalow?
    Do you have a dog?
    (I answered 'my partner has a dog as I don't walk him and he's a 10 year old small dog so he just sleeps all day')
    Regarding your previous medical history what operations have you had? (my mu answered)
    You've put in your questionnaire that you get distressed/anxious travelling to unfamiliar places or contacting unfamiliar people, what causes this?
    What are your hobbies?
    What do you enjoy doing?
    Do you ever go out with friends or family?
    Where do you go?
    How do you get there?
    Do you work?
    What do you do?
    Is it office based?
    From your car to office how far in distance is it?
    Then how far is it to your desk?
    When you get dressed, how do you get dressed and tell me how you get dressed including the equipment/aids you may use?
    When you have a wash, how do you was and tell me how you bathe including any equipment/aids you may use?
    Is there a canteen/kitchen? How far is it to walk there?
    *These are most of the questions that I can remember, if I can remember anymore then I will post them*

    Physical Examination

    I was told that if any of the actions I knew were going to hurt me then I can say I cant do them and we move on..

    Was asked to stand up (was allowed to use my stick) and follow the same actions as what the assessor was doing. From what I remember it was just movements with different parts of your body..
    Moving your head -  tilting it side to side, look up, look down, circular motion
    Arms - Arms out in front of you, to your side, back to the front, hands pointing to ceiling then pointing to floor, cross your arms onto your shoulder, then behind your back (one at a time).
    Legs - Stand on one leg, can you squat, legs straight and bend down to touch your toes.
    Then next part I was asked to lie on the bed which she also said 'if you wish you can do it in the seat instead' so I sat back in the chair....
    Legs - Lift them up in front of you (one at a time), under the chair (one at a time) The assessor then held my shin then calf and asked me to push/pull against her.
    Hands - asked to squeeze fingers....

    That's was basically the examination done and was then asked if we wanted to add anything else then that was the end of the whole process and the assessor said 'so that's everything done and now I will write my report up and send this off to the DWP for them to send you a letter with their outcome, and they don't give out lifetime awards like they did with DLA, I think you would be looking at getting re-assessed in maybe 3 years, however my recommendation will be only assessing you maybe after 5 years as its pretty straight forward by looking at your questionnaire, medical evidence & personally that this is something you need'

    So I went home like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and instantly de-stressed about everything.
    Although I am yet to receive an outcome on what I have/haven't been awarded however I am fairly confident that everything went OK and completely over exaggerated the whole scenario of what was going to happen.

    Hopefully this lengthy explanation gives people a full insight as to what may happen in your assessment, however please bear in mind that these questions maybe be tailored to my condition (bad back) which means someone who has a mental illness maybe assessed completely differently...

    Thanks

    Nick



    I too had a lovely assessor I was able to perform all she asked but my body went into overdrive which causes me to go boiling hot and my breathing goes haywire my brain doesn't like to do things it's told to do works the opposite way and makes me panic she also offered me some advice even though I am not her patient hope her friendliness is not deception because she seemed really genuine heard they tell lies but all I have told her is the truth 
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP don't automatically send a copy of the report out to you. If you want to see it then you have to ring DWP and ask for a copy to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision will be because it's rare they go against it.
    As I have said before, I have had three PIP assessments and I received a copy of the assessor's report with each decision letter. Maybe I was lucky.
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Got my decision today....
    4 weeks after my PIP assessment. Got 8/12 for daily living & 10/12 for mobility.
    Feeling quite frustrated as on DLA I had the basic care allowance and the enhanced rate for mobility, which means I lose my privilege of using the motability scheme and will have to give my current car back.
    Reading through the points/scores they have given, I feel they have come to their own conclusions and not included/used a lot of what I have said in the assessment.
    Has anyone been through the mandatory appeal stage and if they have had any success?
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I had to go to appeal hearing where my PIP award was increased from standard both components to enhanced both.  Only 20% of MRs succeed but 71% of tribunal appeals do. If you think your current award is safe from reduction it's worth appealing.

    Disability Rights UK site (DR) has a good guide to PIP appeals.
  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    N_J_12345 said:
    Got my decision today....
    4 weeks after my PIP assessment. Got 8/12 for daily living & 10/12 for mobility.
    Feeling quite frustrated as on DLA I had the basic care allowance and the enhanced rate for mobility, which means I lose my privilege of using the motability scheme and will have to give my current car back.
    Reading through the points/scores they have given, I feel they have come to their own conclusions and not included/used a lot of what I have said in the assessment.
    Has anyone been through the mandatory appeal stage and if they have had any success?


    Yes twice out of three assessments. The first two were changed at MR stage from 0 points for Care and Mobility to Enhanced  Care & Mobility.

    For the third reassessment I thought it would be 3rd time lucky. Not at all the DWP said that the first decision stands at 0 points.

    All of this was over a 5 year period.
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
  • angel137angel137 Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    NJ
    I got my Pip award changed from 0 points  to 8 points for care and mobility at MR stage. Focus on points you think you should have been awarded. You  need to say why you think the decision by the DWP is wrong. They base their decision almost solely on the medical assessment report, but your evidence should be taken into consideration.  
    Remember, safely, reliably, repeatedly, in good time. If you are unable to do this, then you are unable to do that activity. 
    Call the DWP and ask to be sent the medical assessment report. You have a month to request an MR. Make sure you also make the MR request in writing. That way any errors that are made during this process can be challenged. Mail it "signed for" if you can. MR's can take as little as 2 weeks so, ideally, don't instigate the MR until you feel you've got enough time to send in your new evidence. Or, say you don't want them to start the MR process until they have received new evidence you will be sending. That will give you time.
    With me, they made a mistake and did the MR before I had sent in my new evidence and submission. I was able to get that decision put aside because I had put, in writing, that I would be submitting new evidence. 
    Don't get too caught up pointing out all of the errors on the medical  report. Just use them, if necessary, to support why you are disputing the points awarded for certain descriptors. The report cannot be relied upon for accuracy. 
    Supply them with doctor's letters, letters from carers, family, friends, HCP, if it helps to support the disputed points. I didn't provide enough evidence in the first instance. That was one of the reasons why I got 0 points, but mainly it was because of the flawed medical assessment report.
    Phew! That's a lot of info. My head hurts. Haha. Just take it one step at a time. There are some good guides on disability sites and places like "benefits and work" website. 
    Good luck. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. 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.
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. Good luck. 
    Hi,
    I wasn’t really stating that it should automatically qualify me for the enhanced rate but it more for me to say if they’ve got something simple like that wrong who says they haven’t got other things wrong?
    And the walking distance I just don’t see their logic in now potentially leaving me to walk a distance that I’m incapable of doing but I fully understand what you mean as I didn’t really ellaborate during the face to face consultation as to how much it actually affects me.



  • YadnadYadnad Member - under moderation Posts: 2,862 Disability Gamechanger
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. Good luck. 
    Agreed get help with this one.
    The problem I see is having enough evidence to swing the award your way.
    Problems with walking is extremely difficult to prove
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Telling them exactly how your conditions affects you is what the form is for. 
    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: 132 Courageous
    Sorry the result wasn’t what you were hoping for. Because you’ve been on dla there’s a scheme with notability where they pay you a sum when you leave. From memory if you do it straight away it’s 2k but someone else will know and it’s on their website.

    I know it’s frustrating, but don’t focus on losing your independence or car for the appeal. Poppy has given you some great Advice.
  • diesel58diesel58 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    That's ok after we she lost her mobility and the car that helps us in the countryside we will be stuck at home, yes you can get 2k but it won't buy transport we need to get a large electric wheelchair into, it's easy to say if you have not lost it but to us it's a damage to our independence
  • N_J_12345N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    I agree that’s what’s the form was for and that’s what I put in the form but when your in the consultation room they jump from one question then onto another so it’s hard to spend 5 minutes telling them the ins and outs of how walking affects you... I understand it’s not the end of the world losing the motability car as you get a transition payment but as diesel58 says it is definitely damaging to our independence.
  • PinPin Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    I’m not saying it isn’t a loss at all - I meant that you shouldn’t concentrate on that for the appeal because that’s not what will win it for you. I was also making you aware that there are some options, although I understand they’re not what you want. 

    I had higher rate DLA in the past and used it to buy a car because I was worried about losing it on review. It was the right thing to do for me, 2k is enough to buy a car, although of course not as good as what you could have through motability. It’s not the best option for everyone, but now I no longer have higher rate I’m glad. Incidentally, although I now pay for services for my car (bought after my original one) and road tax at 50% it actually works out cheaper than motability and my car is new. So there are some options out there.

    This isn’t the end of the road, you can appeal. But you need to take into account the car - if you keep it you won’t get the transistuon payment.

    Im not downplaying it, it’s crap. I’m really glad I didn’t reapply for dla originally although I was entitled to as it was just as pip was coming in. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I'd advise people, if they are able to, to buy their own car not lease a motability one.  Because if they lose enhanced mobility at least they'll keep their car.  On transfer to PIP from DLA my mobility was reduced to standard - but my car was my own.  On appeal I was awarded enhanced mobility, like many, but with my own car there was no gap period until I won my appeal.
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