Things I wish I'd known before PIP assessment... — Scope | Disability forum
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Things I wish I'd known before PIP assessment...

April
April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
Just wanted to give some advice to anyone about to go for a PIP Assessment.

1. Take notes during the Assessment.
2. Be aware of the list of predictors that the Assessor uses, and ask them what they are typing.        My daughter told the Assessor that she had travel training (this was just a video at Primary School!), and the Assessor typed that she could travel independently! (she can't!)
This meant that my daughter failed that section of the Assessment. Even though I explained throughout the appeals that it was just a video, the DWP kept repeating that "she had travel training". In my experience, it's impossible to get them to change it afterwards!
3. Make notes about the physical examination. I wish I had. I should have noted down exactly what happened. I should have asked what they were testing and challenged it at the time. It took a matter of minutes, and after that, it was impossible to challenge it, despite the evidence from other professionals. The DWP always prefer their own evidence.

Hope this helps someone. :)
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Comments

  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,457 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks April, yes the accessors assumes a lot and records accordingly hence the wrong information being noted and presented to the decision makers. Sometimes it better to give the minimal information so as nothing can be misconstrued.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    Sorry about the typo on my original post...that should have been "descriptors" and not "predictors" :)
  • janekim96P
    janekim96P Member Posts: 44 Courageous
    I  thought you had to be completely honest and upfront at these face to face medicals or assessments?what is bestter telling lies I hope not as that is probably the reason why they are clamping down on so many people who obviously are in need of PiP and those who are trying it on and faking it just for the money those people make my blood boil and mess it up for the real people in need of this help and assistance?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,224 Disability Gamechanger
    @janekim96P of course you tell the truth during any face 2 face assessment. Why would you lie? I'm sure there's very few people that claim these benefits fraudulently. Invisible conditions do exist and you can't possibly judge others nor can you judge a book by it's cover.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,590 Disability Gamechanger
    Give the DWP an inch and they'll take a yard. Their purpose is to use the slightest excuse to fail people.  If DWP didn't make so many inaccurate decisions then71% of appeals would not succeed.

  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    April said:
    Just wanted to give some advice to anyone about to go for a PIP Assessment.

    1. Take notes during the Assessment.
    2. Be aware of the list of predictors that the Assessor uses, and ask them what they are typing.        My daughter told the Assessor that she had travel training (this was just a video at Primary School!), and the Assessor typed that she could travel independently! (she can't!)
    This meant that my daughter failed that section of the Assessment. Even though I explained throughout the appeals that it was just a video, the DWP kept repeating that "she had travel training". In my experience, it's impossible to get them to change it afterwards!
    3. Make notes about the physical examination. I wish I had. I should have noted down exactly what happened. I should have asked what they were testing and challenged it at the time. It took a matter of minutes, and after that, it was impossible to challenge it, despite the evidence from other professionals. The DWP always prefer their own evidence.

    Hope this helps someone. :)
    Are you suggesting that the claimant sits there with a note pad and pen jotting down all of the questions and answers given?
    Only the claimant can raise objections or questions of the assessor that is unless someone else has prior DWP permission.
    The claimant can ask what is being typed but I do doubt that they will be given a answer.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    Yadnad, I am my daughter's appointee, so I am able to assist her in assessments.
    I will be joining her at the Tribunal too.
    Yes, I am suggesting that people take notes during the assessment. If you want to challenge inaccuracies later on, you can only do so if you have a record of what was asked/said. Some people suggest recording it. That might be a better idea for some people. Although notes are better for the physical exam.
    My point is that many Assessors don't understand the nature of certain disabilities and misunderstandings arise. If you don't ask what they are typing, you will never know if they've misunderstood. As soon as they have written that Assessment, you will have great difficulty getting them to change any mistakes. 
    The Assessment seems to be the most important part for the DWP, by the way. More important than Doctors letters, or hospital letters, or your own words. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,224 Disability Gamechanger
    It's not about them understanding a disability. It's about the claimant giving them as much information about how their conditions affect them as possible. Filling in the form correctly with as much information as possible is the most import thing, not the assessment. During an assessment, there may not be time to give them the information you need to about your condition, which is why filling that form is so important. Conditions affect people in many different ways and you'll never have 2 people the same. There's no need for them to have an understanding about any condition.

    Sending in 200 A4 pieces of evidence won't help anyone if the evidence you sent doesn't prove those descriptors apply to you. Contradictions may also occur in all that evidence sent, Sending in 2 pieces of evidence that proves beyond doubt that those descriptors apply will far outweigh this.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    April said:
    Yadnad, I am my daughter's appointee, so I am able to assist her in assessments.
    I will be joining her at the Tribunal too.
    Yes, I am suggesting that people take notes during the assessment. If you want to challenge inaccuracies later on, you can only do so if you have a record of what was asked/said. Some people suggest recording it. That might be a better idea for some people. Although notes are better for the physical exam.
    My point is that many Assessors don't understand the nature of certain disabilities and misunderstandings arise. If you don't ask what they are typing, you will never know if they've misunderstood. As soon as they have written that Assessment, you will have great difficulty getting them to change any mistakes. 
    The Assessment seems to be the most important part for the DWP, by the way. More important than Doctors letters, or hospital letters, or your own words. 
    At the end of the day whatever notes you take are for your use only. It will still be one person's word against the other irrespective of what you write.

  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    edited September 2018
    It's not about them understanding a disability. It's about the claimant giving them as much information about how their conditions affect them as possible. Filling in the form correctly with as much information as possible is the most import thing, not the assessment. During an assessment, there may not be time to give them the information you need to about your condition, which is why filling that form is so important. Conditions affect people in many different ways and you'll never have 2 people the same. There's no need for them to have an understanding about any condition.

    Sending in 200 A4 pieces of evidence won't help anyone if the evidence you sent doesn't prove those descriptors apply to you. Contradictions may also occur in all that evidence sent, Sending in 2 pieces of evidence that proves beyond doubt that those descriptors apply will far outweigh this.
    That's the crux of the thing - filing in the PIP2 in such a way that it creates a picture of the difficulties that arise and why.
    Unfortunately, and I keep saying this, it all depends on the ability of the claimant to carry out that action. Not everyone is minded for many reasons to be able to express themselves in the best way. Help and assistance is extremely difficult to find especially good help. 
    What then are we left with? Claimants who are lucky enough to have the ability and claimants that are lucky enough to access good welfare advice and help.
    That leaves the third category in that no matter what they do they will generally always undersell their issues and consequently end up with a poor report, a bad decision and have to put up with the stresses of a Tribunal hearing some 12 months down the line having to suffer a large reduction in their income in the meantime.

    As for gathering evidence, that too in itself can be a major obstacle for that third group of claimants - not knowing/realising what they should be looking for as well understanding where they can access it.

    Sometimes it isn't helpful to always be saying to seek out help from the start of the claim - we all know that it is impossible to access in many areas of this country.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    @poppy123456 I think the original form is probably important for some disabilities, but sadly not for things like autism and other learning disabilities.
      If the Assessor lacks knowledge about learning difficulties, for instance, they will ignore the original form and type that they don't have any problems.
    In those cases, the forms and the medical evidence are treated as worthless by the DWP.
    That's why it's important to ensure that the Assessor understands the disability. Don't assume that they will. My daughter's Assessor was only a Nurse, and she didn't have a clue. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,224 Disability Gamechanger
    It's important for all disabilities. ASD and learning disabilities still affect people in totally different ways. I know this because my daughter has both, as well as a social anxiety disorder. No 2 people are the same.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    April said:
    @poppy123456 I think the original form is probably important for some disabilities, but sadly not for things like autism and other learning disabilities.
      If the Assessor lacks knowledge about learning difficulties, for instance, they will ignore the original form and type that they don't have any problems.
    In those cases, the forms and the medical evidence are treated as worthless by the DWP.
    That's why it's important to ensure that the Assessor understands the disability. Don't assume that they will. My daughter's Assessor was only a Nurse, and she didn't have a clue. 
    At my third and last assessment, totally exasperated with the comments that were made on the previous two reports, I asked a simple question if the assessor (a young  nurse) if she had any clue what the effects are and what difficulties she would expect me to have with Chronic Pancreatitis. She told me that she had never met anybody with that problem and knew nothing about it, but that does not mean..... 
    There you go I could have told her that I go round eating frogs at night for supper for all that she knew.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    It's important for all disabilities. ASD and learning disabilities still affect people in totally different ways. I know this because my daughter has both, as well as a social anxiety disorder. No 2 people are the same.
    You're right, Poppy, but the DWP may still ignore your original form if it disagrees with the Assessment. This was my experience, and what I hear from so many other people.
    That's why I wanted to tell people that the Assessment is the most important part. The DWP, as I understand it (and certainly in my daughter's case) go with the Assessment. 

    I thought the DWP would read my original form and the medical notes, and give more weight to those. They didn't. They chose to believe a Nurse who had no knowledge or understanding of my daughter's rare disability. 
    So my advice is to make sure that the Assessor understands everything about the disability. What the Assessor types is the most important part, in my experience.

    I actually asked the DWP why they chose to believe the Assessor above the medical evidence. They replied that the Assessor had been given training in disabilities! I wonder how much training they are given though. And how can it be as good as someone who has expertise in the condition?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,224 Disability Gamechanger
    The decision maker mostly goes with the report, it's rare to go against it. This is why the report is written. The reason it's important to put as much information down on the form is because during the assessment there may not be enough of time to answer all the questions with as much detail as possible. If the forms are filled out correctly with all the details about how your conditions affect you then they will already have the  information. The assessment will just be to go over a few things, which is what it's meant to be for. So, on this occasion we'll have to agree to disagree. If you're going through a MR/Tribunal good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for your daughter.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    edited September 2018
    The decision maker mostly goes with the report, it's rare to go against it. This is why the report is written. The reason it's important to put as much information down on the form is because during the assessment there may not be enough of time to answer all the questions with as much detail as possible. If the forms are filled out correctly with all the details about how your conditions affect you then they will already have the  information. The assessment will just be to go over a few things, which is what it's meant to be for. So, on this occasion we'll have to agree to disagree. If you're going through a MR/Tribunal good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for your daughter.
    It does seem in the case of many that have this assessment that no matter what you put on the form or what evidence you send in, if the assessor doesn't believe what you have written down and goes against it, the DWP will almost always go with the assessor and not the form or the evidence.

    If for example you claim to not be able to walk more than 20 metres - you give the reason backed up with medical evidence and you explain in detail what happens if you try to walk beyond this level - if the assessor thinks that you are exaggerating your difficulties then that is what the DWP will accept.

    I've been there myself with evidence of why I have that difficulty, the proof being an assessment in hospital on a walking machine undertaken by the spinal unit. Then explained what happens if I try to exceed my limit.
    The assessor disagreed and said that I can walk more than 200metres with no difficulties.
    I did tell the assessor at my third assessment at the start that she might as well not bother wasting my time and her's as what I have written and the evidence I have produced will be ignored and she will write something totally different in the report as per usual. So to cut the **** can we now conclude?
  • chrisvanf
    chrisvanf Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    2 Tips for the PIP assessment.

    Read what the assessor has typed, it;s states in the book that you can read what the assessor is/has typed.
     
    Record the assessment, you must provide the equipment.

    Edited, re-edited, bits added, bits taken out spellchecked then edited again, 
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    The decision maker mostly goes with the report, it's rare to go against it. This is why the report is written. The reason it's important to put as much information down on the form is because during the assessment there may not be enough of time to answer all the questions with as much detail as possible. If the forms are filled out correctly with all the details about how your conditions affect you then they will already have the  information. The assessment will just be to go over a few things, which is what it's meant to be for. So, on this occasion we'll have to agree to disagree. If you're going through a MR/Tribunal good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for your daughter.
    Thanks for the good luck wishes. My daughter is just waiting for a date for the Tribunal. She's very anxious about it, so I'm trying to prepare her.The awful thing is that it will concentrate on all the things she can't do, and that is very bad for her self esteem. She's a teenager and very young for her age too, and she wants to be like everyone else. This system is very tough for young people. That's another thing I wish I'd known at the Assessment...you have to be very frank about difficulties. And that may leave your child feeling dreadful, but there's no way round it.
  • April
    April Member Posts: 110 Courageous
    Yadnad said:
    The decision maker mostly goes with the report, it's rare to go against it. This is why the report is written. The reason it's important to put as much information down on the form is because during the assessment there may not be enough of time to answer all the questions with as much detail as possible. If the forms are filled out correctly with all the details about how your conditions affect you then they will already have the  information. The assessment will just be to go over a few things, which is what it's meant to be for. So, on this occasion we'll have to agree to disagree. If you're going through a MR/Tribunal good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for your daughter.
    It does seem in the case of many that have this assessment that no matter what you put on the form or what evidence you send in, if the assessor doesn't believe what you have written down and goes against it, the DWP will almost always go with the assessor and not the form or the evidence.

    If for example you claim to not be able to walk more than 20 metres - you give the reason backed up with medical evidence and you explain in detail what happens if you try to walk beyond this level - if the assessor thinks that you are exaggerating your difficulties then that is what the DWP will accept.

    I've been there myself with evidence of why I have that difficulty, the proof being an assessment in hospital on a walking machine undertaken by the spinal unit. Then explained what happens if I try to exceed my limit.
    The assessor disagreed and said that I can walk more than 200metres with no difficulties.
    I did tell the assessor at my third assessment at the start that she might as well not bother wasting my time and her's as what I have written and the evidence I have produced will be ignored and she will write something totally different in the report as per usual. So to cut the **** can we now conclude?
    I hope you're going to Tribunal with your case. It sounds like you have a very good case, and they are more likely to believe the medical evidence. Good luck!
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    chrisvanf said:
    2 Tips for the PIP assessment.

    Read what the assessor has typed, it;s states in the book that you can read what the assessor is/has typed.
     
    Record the assessment, you must provide the equipment.

    I'm sorry but you will find it almost impossible to get the assessor to allow you to see what they have typed. I know what the guidance says but (the assessor or the DWP) very rarely if ever actually follows it.
    I presume the assessor would argue that for safety reasons they would refuse you access just in case you object strongly to what has been typed.

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