PIP, DLA and AA
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Letter to my local MP

synergy2120synergy2120 Member Posts: 20 Courageous
Hi everyone, im not the kind of person to sit on the fence about issues and truly believe in the power of the people. I used to be shouting about issues in the education system but since having to leave my job due to ill health im now getting angry at the benefits system. I have written a letter to my local MP about my concerns and i believe that they more people who write and complain then the more chance there is to get things changed for the better. Here is the main bulk of my email without all the personal stuff. Feel free to use any of it in your own letters.

"How much money is the government wasting on this stupid process?! Why is PIP (and ESA) not decided by your GP and Specialists? Why is a random nurse’s opinion and a DWP worker’s opinion deemed more accurate than my health professionals? It just seems such a waste of government spending. I know they say they need to test everyone to make sure people are not ‘ conning’ the system, but all it is doing is make people jump through un-jumpable hoops and making people ill and even commit suicide.

 I would love to see the figures of how much it costs to employ ATOS to assess people, how much it costs to employ people to read the reports and work out the decision, how much it costs them to run the buildings that the assessments are completed at and how much it costs to employ people to go over a mandatory reconsideration...and then how much it costs to go though the appeal process...surely it would be cheaper and much more effective for the sick and disabled to have their PIP and ESA decisions made by the people who deal with them the most. And it shouldn’t be such a long-winded process. It can take up to a year to reach a tribunal after a mandatory reconsideration and 70% of cases are won so this alone proves the current system is not working.

 Sorry for the long email, but I feel these points need to be raised with the Tories – Instead of them rattling on about how much the sick and disabled cost the taxpayer, maybe they could show everybody how much it cost the taxpayer to put the sick and disabled through the PIP process, and how much money could be saved by leaving the decisions up to GP’s etc. Now I know they will say that GP’s are already stretched and are at breaking point, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy time-consuming process. If the GP’s and Specialists agree that someone needs PIP or ESA then that should be enough. That could all be done through emails and letters and basically ticking a box telling the DWP that the person has been seen numerous times and requires whatever rate of care and mobility rate the GP etc. Believe they are entitled to. I know this is not a perfect solution to the problem by any means but something needs to change. My health has been made so much worse throughout this process and I’m only half way there. By the time my decision is made correctly I will probably have to renew my PIP and start the whole process again!"

Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,300 Disability Gamechanger
    Were can’t nor expect the doctors or other Professional and qualified practicing nurses and  health workers to make these decisions regarding people’s abilities to be employed or their mobility capabilities. The time for each acessment would be about the same, would you want the examiner to use the same computer software as used now imported from an American software company or a totally new version yet to be developed. The current system is not perfect by a long mark but it works and is mostly fair it’s the cases that are reported where the acessor has lied, missed reported or the claimants have lied performed activities at the request of the acessor or with out knowing thus denying their application for the benefits they are claiming.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If PIP and ESA awards were decided by a GP or specialist then most people that claim them would be awarded, that's just ridiculous and will never happen. You have to be realistic here...

    I know there's people out there that should be awarded but aren't but not everyone qualifies, even though some think they do.
    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.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    If PIP and ESA awards were decided by a GP or specialist then most people that claim them would be awarded, that's just ridiculous and will never happen. You have to be realistic here...

    I know there's people out there that should be awarded but aren't but not everyone qualifies, even though some think they do.
    So right Poppy.
    Yes there are people out there that put in claims for PIP with no hope in getting an award. They are told that they should 'as you never know you might get something'.
    There should be a 'weeding' system at the very start that removes those who want to chance their luck. Get rid of those cases and it makes more room for those that have a better than 50% chance of actually being awarded PIP.

    Then we should have a system that forces the assessing companies to not only assess but to justify, for example, why 2 years or so previous the claimant was said not to be able to walk more than 20 metres yet is now being reported that they can walk 200 metres or more! Put the onus on the assessor to give their justifiable reasons for variances of ability when looking at either the previous award or Tribunal decision.

  • synergy2120synergy2120 Member Posts: 20 Courageous
    i never posted that as a solutuion to the problem...far from it. I know there are flaws in letting gps make the decision. and im no expert at all. Im merely making the point that the current system is failing a lot of sick people and pointing out the flaws in the current system
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited November 2018
    i never posted that as a solutuion to the problem...far from it. I know there are flaws in letting gps make the decision. and im no expert at all. Im merely making the point that the current system is failing a lot of sick people and pointing out the flaws in the current system
    Whatever system you would want to see will have flaws.
    There will always be those cases that fall through the cracks.
    DLA when it first came out was the answer, but because of the many court decisions that were made it ended up way beyond what it was set up to provide. 
    A bit like the Motability scheme - we all know what is was set up to provide yet it was abused no end. There were times when you could get a top of the range Range Rover on the scheme. Then 3 years down the line when it came time to hand it back, the claimant was buying it for close to 50% of the new price!

    To put it bluntly there can never be a system that will work for everyone. There will always be winners and losers.
    l
  • samantha21samantha21 Member Posts: 64 Connected
    Samantha 21.  I agree with syngery2120  and the long assessment PIP phase takes a long time  and the point correctly made is that the current system has flaws and many sick people are failed by  it.  A reference to the Motability scheme they have not done Range Rovers for several years now. I was looking for a car at one point and a friend of mine said why don't you get a BMW, I was not really looking for a BMW but just had a quick look at the garage anyway. As most people know you can get a Motability car with  no deposit or on some of them you have to pay a non returnable deposit upfront, anyway at the BMW  garage I think the upfront deposit for a car was about  3000 pounds so no chance of that for me. However I have still been satisfied to get my Motability car with very little upfront deposit and I still rate the scheme as excellent.
  • veritercveriterc Member Posts: 197 Pioneering
    Having helped friends claiming benefits, I would like to see a system where your GP has to send in the first claim, then we go through assessment conducted by a professional.  I was phoned by someone offering me a telephone assessment "to see if you are claiming all your benefts"  (i.e. can we knock something off).  Caller started with usual questions, then asked me to list my disabilities. When we got to Polio, she said "but that doesn't exist any more".  I was so furious I asked to talk to a doctor;  since then I have never heard a word.
    But let's stop knocking political parties.  The party in OPPOSITION is always a better bet to fight for you, whichever one is in power. 
  • deltablue52deltablue52 Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi 
    Ive just gone through the DLA to Pip transfer.
    I was told at the interview/examination that, a support letter from a specialist has more mileage,than a letter from a GP.
  • samantha21samantha21 Member Posts: 64 Connected
    Hi 
    Ive just gone through the DLA to Pip transfer.
    I was told at the interview/examination that, a support letter from a specialist has more mileage,than a letter from a GP.

    Hi  I see you have just gone through the DLA to PIP  transfer. I hope you do not mind me asking but how long after your PIP form went back to DWP did it take to be called for an interview/examination.? Also hope it went well for you .

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    How long it takes depends on backlog in your area. Some wait a few weeks, while other wait months. There really is no timescales.
    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.
  • synergy2120synergy2120 Member Posts: 20 Courageous
    i know whatever system is put in place, there will be flaws...and there will always be people that try to con the system. I dont think there is a perfect answer, but having your disability judged by a 1 hour interview with a person who has never met you before is a pointless exercise. Its clear from my report (and from others ive seen on here) that the DWP base their decision solely on the report from the assessment (most of the time anyway). This is where it is unfair, and this is what needs to change. 
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Samantha 21.  I agree with syngery2120  and the long assessment PIP phase takes a long time  and the point correctly made is that the current system has flaws and many sick people are failed by  it.  A reference to the Motability scheme they have not done Range Rovers for several years now. I was looking for a car at one point and a friend of mine said why don't you get a BMW, I was not really looking for a BMW but just had a quick look at the garage anyway. As most people know you can get a Motability car with  no deposit or on some of them you have to pay a non returnable deposit upfront, anyway at the BMW  garage I think the upfront deposit for a car was about  3000 pounds so no chance of that for me. However I have still been satisfied to get my Motability car with very little upfront deposit and I still rate the scheme as excellent.
    BMW's start at about £250 up front to over £3700.

    One of the main reasons for the current up front payments is because of the Motability (government) restrictions on the maximum value a car can be.

    Previously there was little up front payment even for the top of the range Range Rover hence why people were getting them and buying then after 3 years at half the new price. They had the car from new, paid only their DLA mobility for 3 years and saved over £35,000 when they bought it off Motability.

    The media and the public were up in arms over it saying that the disabled were getting far too much of an advantage over those who weren't disabled by getting top of the range luxury cars.
    Hence they put a limit on the value of a car you can now get.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    veriterc said:
    Having helped friends claiming benefits, I would like to see a system where your GP has to send in the first claim, then we go through assessment conducted by a professional.  I was phoned by someone offering me a telephone assessment "to see if you are claiming all your benefts"  s in power. 
    Telephone assessment??? I have never heard of these - is this instead of the face to face assessment?

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Hi 
    Ive just gone through the DLA to Pip transfer.
    I was told at the interview/examination that, a support letter from a specialist has more mileage,than a letter from a GP.
    Maybe, but it still depends on the content of that letter - there is no point in one that just relays the diagnosis and how it is to be treated.
    On the other hand I wonder how you would manage to get hold of such a letter if you have been discharged back to the GP as there is nothing further that can be done.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited November 2018
    i know whatever system is put in place, there will be flaws...and there will always be people that try to con the system. I dont think there is a perfect answer, but having your disability judged by a 1 hour interview with a person who has never met you before is a pointless exercise. Its clear from my report (and from others ive seen on here) that the DWP base their decision solely on the report from the assessment (most of the time anyway). This is where it is unfair, and this is what needs to change. 
    Not just the claimants trying to con the system. The courts are just as bad when making decisions that change the original intention of the benefit or maybe a different definition to a word. That is what happened to DLA - it started off great but over the years the courts got involved to such an extent that the original intention was changed to something that the government never intended to happen.

    I would agree that a quick 45 minutes to assess someone's abilities is a joke.
    I had such an assessment carried out by a professional before I eventually retired from public service. The assessment took nearly 3 hours to complete, I sat next to the guy so that I could see the computer screen and every time he wrote a paragraph after listening to me he asked me if what he had written was OK.

    That report was picture perfect and gave a totally honest appraisal of my situation as to why I could no longer carry out my duties.
  • TardisTardis Member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    Yadnad, have you requested a Social Services assessment for you and your wife?  You say she needs constant care (even when driving the Jag?) day and night, and you have so many disabilities with only her to care for you.  I really feel you could do with some help.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited November 2018
    Tardis said:
    Yadnad, have you requested a Social Services assessment for you and your wife?  You say she needs constant care (even when driving the Jag?) day and night, and you have so many disabilities with only her to care for you.  I really feel you could do with some help.
    Not recently. I had one six years back (the report which was included within the report from my GP that was sent to the DWP). Unfortunately following the MR they told me that that particular bit of evidence could not be entirely relied on given that it was more than two years ago - it was dated in 2012.
    The assessment that SS carried out suggested that I needed some adaptions/aids in the home. They supplied two toilet frames and higher seats(one for upstairs and the other for downstairs). They also supplied a bath lift as well as a bed riser so that I could get into and out of bed and to hold on to when dressing/undressing.
    I doubt very much that they would do another as my issues haven't deteriorated to the point that I need a hoist!!
    Yes the DWP eventually agreed that she needed help/care during the day & night.- she too had a SS assessment of her needs and difficulties at the same time as mine.

    As we no longer have a car (the last Motability one was repossessed earlier this year). Luckily our daughters' live locally so are on hand at the weekends to help out, drive us etc.
    During the week they both work and if a car is needed for any reason my wife will borrow whatever is available at their homes. She doesn't like doing that as the cars are not particularly suitable for either of us.

    Between us both (my wife and I) we manage although it some times feels a bit like the blind leading the blind. As I have said we have family also that help out at the weekends.

    The only help we really need is someone to take on an appeal against the last MR refusal to award PIP back in April. If we get that back, then Pension Credit can start up again as will the Council Tax Support and possibly I may take on another Motability car to be more independent. I can't see anyone knocking on our front door offering that any time soon. 
  • TardisTardis Member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    I really wondered about whether the two of you had any care needs that they could help with.  How on earth do you both manage the stairs?  Did they discuss funding a stair lift with you?
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Tardis said:
    I really wondered about whether the two of you had any care needs that they could help with.  How on earth do you both manage the stairs?  Did they discuss funding a stair lift with you?
    With difficulty to be honest. It was only yesterday that I told my wife that I felt funny coming down stairs without holding on to either handrail (carrying a box of Christmas wrapping paper unused from last year) at her request!. It felt weird - it felt like my balance was being lost - swaying. Anyhow I must remember to hold on properly in future - she gave me a right rollicking for being so stupid.

    In any event and as I have said before, we can manage as we are - we just (should) take things slowly and not try to pretend that there is nothing wrong with us.

    As for care from another - no, neither of us sees that as needed at the moment. Our daughters' keep an eye on us so no doubt they will consider that at some time in the distant future - hopefully in the very distant  future.

    No SS never mentioned about a stairlift they did however arrange for another handrail to be put on so now we have one either side. That was part of the package my wife had from her assessment.  

  • samantha21samantha21 Member Posts: 64 Connected
    Yadnad said:
    Samantha 21.  I agree with syngery2120  and the long assessment PIP phase takes a long time  and the point correctly made is that the current system has flaws and many sick people are failed by  it.  A reference to the Motability scheme they have not done Range Rovers for several years now. I was looking for a car at one point and a friend of mine said why don't you get a BMW, I was not really looking for a BMW but just had a quick look at the garage anyway. As most people know you can get a Motability car with  no deposit or on some of them you have to pay a non returnable deposit upfront, anyway at the BMW  garage I think the upfront deposit for a car was about  3000 pounds so no chance of that for me. However I have still been satisfied to get my Motability car with very little upfront deposit and I still rate the scheme as excellent.
    BMW's start at about £250 up front to over £3700.

    One of the main reasons for the current up front payments is because of the Motability (government) restrictions on the maximum value a car can be.

    Previously there was little up front payment even for the top of the range Range Rover hence why people were getting them and buying then after 3 years at half the new price. They had the car from new, paid only their DLA mobility for 3 years and saved over £35,000 when they bought it off Motability.

    The media and the public were up in arms over it saying that the disabled were getting far too much of an advantage over those who weren't disabled by getting top of the range luxury cars.
    Hence they put a limit on the value of a car you can now get.
           Hi Samantha 21 here,

            Thank-you for your comment in regard of the BMWs and the cost of an upfront deposit starting at 250 pounds. I can just let you know that when I went to the BMW garage they had two models of Motability car they leased. If you are aware the cost you have seen is 250 pounds then good luck to that because as I said those two models they showed me were very close to 3000 pounds which was well out of my league. Also they did not offer to find me any models from 250 pounds in fact they gave me the brochure for the expensive models and that was that. |Thank-you for your opinion but I only expressed what my experience was
  • deltablue52deltablue52 Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hello everyone.
    With regard to the previous questions I hope that the following information is of help and clarifies things.

    Initially I was sent a letter from the DWP saying that my DLA was coming to an end and inviting me to apply for PIP-to do so  I had to ring them up to ask for an application form for PIP.

    That took about a week and a half to turn up at my home.
     The PIP form is about 40 pages long and was given a month to fill it in.
     I then rang the hospital, and spoke to my consultant secretary, I  asked for a "factual medical report" of my conditions and explained why.There was not a problem at all.

    This was ready a few days later and posted to me, but was lost in the post!.
    I then panicked and rang the DWP and asked for an extension-and explained the circumstances as I had no idea when my letter would turn up. I was given 3 weeks extension. Eventually though it did turn up.
    In the meantime I asked my doctors secretary, for a printed prescription list-this was ready the next day.
    It then took me and my wife 2 weeks to fill the PIP form  in-day by day. 
    I enclosed medical reports, medication lists(doctors)- (but no past appointments list) as im told that they are not interested in this.?.

    We copied everything and then sent it off registered post-signed for.

    About a week later I had a letter from the DWP, thanking me for sending my PIP form back and telling me that I need a face to face assessment, and this would happen within 4-6 weeks-and in the meantime my DLA would still be paid.
    .
    About 3 weeks later I had a phone call inviting me for an assessment, at short notice. A week later I attended the local assessment centre, I felt very anxious, but should have not been, as the nurse who examined me was very nice and very understanding.
    That over with we went home. (phew)
    A week later I received another letter, thanking me for attending, and that they were looking into my PIP application.
    Five weeks later, I had a letter from the DWP saying that I had been awarded PIP.  From start to finish I think the whole thing took 11 weeks.
    I hope that this helps.....







    .

  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    :


    .
           Hi Samantha 21 here,

            Thank-you for your comment in regard of the BMWs and the cost of an upfront deposit starting at 250 pounds. I can just let you know that when I went to the BMW garage they had two models of Motability car they leased. If you are aware the cost you have seen is 250 pounds then good luck to that because as I said those two models they showed me were very close to 3000 pounds which was well out of my league. Also they did not offer to find me any models from 250 pounds in fact they gave me the brochure for the expensive models and that was that. |Thank-you for your opinion but I only expressed what my experience was
    https://www.bmw.co.uk/global/motability/motability-price-list-q4-2018.pdf
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