Assesment process needs to change! — Scope | Disability forum
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Assesment process needs to change!

mattw84 Member Posts: 17 Connected
hi guys, my name is matt and I have decided to register and tell my story as reading all yours has helped me so much.

so long story short I am 34 and after being abused by a dentist when I was 8 I have always had trust issues and agrophobia as well as other anxiety issues and from the age of 18 was on DLA in May 2016 I was told I had to apply for PIP and was rufused my support worker was angry and told me to appeal but it was too late so I re applied in Oct 2017 and again was turned down this time I appealed and my tribunal date is dec 4th so Tuesday coming. I am nervous as it’s been a long fight and I recently have been diagnosed with disc disease my two discs in my lower back have been pinching my nerves for over a year and the symptoms have always been there I just didn’t know what it was (the back and leg pain and bladder control issues were listed on all my forms but didn’t know what it was till August this year after a MRI scan. 

I re applied for pip in September this year as the long wait for my tribunal was driving me mad and this is where after 3 assessments with ATOS I feel I need to fight this is why 

I have applied 3 times all my applications have the same symptoms and medications etc 

3 assements the first I scored 4 points the second 2 points and the third 24 points 
the first two assessments I don’t think they wanted to be at work that day and didn’t really note anything all my medications I bought to the assessments were ignored and distances etc exaggerated. Now on my third assessment the assessor had knowledge of mental health issues showed an interest in my abilities and even offered information on getting additional help. She like the others said my pond was 30m away when I stated it was 3m from my door.

i think a copy of the assessors reports should be signed by the claimant before it goes to Dwp because the lies and inconsistencies is unbelievable and it’s not their lives they are playing with. 

Anyway i I have a lot of evidence and I hope my tribunal on Tuesday is successful as my third assessment which was 8 weeks ago the DWP are stalling the decision they said it’s now 10 weeks for a decision but last week when I called the delay was because it was being looked at by their quality control! The lies from DWP cements my distrust in the system 

i think tbe DWP need to buck up their ideas one of their defenses is that I should be able to budget because I don’t have BI-POLAR now considering it’s the symptoms not the condition they score on seems like they need to brush up on all conditions. 

Anyway i I hope that this makes sense and if anyone has any input about what to expect at the tribunal in Exeter on Tuesday I would be interested to hear it.

And let’s hope the assessment process becomes more honest and straightforward soon for all those yet to apply.


  • Gwendoline1
    Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 215 Pioneering
    Hiya mattw84, I’ve never had / been to a tribunal, good luck and I hope you’ll be successful. Let us know what happened please. Again good luck. ???
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2018
    This was posted a while ago by our esteemed member mikehughescq

    Concentrate wholly on what you were like on the date of claim.

    2) There are no “trick” questions. Tribunals 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.

    3) There are no set rules or order for a hearing beyind the requirement that it must be seen to be fair. 

    4) Watch the judge’s pen. All three members may take notes but only the judge writes a record of proceedings. If you don’t want them to miss anything then remember that they can’t write as fast as you can speak, so watch their pen and slow down. Don’t worry about going too slow. They will tell you if you do.

    5) Never interrupt any tribunal member. It is perfectly okay to challenge them provided it’s not rude or aggressive. However, think about whether what you’re challenging them on is directly related to points. If it’s not then better to focus on points. This is especially important because loads of people second guess the demeanour of tribunal members as determining whether they are pro or against and it’s largely nonsense. An aggressive, challenging member may well just be a poor communicator and wholly on your side right up to the point you challenge them etc.

    6) Get yourself a representative and travel to the venue by whatever means makes you feel comfortable. It’s only ever an issue if you don’t explain what you did in full and if doing so contradicts your other evidence in some way for daily living and /or mobility.

    7) Same goes for clothes. You need to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you’re not relaxed then the likelihood of you presenting well are much reduced. Dressing down is not a good idea unless that all you can afford. A person who feels naked without make-up or a suit abd tie will similarly be over stressed if they try to pretend they’re in their comfort zone dressing down. 

    8) Other people’s tribunal experience can be valuable but it’s just that. Their experience. If they lost then it’s the tribunal to blame. If they win they everything they did is why they won and what you must do. The truth is usually very much in between.

    9) Know your case. What points are you going for and why. What’s your evidence? “The HCP was a liar” is neither evidence nor a winning strategy. Also, know the appeal papers. What’s where. 

    10) Do not be tempted to claim you’ve worsened since the date of claim. That’s a recipe for a failed appeal and an invitation to make another claim. Even if you have got worse always concentrate on your date of claim and what you were like then.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • mattw84
    mattw84 Member Posts: 17 Connected
    I must say the above was helpful and I liked the comment about DONT call the health care professionals liars lol well I am sorry they are not honest either and it’s all very clever. Like my case where she put my pond was 30m away when in fact it’s 3m she could say it was a typo but that typo is enough to kill a claim. So I feel there is some very clever dishonesty (typos) that some may not notice I re read a few of my reports and was supprised by the amount of inconsistencies but all very subtle yet enough to turn a claim from win to lose I feel with the pictures and extra evidence I will be ok but this is a massive stress and cost I did not need.

    i just hope people are not put off by the thought of a tribunal ok it’s taken a long time but you need to fight not just roll over 


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