PIP assessment - not very happy with the whole process
A long story with a curious ending.....
I suffer from Parkinson’s disease; a few months ago I had an assessment for PIP. I recorded the interview.
I was unhappy about the way that the assessment was carried out, and when I received a copy of the report I found that there were many mistakes - some, if you are being very generous, might be classed as genuine errors. Others can only be classed as lies - for example, one question was ‘which leg is the problem?’ and I explained in some detail that it was both legs. The assessor recorded that it was only one leg. Another question was “can you walk to xx?” I said that I could but couldn’t walk back - the assessor said that I could walk to “xx and back.” These are just two of many examples .
I should mention at this point that, before I had to give up work, one of my duties was to carry out quality control of interviews. This interview failed at every level.The assessor used leading questions, made incorrect assumptions, incorrectly recorded my responses, and fabricated responses (I.e. recorded answers to questions that weren’t asked!). At one point the assessor answered their own question!
Although I acknowledge that the information that I gave should be properly checked and verified I now think that the whole purpose of the interview was to find reasons to reject my claim, rather than a genuine attempt to find out the facts.
I did not ask for a mandatory review, but complained directly about the errors in the report as I wanted this to be accurate. The result was that the assessor ‘couldn’t remember’ and could not refer to their notes, which I had been refused sight of at the end of the assessment, as they had been destroyed.
I asked if this could be reconsidered and suggested that listening to the recording would help. I eventually received reply acknowledging that there had been mistakes but stating that, following a clinical review by a ‘senior clinician’ that the original descriptor choices appeared appropriate. A copy of the review wasn’t provided for ‘data protection’ reasons.
Now here’s the strange part…….
I contacted the DWP and they provided a copy of the review. It was dated one week after the letter sent in response to my complaint i.e. at the time I was informed of it’s findings it hadn’t been written! Moreover the review recommended that 9 of the 12 descriptors be changed; score for daily living should be increased by 8 and score for mobility increased by 18!
Lots of people who post on this forum point out, quite rightly, that there are plenty of people who go through the process and are treated fairly. I wasn’t one of them. The process for me was bent at every stage - from the interview which was unfair and biased, my initial complaint, and the final response which suggests that an assessment so poor that 75% of which needed to be changed was ‘clinically sound’.