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Dealing with descriptors

CockneyRebel
CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
Don't try and bring the Descriptors you are being assessed against to your problems. The Descriptors are defined in law and there is no flexibility in what they say, rather, you need to explain your problems in terms that match those Descriptors, if you can, try and echo the wording and phraseology used in the Descriptors.

Secondly, those assessing you will lack imagination and see problems as fitting into neat pigeon holes which is rarely the reality that most claimants face. So you need to lead them to your problems and explain in detail how you are affected and why, use 2 or 3 examples of what happens or happened when you try each activity.

Lastly, don't forget that you need to complete the activities reliably and on the majority of days so it is not a case of your categorically being unable to do something.
Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste

Comments

  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,449 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for making the above clear, getting these points across to claimants when they fill in their application form is very important and remember you will have to justify your written answers at your face to face acessment. Remember PIP is about your abilities and not your illness or disability.
  • Misscleo
    Misscleo Member Posts: 647 Pioneering
    WOW very well said to both
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Agreed.
    Here are some more tips:
    Remember that the descriptors are always set in stone. When you are filling out the form include two or three examples of situations in which you struggle. For example if you have any difficulty moving independently provide information as many details as possible. Be careful. 
    Make sure that you read all the descriptors. It is not merely a question of how you struggle for a short period of time no they are interested (for lack of a better word) in how you do manage over several months or years. Keep that in mind. It might be a idea to keep a diary to help you fill out the form to the best of your ability. Don’t be nervous about it. 
  • PIPQuestions
    PIPQuestions Member Posts: 32 Connected
    edited December 2018
    Agreed.
    Here are some more tips:
    Remember that the descriptors are always set in stone. When you are filling out the form include two or three examples of situations in which you struggle. For example if you have any difficulty moving independently provide information as many details as possible. Be careful. 
    Make sure that you read all the descriptors. It is not merely a question of how you struggle for a short period of time no they are interested (for lack of a better word) in how you do manage over several months or years. Keep that in mind. It might be a idea to keep a diary to help you fill out the form to the best of your ability. Don’t be nervous about it. 
    The problem is some of the descriptors it's hard to give examples what happens when you done it before and then the assessor lies about you and you're basically screwed. 

    For example. Due to severe social anxiety hurting my communication skills (also can't mix with people and as I'm not good around people which means I can't go out on my own. Either), to the extent many professionals have suspected autism, this isn't something I can really give examples off then you have the assessor saying I communicated well (I personally wouldn't call 1 word answers communicating well..). I had to ask my mum to answer some questions in depth I couldn't answer but he didn't care and just moved onto the next question and pretended it didn't happen . When they do press for more in depth answers I have panic attacks and walk out, which is what happened the last time ( at an ESA assessment 2 years ago). 

    Some problems and due to the nature of the descriptors it's hard to give examples of what happens when you do it.

    For some people you're basically trapped in with it being your word against the assessors. 

    It's one thing If you can't walk without pain, that's easy to give examples of. Mental health on the other hand is tricker as exampled above especially when you avoid those situations in the first place. Having communication problems doesn't help either when you struggle to explain.

    I did end up in hospital for a few months this year so I have recently examples of what happens when I mix with people but that only happened out of force of being kept in overnight otherwise I would have avoided it and have had no recent examples. I've sent evidence and a statement of this with my MR and hope it helps, but then when my award runs out, if I get it, I don't see me having any newer examples because as I said I avoid them situations. Which will really just put me back to square 1.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    I don’t think examples of this are too hard to find. Nothing in the rules says they have to be recent. So, what happened the last time you were at any kind if an occasion with work, friends or family? What happened last time you went shopping? 
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    edited December 2018
    I don’t think examples of this are too hard to find. Nothing in the rules says they have to be recent. So, what happened the last time you were at any kind if an occasion with work, friends or family? What happened last time you went shopping? 
    But surely Mike they have to be reasonably recent to reflect the situation as at the day you made the claim or had the review?
    In my case I could go back to 1996 when I left home in the middle of the night and went walkabout. I entered an empty building and tried to set it on fire with me in it. Likewise I again disappeared on a walkabout during the early hours and it wasn't until mid morning that the police found me. There had been a large police search carried out realising that a vulnerable guy had disappeared into the surrounding miles of open and wooded countryside.

    I doubt any of that information is relevant to any claim beit it in 2013, 2015, 2017 or now even if it did help with a particular descriptor.
  • Tardis
    Tardis Member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    But yadnad, is that genuinely the most recent time you went out alone?   
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    Tardis said:
    But yadnad, is that genuinely the most recent time you went out alone?   
    No but my reply was aimed at Mike who intimated that it didn't need to be a recent time - there is no regulation that says it must or should be. I was suggesting that my description whilst it would fulfil what was required it would not in my opinion help towards a recent PIP claim.
  • Tardis
    Tardis Member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    No, read what Mike said properly. 

    It doesn't need to be recent.

    What happened the last time you XYZ.

    Being deliberately awkward isn't going to help your case.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Thanks to the ignore button I’ve no clue what @Yadnad said but let’s be clear. If the argument is that you’re unable to do something reliably then clearly you may not have been able to do it reliably for a long time (obviously applicable to many long-term DLA recipients) so of course any examples of what happened when you last attempted said activity may not be recent. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Tardis
    Tardis Member Posts: 214 Pioneering
    That makes perfect sense Mike.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    edited December 2018
    Yes thanks Mike
    Tardis those two incidents and many more besides over the years resulted in increased medication but more importantly even now I do not venture far, my wife and my daughters know exactly where I am and what I am doing. But more importantly my wife for many years has had to control my medication and dosage because of those very instances that happened.(I used to refuse to take it)
    For me, the sheer fear of being sectioned again makes me think twice.
    So yes they were up to 22 years ago, the most recent was in 2003. 

    And there was no need for that last sentence was there? Still not friends?

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