PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP medical assessment

AliPantsAliPants Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited February 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi. My son is 16 and has Autism.. I'm sending off his PIP forms today (to replace previously awarded DLA). I am very concerned regarding the medical assessment. I am the acknowledged appointee but am wondering if there is anyway that he does not have to be present during the interview. He suffers from extreme anxiety and social communication difficulties. I am veryv concerned regarding his mental  en health/ stress levels. I really think iti will have a negative effect on his well being to overhear verbal scrutinization about everythingthat he struggles with and is unable to achieve independently. He has also just been told that myself and his stepfather of 13 years are separating and on top of all this, he is taking his GCSE's this year. 
Does anyone know if there can be any arrangements where this additional stress for vulnerable  youngsters can be avoided/minimised?
Thank you

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @AliPants, and a warm welcome to the community!

    Wishing you and your son all the best for the assessment. I'm unsure of the answer to this myself, but we have some brilliant community members who will be in touch and hopefully able to advise. 
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    How are you doing @AliPants

    I wonder if there's any guidance our advisor @Jack_W can suggest on reasonable adjustments?
  • caracara Member Posts: 21 Listener
    Hi @Allpants?
    Has your son a key worker are social worker that could advise you.?
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    I really do understand your concern. Unfortunately it is extremely unusual for face to face assessments not to be carried out, although it is not a requirement of PIP - it's up to the health professional who looks at the PIP2 & any evidence you send through. 

    There's no guaranteed way to avoid it, but if you have explained in the form & elsewhere how your son reacts to stress & how it could make his condition worse, you could try arguing that the DWP has an Equality Act 2010 duty to avoid that stress.

    Other things to consider are ways to make the assessment less stressful - would a home assessment help? Have you considered asking for one? If not, perhaps because you think someone coming to the home would be even more stressful, then as Cara suggests, is there someone else who works with your son who could go with him (and with you)? 

    As well as the possible Equality Act argument above, you could also consider contacting your MP, explaining the negative effect on your son. It's very true that having to focus on all the things you can't do, and all the things which make you 'different', is extremely negative. 

    It's worth remembering that the health professional considering the paperwork is supposed to consider the needs of vulnerable claimants. It may be possible to argue that if you've made it clear how your son would react to an assessment, and if there is enough evidence anyway, they should not hold a face to face medical. The guidance is here - see para 1.3.11. And you'll see that if enough evidence from professionals is received, a face to face assessment can even be cancelled. So have a think about whether there is anything else you can provide.

    Will



    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • AliPantsAliPants Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi Will

    Thank you so much for your indepth and knowledgeable reply. You have raised quite a few really useful points/suggestions that would be applicable for my son and definitely worth me following up!

    A woman visited us to take away the  completed appointee forms (as they were 'not received'. This was despite one employee confirming that were definitely 'on the system'.) She also confirmed that as appointee, all questions could be directed to myself and answered by myself. Obviously, my son would still be aware of what was being said and although he may appear fairly relaxed to a stranger, he will no doubt be internalising his worries.

    I also know that if he was to answer personally that he would be 2nd guessing  what the interviewer would be looking for. He would also not want to make himself present as anything other than 'normal' and would therefore provide inaccurate answers. This is an additional concern but my main worry is the possibility of inducing further unnecessary stress onto my son with negative consequences.


    Your assistance has been very much appreciated.


    Many thanks and kind regards



    Ali



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