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I didn’t loose everything.

yanhow1
yanhow1 Member Posts: 22 Connected
edited April 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Three yrs ago when I was assessed for PIP for the first time after being on the highest rate of DLA for 20yrs, I got 8 points for la and 10 points for mobility which was awarded for 3yrs, even after a valiant attempt from the assessor to totally discredit me.

Now I’m up for a review which is pretty much going through the whole thing again.
I’m now worried that even though my condition has deteriorated significantly I will get less points this time because of perhaps a bad assessor/assessment.

Has anyone had this happen to them? 

Do the DWP look at their last award before making a decision and if they don’t, is it worth pointing out for the MR that they award more last time for a lesser condition?

Does anybody think a tribunal would at leased uphold the last award points with the same if not better medical evidence?

thanks
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Comments

  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    yanhow1 said:
    Three yrs ago when I was assessed for PIP for the first time after being on the highest rate of DLA for 20yrs, I got 8 points for la and 10 points for mobility which was awarded for 3yrs, even after a valiant attempt from the assessor to totally discredit me.

    Now I’m up for a review which is pretty much going through the whole thing again.
    I’m now worried that even though my condition has deteriorated significantly I will get less points this time because of perhaps a bad assessor/assessment.

    Has anyone had this happen to them? 

    Do the DWP look at their last award before making a decision and if they don’t, is it worth pointing out for the MR that they award more last time for a lesser condition?

    Does anybody think a tribunal would at leased uphold the last award points with the same if not better medical evidence?

    thanks
    A review is treated as a new claim. Yes they can see what was said last time around which could help or hinder. It could help if the assessor still agrees with it. It could hinder if the assessor thinks that the previous award was far too generous.
    If your case was one that was changed at MR stage or at a Tribunal they would not see that information. So say that the original assessment advised 0 points and at a Tribunal hearing you were awarded enhanced for both, none of that would be available to the assessor.
  • yanhow1
    yanhow1 Member Posts: 22 Connected
    I was awarded that without MR, but if it had gone to MR would the decision maker be able to see that info? Would a tribunal think that an assessors opinion that a previous award was too generous was unfair. Also that would be so unprofessional and disrespectful of one HCP to undermine another HCP’s “EXPERT” lol, opinion.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    Each review should be treated as a new claim by all claimants.

    Whether or not they treat it as a new claim is a different story. My daughters very recent PIP review was paper based assessment and in the assessment report it mentioned the previous assessment report, the review form i sent, and a phone call made to the community learning disability team, the evidence i sent this time was not taken into consideration.

    During my review face to face assessment 2.5 years ago the HCP mentioned my previous report and award
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    yanhow1 said:
    I was awarded that without MR, but if it had gone to MR would the decision maker be able to see that info? Would a tribunal think that an assessors opinion that a previous award was too generous was unfair. Also that would be so unprofessional and disrespectful of one HCP to undermine another HCP’s “EXPERT” lol, opinion.
    An assessor as does a decision maker can differ completely with a previous report or decision. In fact if you had 6 decision makers looking at the same case it is highly likely that you would get 6 different decisions. Likewise with an assessor and even if you had a brilliant assessment 3 years previous and was awarded enhanced for both care and mobility there would be nothing stopping the current assessor if that is how he/she felt, to give a damning report recommending 0 points across the board.

    Many claimants on this site have reported exactly that happening - 'how can I go from enhanced care & mobility to nothing even though my health and impact has deteriorated so much?'




     
  • yanhow1
    yanhow1 Member Posts: 22 Connected
    I I totally understand that but would a tribunal panel see it that way.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    edited April 2019
    Quite interesting.

    From what you say the AR1 is compared to what the eventual award was, do they also consider the original assessor's report?
    Many cases happen where the assessor does not award any points and consequently the DWP go along with that recommendation. With the MR the claimant then convinces the DWP that the report is both factually and suggestingly wrong on many aspects. The revised award now gives enhanced care & mobility.
    Does the assessor also consider why this change happened?
    I am also concerned that you are viewing the claimant on that day and at that time. Are you suggesting that if they look to have no problems in that 30 mins assessment then they should have no problems at all?

  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    edited April 2019
    Thanks ilovecats
    Personally I wouldn't like the job of an assessor. You have the assessor looking for traits and signals whilst you have the claimant doing their damned best to appear as normal as they can be. I know I would. The last thing I would want is to appear a bumbling idiot in front of a stranger.
    I have been told by psychiatrists, psychologists, CPN's and OT's  that in psychiatric terms deception and avoidance are some of the tools you quickly learn when dealing with the mental health system.
    Unfortunately it doesn't really help the patient. I spent the best part of 10 years learning the art of deception and avoidance when talking to the many mental health professionals I have been involved with. The best place to hone those skills is when you are under section (why am I in here? Everyone's gone mad and I am the only sane one!)

    The assessor would have one hell of a job trying to look for the traits and signals from how I speak, how I act and what I say. Even on this site what you see from my posts is not me, not the real me, I build up a persona totally the opposite to the real me. In a way it is self protection.

    I have every sympathy for most assessors when faced with people who have deep seated mental health issues.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited April 2019
    @ilovecats Going back to your first post, it worries me greatly that so much emphasis is put on paper evidence. There are many reasons why a claimant might not have the necessary written proof but it doesn't mean they don't have the claimed disability. I have a severe health anxiety and being 68 my Doctor weighs the pros and cons of any referral. She has actually voiced her reason for not sending me for investigations for things that there is no cure or treatment for and that is the stress caused to me would out way any benefit of having procedures I couldn't cope with. So should an assessor take that into account when noting the lack of paper based evidence? Talking of which it also concerns me that you say even when medical evidence of mental/cognitive impairment is available if the claimant didn't present to have any problems on the day they would not be awarded for mental health. In other words you are over ruling their mental health Doctors who know far more than any assessor about that person. In my opinion no assessor is qualified to make such decisions and should rely on evidence from specialists in the field of mental health. 
    Lastly you put so much emphasis on written evidence yet there are people who've been given the enhanced rate of both with no evidence whatsoever. 
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:
    I have every sympathy for most assessors when faced with people who have deep seated mental health issues.
    The most commonly seen conditions at PIP assessment are normally some sort of mental health condition. Even those with a physical condition, normally have some sort of depression or anxiety associated with long term physical illness. 

    It can be quite draining trying to determine those who are genuinely functionally restricted from those who are not. Especially when someone believes they are but all the evidence suggests otherwise.

    It is not a nice feeling, not awarding, or removing an award when you know someone is relying on the money they have been getting, but PIP is not supposed to be a long term benefit for those with mental health or conditions that fluctuate or could get better. I often tried to explain to people who were having treatment that if they were to 'recover' to an acceptable functional level then their PIP may be reduced or removed. Most people I think appreciated the heads up. 
    Then you have those that you think should be genuinely functionally restricted but who refuse to admit to being so.

    I do like your comment about how people should view PIP. No doubt it would help everyone if the DWP put that comment 'PIP is not supposed to be a long term benefit for those with mental health issues' on the PIP 2. It might just deter those that do see it as one and expect a lifetime award.
    However I do believe that what you meant to say was that whilst a mental health issue may well be a lifetime issue, the impact of it is more than likely to be short lived. In other words people find a way around the difficulties they face in time.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:Then you have those that you think should be genuinely functionally restricted but who refuse to admit to being so.

    I do like your comment about how people should view PIP. No doubt it would help everyone if the DWP put that comment 'PIP is not supposed to be a long term benefit for those with mental health issues' on the PIP 2. It might just deter those that do see it as one and expect a lifetime award.
    However I do believe that what you meant to say was that whilst a mental health issue may well be a lifetime issue, the impact of it is more than likely to be short lived. In other words people find a way around the difficulties they face in time.
    I did often see people, normally with physical conditions such as COPD or Rheumatoid Arthritis, who believed that they 'managed'.

    I had one lady with COPD tell me she was fine getting dressed, she had ticked no problem for dressing but when I pushed her, she said that she never wore socks because she couldn't get them on, and all of her shoes were slip on or flip flops. If she had to, it would take her 10 minutes to put socks and normal shoes on, and she would have to use her inhalers afterwards. I also saw her need to use her inhalers after walking 20m to the assessment room. That is not safe, reliable or within a timely manner, so she ended up scoring for washing and dressing even though she hadn't claimed it. It works both ways.
    So surprised.
    I genuinely believed that if you didn't make a claim for a deemed impact (descriptor) the assessor is under no obligation to consider that area of need. Much like you don't claim you don't get even if the need/impact is pretty obvious. Put it another way and if we go with how you used to assess there is no real need to complete the PIP2 at all. Just turn up at the assessment and let the assessor decide what they should be awarding. 
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    I recognize the contradiction was about emphasis on evidence and then saying I should be assessed as having a problem with functionality without evidence if it's something that hasn't been investigated for the reason given. It's not really a contradiction when you consider how complicated we are as people, how many different disabilities there are and how many reasons there might be for whether evidence is available or not. E.g. I would have loads of evidence for mental health but not for Peripheral Neuropathy or nerve damage caused by car crashes. It's a lot to expect any assessor to look into all the why's and wherefores but being believed until proven otherwise instead of the other way round would be a starting point and would save a lot of people an enormous amount of stress.
                        I don't see the need to ask my very busy GP for a letter as you mentioned when other evidence I've submitted says the same thing. You may be interested to know I could not ask my GP for a letter for PIP because back in 2017 she told me that DWP had been told by Gov. not to expect letters from GPs,and that they had to believe what people were telling them (her words not mine). There should be enough information on anyone's medical records along with other evidence to make GP letters specifically for benefit unnecessary. 
        
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    wildlife said:
    It's a lot to expect any assessor to look into all the why's and wherefores but being believed until proven otherwise instead of the other way round would be a starting point and would save a lot of people an enormous amount of stress.     
    I suppose that would be the right thing to do if everyone was absolutely honest in mapping out their difficulties, which descriptors would refer and submitting corroborating evidence.
    There are some amongst us who are not that honest.
    Obviously to weed them out, everyone is treated the same way - prove that you should be believed.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:
    wildlife said:
    It's a lot to expect any assessor to look into all the why's and wherefores but being believed until proven otherwise instead of the other way round would be a starting point and would save a lot of people an enormous amount of stress.     
    I suppose that would be the right thing to do if everyone was absolutely honest in mapping out their difficulties, which descriptors would refer and submitting corroborating evidence.
    There are some amongst us who are not that honest.
    Obviously to weed them out, everyone is treated the same way - prove that you should be believed.
    Some people on this site have obviously had horrendous and unfair experiences.

    I would most likely attribute that to their assessors becoming jaded at the high number of inappropriate applications and how easy it is to become sceptical when you see so many people who are trying to get money they are not entitled to!

    Which is obviously not acceptable! I wish that genuine claimants such as the people who post here for help could witnessed the ridiculous claims I have seen because it would make their blood boil!





    I can well imagine knowing some of them that have tried to claim the benefit and lost. To be honest the system does seem to be working as I know of no one that has been economical with the truth when completing the PIP2 AND had an award!

    As an example the guy two doors up put in a claim (he actually asked if I would help him!) setting out that he can't walk beyond 10 metres, so he said. Yet every Saturday morning in go the golf clubs and off he goes for a round of 18 holes.
    Thankfully he failed simply because he had no evidence to back it up - he just assumed that he would be believed.

  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    I'm curious. You said, "...PIP is not supposed to be a long term benefit for those with mental health or conditions that fluctuate or could get better..." Why do you specifically mention mental health and fluctuating conditions? (Obviously if I get better I don't expect to keep getting PIP; that makes complete sense!)

    Unfortunately, although my conditions fluctuate over hours-weeks, they don't improve for more than a day (chronic pain w/ spasms) to a few weeks (mental health including borderline pd). The pain has been going on for 11 years, and the mental health problems for over 30, but the MH issues worsened severely when the pain began, and after subsequent traumatic events. Unless a new treatment is developed for my spasms (I could probably deal with the rest of the pain) or I have a massive MH breakthrough (God, I really hope one or both of those happen!), I'll be disabled long-term.

    Does the DWP assume that fluctuating conditions and complex MH problems will improve? That would explain a lot...

    Thanks!


  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    ilovecats said:

    Does the DWP assume that fluctuating conditions and complex MH problems will improve? That would explain a lot...

    .........I scored them all A’s and their award was taken from them. This is because they are no longer functionally restricted however, I recommended that they be called back for review in 2-3 years to see if their condition had changed because of the known variability.

    That is news to me. How on earth can the DWP call someone back in when they no longer have an award? I don't believe that the PIP regulations allow for that to happen. It is up to the claimant in 2/3 years time to contact the DWP asking for a new claim form. If they don't ask then the DWP won't chase them up.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:
    ilovecats said:

    Does the DWP assume that fluctuating conditions and complex MH problems will improve? That would explain a lot...

    .........I scored them all A’s and their award was taken from them. This is because they are no longer functionally restricted however, I recommended that they be called back for review in 2-3 years to see if their condition had changed because of the known variability.

    That is news to me. How on earth can the DWP call someone back in when they no longer have an award? I don't believe that the PIP regulations allow for that to happen. It is up to the claimant in 2/3 years time to contact the DWP asking for a new claim form. If they don't ask then the DWP won't chase them up.
    We have to go through the formality oh our medical recommendation. That case manager can do what they like.
    In which case the recommendation to re-assess someone in 2/3 years that has no active PIP award is nonsense.
    It stands to logic that if no award is recommended it just isn't possible to recommend that they review years later. The assessors report should just leave that part blank. Who on earth dreamt up that barmy situation?

  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @twanker let's face it the whole thing is barmy. With the best will in the world I still say the amount of medical knowledge needed to form the basis of these kind of decisions just does not exist amongst assessors. They may as well look in a crystal ball and pluck an opinion out of nowhere. I accept that some really do want to do the best they can but faced with medical evidence they often do not understand or don't have time to read their only remaining option is a personal opinion outside of their own professional knowledge. The request for functional evidence rather than diagnostic puzzles me. What exactly can we supply to show our daily struggles? Functionality is how we cope in our daily lives when we are alone, or with close family members. They  are the only ones who really know how our disability affects us and that type of evidence is considered the weakest of all and the most likely to be ignored. 
         I still would like to know what evidence will be accepted as per regulations to be able to avoid doing the exercises? How often do we hear of assessor's saying the claimant refused even when a good reason was given backed up by medical evidence. How do we avoid this happening @ilovecats
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @wildlife - I think, but I don't know for a fact, that the idea is to direct the benefit at those that are prevented from carrying out day to day tasks by their condition.That's why it is dependent on functionality not just a diagnosis.

    To me this makes a lot of sense - the effect of one condition will be different, dependent on the individual.

    It may not be ideal but I think that it's better than just saying "if you've got x then you get PIP" 

    Functional evidence - I used a report from an OH specialist as to why my loss of functionality meant I couldn't remain in employment. Also a diary, which I used to evidence how I couldn't carry out tasks due to tiredness.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    wildlife said:
    @twanker let's face it the whole thing is barmy. With the best will in the world I still say the amount of medical knowledge needed to form the basis of these kind of decisions just does not exist amongst assessors. They may as well look in a crystal ball and pluck an opinion out of nowhere. I accept that some really do want to do the best they can but faced with medical evidence they often do not understand or don't have time to read their only remaining option is a personal opinion outside of their own professional knowledge. The request for functional evidence rather than diagnostic puzzles me. What exactly can we supply to show our daily struggles? Functionality is how we cope in our daily lives when we are alone, or with close family members. They  are the only ones who really know how our disability affects us and that type of evidence is considered the weakest of all and the most likely to be ignored. 
         I still would like to know what evidence will be accepted as per regulations to be able to avoid doing the exercises? How often do we hear of assessor's saying the claimant refused even when a good reason was given backed up by medical evidence. How do we avoid this happening @ilovecats


    I've always wondered where this mystical evidence can come from. Not everyone has had a Social Services needs assessment and not everyone has the pleasure of having an OT in their treatment plans.

    I agree that a letter from a wife/husband must rank at the bottom of the pile: of course they are going to agree with what you have put on the claim form.

    Same goes for a diary. I could dream up various scenarios on a daily basis that over a period of time would show me to almost be a vegetable. 

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