PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP face to face concerns

JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
hi I’ve just received my appointment for my face to face and I’m really worried. I don’t have anyone suitable to go with me so my mum is going to have to get me there and come in to the waiting area.

my problem is that I can’t have her in the room with me when they are asking questions because I don’t feel I can be honest in front of her.

i need to record it but I’m worried that setting up the equipment and recording on to tape will be too technical for her and she’ll panic and forget how to do it or set it up wrong. She’s retired and not really technically minded!

i don’t feel safe going in to an assessment alone without recording. I’m not sure what to do fir the best.

Replies

  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    hi I’ve just received my appointment for the pip face to face. I’m worried because I haven’t got anyone suitable to come in with me.

    my mum can get me there and come in to the waiting room but she can’t come in to the interview - I don’t feel I can be at all honest in front of her.

    i need to record the interview but I’m worried that setting up the recorder and stuff is too technical and too much opressure for my mum. She is retired and not technically minded - I worry she’ll forget how to do it on the day or panic and do it wrong.

    i have no one else in my life and so I’ve got no other options. I can’t go in alone without recording fir obvious reasons.

    im not sure what to do for the best. 
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    ask around for help, don't struggle on your own, i've been on my own fighting for 20 years, failed it now 2 times, but still i fight on, as in the end i know i'm right, so contact every support group in your area and see if any adviser can come with you and support you on the day, you don't have to do anything on your own, your smart enough to have got the recordings, i asked but didn't get and still let it go ahead and now wished i hadn't, so just take the next step or leap and ask for that bit of extra help, it will come, i've been offered loads now i went out and looked for it, didn't know or have any dealings with anyone before this week, so 20 years and a habit of a lifetime, soon changers, so fingers crossed for you, if you don't ask, you don't get know days, CAB or on here and some one will give you somewhere or somebody to contact
  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    I’ve already contacted local charities but none offer any help with interviews. 
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,258 Disability Gamechanger
    You will have to weigh up whether having a recording, the benefits of which have been discussed at length, and what setting up and running two tape machines will say about you and your condition. Without knowing the basis of your claim, being able to do so, in what is obviously a stressful situation, will lead an assessor to make certain assumptions.
    If you do decide to record your assessment, what do you think you will achieve ?
    Do you have access to recording machine(s) to make simultaneous copies ?
    You also need permission to record, you cannot leave it until the day
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    https://www.mypipassessment.co.uk/news/can-you-have-a-companion-with-you-for-your-pip-consultation/

    so no care worker or local support worker prepared to go? and they said no, i know they do coaching on what goes off and how to do them etc, but must admit didn't know they didn't go into the interview, there's no rules on it from what i can find and read, but these hear at scope should be able to provide more or better help and support than what i can on a net search, as my knowledge is lacking i'm sorry to say, so hope some one else chips in a reply and can offer more than my hello and support did :( 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @Jpc  Thank you for your post. Sorry to hear this.

    I do understand it may be difficult to explain your problems with your disabilities or illness or conditions to your Mother.

    I think you have to be upfront and say. Need you there. Write it down in a letter explaining the reason why what is going to happen at the assessment.

    Why and what you are doing. Be and say.  I know sometimes to be honest and open how things are.

    Especially how you cope.

    Mention the reasons.

    I had this one time asked a friend to come with me.

    He did not know my past history. Especially personal stuff . So had to disclose it to him in a form of a letter.

    He was wonderful. Understanding, compassionate. Had empathy.

    One final point. I never had ever recorded any interview and assessment. I think what is important is to look at advice and guidance, sensible, practical guidance on this forum.

    Plenty of it. Including from former assessors and our community members who have been through many an assessment.

    Up to you. Your choice.  Sounds too complicated. Setting up equipment. If you cannot do it.

    I have been doing benefits a long time over twenty plus years and have had in my experience.

    Look at the booklet, they give you.  Be honest and open with any questions. 

    That is what I have always have done.

    What is important is you have some one. Your Mother.

    Meet so many who have not any one to come.

    Need to focus on the positivity's.

    Wish you the best for a successful outcome.

    We are here to support you.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman

    .


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  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    I don’t have any carerts or anything like that - I need pip to pay for help in the house. I contacted my local charities like Mind etc but they all said they don’t offer that service.
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    To be honest there is no real need for someone to go with you to a face to face assessment.
    They can't talk on your behalf.
    If it is that you just want someone to sit next to you to make you feel more comfortable are you sure that there is no one in your family or friends that could just sit with you?
    I have never had anyone in any assessment beit it ESA or PIP. In fact I have never actually gone looking for help in all of my dealings with the DWP due to my mental health situation.  
  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    I only have my mum - no friends anymore - I don’t have the energy to see people I knew and I’m asleep most of the daylight hours anyway. I’m too anxious to meet new people or go to new places. I don’t go out on my own or drive anywhere out of my village so my mum will take me but like I say, I don’t feel I can talk about personal hygiene and how bad my mental state is, in front of her. I do need someone to set up the recorder though and I’m anxious about being in a room on my own with a stranger. Especially if they turn out to be the kind of person who asks questions aggressively. Do you know if there’s a possibility I might be interviewed by someone of the opposite sex? I don’t know how I’d handle being on my own with a male assessor especially.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited April 2019
    You can ask the assessment company if it's a female or male, they should be able to tell you. You can request a male or female but this would cancel your appointment and you're only allowed one cancellation.
  • FitznspatzFitznspatz Member Posts: 45 Courageous
    The internet can be a troubling place. When you have a problem and google it the bulk of the replies can focus on what went wrong. This is certainly true on this forum: read about Face to Face interviews and you will definitely get the view the assessors have an agenda, will distort the truth and will not be attentive to what you are saying.

    How many of them are like that? I simply don’t know but my guess is that it is a small minority. 55% of people who apply for PIP receive an award. Only a tiny slice of that group come on to this forum to say the process was fair and just. My feeling is that the great bulk of assessors are professional, sympathetic, attentive, kind and want to do their best for you. That was certainly the positive experience my wife had.

    Can I counsel you against using a recording device? Unless it is a professional recorder like we see in TV programmes, it can not be used as evidence if you later wanted to use it for this purpose so what good would the device be? My view is that the presence of a recorder might make the assessor bristle; tacitly you are almost saying ‘I do not trust you’. 

    It would be nice to have someone sitting alongside you. Their function would not be to answer any questions but simply to remember, and maybe write down, what was asked and what you replied. Should you ask later on for the assessor’s report you could cross check it with your joint recollection of the conversation. A support worker from a charity will not be around at this second stage. The rôle of the witness has to be done by a friend or relative there to support you through the whole process. If you’d rather your mum was not present just try to remember as much as you can and write some notes immediately the interview is over while it is fresh in your mind.

    God willing and the creek don’t rise - as an American friend of mine says - you’ll be fine. Tell the truth, keep to the point, and prepare well for the interview by thinking of all the ways your disability restricts you from undertaking the tasks asked about on the questionnaire. Good luck.
  • Freddy67Freddy67 Member Posts: 24 Connected
    From what I can gather in regards to the recording equipment, it doesn't need to be "professional" nowadays, this is from the Capita site:

    Audio recording

    Should you wish, you may use your own equipment to record the face-to-face consultation. This must be undertaken in line with the following DWP rules:

    • You need to notify us before your appointment that you will like to record your assessment by calling our Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114.
    • You will need to provide your own audio-recording equipment. Your recording equipment must be able to produce two identical copies of the recording at the end of the assessment, either on audio cassette or CD. Mobile phones and laptops are not suitable mediums for recording assessments.
    • You will need to give one copy of the recording to the assessor, at the end of the appointment.
    • You will need to sign an agreement that sets out what you are and are not allowed to do with the recording.
    • We will retain a copy of the recording for a maximum of 14 months, at which point it will be destroyed. We do not pass on the recordings to the DWP and they are not used in determining your entitlement or award.
    • Should you attempt to record the assessment without having contact us first and agreeing to the above guidelines, then your assessment is likely to be stopped and we may return your case to the DWP.
    There are a lot of people who have recorded their assessment with tape recorders from places like Argos.

    If there weren't so many lies being told then people wouldn't feel the need to record their assessments and I'm sure that the assessor understands why it's being recorded. They haven't come to make friends with you, they've come to assess you for benefits.
  • FitznspatzFitznspatz Member Posts: 45 Courageous
    Freddy67 said:
    • You will need to provide your own audio-recording equipment. Your recording equipment must be able to produce two identical copies of the recording at the end of the assessment, either on audio cassette or CD. Mobile phones and laptops are not suitable mediums for recording assessments.
    • You will need to give one copy of the recording to the assessor, at the end of the appointment.

    That was my point, Freddie. Who has ready access to a recording device that can produce two identical copies?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited April 2019
    You use two recorders :) 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    but that would be the same as using a dual recorder no? Also, not everyone sets up their own equipment, some people have carers, support workers, family members, friends etc. that would do it. I was merely responding to something someone had asked  :/
  • FitznspatzFitznspatz Member Posts: 45 Courageous
    WF2k, that might be appropriate in other circumstances but in this specific case Jpc has no one to help her. Were she to set up the equipment herself, as ilovecats says, it invalidates a claim for points under two categories.

    Anyway, Jpc says she needs the PIP money to pay for home help. Buying two tape recorders for this one-off occurrence seems an extravagance.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited April 2019
    Yeah, I do see your point @Fitznspatz

    I guess they aren't going to be able to record unless their Mum goes in the room with them :/ 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited April 2019
    I was successful with my first claim, it wasn't recorded, not much evidence because I was no longer receiving treatment due to nothing helping. The assessor was pretty honest in her report, acknowledged my GP's letter and that me getting better would be a long term thing and then recommend a 5 year review to check I was getting the correct care, I was awarded enhanced/enhanced.

    I just wanted to share that due to the amount of bad stories you see on the net.
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    i've had 5 assessments now over a 20 year time period, some great, some good, two not so well, always scored well over, went under by one point once 12 years ago and got it over turned at Tribunal and this time scored none, so appealing now so more than likely back at Tribunal for a 2nd time, each persons experiences are there own, good or bad, none are wrong or more correct than any others, as it's each to there own, we all have good days and bad, and while some assessor understand and empathize with you, in my experience some don't, and haven't got a clue, so what i meant to say, is not only good luck, but hope you come out the other end with a positive and good outcome which suits your illness and needs, and both you and the assessor have a good day
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 918 Pioneering
    @Jpc If you're in East Anglia I might be able to go with you....
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    WF2k, that might be appropriate in other circumstances but in this specific case Jpc has no one to help her. Were she to set up the equipment herself, as ilovecats says, it invalidates a claim for points under two categories.

    Surely it will only 'invalidate a claim' if it's not true?

    If someone is claiming that they don't have the cognition/ dexterity to carry out certain tasks when they are perfectly able, and avoids setting up a tape recording to maintain this deception, then that's very wrong. 



  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Waylay said:
    @Jpc If you're in East Anglia I might be able to go with you....
    That’s very kind but I’m on the south coast. Thank you very much for the offer though
  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    ilovecats said:
    It depends what the person is claiming they cannot do. If it is take tablets out of a packet, or cannot follow a recipe, anything dexterity or cognitive related then it would go against their claim.
    Yes my form says I can’t follow a recipe safely or reliably and often drop things. That is all is true so I worry if I try to record by myself that I will either A. Get it wrong which would make the whole exercise pointless B. Manage to get it right, which would count against me The assessors are Atos and I’ve heard a lot of bad stuff about them which has me panicking.
  • JpcJpc Member Posts: 14 Listener
    sorry I wasn’t being detailed - the bulk of my claim is due to my having ME which affects my concentration, ability to follow directions, mobility, hand eye coordination etc. Added to that is long term depression and social anxiety which means that even when I’m able to get out of the house (and it has to be by car), I’m unable to go further than my village unaccompanied. My mobility, cooking, communication, dressing, medication, and washing components are almost entirely ME related but the small amount of things I can do are further limited by my mental health. I hope that makes sense?
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