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Awful experience with pip assessment

emilyjane15
emilyjane15 Member Posts: 18 Listener
edited April 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
My partner suffers severe anxiety, depression and PTSD, she has major issues with people. Struggles getting out and it's rare yet when she does it has to be with me always. Also she can't cope with people who don't live with us entering the home. She is a very untrusting person. Never answers the door or phone. Family doesn't even come to our house and she has no friends at all. 
She had her PIP assessment at the beginning of April. It was distressing leading up to it and on the day she couldn't even get out of the car. I had to leave her in the car and sit in the waiting Area.
25 minutes later the assessor calls her name and I ask to go in he says no as it's her assessment so I say be easy with her she is very anxious and don't stare at her. ( staring at her tends to send her temper very high ) 
I would say it lasted around 10 maybe 12 minutes and half way home she was sick I had to stop the car.
She then goes to sleep at home until the next day.
Then she tells me he tried to shut the door and she got distressed as past ones always leave it open. In the end he did and she stayed near the door. She also pleaded to allow me there but he said no again as it's her assessment not mine.
He did say though that he could arrange the assessment for another day but also said he would be very quick.
He asked her only these questions ...
Do you bath or shower
Who cooks 
Do you feel your condition is getting worse 
How many children do you have ...
He also phoned for a glass of water for her.
She didn't sit down she didn't look at him as she was near the door. He was doing a lot of typing.
She tried to tell him she has severe PTSD his reply was im a mental health nurse my job is to not cause you anymore distress than your already under so I won't question that. After lots of typing he said it's all done.
My partner said he never asked her the amount of questions the last one did. I just thought he must of seen how distressed she was.
We received a letter scoring zero points.
It says she was calm, made good eye contact, was comfortable, she shown no signs of low mood or anxiety. That she said she has no problem planning and following journeys and would have no problem being in a strange area and could find her way home fine. It said she came along to the assessment in good mood spoke about how she has her own bank account and manages her money and medication well.
It matches nothing from the day. I manage all money and prescriptions. I even speak to the GP on her behalf as much as possible. 
I today drove to the assessment building to require the assessors name which I got and he is a registered mental health nurse. 
Also I asked the receptionist if she remembered me and she said yes.
She remembers the distress my partner was in when she brought her water and the fact she couldn't get out of the car, I shown her the letter and she was shocked.
Most of all I can't believe an actual mental health nurse who is supposed to care and be trained to look after and support vulnerable people could write such false information ... Why??
I'm going to contact PIP in the morning. My partner suffered a very bad injury in 2016 at the hands of the nhs which made her not even trust medical people anymore and caused me and her GP to struggle getting her to a mental health team for support 
How will I ever get her to now


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Comments

  • Playermojo007
    Playermojo007 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I am so sorry that this has happened to you and your partner. I had exactly the same experience. I suffer the same plus i live with chronic pain and need both knees and both hips doing but i am too young.
    Its bizarre that my assessor wrote the exact same words in my report too about eye contact . No signs of anxiety. I was actually screaming and crying and wanted to stop the assessment. I described my irritable bowel etc and said i dare not go out because i have toilet accidents . So then she wrote in the report i often enjoy days out with family members.
    How do i do this when my father is dying with terminal pancreatic cancer. My husband contested and wrote about how i was bullied in my assessment and he called the assessor a liar. I did appeal and suffered weeks of tears and stress leading up to it. Only to still be told i wasnt going to gain my benefit back. 
    I have just had a new assessment and i couldnt walk with  anxiety i get shaky and wobbly. But we will see what happens. 
  • Playermojo007
    Playermojo007 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Also after 15 years with my husband he has now left due to he not being able to cope with my illnesses anymore. So that says it all. It has made me even more anxious because i live alone now and have no one to remind me to take my medication. 
  • emilyjane15
    emilyjane15 Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Playermojo007 Hi Thank you for your reply and I'm also so sorry for what you are enduring.
    Isn't it awful that this is actually happening to people who are in need of support. My partner isn't eating at all at the minute. I have found lots of people are going through this that I've seen on the internet and I can't believe it is being allowed to carry on. 
    Stay strong 
    I'm a deep believer that genuine people will always shine in the end and the karma bus will come for devious people. These people could end up being in our position they aren't indestructible & do they actually sleep at night. 
    Sorry to hear your partner has left under the stress. 
    I'm also so sorry to hear about your father.
    It's like they bully the vunerable people in society making them feel even more excluded and weak.
    Did you go to a tribunal on your appeal?
    I hope your new assessment is successful. 
    The impact this has had on my partner is awful 
  • Playermojo007
    Playermojo007 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Yes i went to the tribunal and i was in front of a female judge and a doctor and a disabled man in a wheelchair(i do believe that he was my most harsh adjudicator) . I couldn't believe that the usher introduced me to another lady who sat next to me. She worked for DWP within the assessment world. She was not allowed to comment or make any reactions. I still found her to be intimidating.
    She purely just took notes.
    My father was by my side for support and due to the fact i have had strokes i say wrong words. So when my father kept giving tbe judge the right name of a hospital etc etc. He was told to remain silent. So they would rather me give them wrong info -unintentionally. But all the same in a court your supposed to state facts and i obviously was giving tbem wrong info. But hey i did explain this at the beginning as i do at pip f2f. But they fire questions and how can i answer questions from memory if it is one of my disabilities. Longterm memory is brill but short-term is horrendous. I couldnt tell tbem what i had for tea.  
  • tiredout
    tiredout Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I'm about to start on my 6th appeal in 7 years. I won all of them except the last one. 4 weeks later I was in hospital close to death with heart failure, so I think I proved my case.... now, my heart failure is cured according to my assessor and I never need to be seen again. I complained about my assessor the day after my assessment as I have never had one like it before. I have never complained about the person themselves. Just their reports. But this guy was awful. Really bad. Capita did not 'officially log my complaint ' whatever that means, so when I called back late February to find out why I hadn't heard I had to start again. I called back end of March and was told a letter was on its way. It took 3 more phone calls and 2 more weeks to get my response. Because my assessor was off sick they hadn't done anything but I was welcome to complain. Which I did. 2 weeks later I called again. Hadnt received the email. Sent it to exactly the same email whilst on the phone. That arrived. Hmmmm...... 
  • Misscleo
    Misscleo Member Posts: 647 Pioneering
    I also have memory problems. She took no notice of the fact that it takes me a long time to give answers. She carried on asking more questions and then I couldn't remember what shed asked before.
    She put I could drive !! and would have no problems planning a route.
    I can't find the car that someone taken me out in and iv been in it many times but I'm lost once iv got out of it.
    I cant find my way out of a shop nor a public toilet I have no direction anymore but she said I'd have no problem planning a route.
    God help the people in a car that I was driving cos i wouldnt know where i was going nor the way home 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    Oh wow, that disgusting, you are allowed to have a person with you, he should never have made her go in alone, that's awful. Are you going to make a complaint about the assessor? I think you do it through the assessment company. I heard of another person who insisted on having another assessment because of the lies told by their partner. I don't know if your partner could cope with that though? Did you ask for a home assessment when they sent her the appointment? Depending on the company, you'd need to get support from her GP, although, I've had two home assessments done by Capita, they didn't ask for a supporting letter. (Sorry about the questions).

    I personally have been diagnosed with significant anxiety, agoraphobia, depression by a psychiatrist and a therapist thought I may have social anxiety, I also have fibromyalgia, I can't even begin to explain how hard it is to mix with people, I have no friends and only bother with my Mum and Son. People annoy and agitate me, even being near a stranger makes me anxious. I was awarded PIP in 2014 though, the assessor wasn't at all pushy, but then I did have an home assessment, I've just had a review, asked for an home assessment and I honestly, I was shaking, sweating, stuttering, I wanted him to hurry up and go,  he was here for just over an hour :/ Luckily my Son was here so he was trying to help me. I'm waiting to hear back.

    I'm sorry your partner has had to go through that. Are you able to get some advice from the Samaritans, Mind etc. ?




  • emilyjane15
    emilyjane15 Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Thank you for all of your replies it means a lot as we don't have anyone to turn to for help. My partner can't mix with others full stop. She literally starts to panic just when the doorbell rings. Just allowing the yearly gas service to take place is distressing and takes a few attempts. I've found that putting ear phones in her ears with music and leaving her in the bedroom with the door shut until it's over helps but it doesn't stop the stress of them coming. Even getting her to her GP isn't easy hence why no one has been able to fully identify what exactly is going on. I do know that as a child she didn't socialise. Always stayed in her room. Never went on school trips and didn't really have friends. As a teenager she never went to high school much and had no gcses her last year she completely missed altogether. She was badly bullied any chance others got. As an adult and getting older her ways got worse and she completely shut off from the world. She just can't cope with other people and became paranoid they were looking at her funny. She says this to me too. She is obsessive in the house keeping things straight. Yet she can't do things like cooking it's like a stressful task. She likes night time when the world is dead ( her words ) and she will sit in the garden in the dark. Hates summer as she hates bright lights.
    An assessment at home would be impossible and a tribunal I can't even begin to even tell her about that process. I think I'm just going to have to let them win. It's only money. I am dreading the esa assessment as that is due and I'm struggling to cope with the stress of this one and my partners mind frame. They have impacted even more on me ever getting her to trust a health professional ever after this. I'm going to see what her GP thinks of it 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    Ahh bless her! I can relate to a degree although I'm not as bad. I hate it when someone comes to the door, won't speak on the phone to strangers unless I have to, hate unplanned changes to things, I used to have a type of OCD but luckily it's not a problem anymore, my problem is more with men than women. Mines due to abuse from a young age and onward. I always say that out of all of my health problems the anxiety is the one that gets to me the most, there's no controlling it when it's trigger (not for me at least).

    Have you thought about being her appointee? then again... you would need an interview for that, not sure if your partner would need to be present, I guess it's something you could speak to the DWP about and see what they suggest? Means you would fill her forms in, deal with her money, and can speak on her behalf. I was thinking about asking my Son to be my appointee but I don't want to put too much on him, he already cares for me most of the time.

    https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

    You can speak to the Samaritans by email if you need any advice.

    There's also this kind of thing which is a webchat 

    https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/web-chat/#c


  • pixie61
    pixie61 Member Posts: 67 Courageous
    What I don’t understand is, why weren't you allowed in with her during her assessment? My husband cane in with me & I've read loads of other peoples reports saying they had partners, family, social workers etc go in with them. I’d def be making a complaint against that assessor on those grounds alone.  X
  • emilyjane15
    emilyjane15 Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Thank you for the replies I will look into that. 
    I have never known I could come in with her. This is the 2nd assessment and both said I couldn't as it's her assessment. The 1st one awarded her standard rate daily living and nothing for mobility. 
    This one scored her zero.
    I have since found out I could come in with her and let's just say I'm not happy as I could of given details. My partner wouldn't of explained anything especially while under distress and very anxious. The few questions that were asked she answered in one word answers and the assessor didn't attempt to go into detail. But the letter says very different. It's been made out that she strolled in and sat having a comfortable chat and was comfortable with the man in front of her. She stood near the door away from him trying to fixate on a fire alarm box. The lady at the reception area brought her water and recalls seeing her distressed and very anxious and said get pip to ring her they know her well. Only pip said no, I have to put it in writing and the manager might phone her if he wants to but he also may not. 
    It's like they want people with mental health issues to disappear. I'm going to write to them and see what I get back. I spoke to CAB they said it's happening a lot they are over whelmed with the amount of people being put through this.
  • emilyjane15
    emilyjane15 Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Oh and with the door open as she went into a panic when he attempted to close the door. 
    I have his name too.
    Wish I could name and shame him.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    Yeah it's really sad how they treat people, there is no need for it. I've been lucky with assessors for PIP, they have both been pretty nice and not pushy, I have no idea how my recent assessment went or if I'll be awarded again, we'll see.

    My Son's been there at both PIP assessments, my Mum was there for one of my ESA assessments, you are able to bring someone but they can't speak for you, they can offer input though (if the assessor allows it) hence me suggesting you being an appointee but like I said, I don't know if they'd need to see your partner, but it's definitely worth getting in touch with the DWP and asking.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    pixie61 said:
    What I don’t understand is, why weren't you allowed in with her during her assessment? My husband cane in with me & I've read loads of other peoples reports saying they had partners, family, social workers etc go in with them. I’d def be making a complaint against that assessor on those grounds alone.  X
    It's not unheard of for the person who came with the claimant to be told generally by the reception staff that there really is no need to worry, the assessment process is between your friend/wife/husband and the assessor in any event.
    In my case it was my wife that was told that after I went in.

  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @emilyjane15 - here's a bit from the DWP guide about assessor's interview skills...

    It tends to suggest to me that only the claimant is allowed to speak, and the accompanying person offer support. This makes some sense I suppose, otherwise if the other person had a lot to say the assessor would be interviewing two people at once!

    Hope this helps....

    1.6.8 The approach should be relaxed, allowing the claimant time and encouraging them to talk about themselves and put across the impact of their health condition or disability in their own words. The claimant and any companion should feel fully involved in the process and feel that the consultation is a genuine two-way process. Summarising back to the claimant what has been said is useful to show active
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    cristobal said:
    @emilyjane15 - here's a bit from the DWP guide about assessor's interview skills...

    1.6.8 The approach should be relaxed, allowing the claimant time and encouraging them to talk about themselves and put across the impact of their health condition or disability in their own words. The claimant and any companion should feel fully involved in the process and feel that the consultation is a genuine two-way process. Summarising back to the claimant what has been said is useful to show active
    To be honest from what I read and my own experiences that particular paragraph is normally ignored.
    You would be extremely lucky if the assessor was to read back what had been written by them. I can understand this as if the assessor had written something totally different as they didn't believe all that the claimant had said it could well descend into an argument.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    twonker said:
    cristobal said:
    @emilyjane15 - here's a bit from the DWP guide about assessor's interview skills...

    1.6.8 The approach should be relaxed, allowing the claimant time and encouraging them to talk about themselves and put across the impact of their health condition or disability in their own words. The claimant and any companion should feel fully involved in the process and feel that the consultation is a genuine two-way process. Summarising back to the claimant what has been said is useful to show active

    @twonker - you're probably right ( and this was my experience as well)

    The obvious question is to why the DWP don't just publish guidelines as to what actually happens, so that claimant's have reasonable expectations.

    On another topic @ilovecats mentioned that assessors don't take into account how fast someone walks when considering mobility...This is very useful to know, if that's what assessors are trained to do, but completely contrary to DWPs own guidelines...

  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @ilovecats - perhaps I misunderstood your other post; I apologise if this was the case.

    I can't seem to find the post now but IIRC it had a 'handy assessors guide to walking speeds" going down to 30m in 1 minute. 

    Obviously at such a low speed any claimant will automatically score 12 points for mobility, however far they are able to walk, because they will never meet the 'half the speed of a non-impaired' person which is part of the reliability criteria...

    Once again, sorry for misquoting you if I have done!!!
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Thanks for the paragraph. I’m going to use it when I have to appeal. That specific paragraph should be what all appeals are based on. We have a appeal coming up. 
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @ilovecats - I think we might not agree on this! 

    According to DWP guidelines (from a worked example):

    "In a reasonable time period –The walking speed which is deemed within a reasonable time period is 30 metres per minute."

    This is a bit cheeky on behalf of the DWP because the actual figure should be about 40m/minute, based on generally acknowledged average walking speeds. It varies, as you say, but 3MPH is average. I don't know whether, legally, they can just make up their own figure.

    So, if you use (slightly dubious) DWP figure anyone walking slower will score 12 points, without any need for further consideration....

    Sorry...I've gone off topic - but hopefully it might be useful for others to know what the DWP/assessors think is a slow walk... 

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