PIP assessor phoning me at home, help. — Scope | Disability forum
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PIP assessor phoning me at home, help.

firefly22
firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
Hello.

I had my PIP assessment two weeks ago.It was very long, over an hour and forty minutes.

After this on the Tuesday following I got a phone call at home from the assessor. I thought it was my mum as she had gone to the shops to pick some things up for me. I answered the phone and it was her asking me more questions about going out with my mental health. 

I was quite shocked, didn't know what to say as I didn't expect it. After the call I was in a huge panic, thinking something was wrong, shaking, couldn't breathe, I had a bad stomach (sorry if TMI) and didn't calm down for hours.

I'd finally put it out of my mind, and the same woman from the ATOS office has called agan. I was resting and my mum took the call. She said she has more questions for me on that question. I'm in a panic again, the same thing, bad stomach, shaking. 


I've never heard of it once, but now twice. It makes me worried something is going on here. And also, it feels a bit intrusive. I knew what to expect in the assessment centre, but now it's in my home.
They must have enough information, this was a REASSESSMENT too, a renewal. The forms had a lot of information too, and I was in there over almost two hours.

Part of my issues are mental health, and this is really not helping. Should we call the DWP and ask why I'm being called so much by the medical assessor. I've never had this.

Thanks for any help.
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Comments

  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    I forgot to say, I also really struggle on the phone. I'm terrible and it drives my anxiety mad.

    I hate not being able to see the person and really struggle with that. I have mental health issues, but we suspect I have Aspergers through a few things, and this is something I really find difficult, so to have to speak on the phone is a lot of trouble to me.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Sometimes if they have more questions to ask they will ring you, even though they already rang you once. It's also possible that your report was chosen for audit, if this happens they may have further questions to ask before the report is returned to DWP. I realise it's very stressful but hopefully you won't have anymore calls regarding this and DWP will receive the report back soon.

    Once it's back, if you live in the UK then you can ring to request a copy to be sent to you. You'll still have to wait for a decision but this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hi Poppy.

    I think I've seen you elsewhere. I came to another forum too as I can't explain the panic I'm in, and just wanted double the traffic.

    Thank you. The trouble is, I feel all of the questions have been answered now. How many times going out, where to, and the fact it causes a panic.

    I just don't know why it's still the medical assessor too. Two weeks afterwards isn't it usually sent off to a decision maker?

    What does it mean to go to audit? 

    I'm just so bad on the phone too.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    An audit means it's just a random check that the HCP is doing what they should be doing and nothing for you to worry about. If inconsistencies are found in the report they will need to be corrected. If it is in audit then there's no timescales for how long this process can take. My daughters PIP report was in audit for almost 6 weeks.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Oh, I see, so if it is, it could be a while until I would get a result?

    Should we ask if it's under audit and perhaps this is why there are now multiple calls afterwards?

    I don't even know if it's that.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    @Ilovecats

    It seems you are exactly right.

    She hadn't phoned back and my mum could see how much distress I was in and so called the centre and asked to speak to a manager explaining it all and that it was all making me a lot worse.

    The man was apologetic and said she is new and they do an internal assessment of the reports before they go out and they have some issues with hers. 

    She's too busy to call today, so it'll most likely be tomorrow. It's just all added stress, as if the medical alone isn't stressful enough!
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hopefully, but I'm terrible on the phone, really bad, so I don't know if it will help me.

    At least if the result is bad it will help in an appeal/MR situation. That the manager has been apologetic about it and said the issue is she is new, it can't hurt.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    No, and that's also an issue I'm worried about.

    I agree, it seems she's abusing it a bit too, and it's on my PIP and ESA forms that I struggle on the phone with communicating what I actually mean or think. As I said, we think it may be Aspergers, but I don't do well on the phone and misunderstand the people on the other end.

    I wonder in the report whether it will state a difference in when my answers came, if it will be noted certain answer came form the phone, the first one in a surprise call I couldn't prepare for at all? I would think it has to be, but I have no idea.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Why do you have to always be so negative? Why put the answers in writing? That's really ridiculous! No one wants to delay the process even more than they have to. It's stressful enough without more delays.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    I don't know, if the President of the US can put his answers in writing instead of testifying under oath, it seems OK to me! 

    Sorry, that was a joke.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    edited May 2019
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Your advice is not correct or helpful and once again overly negative and designed to cause more worry that is necessary.
    They cannot be put in writing. That would delay the process massively and there is no guarantee who is answering the questions that have been sent back. 
    The questions that were asked and the answers that were given are recorded on the report form and if a claimant is unhappy with what has been recorded then they can complain in the same way as if they were unhappy with the assessment.
    It is correct and is most helpful especially where assessors and the DWP are involved. There is nothing stopping the Assessor/DWP in asking for the information in writing. Please show me/us any link that says that it must be via a telephone call?
    The system is already falling apart time wise. I am pretty sure that a claimant to protect themselves would not object to a couple of weeks longer. Do I presume that you are assuming that with letter writing and not knowing who has written the letter that the claimant could well have intentionally colluded with others when giving the answers? Wow not very trusting.
    Do you seriously expect us to accept what you say about the questions and answers being properly recorded on the report form? The many reports I have heard about on this site are generally full of lies including my own two. Even the Tribunals disregard the assessors reports as being normally a fairy tale. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    We don't need links to prove anything here. Very often putting things in writing when it's just a simple question is quite ridiculous.
  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    firefly22 said:
    No, and that's also an issue I'm worried about.

    I agree, it seems she's abusing it a bit too, and it's on my PIP and ESA forms that I struggle on the phone with communicating what I actually mean or think. As I said, we think it may be Aspergers, but I don't do well on the phone and misunderstand the people on the other end.

    I wonder in the report whether it will state a difference in when my answers came, if it will be noted certain answer came form the phone, the first one in a surprise call I couldn't prepare for at all? I would think it has to be, but I have no idea.
    They have to write the questions they have asked you and the answers you gave in the 'continuation' section of the form and they will reference this if any of your answers influence the justifications that they write. 

    I wouldn't say she is abusing it, however it may be that she thought she had enough information but a mentor has disagreed again. What she should have done is prepared a list of questions and gone over them with a mentor before she called you. Especially if it is noted that you struggle on the phone. 

    Try not to stress about it, you cannot get the questions wrong! Just do your best and be honest, that is all you can do!
    I suppose it feels that way to me because I kind of feel it like an invasion. Like the assessment was awful, it went badly, me and my mum said it afterwards that it was bad. I was having a huge panic attack, she didn't even want to do the assessment and then it was bad.

    So afterwards I could leave it there in the centre and home is where I'm safe, but to phone out of the blue twice, it feels like an invasion in my safe place.

    It's hard not to stress about it, having answered these questions twice already and knowing I struggle on the phone. It's really taking it's toll on me.

    So, I'm guessing she's given me a bad result then. I was on the enhanced rate for both. 

    I wish I had gotten anyone else now.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 172 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    @twonker / @yadnad.....I don't agree with your advice to ask for the questions to be put in writing..

    1) It will inevitably slow things down
    2) It makes no sense to have an assessment in which you respond to the assessor's questions as they are asked and don't have a written record, but then insist that supplementary questions are put in writing.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    @apollo14lmp - my assessment was't done well...but bear in mind that most assessments are OK..

  • firefly22
    firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    firefly22 said:
    Hopefully, but I'm terrible on the phone, really bad, so I don't know if it will help me.

    At least if the result is bad it will help in an appeal/MR situation. That the manager has been apologetic about it and said the issue is she is new, it can't hurt.
    It is incredibly common. Assessments take practice and new assessors take a while to learn what sort of questions should be asked of different claimants and conditions. When I first assessed I used to have to make a lot of phone calls, though I would explain why I was calling and try to reassure the person I was speaking to. 
    Sorry, I missed this bit.
    Oh, so you was an assessor?

    And you made calls to people at home afterwards? 

    I was thinking that it was quite rare and the DM did it instead. At least it can happen, especially with new assessors. But as it stands, we're two weeks past my medical and clearly the DWP hasn't got a report yet. She seems to have delayed it enough.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 172 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • twonker
    twonker Posts: 617 Connected
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Why do you have to always be so negative? Why put the answers in writing? That's really ridiculous! No one wants to delay the process even more than they have to. It's stressful enough without more delays.
    Maybe that after 6 years of PIP people may well have come to the conclusion that assessors and the DWP  have earned little trust in their ability to be totally honest, above board and record what was/what wasn't said at  the assessment.
    My advice has been that as you are not obliged to give your telephone numbers to anyone so why would you? Dealing with any government department and especially the DWP everything should be done in writing. That way there can be no confusion as to what was said by whom. 

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