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Pip Assesment report 0 points

laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
edited July 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
So i applied for PIP for anxiety and depression.
I've just received the assesment report which contains quite a few errors. 
So i take 20mg citalopram but shes stated I take 10mg and I've been taking this since January (6 months) but shes stated I've been taking it for 3 months. (I also take another anti depressant and beta blockers). I am also on a waiting list to get specialised help and have received specialised help on and off for 10 years.

Throughout the report shes given me 0 points on the basis that i am on a low dose of anti depressants that ive only recently started taking (3 months) and dont receive specialised help. For example i stated i only shower 1-2 times a week / only cook a meal once every 2 weeks and she's given me 0 points on the basis that I'm on a low dose that I've not been taking for very long and dont receive specialised help. 

In the report she says i get no more than a weeks worth of medication due to suicidal thoughts (i get a months worth and my mom has to look after it as I've taken overdoses) and i also forget to take meds but shes given me 0 points on the basis that i don't have a condition that effects my memory - depression/anxiety does effect your memory ? And regardless i cant have all my medication because of suicidal thoughts? So how is that 0 points?

I think the descriptor that shocked me the most was engaging with others. Her main reason for 0 points being low dose / no specialised help she also says that although my mom was with me at the assesment i did not need her to speak - this is a complete lie, my mom had to answer several questions on my behalf as i was crying and shaking so badly. She also states that my hand was visibly shaking then a couple of lines down she says i wasnt visibly trembling? So a complete contradiction.

Another descriptor that really confused me was planning journeys. I stated clearly i cant go on unfamiliar journeys but i can make familiar journeys and this is in the report but she states "she can make familiar journeys she can not go on an unfamiliar journey alone she reports she is able to meet friends" but she's still given me 0 points. I stated i meet friends at my house or at a familiar place. She clearly states i can make familiar journeys but doesnt actually state i can make unfamiliar journeys so i dont understand how i got 0 points for that?

I called the pip line and asked them to make a note on my case of all the inaccuracies. She's stated im on the wrong dose of medication and used it as her main reason for denying me any points so is it likely that this will make a difference? Im guessing im going to have to have a MR is it likely i will succeed since their are contradictions in the report and some complete lies? And do you have to be receiving specialised treatment to get points?

Replies

  • Pipquestions2Pipquestions2 Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    You don't have to be receiving specialised treatment to receive points because it's about how your disability effects you and the help you need

    Just because you aren't getting help doesn't mean you don't need it 

    When I applied they used this against me too but ultimately won my pip at tribunal. By the time my tribunal came, I ended up on medication (again), referred to mental health teams (again) and had a support worker, but the tribunal wasn't interested in any of this at all. The only thing they asked me regarding that was what my support worker does for me but that was just their way of asking me what I can't do for myself, I think, rather than the support worker herself. They were more interested (and rightly so), in how I was effected by my disability rather than what help I was getting if that makes sense.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    @laurenxs - it is about how your condition affects you rather than what that condition is. I wouldn't bother so much about what doses of medication you are on, particularly if you have written them on your application.

    For a MR I'd concentrate on the descriptors where you believe you should have scored points, and didn't. Give some examples of why you can't do a particular descriptor, and what steps you take to overcome your difficulties.

    Be aware that the examples you give for one area might be used in others. For example, if I read your post correctly, you say that you go to meet friends in a familiar place so I doubt that you will score for "engaging with people face to face" (@ilovecats will probably know for definite)

    Try not to get too bothered about the mistakes the assessor has made - hard to do I know as this happened to me as well - but use your time positively.

    Good luck....


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    As annoying and frustrating as all the contradictions are you really should avoid mentioning any of those when requesting the MR and Tribunal, if it gets that far and most do. DWP and Tribunal won't be interested in any lies that may have been told in the report.

    For the MR request you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Adding 2-3 real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you. You have 1 month from the date of the decision to request this and send the letter.

    Very few MR decisions change so expect to have to take it to Tribunal because most people do. Waiting lists for hearing are huge across most of the country and lots of people are waiting as long as 1 year for a hearing date from the time they accept your Tribunal. Appearing in person will give you the best chance of a decision in your favour.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    The thing that confused me most is the assessor uses my dosage of medication and not receiving specialised help as the only reason for scoring me 0 points for almost all of the descriptors. I was receiving counselling in September but you only get so many appointments before youre referred back to the gp and im currently on a waiting list now. Is this not considered at all? Surely its just discriminating against disabled people for not receiving specialised treatment?
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    Like throught the report it basically says things like "she only washes 1-2 times a week but shes on a low dose/no specialised treatment" basicaally like that for all the descriptors
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    @laurenxs - I'm no expert, and sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but it sounds like the assessor is saying that because you're only on a low dose of medication (I only know this because I'm on the same) then he/she doesn't accept that your condition is severe enough to account for your inability to carry out day to day tasks. Everyone is different of course...

    Apply for MR - it's not discriminatory as far as I know but others may have different information...
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    PIP is about how your conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activities based on the PIP descriptors. People do receive PIP for mental health even if they don't receive specialist treatment.

    You mention engaging with others face to face but also mention meeting friends. Do you meet friends when you go to familiar places? Do you need support to be able to do this?

    Medication... needing assistance for reminding to take your medication will only score you 1 point.

    Why do you only cook a meal once every 2 weeks?

    Washing and bathing, why do you only do this once or twice a week? Do you need assistance or prompting to do this?

    You need to explain why you can't do something, explain what happened the last time you did that activity. Telling then you "can't" do something or you only do that activity once or twice a week isn't enough.

    This link is long but it's well worth having a read because it will give you more of an understanding of the PIP descriptors and what they mean. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers/pip-assessment-guide-part-2-the-assessment-criteria#daily-living-activities

    I would also advise you to get some face to face advice from welfare rights a law centre or your local CAB. This link will tell you what available in your local area. https://advicelocal.uk/


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I explained in my assesment and on my form that motivation is the reason why i struggle to wash/cook. The assessor acknowledged this but says "states lacks motivation does shower 1-2 days a week. she reports lacks motivation and she has anti depressants that have recently changed however she has no specialist input since last year". This is what really confuses me because she acknowledges the reasons why in all of the descriptors aka motivation/anxiety but then goes on to say that as ive changed meds recently (untrue anyway) / low dosage (also intrue) / no specialised help. But even when i have had specialised help the problems have been the same and ive been on countless different medication on low and high doses and none have made a difference (all of this i said to her)
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    Also says "she reports lack of motivation to eat however SOH shows a good level of motivation" - no idea what i could have possibly said to imply i have a good level of motivation since its the basis of my whole application and the reason my depression affects me so badly is because i have no motivation to take care of myself 
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I also explained that i have good and bad days hence why i can cook on 1 day but not the rest but she said i said i only have bad days? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Having no motivation doesn't really explain anything, you need to go into more detail. Please use the link above to see what's available to you in your area because you really do need some face to face advice. It's very difficult to give this advice on an internet forum because no one knows exactly how your conditions affect you.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    Its hard to explain all of the points without going in to too much detail but having a lack of motivation to do things is definitely an issue with my depression. I explained i have stayed in bed all day starving and made myself sick from not eating becuse im too anxious to leave my room/had no motivation to cook. For me something like cooking involves so many steps that i just have no energy to do it. Same with washing i explained i have no energy/motivation even though i feel disgusting and need/want to shower. I just dont understand how i can prove this? If i was on a higher dose and currently receiving counselling would that prove it? Im on 20mg citalopram and cant take higher doses (have tried), also on 15mg mirtzapine also cant take higher doses of this and 40mg of propanalol which doesn't work. In all of the descriptors she says i do stuggle doing them but since i dont have specialised help currently that i dont need help. How can anyone always get specialised help? Ive had these problems for 9 years and have been in and out of hopsital, had home treatment  for months and im currently on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist but that wont be for another 8 months. Can they actually say i dont need help becaude of this?
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    Obviously my forms/f2f assesment were a lot more detailed and i used about 3 extra sides of a4 to fill in my forms and sent a letter from my mom who is my main carer. I carefully looked at how my condition applied to the descriptors and which points i would get so i understand how that works. I just didnt realise they could use the reason "low dose" and "no specialised help" as a reason to dismiss every single descriptor 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    As i previously advised, people do claim PIP successfully for mental health reasons even if they don't receive specialist help. It just depends how their conditions affect them.

    Have you put your postcode in this link? https://advicelocal.uk/

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I just dont know how i can prove that depression is the reason i cant manage the daily activities? It just feels like my assessor has just copied and pasted her response for all of the descriptors regardless of what i said to her. It just says throughout the report "what your saying lines up with symptoms of depression and the medication you take but its a low dose and you've only recently started taking it". I just have no idea where to go from here because the report agrees i cant cook/cant wash but basically says as im on a low dose it cant be my depression causing it.

    My anxiety is too bad to get help in person as i cant manage talking to strangers so i dont know how i would be able to get any face to face help. I cant go anywhere new without having a panic attack either so i wont be able to go the citizens advice place. I just feel completely stuck and hopeless about it.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I mean the facr she asked about my social history and i explained i was sexually assaulted and abused at 13 as well as attacked physically when i started going to the park and thats when my anxiety/depression started and why i dont trust people. In my report she said "she went to park with friends at 13, problems started in school, doesnt trust strangers". Thats just the worst part of it.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I did tell the assessor i had an appointment in march to see a mental health team/psychiatrist  but couldnt attend because my anxiety was too bad (to be fair this was also missed out on my report) and also explained im on 20mg citalopram/15mg mirtazapine and cant be on higher doses because of the side effects, ( also not mentioned in the report) does this not get taken in to consideration? 
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I was in ICU/hospital for 3 nights last year and received home treatment (3 times weekly) for 3 months and that was a specialist mental health team, i was then referred to mental health team who cancelled my first appointment then made another (the appointment i had to miss in march) and now im waiting for another appointment. Most of that was included on the report just not the March appointment. Just feel a bit hopeless as theres nothing i can do about not receiving specialised help currently. I was on anxiety medication (lorazepam) and sleeping pills under home treatment but they discharged me thinking the next team would see me quickly but they couldnt due to the psychiatrist being off sick so since then haven't had the meds i was supposed to and gp refuses to prescribe me anything!
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    well it's started, so hopefully won't be long before it's comes to the UK mainland also

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-48750410

    good luck everyone
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    All you can do is what i advised above, which is this. For the MR request you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Adding 2-3 real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you. You have 1 month from the date of the decision to request this and send the letter.

    Don't expect the decision to change ar MR stage because most don't. Appearing in person will give you a 74% chance of success. Paper based hearings drop to between 5-8% success rate.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • laurenxslaurenxs Member Posts: 30 Listener
    I did that in my forms and during the report :( was just all ignored though, have a feeling it will just be ignored again but i will try think of more examples, thanks
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    There's only an 18% chance of the MR decision changing so it's very slim at that stage.

    More than 70% of those that appear in person at the Tribunal hearing have a decision in their favour. The chances increase if you have representation from welfare rights or a law centre.

    I know you said you're not able to get any face to face advice but do you have someone that can go with you for this advice?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,929 Disability Gamechanger
    Counselling, and to a lesser extent meds, are not relevant. Practical and real world examples of how your illness impacts your ability to reliably complete daily living activities is what’s needed. If you’ve already done that then you’ve had a fairly typical HCP experience as regards mental ill health and just need to get beyond MR to appeal where that anecdotal stuff will be fully taken into account. The HCP approach to mental health has been widely researched and is generally accepted to be woefully lacking but not especially discriminatory (plenty of other impairments get treated as badly if not worse but just on a smaller scale).
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    @laurenxs
    >In my report she said "she went to park with friends at 13, problems started in school, doesnt trust >strangers". Thats just the worst part of it.

    OMG! *%(@#&^)@#&^@) I'm so sorry.
  • Mil_30Mil_30 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Hi. I can completly understand you. I was on much higher dose of citalopram now changing to new ones. I had score on everything zero points. Was rejected due to not getting specialist care as I am not able to go on buses and can't afford a taxi to get to appoitment. I had asked for reconsideration, wrote long letter. Quoting what is said in PIP law and what they wrote in letter which were opposite things. Yet got rejected again. Zero points. Today I officially filled my paperwork for tribunal appeal. Keep chin up and if needed go to tribunal, nothing to lose yet a lot to prove them how your health affect you which they said it not in dwp letters. 
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