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To complain about PIP assessor?

firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
edited July 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
I am trying to decide if I should complain about my PIP assessor, and whether it would be worth it.

I had a few issues with her, she wasn't very understanding when I went in, I was having a very bad panic attack, she didn't even ask if I was OK, then she got annoyed and said she wasn't comfortable doing the assessment on me (she kept delaying the appointment and saying another ten minutes, I was getting more and more worked up).

After she had kept us waiting like this, I was panicking and couldn't breathe at all. She then said that and I worried and my mother knew I wouldn't be able to come back again as I was suffering, so she said we'll have to do it.

Anyway, I was in there over 2 hours, she then called my house twice, it turned out she was new and an audit on her report meant it wasn't right so she had to call at home.

I ave my award and report (she's lowered my DL but I kept enhanced mobility).

The report is full of her speculations and then she says that my mother was rude to her, not that she was rude to both of us! It has no bearing on my disability at all, but she even mentions that my mother didn't say goodbye to her!

She is speculative, I have a number of ongoing issues with no real treatment options, she says my condition cannot be as bad as I have said as I only see someone once a year, which was explained to her.

I can't really believe how much she has dismissed and then just thrown in her own opinions, even when things had been explained clearly.

I don't know if it's even worth complaining though, but the more I think about it, the more annoyed I become.

Replies

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

    Complaints rarely get anywhere. They may acknowledge it but that's most all people receive. If you do decide to complain the details of how to do this will be on the website of the health assessment providers.

    If you're thinking of requesting the MR then i'd concentrate on this first and then make the complain after. You have 1 month from the date of the decision to request the MR. Good luck, what ever you decide to do.
    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.
  • vivienne1vivienne1 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    I asked the same question after my assessment as the woman was awful and my report littered with, not mistakes, but down right lies. Including doesn’t need glasses, glasses on all through assessment and copy opticians prescription shown.

    The general consensus seems to be it’s not worth bothering about as nothing happens. But if no one complains then how do we reflect the company doing the assessment’s competence. I was a civil servant for years and part of our department’s end of year summary reflected the number of complaints. If it went up, the reasons were looked at and we were told to get the number down.

    So personally, I think the more people complain to them the better. It may go some way to improve the system. I can understand the advice to wait til after decision though. 


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,922 Disability Gamechanger
    One of the rare scenarios in which I am going to disagree with @poppy123456. You may find the stats at https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/secret-pip-files-show-one-in-three-assessments-by-capita-had-significant-flaws/ persuasive. 

    It is ALWAYS worth complaining as properly framed complaints can result in case reviews which in turn can revise the points recommendation. You should focus on breaches of their own guidance, which you can find at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-assessment-guide-for-assessment-providers

    That said you are the best judge of how much energy you can afford to expend on this. Some people may have just enough to get through an MR and appeal. Others may have no issue at all and may feel able to fight on multiple fronts. 
  • saz11saz11 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    @firefly22

    Unfortunately this seems to be a regular occurrence.....why this happens or why a supposed professional would contemplate supplying false reports just has me bewildered. 
    If the award you received is acceptable to you i wouldn't waste any more time on these people. Your time is to valuable . I don't see it achieving anything but giving you more grief. Spend your time enjoying yourself and doing things that make you smile. 🙂
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    I used to say that it's a waste of time complaining but, having seen @vivienne1 's post I've changed my mind.

    I still don't think it will get you anywhere, as my two standard letters that masqueraded as an investigation proved, but it's important that these things are recorded.

    What I'd do now I think is to send in a complaint. I'd keep it brief and to the point and not be too surprised when it goes nowhere.

    Hopefully someone might choose to do something about the standard if complaints are accurately recorded.

    Or not!
  • vivienne1vivienne1 Member Posts: 18 Connected
    edited July 2019
    @cristobal I was just thinking that if a disability charity chose to take this matter forward and asked the provider how many complaints they had and they say they got  4 it will look like they are doing a good job, not that people have given up complaining because when they get them they aren't addressed properly. I've read a lot on here that the DWP or the tribunal aren't interested in how you were made to feel or any lies in the report. But someone should be. The government are paying these providers a lot of money to provide an accurate service. Tribunals cost money. So they should be doing all they can to reduce the number of these and part of that issue is deliberate inaccuracies in the reports and the standard of reporting.

    I totally understand that complaining can be time consuming and exhausting but perhaps if someone felt strongly enough they could ask the CAB to help them draft it.. I would agree with @cristobal. Keep it brief, to the point and then let it go with little expectations.


  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    @vivienne1 - I agree - complaints are under-recorded as people realise that they don't go anywhere and it's a good idea to try and change that.

    As regards my complaint,I was treated with total contempt, anything slightly 'awkward' was overlooked and the six page letter I received was carefully designed to say nothing - it could have been sent to anyone.

    I concluded that the people investigating complaints (at a lower level) are trained to fob you off and the people at a higher level who could do something about it aren't interested.

    Sadly I don't have a lot of confidence that, if the number of complaints rose, someone would find a way to make them go down again.

    We'll see...


  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    That's the thing, I just don't know what to do, although those stats posted do seem important and 

    I don't feel like I can explain it too well, but I suppose I've read so many posts from other people about how they lied, why do I expect it to be any different for me? But it feels personal.

    Then there's parts where she's omitted certain things, for one she's left off the fact I have Endometriosis in the list of issues I have. It's a big issue which causes me pain, incontinence and physical sickness which leads me to not eating due to how overwhelming it is. I listed it, and discussed it in there, but it's left off.

    Then there's the fact she uses the fact I had a panic attack later in the report to say my mother was rude to her, but she says multiple times in the report I had no mental health issues, never shook (which I was doing when I was having it) and seemed to be well mentally.

    I went away for the weekend (haven't been away for over 10 years) so decided to leave it until I got back, there was so much I didn't read and can't quite believe it. She had read my previous medical, and seemed like she enjoyed contradicting it over and over.

    It's made me so annoyed, but have no idea what I want from this. I think I'm sending off a MR, but I don't really want anything more to do with these people, but then again, if I complain I have a case to ask never to have her again should I be sent for another one. 
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Also, on reading a bit more tonight, I've decided not to go for the MR, I think it could run the risk of reducing my award, and really it's not a bad one all things considered, I don't want it reduced further, which it's possible could happen (looking at it, the DM has gone against her and given me more mobility points).

    Is it possible to have a complaint about her but not have a MR/appeal? I really want it on my reports that I disagree with this report. She refers back to my previous report and disputes it on every answer, I want it recorded I disagree with it!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    When you make a complaint it will be to the health assessment providers and not to DWP, which means that it's not requesting the MR because you would do this through the DWP. It won't go on any reports to the DWP because it's not related to them. Reports have nothing to do with DWP.
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Thank you Poppy.

    The DWP when I phoned did ask if I wished to complain about the assessor, so I wondered if they had any hand in it.

    I would like something on my case that says I disagree with her report, although I'm guessing that would have to be an MR or appeal?

    I'm conflicted, I think it must show in my posts! I don't want the DWP and future assessors to think that I believe this is true, but I don't want to risk losing the award I have. I keep going back and forward of what I should do. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Disagreeing with the report would be requesting the MR and then Tribunal if that failed.

    No one on an internet forum can tell you if there's any risks to your current award by doing this. I'd advise you to speak to an advice agency near you before requesting the Tribunal.

    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    No, I don't expect anyone to tell me if there's a risk, I've realised for myself there may be a huge risk to my award to ask for a MR. When reading the result and the report, the DM has followed every single recommendation of the assessor, to the point, except in one on mobility, where she scored 0 and he has awarded 12 points, taking mobility to 22 points. 
    If I were to ask for a MR, I realise that they could say they've decided they were wrong to give 12 points and it should have been 0 inline with the assessors report.

    I don't know, I just want the DWP to know that I don't agree with this report. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Reports are nothing to do with DWP, it's the health assessment providers.
    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Was it the "moving around" part the decision maker scored you points in? Do you suffer with physical issues as well as mental health?
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Was it the "moving around" part the decision maker scored you points in? Do you suffer with physical issues as well as mental health?

    Yes, she awarded moving around points (10) but said I had no issues with mental health problems, even though I do, and had such a bad panic attack she said she didn't want to do the assessment, which she does say in the report, but then goes on to say I have no MH issues.

    It's the only part which disagrees with her points, every other one has followed her exact scoring. I think it would be rocking the boat and could end up with them removing the 12 points from that part.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/nursing-body-failed-to-deal-fairly-with-pip-assessment-complaints-says-regulator/

    I never miss up the chance to report them. I got 150 compensation apology and SG after a so called assessment... ESA.
    I have duly reported 3 of them to the NMC n HCPC they are part of the cover up scam IMHO.
    I personally then reported them both NMC N HCPC to PSA David Martin.
     They cover for their registrants. People are on to the Assessor scam historically this will all come out.
    MH issues had seen a CONSULTANT n counsellor the day before my PIP assessment.
    I had some assessments which indicated high levels of depression anxiety PTSD.
    I had possession of the results goes to PIP  so called assessment the following day.
    So called assessor some physiotherapist said i had no MH issues at all  ..
    Sent my reports from  psychiatrist etc etc decision was soon changed.
    This woman said i was hostile .. then said below that i coped fine at assessment haha
    Liars anything they think they can get away with... wrongo ....
    Reported her to HCPC it is recorded on their files by  reporting this so called professional .. i could have  helped someone else in the future ..... 
    Report them or nowt will change.
    You need to prove your MH  issues get your medical records if they report MH  on them... it is so hard i wish you luck ...


    So who do you complain about them to?

    I have a history of MH issues and I'm currently in treatment with a therapist (although she is currently on leave since March and I keep getting pushed back again as to when it will restart). As I also said, I had a panic attack in there, yet she said I have no MH issues!


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Scroll to the bottom of this link and it tells you the complaints procedure....

    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    If your Assessor was a paramedic. Physiotherapist, or a HCPC  registrant then
    https://www.hcpc-uk.org/concerns/raising-concerns/

    Always throw in a complaint to their employer too !

    While it takes time to report the Assessor you could be helping someone in the future ...

    I found it helpful if they were that clever we would not have the high level of tribunal successes we see 70 % plus ...
    I hope you get the correct result in your award....

    Your therapist ot their admin should be able to tell you how your MH records can be accessed as this would provide you with supporting evidence to counter her point that you have no MH issues if you see what i mean ....
    All about proving them wrong ..   
    This usually is not too hard lol ....


    She was a nurse according to the report. It was also an ATOS assessment centre. I've had a few assessments, I've never had anyone like her,no empathy, literally shouted at me she didn't want to continue when I was having a panic attack. Then the report makes so many statements which are irrelevant to my disorders such as my mother was rude to her and we both didn't wish her goodbye! 

    I'm not going to contest the result though, I really don't want to lose what I have, which I do run the risk of, and I can't really deal with the stress should they reduce my award of a full appeal.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited August 2019
    It's definitely is worth complaining, I've read different posts on another forum where people have done just that and the company have said they are at fault and have given compensation to people. You do have to push it though, when I initially email to ask how I go about complaining, they tried to pass the buck to the DWP but that's not going to work with me.

    I don't know if it's correct, but Welfare Rights wanted me to wait for the decision before I make a complaint?

    I'm going to be making a complaint myself when I finally get the decision.

    Hope you get somewhere if you do complaint. Keep us posted please :)
  • AhhBistoAhhBisto Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    We have a lovely nurse who wrote a formal complaint only for it to be ignored several times and deliberately marked as unread.

    They offered her a small compensation that came straight from PIP not even capita because why would they use their own money.

    Our assessment was a right joke, and the decision said my partner refused a physical exam, she never offered one. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited August 2019
    @AhhBisto They like to stress us out don't they? I've probably had my award dropped to standard because I had someone who clearly didn't understand my MH problems, told porkies and contradicted himself in the report.. I've been very annoyed since reading it and it's impacted my health.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    WF2k said:
    I don't know if it's correct, but Welfare Rights wanted me to wait for the decision before I make a complaint?

    @WF2k - I'm sure Welfare Rights give perfectly good advice, but it crosses my mind that if you wait for a decision (and are refused) then making a complaint might look like sour grapes?

  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    WF2k said:
    @AhhBisto They like to stress us out don't they? I've probably had my award dropped to standard because I had someone who clearly didn't understand my MH problems, told porkies and contradicted himself in the report.. I've been very annoyed since reading it and it's impacted my health.

    This is how I feel. It's really hit me hard, and it keeps running through my mind too, and the contradictions are really bothering me too! 

    All I can do is try to put in a complaint because otherwise I'll keep coming back to it!
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    WF2k said:
    It's definitely is worth complaining, I've read different posts on another forum where people have done just that and the company have said they are at fault and have given compensation to people. You do have to push it though, when I initially email to ask how I go about complaining, they tried to pass the buck to the DWP but that's not going to work with me.

    I don't know if it's correct, but Welfare Rights wanted me to wait for the decision before I make a complaint?

    I'm going to be making a complaint myself when I finally get the decision.

    Hope you get somewhere if you do complaint. Keep us posted please :)

    I doubt anything will come of it, especially any compensation, I don't see that happening.

    They'll probably brush it off, but I just am really annoyed about it, and that I was unlucky enough to get her (at least I have been lucky with my other ones, especially my ESA one this year) but there's so many things in it that are just not right, and her leaving off some of my disorders, and then her assumptions, it's just too much.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    edited August 2019
    @cristobal yeap they've given me different bits of advice that have made me question if I still want their help or not to be honest, it differs from Mike's on here and honestly after seeing my form and the lack of info etc. I really lack trust for them, plus I'm on my third officer. 

    @firefly22 Who knows what will happen, they might acknowledge, they might not, at least you've tried :) 

    I found this link, I think it was tweeted out on Twitter - https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/wow-questionnaire-responses-show-assessors-are-still-lying/

    There's a link there where it says "Assessing the Assessors campaign", it takes you to a form, I've filled it in and sent it.

    (Hope it was ok to post the link).
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Just a little update so far.

    I called the DWP, the woman was quite shocked about the assessor and didn't think someone like this should be doing this.I was quite surprised really, she was so nice and said I should think on the MR and said they aren't strict with the times and I have a while to think on it. I'm not going to, but she was really nice and understanding.

    I then had to call the company formerly known as ATOS and ask for a complaint form. That woman also took down some details and she said her conduct wasn't right too and recommended the complaints form.

    Anyway, it's arrived and I'm filling it all in with everything. I don't know what will result from it, but at least it's out there.

    Also, the ATOS woman said if I ever need to go back I can ask not to have her again as I have a good case.

    I just thought I'd update you.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for updating us @firefly22! I'm glad you were able to make a complaint and I hope something will be done about it, so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 587 Listener
    Thanks for the update @firefly22
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