PIP Report missing crucial details! (and some lies!) -Apologies, accidentally posted twice! — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

PIP Report missing crucial details! (and some lies!) -Apologies, accidentally posted twice!

hdd
hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited September 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Apologies for the long post, I need to have a little rant!

I had my PIP assessment a little over six weeks ago, I asked for a copy of my report and received this a few days ago - most of the report is actually accurate which is very surprising! But there were crucial details missing and some of my condition was completely downplayed and it's made me quite frankly furious!

Firstly, my assessor wrote in the general observations that I wasn't anxious or agitated with NO mention that I told her before we went in WITH a shaky voice that I felt anxious and had a panic attack half way through the assessment to which she left to room to get me water whilst I puffed on an inhaler and sobbed! I'm really upset she didn't include this in her observations as she made my anxiety seem so irrelevant. 

Whilst I have mobility issues and VERY clear mental health issues which are all documented and reported in the evidence that I provided. I suffer with PTSD, something in which I'm being treated for regarding traumatic incidents whilst travelling which include some not very nice or easy to talk about things. I wrote all of these things down, the assessor did not even spend two minutes talking to me about these things and did not provide m the opportunity to fully disclose them verbally or discuss them. She wrote in her report that I have 'little anxiety' which would not be classed as overwhelming when it comes to travel - I read this and thought how -insert bad word here- dare you! I am SOO incredibly offended that you have passed my absolutely crippling fear off as a little anxiety - especially after at least four documented accounts of psychological trauma relating to this in particular! 

Well - I phoned the DWP and asked how I can communicate I am not happy, and they told me that my decision letter was issued today and to wait until that comes to apply for a mandatory reconsideration.

My question is - has anybody had any luck with this regarding planning journeys and following routes in particular! I just feel so absolutely overwhelmed with upset that she has disregarded all the trauma I've been through which leaves me physically unable to travel on public transport and very overwhelmed/obsessively checking I've locked my doors to my car whilst I'm inside, winding windows up whenever at a stand still and stopping on hardshouders, sides of roads ETC due to travelling anxiety which characterises a lot of the time as sweating, dizziness (feeling of being out of my own body), trembling, crying, hyperventilating! 
«1

Comments

  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    can I ask what the points are you scored on the report as you omitted this in your post.

    Sometimes people get reports that have these issues but still manage to get the points required for an award.
  • hdd
    hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited September 2019
    worried33 said:
    can I ask what the points are you scored on the report as you omitted this in your post.

    Sometimes people get reports that have these issues but still manage to get the points required for an award.
    So I have 8 points for Daily Living and 10 points in the first part of the mobility section (walking aided between 20-50m). Which obviously I am very pleased with and would be fine if I didn't get anymore points - but the principle is that they haven't included all the correct information or have downplayed a lot of it which is upsetting! I'm more aggravated at the fact they haven't had ALL of the truth to base their decision on - I would be fine if they had all this info and my award was the same, just feel like its a bit of an injustice to me and the trauma I've been through!
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    Then I suggest to try and forget about it, and move on, you have got the award recommendation, and this will only hurt your health stressing over it, congrats on the result.
  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    Assessors only have limited time to carry out the assessment and write reports - also they are human and therefore fallible. Whilst it is annoying and upsetting to feel that detail has been missed out, "I don't like something about my report" will not get anything changed. You do have grounds to challenge anything you believe is incorrect about the decision.

    DWP are right to point out that you cannot challenge the situation until you have a decision. It is likely that the decision will reflect the assessment report, but this is not always the case.


    Once you have your decision you can write requesting reconsideration. In your request for reconsideration you should focus solely on those areas where you believe the decision is incorrect. Your aim is to make the case for the award of a different descriptor on one or more activities by showing that your explanation is more likely than not correct. Do not fall into the temptation of challenging the errors or "lies" in the report - just give a good quality explanation of why you feel you qualify for that descriptor making reference to any supporting evidence when relevant. Do not worry if you do not have relevant supporting evidence.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    There are really three things mixed together in the "planning and following journeys" activity - planning a journey, following the route once you have planned the journey and dealing with psychological distress when undertaking a journey. The activity is about travelling on foot or using a mobility aid, but a claimant's ability to drive can help illustrate the challenges he or she would face on foot / using a mobility aid.


    @hdd - from what you say, it does not sound as if you have any issues planning a journey or following a route. If I understand you correctly, your concern is about whether you should score any points for psychological distress.

    As DWP's PIP assessment guide notes: "[Overwhelming Psychological Distress] means distress related to a mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment resulting in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person cannot undertake a journey without being overwhelmed. The threshold is a very high one" (words DWP's, emphasis mine).

    You likely should score points here if you can show that on the majority of days you cannot undertake even one journey without mental health symptoms so severe that you cannot complete the journey:
    • without 'prompting' (reminding, encouraging or explanation from another person) for 4 points, or
    • at all, even with the support of another person, for 10 points.

    Unfortunately, you face a high threshold - if you get distressed on a journey but you could complete at least one journey eventually on the majority of days then you rightly score 0 points here. If this is the case, it does not mean that your mental distress has been dismissed, just that you did not meet the high legal threshold for points.

    It seems that the key issues are whether your "absolutely crippling fear" leads to you being overwhelmed - also whether this fear interferes with all potential journeys on the majority of days. Focusing your explanation on how the fear affects you when it strikes, much as I know that could be extremely unpleasant, could be key.


    Overwhelming psychological distress has acquired quite a bit of case law surrounding it. Has anyone got a good lay person's guide to this topic?
  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 976 Connected
    @hdd I think the majority of us feel the same that our f2f reports don't seem to tally with how bad we are feeling but as the others have said you seem to have received a fair award. I felt the same about my report not being completely accurate and wrote a lengthy letter of complaint and read it a few times but did nothing else with it. It helped me just typing it all out but when I calmed down I realised it was just a waste of energy as I received a fair award of 8 points for daily living.

    As @OverlyAnxious pointed out they assume you can do quite a lot if you are able to drive. To be fair most people who are attending the f2f will be feeling anxious and upset so they probably just take that for granted. I know I cried and there was no mention of me being upset on my report either. 

  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    I cried at my PIP F2F even though the assessor was lovely, had done an excellent job of reading my submission and had prepared insightful and sensitive questions to help her understand my needs fully. Just how disabled I was hit me hard, especially when we came to the bits about toilets and continence.

    Most of the time we focus on living life despite disability and health problems - we are trying to look past these challenges. Benefit claims force us to look directly at disability and health problems, which can be an extremely upsetting experience.
  • hdd
    hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Cressida said:
    @hdd I think the majority of us feel the same that our f2f reports don't seem to tally with how bad we are feeling but as the others have said you seem to have received a fair award. I felt the same about my report not being completely accurate and wrote a lengthy letter of complaint and read it a few times but did nothing else with it. It helped me just typing it all out but when I calmed down I realised it was just a waste of energy as I received a fair award of 8 points for daily living.

    As @OverlyAnxious pointed out they assume you can do quite a lot if you are able to drive. To be fair most people who are attending the f2f will be feeling anxious and upset so they probably just take that for granted. I know I cried and there was no mention of me being upset on my report either. 

    I agree, I'm not disappointed with the award at all, and in fact I don't think that challenging it is worth it, it's just the principle I think that astounded me that they could downplay it by so much - especially something that I am so incredibly sensitive about and had to RELIVE to explain it to the assessor, for the assessor to then decide it clearly wasn't worth mentioning in the report. I had to relive that trauma, for it to be dismissed. My frustration is more that I wasn't heard properly I think!
  • hdd
    hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
    david235 said:
    I cried at my PIP F2F even though the assessor was lovely, had done an excellent job of reading my submission and had prepared insightful and sensitive questions to help her understand my needs fully. Just how disabled I was hit me hard, especially when we came to the bits about toilets and continence.

    Most of the time we focus on living life despite disability and health problems - we are trying to look past these challenges. Benefit claims force us to look directly at disability and health problems, which can be an extremely upsetting experience.
    I feel so sorry that you found your assessment upsetting also! Like I mentioned to others - it's not always even the intention of wanting to get a better award, I'm content with my award - it's more the injustice of them taking so much of your sensitive information, making you relive trauma to disclose everything necessary and then them not even having one mention of it or how you felt during the assessment making assumptions that you weren't e.g. upset, anxious, tense... I found that the hard part to read as only we know how we are feeling and I felt I tried so hard to communicate that!
  • hdd
    hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Is understandable, you will get over it eventually, especially as it recommends an award you happy with.
  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    hdd said:
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Maybe a good way to look at this is that you disclosed a level of psychological distress around making journeys, meaning the assessor was duty bound to explore that topic fully with you to see if you reached the high standard of "overwhelming psychological distress" for "all journeys" on the majority of days. If they did not explore and test your answers fully, they would have been doing both you and the DWP a disservice by not providing an accurate report. However, they might have been able to establish fairly quickly that you were not going to reach the high standard necessary - in which case it was in your interests for the assessor not to dwell on the topic further.

    It is understandable that disclosing anything about this topic would be extremely distressing - some topics just are. Describing your anxiety around travel as "little anxiety" certainly seems out of step with your experience, but perhaps that unfortunate choice of adjective was intended to mean "some way short of overwhelming anxiety".


    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.


    I have a similar situation with continence and the Work Capability Assessment. For those that can't remember those criteria, only losses of continence leading to soiling and the need to chance clothes are relevant - if this happens at least once a month then you get points towards LCW and if this happens at least once a week then you also get LCWRA. Like many people with appropriate continence care, failure of a good quality absorbent product sufficient to require change of clothes is rare - it probably is around the once a month mark. It certainly is not once a week for me - and I would hope anyone in such an unfortunate position has an extensive look at their options with a continence nurse before accepting that situation.

    I am really forced to disclose my continence problems as the question is asked, also I would be inconsistent with what DWP knows from DLA and now PIP if I said nothing. However, I know that these continence problems will not give me LCWRA - but other things on the form should if I am properly assessed. To that end, it feels an intrusive waste of time answering the continence question. I compromise on giving the bladder specific part of my diagnosis and a very short explanation of the resulting continence issues.
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    @david235

    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.

    Interesting thanks, as a descriptor I feel I should have got on my report was specifically not awarded on the basis of how I was observed during the assessment, no other reason was stated for justification of the 0pts descriptor.

    I didnt fight it as I got the award I wanted anyway, but on a future review it might be important for me to know this, so thanks.
  • david235
    david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    worried33 said:
    @david235

    I can't remember the guidance that DWP gives assessors on recording observations, but it is important to remember that your anxiety from the assessment process is not relevant to your entitlement to PIP. Observations are perhaps more likely to be matters illustrative of ability or need in relation to the PIP activities.

    Interesting thanks, as a descriptor I feel I should have got on my report was specifically not awarded on the basis of how I was observed during the assessment, no other reason was stated for justification of the 0pts descriptor.
    My recollection was broadly correct - for the current guidance to assessors on informal observations, click here and scroll down to paragraphs 1.6.31 to 1.6.35.

    The key part of this section of guidance is, to my mind, from paragraph 1.6.31 itself: "Informal observations are of importance to the consultation, as they can reveal abilities and limitations not mentioned in the claimant questionnaire, supporting evidence or during the history taking for the face-to-face consultation. They may also show discrepancies between the reported need and the actual needs of the claimant. However it is important to balance informal observations with evidence from professionals who may have observed the claimant more regularly."
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
  • hdd
    hdd Member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited September 2019
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
    I am in the EXACT same boat regarding travel! I don't want to go into too many details but I've had certain 'assaults' happen on a bus and a train - so I just psychologically cannot bring myself to travel that way so have no choice but to drive my car. Oh my god - I was two points off of enhanced mobility and I'm so frustrated, I own a very small and compact KA, the boot doesn't open and it's very low to the ground, I have hip and back problems and osteoarthritis and having a higher from the ground car with all functioning areas (I have to order food shopping because I can't carry heavy items - let alone bundle them in and out of the back of my car!) and a five door so I can get my young son in and out without having to bend would have been an absolute blessing. But oh well! I think that standard rate mobility should be able to apply for a motability car and then just pay the difference! Would help so many!
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!


  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 976 Connected
    cristobal said:
    @hdd - don't think that the only way of getting a car is through the Motability.

    Why don't you use your mobility award to put towards something newer yourself?

    And it's yours then not 'property of DWP' !!

    Sounds a very sensible idea and no chance of anyone taking it away at the next assessment.  


  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 976 Connected
    hdd said:
    hdd said:
    In your case, I don't think a Mandatory Consideration is worth it.  The fact you can drive a car goes against you for planning and following journeys and I don't see you getting any more points there in all honesty.  I am in a similar situation, but with no physical mobility issues know I won't get any mobility award 'just' for anxiety related problems.
    I am content with my award, I think I just got myself in a bit of a tizzy over the failure to mention such sensitive things that took a lot emotionally and psychologically for me to disclose/talk about!
    Yeah, I do understand that.  I've had to 'explore' my problems for PIP far more than I ever have in the last ~20 years!! So many things I take for granted that I just use to just get through each day but now realise just how far they are from the norm!  There were some things I flat out refused to speak about at the PIP assessment though as I could see they weren't at all relevant and just couldn't face reliving them knowing I wouldn't get mobility anyway.

    What does frustrate me about the mobility side though, is that there's no 'box' for someone like myself to fit in.  With the conditions I have, I am completely unable to use any form of public transport, not busses or taxis, not even lifts with people I know.  I have no choice but to rely on my own car to drive for groceries and appointments, but this is not acknowledged anywhere within PIP.  I also know that I can't travel in a recovery truck (from experience!) so am constantly scared about the car breaking down, especially as it's old, high mileage and I can't afford to keep it serviced.  I would benefit hugely from the use of a Motability car but have no chance of that.
    I am in the EXACT same boat regarding travel! I don't want to go into too many details but I've had certain 'assaults' happen on a bus and a train - so I just psychologically cannot bring myself to travel that way so have no choice but to drive my car. Oh my god - I was two points off of enhanced mobility and I'm so frustrated, I own a very small and compact KA, the boot doesn't open and it's very low to the ground, I have hip and back problems and osteoarthritis and having a higher from the ground car with all functioning areas (I have to order food shopping because I can't carry heavy items - let alone bundle them in and out of the back of my car!) and a five door so I can get my young son in and out without having to bend would have been an absolute blessing. But oh well! I think that standard rate mobility should be able to apply for a motability car and then just pay the difference! Would help so many!


    Online shopping is an absolute lifesaver isn't it. It feels like it's been around forever doesn't it. Strange really as growing up in the 60s we had a lot of foodstuff delivered. We had a milkman, butcher van, Baker and even a fish and chip van!




Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.