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I am worried about my pip assessment and suicide question

happyman
happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
Hi, I have a pip assessment next week, this is my second one as i was turned down two years ago. I did not appeal and did not bother to re-apply until one of my health professionals told me to do it.

I struggle on a daily basis, and i have to be helped to have a bath, and to go up and downstairs. I struggle to do a lot of things including dressing myself, and i cannot cook. Due to my health condition i do get depressed and i was disaognised with ptsd from an accident i had. I did not put that on the form last time and did not put that on the form this time, and i did not put down that i have panic attacks. I received four points in total at my last assessment.

During my assessment i was asked to do a couple of things which left me in pain for a week after my assessment which resulted going to the doctor to get stronger painkillers. I am worried that they may force me again to do things that put me in pain. I had tears at my last assessment due to the pain.

They also asked me two years ago due to me saying that i do get depressed because of my condition if i was suicidal. I told them know and they asked me a few times. They asked me if i had ever thought about taking my own life or wished that i was not on the planet. I am not sure why they asked me this. Although i told them no, the truth was that some days i do wake up wishing i was not here due to the level of pain i go through on a daily basis and how my life has changed. I have never though considered taking my own life, although sometimes before i go to sleep i wish that i did not wake up the next day. Does anyone know why they would ask me those questions and if i should tell them the truth or answer like i did last time.

And, can i refuse to do anything that will put me in pain. I did try last time but was forced as they said i had to do it as part of the assessment.

any advice would be great
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Comments

  • EricaMcD
    EricaMcD Member Posts: 32 Courageous
    I am sorry to hear that you are struggling in the way you are.  As far as your assessment is concerned I would suggest you let them know if they ask you to do something that will cause you pain that you let them know that yes I can do x but it will cause me pain or I can do x in this way instead.  I know that our pride can stand in our way about letting people know how our disability affects us.  I would be as factual and honest as you can.  Not disclosing how your disability affects your mental health may not help you in the long run.  It is a personal decision about how much you feel comfortable disclosing your mental health at the assessment.
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    hi @happyman. I was asked if I had ever thought about suicide. I was honest and told the assessor that about 25 yrs ago I was very depressed and got really close to killing myself. I was that close that I actually had the pills in one hand and a glass of water in the other but I chickened out! After the assessment the assessor apologised for upsetting me because as I tod him about it I had started to cry. I was also asked things like had I every taken drugs but. I haven't got a clue what questions like that have to do with a pip assessment. As for refusing to do things I am not sure but I know I wasn't asked to do any painful tasks
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    am i allowed to say no if they ask me to do something that my doctors advise me not to, and which will put me in a lot of pain. i am confused why they would ask mental health questions. i did say at my last assessment two years ago that sometimes due to the level of pain that i struggle to get out of bed, and also that i have spent two days in bed and a day in bed at different times due to how low i felt. some days my head feels like it is going to explode due to how stressed out i feel. i feel like the world is on my shoulders. i embarrassed myself about telling them this but there was nothing on my report about this. so i am wondering if i should just reply short answers and not go into personal details like that. my health worker was shocked that i only got four points. i did not have the energy to appeal
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    @happyman - the assessor needs to have your consent to carry out a physical examination.

    If you don't consent then say no.

     I'd suggest giving an explanation as to why you don't consent, although this isn't necessary...
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    cristobal said:
    @happyman - the assessor needs to have your consent to carry out a physical examination.

    If you don't consent then say no.

     I'd suggest giving an explanation as to why you don't consent, although this isn't necessary...
    thank you. i do not want to go through pain again, but last time they forced me to do something that i struggled to do.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    They can't force you to do anything that causes you pain.

    Is there any reason why you didn't tell them all your conditions on the form? You should put down everything that affects you because they can't assess you properly unless this is done.

    During the assessment the reason they ask you so many questions is because they are trying to get a picture of how your conditions affect you.

    After the assessment wait a week and ring DWP to request a copy of the assessment report. This will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report. You'll still have to wait for a decision but if it's not what your expecting or your not happy then i'd advise requesting the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) then Tribunal if that fails.

    Good luck.
  • Fetlock
    Fetlock Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    You should be told not to attempt anything that causes or might cause you pain.
    In those instances, instead they'll base findings on obseravtions - how you walk to the assessment room, any signs of pain or discomfort during the assessment, whether you could sit down on a chair and rise from it unaided and any signs again of pain or discomfort and gain, any signs as you are sitting.
    They'll observe what you grip, how you remove your coat, reach into your bag, turn your head etc etc for any signs you're having difficulties and of course, any medical evidence will be taken into account too.
    Re the suicide questions, it's not nice to be asked but they do tend to ask anyone reporting anxiety/depression/low mood/mental health problems so as to assess the level of risk
  • Saracen
    Saracen Member Posts: 66 Courageous

    Happyman


    I read this it helped hope it helps you


    Bit of background; I was a PIP Disability Assessor for a while this year, until I decided that I couldn't work within the system with a good conscience, and left. I witnessed DA's who were trying their best, mostly, to help people with their claims. They (and I) were hamstrung both by our immediate employers, and a system (whether by accident or design) that discriminated against claimants with certain conditions. In the spirit of the release of 'I, Daniel Blake', which isn't about PIP but other failures of the benefit system, I've decided to give some general advice to those looking to claim PIP.

    Firstly, let's look at initially making the claim. I would say the most vital point is this; PROVIDE EVIDENCE. The way that the claim form/questionnaire is worded implies that the DWP/ATOS/CAPITA or whoever will chase letters from GPS, specialists etc to back up your claim for you. In my experience, this doesn't happen. The onus is on you to provide this information, although it would be very easy to assume the opposite. Some photocopies of a recent prescription, letters detailing diagnoses and appointment dates, and evidence of secondary care involvement (especially people with mental health conditions) provide good evidence; if you haven't provided anything, then the DA has to go mostly on that short assessment with you. You may be horribly unwell or disabled for 5 days a week, if you're having a 'good day' on the assessment however, then your claim is in trouble. Evidence, Evidence, Evidence; I can't stress that enough. Don't let the DWP have the easy option; the decision they make is heavily dependent on the report written by the health professional that assesses you. The decision maker at the DWP has no medical qualifications of any sort.

    If you have disabilities that cause you to have problems getting out (especially severe MH conditions), ask for a home assessment. The way the system is, if you have a MH condition involving severe anxiety or depression, or agoraphobia; then you attend a clinic appointment, it can be used as evidence that you aren't as bad as you claim that you are. The reasoning is that you can't be that ill if you can get to a clinic appointment. It's profoundly unfair, and a large part of why I left. Once again; evidence is so important.

    Don't assume that the health professional that sees you knows much about your condition. In a working and well-designed system, those with certain conditions would be given appointments with HP's with a specialism in that area. It ain't so. You could get a general or MH nurse, an Occupational Therapist, a Physio or a Paramedic. It's completely random. If you can bring along a health professional of your own, then do. I'd advise anyone against attending by themselves. That's not because I don't trust the DA's; the vast majority are good people. It's just easy to forget things, and people with severe MH problems or learning disabilities/Autism really need an advocate of some sort.

    If you're asked to do a set of 12 exercises (it's called the Musculoskeletal exam, or MSK), be sensible! I had people trying to please me by trying to do these despite evident pain; tell the DA why it would be difficult for you to do it. If you cannot do it, just do what you can and explain why. Completing those ridiculous exercises at personal cost, especially pain, will count against you. Don't make stuff up to help your claim (they'll see straight through it, and assume that you're dishonest), but don't put yourself at risk of harm by doing something that you can't. The DA has to take your safety into consideration when assessing what you can and can't do. Once again, evidence is key. If you need aids or adaptations to walk, or need to wear wrist supports etc, then bring/wear them. Help the DA to help you. They normally will.

    Talking of assessments, if you report any MH conditions at all, then the DA will be observing you throughout the assessment for a Mental State Examination (MSE). In my opinion, this is even more badly designed that the MSK. A HP, who may or may not have any MH experience at all, will continually assess your mood, behaviour, anxiety etc throughout the assessment. It's completely subjective. If you have a serious MH condition, if you are in pain, if you are distressed or anxious then let it show to the DA. The stiff upper lip is the worst possible approach.

    We were told that those 45 minutes were key. If a consultant wrote that you couldn't do something, then you did it in that 45 minute assessment (good day or not) then the weight of evidence would be on the assessment.

    My opinion, for what it's worth, is that PIP discriminates against those with learning disabilities or MH conditions. Seriously. It's appalling. If you are turned down, then PLEASE appeal. You'd be surprised how many obtain PIP through appeal; it's often through providing further evidence. Don't give the DWP the chance to deny your rightful claim in the first place; provide that evidence when you first fill in the form

  • Saracen
    Saracen Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    And don't forget 7 days after your assessment phone dwp and ask for a copy of the HP report this is a good guide to what u will get
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    I had my assessment but don't think i will be receiving anything. Two days later i got a text message to say they had my report, which was very quick. I did not feel confident enough to tell the person all about my problems, so was just answering basic yes and no.

    I left the assessment in pain as i went against my doctors orders and struggled to try and do the exercises which i failed on.

    I think with the fast turn around of the report that they will turn me down flat, so looks like i will have to appeal. I have spoken to people who have said it is very rare to have a report sent back so fast.

    I would really value your opinion as an ex assessor
    Saracen said:

    Happyman


    I read this it helped hope it helps you


    Bit of background; I was a PIP Disability Assessor for a while this year, until I decided that I couldn't work within the system with a good conscience, and left. I witnessed DA's who were trying their best, mostly, to help people with their claims. They (and I) were hamstrung both by our immediate employers, and a system (whether by accident or design) that discriminated against claimants with certain conditions. In the spirit of the release of 'I, Daniel Blake', which isn't about PIP but other failures of the benefit system, I've decided to give some general advice to those looking to claim PIP.

    Firstly, let's look at initially making the claim. I would say the most vital point is this; PROVIDE EVIDENCE. The way that the claim form/questionnaire is worded implies that the DWP/ATOS/CAPITA or whoever will chase letters from GPS, specialists etc to back up your claim for you. In my experience, this doesn't happen. The onus is on you to provide this information, although it would be very easy to assume the opposite. Some photocopies of a recent prescription, letters detailing diagnoses and appointment dates, and evidence of secondary care involvement (especially people with mental health conditions) provide good evidence; if you haven't provided anything, then the DA has to go mostly on that short assessment with you. You may be horribly unwell or disabled for 5 days a week, if you're having a 'good day' on the assessment however, then your claim is in trouble. Evidence, Evidence, Evidence; I can't stress that enough. Don't let the DWP have the easy option; the decision they make is heavily dependent on the report written by the health professional that assesses you. The decision maker at the DWP has no medical qualifications of any sort.

    If you have disabilities that cause you to have problems getting out (especially severe MH conditions), ask for a home assessment. The way the system is, if you have a MH condition involving severe anxiety or depression, or agoraphobia; then you attend a clinic appointment, it can be used as evidence that you aren't as bad as you claim that you are. The reasoning is that you can't be that ill if you can get to a clinic appointment. It's profoundly unfair, and a large part of why I left. Once again; evidence is so important.

    Don't assume that the health professional that sees you knows much about your condition. In a working and well-designed system, those with certain conditions would be given appointments with HP's with a specialism in that area. It ain't so. You could get a general or MH nurse, an Occupational Therapist, a Physio or a Paramedic. It's completely random. If you can bring along a health professional of your own, then do. I'd advise anyone against attending by themselves. That's not because I don't trust the DA's; the vast majority are good people. It's just easy to forget things, and people with severe MH problems or learning disabilities/Autism really need an advocate of some sort.

    If you're asked to do a set of 12 exercises (it's called the Musculoskeletal exam, or MSK), be sensible! I had people trying to please me by trying to do these despite evident pain; tell the DA why it would be difficult for you to do it. If you cannot do it, just do what you can and explain why. Completing those ridiculous exercises at personal cost, especially pain, will count against you. Don't make stuff up to help your claim (they'll see straight through it, and assume that you're dishonest), but don't put yourself at risk of harm by doing something that you can't. The DA has to take your safety into consideration when assessing what you can and can't do. Once again, evidence is key. If you need aids or adaptations to walk, or need to wear wrist supports etc, then bring/wear them. Help the DA to help you. They normally will.

    Talking of assessments, if you report any MH conditions at all, then the DA will be observing you throughout the assessment for a Mental State Examination (MSE). In my opinion, this is even more badly designed that the MSK. A HP, who may or may not have any MH experience at all, will continually assess your mood, behaviour, anxiety etc throughout the assessment. It's completely subjective. If you have a serious MH condition, if you are in pain, if you are distressed or anxious then let it show to the DA. The stiff upper lip is the worst possible approach.

    We were told that those 45 minutes were key. If a consultant wrote that you couldn't do something, then you did it in that 45 minute assessment (good day or not) then the weight of evidence would be on the assessment.

    My opinion, for what it's worth, is that PIP discriminates against those with learning disabilities or MH conditions. Seriously. It's appalling. If you are turned down, then PLEASE appeal. You'd be surprised how many obtain PIP through appeal; it's often through providing further evidence. Don't give the DWP the chance to deny your rightful claim in the first place; provide that evidence when you first fill in the form


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @happyman, we all have our fingers crossed for you and I hope it's a positive outcome. How are you doing today?
    Scope

  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    Saracen said:
    And don't forget 7 days after your assessment phone dwp and ask for a copy of the HP report this is a good guide to what u will get
    Is that a good idea to ask for the report. I got a text message the day after the assessment the day after saying they have the report but I don't want to push them.
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    Hi @happyman, we all have our fingers crossed for you and I hope it's a positive outcome. How are you doing today?

    thank you

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Sending the report back so quickly doesn't mean anything at all other than it's been returned. You really can't second guess anything at the moment. People's reports can be sent back as quickly as the same day of the assessment and still be awarded.

    Requesting a copy of the report is always useful to see what was written and it will tell you if there's any award recommended. You'll be able to compare the dots against the PIP descriptors to see what you scored, if anything. They usually go with the report and if there's not enough points to recommend and award you can start to write the letter for the MR request. You'll still need to wait for a decision before you can request it but once it's made you can go ahead and send the letter.

    Hopefully it won't be too long till a decision's been made.
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    Does anyone advise that I ring them today and if so who do I ring 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    There's no need to contact them regarding this, they are assessing everyone that had a decision made after that date. Once they have looked at your claim again they will send you a decision letter but this could take a considerable length of time due to the amount of claims they need to look through.
  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    i received my text less than 48 hours after i had my assessment. I have been reading on here about people asking for the report to be sent to them. I am not sure if i should do this or not. If i did phone up would they be able to tell me anything about the descion that has been made or about the report. my assessment was last wednesday.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,416 Disability Gamechanger
    Whether you ring to request a copy of the assessment report is your choice.

    If you ring them you can ask if a decision's been made, if it has they will tell you. No, they won't be able to tell you anything that's in the report, to know what's in it, you'll need to request it.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @happyman, how are you getting on?
    Scope

  • happyman
    happyman Member Posts: 58 Connected
    Hi @happyman, how are you getting on?
    I requested my report so i will see what that says. I do not feel i had the chance or the confidence to explain how i cope. For example, when it came to mobility they only asked me if i was confident to plan a familar journey. They did not allow me to explain that i always have some with me and how nervous i get on my own and the problems i face, and how some days i struggle to walk.

    I am not confident they will award me anything with some of the horror stories i have read in the newspapers. They even turned up 20 minutes late after my appointment.

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