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PIP nightmare

km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
I’m in a nightmare of a situation. I receive PIP and ESA due to my Social Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Order and some weeks ago I was sent forms for both to complete to continue to receive my benefits. I filled them in and requested to have a Paper-based assessment due to the severity of my disorders and explained my situation (I never go out, I hardly ever talk on the phone even etc due to the distress it causes me.). My mother asked the doctor to send a letter on my behalf and I even emailed my local MP to advocate on my behalf for me to have a paper-based assessment which he did. For the PIP they have now come back and said that they don’t have information and they can’t accept a paper based assessment, so they need to send someone to my home to see me. It’s like I’m being punished because the core mental health disorder I have is an inability to interact and see strangers. Even talking on the phone makes me burst into tears because it is so difficult for me. 

I live with my mother. She has recently applied to become an Appointee for me. It should take another week or so to go through. Could my mother as an Appointee speak to the assessor if he/she visits our home on my behalf while I stay locked in my bathroom while the assessor visits? 


I did read the following, “ 1.15.17 Where a claimant has an appointee, this will be flagged in the initial referral to the AP. Where an appointee has been nominated to represent the claimant, the claimant must not be instructed to attend a face-to-face consultation by the AP. This is because they have been deemed incapable of engaging directly with the DWP or its contracted APs. Instead, and only if a face-to-face consultation is deemed necessary, the AP must send the invite to the appointee only. ”
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-based-reviews

Does this mean my mother as an Appointee could speak to the assessor on my behalf? Would that to be acceptable to them? That would be a nightmare enough, there is no way I could actually see one of those assessors in person and speak with them, It’s impossible for me.

Regarding my ESA, my local MP cited a letter from the DWP he received that says that the Center for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) have recommended I be put in the Support Group for 24 months and this is awaiting review by the Decision Maker (DM)

Replies

  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Just to add, I have actually been accepted to continue with my ESA and was never asked to see an assessor.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Unfortunately, most people have face to face assessments, it's rare to have a paper based assessment. Even those that have appiontees mostly have face to face assessments.  They will only ever do a paper based assessment if they have enough of information to complete it, if they haven't then a face to face assessment will be needed.

    Once your mum has become your appointee she will be able to answer all those questions on your behalf BUT you will need to attend the assessment as well because you're the claimant and not your mum. There will possibly be a couple of questions at the end of the assessment which you will be required to answer but everything else your mum can answer.

    What you've quoted above about the assessment process simply means that a letter won't be sent to you directly, it will be sent to your appointee but yes i'm afraid you will need to be there.

    Good news you had a paper based assessment for ESA but they are different benefits, with totally different criteria. The 24 month timescale recommendation is just a guide and you could be reassessed for ESA anytime from 3 months.

    Hope this helps and good luck with the review.
    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.
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Hi,

    Unfortunately, most people have face to face assessments, it's rare to have a paper based assessment. Even those that have appiontees mostly have face to face assessments.  They will only ever do a paper based assessment if they have enough of information to complete it, if they haven't then a face to face assessment will be needed.

    Once your mum has become your appointee she will be able to answer all those questions on your behalf BUT you will need to attend the assessment as well because you're the claimant and not your mum. There will possibly be a couple of questions at the end of the assessment which you will be required to answer but everything else your mum can answer.

    What you've quoted above about the assessment process simply means that a letter won't be sent to you directly, it will be sent to your appointee but yes i'm afraid you will need to be there.

    Good news you had a paper based assessment for ESA but they are different benefits, with totally different criteria. The 24 month timescale recommendation is just a guide and you could be reassessed for ESA anytime from 3 months.

    Hope this helps and good luck with the review.
    Hi thanks for your reply, 

    In my situation would a telephone consultation be possible?

    Or What about if I talk through the door to an assessor?

    I don’t think they have enough evidence which is why they declined a paper based review. I thought maybe emailing my gp surgery for my medical records and send that to PIP regarding the records on mental health stretching back might help?

    The problem with my situation like a lot of those with severe social anxiety disorder is that because we have such distress in social situations we don’t go to doctors surgeries etc. so I am not on medication or seeing a psychologist etc. because I don’t go out, which I could give to PIP as evidence. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.

    You won't need to speak, other than just a couple of questions at the end providing your mum is your official appointee by the time the assessment takes place.

    A telephone assessment isn't possible, unfortunately.

    You could try sending more evidence but it may not help achieve a paper based assessment. It will depend what evidence you send. Do be aware that you can only cancel one appointment and you must attend the next one.

    My daughter claims PIP and i'm her appointee and the very first time i claimed PIP for her she had a home assessment. I answered every question for her, while she sat in the chair looking at the floor. She needed to answer 2 very simple questions at the end and that was all she needed to do.
    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.
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    You're welcome.

    You won't need to speak, other than just a couple of questions at the end providing your mum is your official appointee by the time the assessment takes place.

    A telephone assessment isn't possible, unfortunately.

    You could try sending more evidence but it may not help achieve a paper based assessment. It will depend what evidence you send. Do be aware that you can only cancel one appointment and you must attend the next one.

    My daughter claims PIP and i'm her appointee and the very first time i claimed PIP for her she had a home assessment. I answered every question for her, while she sat in the chair looking at the floor. She needed to answer 2 very simple questions at the end and that was all she needed to do.
    It just isn't possible for me in my situation to be in a room with a stranger and sit silently or have to answer questions. If it was possible I would do it to avoid all this distress, but my social anxiety is that severe I just can’t do it. I can barely talk on the phone so I’m sure you can Imagine what it would be like to be in-person with a stranger. It’s like I’m being metaphorically punished for something I can’t control. To ask me to see a stranger is like asking an amputee to walk or a blind person to describe a painting. How can I be asked to do something which I can’t do . There has to be a way around this?!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019

    As i advised, you could try sending more evidence but i'd advise looking through those medical records before sending them because it won't help sending in huge amounts of medical evidence if it's not relevant to your claim. If there's huge amounts then chances are they won't read all of it.


    If they still say that they can't do a paper based assessment then you will need to attend the assessment with your mum.

    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.
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected

    As i advised, you could try sending more evidence but i'd advise looking through those medical records before sending them because it won't help sending in huge amounts of medical evidence if it's not relevant to your claim. If there's huge amounts then chances are they won't read all of it.


    If they still say that they can't do a paper based assessment then you will need to attend the assessment with your mum.

    Ok I’ll try that. Regarding my medical records,I’m specifically requesting my records on mental health, so they wouldn’t have to go through records with health information that is irrelevant to my claim, so only those on mental health would be sent.

    If it comes to the point where they send an assessor I couldn’t be in the same room as the person so I hope then would be respectful of my health and situation and understand that I would have have to do things a bit differently, such as giving my answers to those last few questions that you mentioned from behind a door/room
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    - And I hope they would accept that and not view it as me missing the appointment or something 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Do be aware that as it's mental health then your GP practice may refuse to send you copies of your medical records.

    If a face to face assessment is definitely needed, when the HCP comes to your home and see's the way you are then this can only be a good thing but they will need to see you.

    May i ask if a DWP representative has been to your mums home regarding becoming your appointee? She can't become your appointee until the appointment has taken place. Questions will be asked and she will need to sign the paperwork. Once the representative returns to DWP the information will be added to the computer and she'll be sent confirmation.
    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.
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Yes they were here last Saturday and signed it off I think.

    as I said I can’t *see* the assessor in my situation, so they were will have to be something worked around. For them to ask me in my situation to see somebody in-person I think is discriminatory.
  • km1km1 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Just to update, I’ve been accepted for a paper based assessment now.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Glad to hear this @km1, I hope it all goes okay!
    Community Partner
    Scope

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