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Are all Pip interviews bad?

RikiMRikiM Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited December 2019 in PIP, DLA and AA
Moderator.... Could you delete my other repeat threads started. For some reason when trying to post I kept getting bad gateway error message, yet it went ahead and posted it anyway. Sorry. 

Hi Guys,

I have joined your community today so Hiya to everyone 🤘😁

My discussion is about the stress and anxiety I had to suffer, before, during and after being told I needed to attend a pip face to face interview.  I suffer with borderline personality disorder and social anxiety disorder. Both illnesses leave me not being able to cope with strange places, new people and stress bought on by the not knowing. 

So I attended my interview, I missed the first appointment because my support worker was ill, as she attended with me, and left the interview breaking down because I couldn't take no more questioning. I did manage to see the interview through to the end. 

I waited weeks for my decision and I scored zero points on everything. The interviewer twisted all my answers to make it out I lived a normal life. As far from the truth as it can get. 

With the help of my psychiatrist I appealed the first stage. Put correct everything that had been twisted by the interviewer and got a decision in my favour. I scored 12 points to get full enhanced rate for mobility and 9 points for daily living. So from zero points to a total of 21 points. How do they justify that?

So why put me through all that stress and anxiety, get me to attend a interview, in which the lady clearly never understood mental health issues, and to then drag it on further with appeal processes?

Clearly, degrading sick people this way must be the norm as it is the first time I have ever claimed benefits and if I had known the process I would not have bothered claiming it. 

I look forward to your views on this? Thanks. 

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @RikiM and a very warm welcome to the community. I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't have a good experience and that it has left you feeling this way. I know you won't be the only one who has had an experience like that. However, I can remeasure you that not everyone's is like this.

    If you would like some information about the appeal process then please do let us know. This is your decision and we'll respect whatever you choose to do. :)
    Scope

  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 834 Pioneering
    To be honest you are not alone, there are dozens of threads on here with people saying the same thing. You are one of the luckier ones that got the correct decision on appeal. Actually I believe 70%+ people do get awarded on appeal if they appear in person but there are others on here more qualified to respond. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,574 Disability Gamechanger
    The Work and Pensions committee described experiences like yours as “a significant minority”. 
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 134 Pioneering
    Are all PIP interviews bad?

    I would say it depends, anecdotally from on here and my friends I would say 90%, yes but it depends on how well prepared you are.

    It will always be stressful while waiting for your interview, and after the interview, while waiting for the result, however, if you are well prepared and stick to your guns you can lessen the stress of the actual interview itself.

    1 - ensure you fill in the forms as if it is your worst day and you have them 4 days a week.
    2 - photograph, scan or photocopy it so you have a record of what you wrote, so they cannot claim you said something you didn't.
    3 - get as much supporting evidence as possible, medical professionals, social services, friends and relatives (they see how your health affects you day-to-day).
    4 - ensure every time to speak to or write to the assessment centre to tell them you will be recording the session and don't let them bully you into an appointment without recording it no matter how long it takes to find an assessor willing to be recorded - if your recorded they cannot say something happened or was said that didn't.
    5 - ensure anything you say in the appointment matches what you said on the form.
    6 - act as much as possible as if you're having the worst day so your look as you claim on the form.
    7 - take an independent witness.

    If you follow these steps you are more likely to have a positive outcome when you receive your results letter.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2019

    As a community champion here on scope, I disagree that 90% of PIP assessment are bad. Remember we only ever hear the bad stories and rarely the good ones.

    I'm sorry but your advice that you should fill out the forms as though it's your worst day is the worst advice i've heard. You most certainly should not fill out the forms based on this. PIP is not about your worst days, it's how you are at least 50% of the time over a 12 month period.

    If during your assessment you "act" as though it's your worst day, if it isn't then it's highly possible that the HCP will see straight through this, especially if the evidence you sent says otherwise.

    The same as filling out the forms as though it's your worst day, if not all of your days are this way because during the assessment you need to verify what you wrote on the form and if the day of your assessment you're having one of your better days then this is something else that the HCP will very likely see straight through.

    Pretending that your condition is worse than it actually is, is potential fraud. When filling out any forms and attending any face to face assessment you should always speak the truth and tell it exactly how it is and nothing more.
    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.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 968 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2019
    @Jean Eveleigh - I don't agree with your advice ...

    To suggest that claimants "fill in the forms as if it is your worst day and you have them 4 days a week" and 'Act as much as possible...so you look as you claim on the form" is clearly fraud (and it's a criminal offence to suggest this)

    Personally I'd recommend keeping a diary so that you can say categorically how much/ how often your condition affects you. If you are affected most of the time then say so, and stick to this even if the assessor suggests otherwise. Mine did - constantly suggesting that when I said 'Most of the time', or 'nearly every day' it meant 'one or two days a week' Stick to you guns.

    Best advice in my opinion is to tell the truth - then you don't have to remember what answer you gave! Or do any acting.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree with not saying every day is a bad day, if that`s not the case.
    My f2f assessment went well. The assessor was pleasant and I was myself.

    I got the full award, but not the full points for each descriptor. 2 of them were inaccurate.But I didn't dispute it as the award was good.

    Yes, we do read more bad stories than good. But the good ones are there.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,437 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2019
    i was assessed f2f for ESA in 2018 and the assessment was fair and the result as expected.
    I have been assessed f2f this year for PIP the assessment/assessor were fair, the report was balanced and the result better than expected.
    It is fair to say that most people don't reach for their keyboard when all goes well, but are quick to complain when it doesn't, I think that overall considering the numbers involved that most people are treated with respect and the assessors do their level best to write a true account.
    That isn't to say the system is perfect, its far from that, but we have to work with what we are offered, hopefully this will improve over time.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • RikiMRikiM Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hi Guys 

    Thank you for all your comments and advice. 

    Firstly, after reading the advice on, your worst day, my own psychiatrist told me to go along those lines. Not that I had to because with my anxieties I was already a wreck in the interview. So was he wrong to say that? And yes my worst days are self harming, suicidal tendencies, anxiety attacks and isolation. 

    What I don't understand is that they had the same information given on my pip application form as they did on my first appeal. So why go from scoring zero points to scoring 21 points?

    Anyway, it seems a lot of unnecessary stress could have been avoided if they just made decisions based on GP, mental health workers, support workers and my physciatrist reports.... Which they did in the end. Cut out the middle men I say. 

    Thank you again to all who replied. 

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,574 Disability Gamechanger
    I can only reinforce what @ilovecats and @poppy123456 have said (and I’m the person who first raised the point on this forum). There have been 2 fraud prosecutions on this basis and 1 was successful. Advice points 1 and 2 are potential fraud. Any adviser who tells you to do that... you need to change adviser.

    It’s also worth noting that whilst recording can help in a small number of cases it’s largely irrelevant as you’re kicking at an open door when it comes to HCP reports and tribunals. 

    Finally, it’s also worth saying that there’s no such thing as an independent witness in this scenario. Legally, anyone you know; are related to or pay are not independent. That leaves you with who exactly.

    The very best advice given by @Jean Eveleigh is to take and retain copies of your claim pack and to ensure the latter is consistent with what you say on the day.
  • worried33worried33 Member Posts: 399 Pioneering
    Regardless if some or most f2f are bad, I dont agree with advice that tells the claimant to "act" out a condition.
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