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Hello everybody. Any advice about PIP Assesment much appreciated😀

Mark81Mark81 Member Posts: 6 Listener
Good evening guys newbie here👋

Hello everybody this this is my first ever post so apologise if I make any mistakes or post incorrectly, I have read stories & advice for years and you've all been brilliant with your advice & support to other members so thought someone might give me some advice as I have a dreaded PIP face 2 face assesment coming up. 

I receive PIP & ESA in the support group & have done since 2012 when my condition become so severe I just couldn't work anymore. I have crippling anxiety where I am unable to leave house for weeks at a time & don't have any social life at all. I have had only 1 face2face as my brilliant Dr who has now retired supported me so well I have only had paper reviews since 2015. I received a renewal form 2 months ago and promptly filled it out and just over a week ago I received a call from a manager at the DWP asking me if I could have somebody come with me to assesment as I needed representation at assesment. I said due to cut backs I have been left to fend for myself when it comes to mental health team in my area so will have to ask them for help. I was assured I would have at least 3 weeks to plan but in fact I was given less than a week, due to time of year it is impossible to get somebody so I rang and asked for another date. The girl I spoke to was lovely at Capita & said don't worry I will put off your assesment until after the Xmas period to give you plenty of time to arrange things. Today to my shock & horror they have arranged a assesment for the 20th December so just before Xmas!! I'm shocked that they can do this to me as this time of year is very bad for me where my mental health takes a very bad turn & I have explained all this to them in my forms. Last year at this time I tried to take my life so they know it's a very bad time for me   

The answer I can't find online to a question I have is and I really hope somebody here can help me is as I have cancelled one appointment I know I can't do it again so if I just tell them I won't be attending on the 20th can I still appeal? Due to all the horror stories I have read I assume I will fail anyway so not turning up I would rather that & then go to court and plead my case to a impartial board of people. I know if you go and score no points you can appeal but not even going is it the same process?

Im so sorry for the long post but thought I would get all the information in. I cannot believe Capita are doing this a few days before Xmas when they promised it would be in he new year. 

Thank you so much in advance for anybody who has read this and will respond I very much appreciate any advice given. 



  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm a community champion here on scope and i advice people with the complex benefit system.

    May i ask if you're sure it was DWP that rang you regarding your assessment because they don't usually deal with assessments, it's usually the health assessment providers because it's nothing to do with DWP at this stage, until the report has been returned to them.

    May i also ask if the reason why you were advised about representation is because of your mental health? Please understand that i'm not asking you to go into any personal details here at all, all you need to do is answer yes or no.

    Cut backs for mental health are in most areas and i'm concerned that you'll be waiting many months for an appointment with any mental health team for representation and even then you may not be able to get someone to attend the assessment with you. Do you have a friend or family member that can attend with you?

    To answer your question, if you don't attend the assessment then your PIP will stop for failing to attend, as you know. If this happens then yes you can request the MR for that decision but you will need to give your reasons why you didn't attend and this is what the MR will be based on and not where you should have scored those points.

    If that decision remains the same then it's Tribunal and this will also be based on your reasons for not attending. The panel will not make any decision whether you're entitled to PIP at that stage, if they agree with your reasons for not attending then DWP will then return your file back to the health assessment providers for you to be assessed and for a report to be written before a decision can be made. This could potentially be a very long process and if there's any way at all that you could attend the assessment then i'd advise that you do this.

    I hope this helps.
    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.
  • Mark81Mark81 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi poppy123456,

    Thank you so much for such a quick response. No I'm not sure it was a DWP employee all he said was that he was a manager so I assumed it was a DWP person. Yes you are correct he said that due to my mental health which goes back to when I was a child (30yrs) and suicide attempts he couldn't proceed with a appointment without representation. I explained that I only ever see my mum & grandfather but that my mum after last face 2 face was traumatised by the questions and in particular why I wasn't dead yet she can't face it & my grandfather is 88. 

    I really thought that he was understanding but no I have been given no time at all to prepare, due to the time of year it's a nightmare!! I will even pay a private nurse to attend with me but I need time. I just feel that they are rushing it through without any consideration at all for me. Could I please ask you a question as I am in the support group for ESA will not attending trigger a review into my claim? I don't really care that much about money as I don't go out, drink or smoke so my lifestyle isn't expensive. I can live off my ESA until tribunal. 

    Its such a worry at this at this time of year and can't believe they are doing this. ATOS despite the horror stories were professional & really good in the past but Capita I'm finding are another story. 

    Thank you for your time

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome,

    My thoughts are that it was a health assessment provider than rang you. Thank you for answering my question, it was an important question so i appreciate you answering that.

    As it's because of your condition the reason why they've asked you to have representation and you were told that the assessment would be put on hold then i'd advise you to ring the number on the letter first thing Monday morning and tell them what's happened. Tell them that you were told the assessment would be put on hold for you to find someone to attend with you. However, i still honestly think that you're going to find it very difficult to get support for your mental health for the assessment in such a short space of time, even if your assessment is eventually put on hold.

    If you don't get any joy from the health assessment providers then i'd advise you to ring DWP/PIP and ask to speak to a decision maker and tell them what's happened. Even though assessments are nothing to do with them i do know they can intervene in extreme circumstances.

    May i ask if you sent evidence to support your claim with the form?

    ESA and PIP are 2 completely different benefits with different criteria and one doesn't affect the other, in this way anyway. If you are sent another work capability assessment then it'll be just a coincidence because you can be re-assessed anytime from 3 months.

    Once you've rang them on Monday please do come back and let me know what they said and if needed, i'll try to advise you further.
    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.
  • Mark81Mark81 Member Posts: 6 Listener

    Again thank you for your help & quick reply. 

    Your advice i will definently take and telephone Capita & DWP if need be. I did explain to the manager who telephoned me that my mum was very upset with what she heard on my last face2face assesment. I was asked why I hadn't killed myself yet and how long did I think it would be before I succeeded in wanting to die. My mum was distraught & said she couldn't deal with that again so I understand why she said she couldn't face it. I am in touch with Mind & other agencies in my area so hope to get some assistance as I don't think I can face the assesment on my own. 

    I did send evidence with my claim including pictures of my self harm marks not to shock but to explain that although I am on heavy mediacation it only keeps me barely alive. I did a subject access request 2yrs ago and was shocked with the amount of medical evidence that had been obtained by the DWP from my medical records & GP telephone calls. Please know that I am not complaint about having a assesment it is part of the system when claiming sickness benefits I understand that but I have been given no time at all to prepare. 

    Thank you you for your time in responding to me and I will definently let you know what happens Monday morning when I telephone Capita & DWP. 

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,001

    Scope community team

    Hi @Mark81. Did you manage to get in touch with the DWP?
    Community Manager
  • Mark81Mark81 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Adrian_Scope,

    Yes I have just managed to sort it out today. I telephoned the DWP PIP line & spoke to somebody about my case & was advised to ring Capita & ask them to send my file back to DWP & due to the medical reasons why I cannot attend I would be given a new date. Now this is where things almost fell apart because that's what I did I telephoned Capita who weren't that helpful if I'm honest and I didn't really understand what the woman was asking me so I agreed but felt uneasy when I got off the phone.

    I telephoned a hour later the same DWP PIP line I got the advice from first & it was a good job I did as Capita had informed the DWP I wanted to end my claim!! God knows what would of happened had I not telephoned. Anyway the lady I spoke to was great & said she better put me through to somebody senior I think it was a manager. 

    All i I can say is for all the bad stories you hear about the DWP the lady I spoke to was lovely & she listened to what I had to say & sorted everything out for me & I will now get a date sometime in January so I have more time to prepare. If my GP hadn't retired recently she said she could of phoned her & done my review as a paper assesment but unfortunately she has now gone & mental health services in my area have been decimated so I'm left to myself to try & deal with my mental health the best I can. It was so stressful I can't tell you but at least I don't have the worry over the Xmas period. I just hope I can get somebody to come will me in January. 

    Thank you to to the previous person who responded your advice was much appreciated. To everyone on this site I hope you have a merry xmas🌲
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,620 Disability Gamechanger
    @poppy123456 it’s worth noting that not all failure to attend cases get returned for assessment. In many cases now the tribunal will decide that there was good cause for a failure to attend and then go on to determine the PIP entitlement if there is sufficient evidence in front of them. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikehughescq thanks for that information, i really appreciate it.
    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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,001

    Scope community team

    I really hope you are able to find someone that can go with you in January @Mark81. It sounds like it was a good job you called the DWP back, what a palaver! 
    As you say, at least it means you can rest easy over Christmas and think about it all in the New Year.

    Thank you for the Christmas wishes and a Merry Christmas to you as well! :smile: 🌲
    Community Manager
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