PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP assessment

EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
Just wondered if anyone could tell me if the PIP assessor you see for your f2f has access to your completed PIP form before they assess you. TIA 

Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,284 Disability Gamechanger
    The PIP assessor has your application to view on his or her computer screen, and you will be asked questions relating to your answers given in the application form in relation to each of the PIP descriptors to confirm your abilities to cope manage the activities described in the PIP descriptors safely and repeatability and in a timely manner for 50% of the time over a 12 month period. Hope this answers your question. 
  • EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thanks for the replies. When I had my assessment the assessor told me they didn't have access to the application. It appears it was silly of me to believe that. 
  • EricaMcDEricaMcD Member Posts: 33 Courageous
    I know it is difficult to know what an assessor has access to  have access when .  you have your assessment done due to GDPR.  Let the commuity know how you get on after you hear back regarding your application.  There is a lot of support amongst the community.
  • EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thanks Erica. I've just heard back and it's not good. Hence my question. I've lost all my PIP and cannot believe the things that have been written about me. 
  • bekindalwaysbekindalways Posts: 79 Member
    @EllsDK Hi EllsDK,  hopefully they will.  My most recent assessment in January showed she had a massive insight into my application for a change of circumstances.  I even commented on how relieved I was that she had taken time to read everything.  Sadly that is not always the case though.  My previous assessment (sept 2017), she really didn't have a clue.

    Try to just not answer yes or no to any assessor. If you do, make sure you follow on with an explanation. I.e. if asked if you can cook a simple meal? Don't just answer "yes" explain if you have difficulties doing it and how it affects you when you do.  Just a simple example I know, but when asked any question, where the descriptors are relevant, always follow up with the what happens and why.

    Do so hope this helps in some way and good luck with the assessment. Xx  
  • skullcapskullcap Posts: 172 Member
    Try to just not answer yes or no to any assessor. If you do, make sure you follow on with an explanation. I.e. if asked if you can cook a simple meal? Don't just answer "yes" explain if you have difficulties doing it and how it affects you when you do.  Just a simple example I know, but when asked any question, where the descriptors are relevant, always follow up with the what happens and why.
    Good suggestion but I have found that with some assessors they don't want to hear anything after the first part of the answer. By the time you are reeling off the why's and what for the assessor has already started on the next question which you will have partly missed. Do that a few times and you end up just saying yes/no to make sure you are ready for the next question on a different subject.
    It's hard work trying to listen to a new question whilst trying to talk about the previous one.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    Slight variation on the yes/no answer....

    When asked if you can do something - and you can but maybe only slowly or with some other difficulty - I would answer 'No' rather than 'Yes but ...'

    The assessor will then need to either put 'No' - or ask further questions to clarify your answer.

    (I'm not suggesting anything dishonest - obviously if you can do something without any issues then the answer should be 'Yes')
  • EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Sorry for the delay in replying. Thanks for all your input. I did do all the things suggested, but huge parts of what was written about me doesn't reflect what was actually said. I'm now struggling to get help with completing my MR because all the welfare rights places are shutting down because of coronavirus. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    For the MR you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Then add a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.

    You should avoid mentioning any lies/contradictions that may have been told in the report because they won't be interested in any of those.


    Community champion and 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.
  • EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
    For the MR you should put this in writing stating where you think you should have scored those points and your reasons why. Then add a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you.

    You should avoid mentioning any lies/contradictions that may have been told in the report because they won't be interested in any of those.


    I honestly have no idea how I can do it without mentioning those things. I'd just look like I was contradicting /lying about all the descriptors I've lost points on because of what the assessor has said that I've stated for them. Some of it doesn't even make sense. 
  • bekindalwaysbekindalways Posts: 79 Member
    @skullcap Hello, thanks for the reply.  I went through a harrowing home visit (1st application) in 2017 and in hindsight, she did precisely as you said above.  I didn't challenge or question her yes or no answers to my great regret.  I'm much more informed about the system now.  My second home assessment increased my points on my change of circumstances.(that were previously awarded by Tribunal)  if only claimants were able to find the strength to question a yes or no answer and counter it with a 'but' and remember they can confirm what has been written by the assessor 'at the time' I fully believe that genuine claimants will be empowered and whatever the outcome they will know they did everything they could. 

    Thanks very much for the reply. Best wishes as always. Xx 
  • skullcapskullcap Posts: 172 Member
    That's a good one. Reminds me of when I was in primary school and had the weekly visit to the swimming baths. Every year I was asked if I could swim a length to which I replied no but I can swim 4 widths - never attempted the lengths.
  • skullcapskullcap Posts: 172 Member
    I forgot to add.
    I was asked if I had a driving licence and said no I sent it back. Then was asked but could you drive, so answered yes. That was used against me.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,930 Disability Gamechanger
    cristobal said:
    Slight variation on the yes/no answer....

    When asked if you can do something - and you can but maybe only slowly or with some other difficulty - I would answer 'No' rather than 'Yes but ...'

    The assessor will then need to either put 'No' - or ask further questions to clarify your answer.

    (I'm not suggesting anything dishonest - obviously if you can do something without any issues then the answer should be 'Yes')
    Never understood why people claim there’s no choice on yes/no. 

    “Can you...”

    ”Not reliably...”
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    @mikehughescq - in my case I found quite early on that if I answered "yes' to anything quite often the assessor would not allow me to qualify my answer (a bit like in Kavanagh QC once the witness has given the answer that the barrister likes he/she sits down and stops questioning)

    I found it easier to answer 'no' but of course you are correct to point out that 'not reliably' might be a better answer if you can't carry out an activity fully.

    Unfortunately, whilst under pressure during the assessment, that never occurred to me!

    Keep up the good work...
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    edited March 2020
    EllsDK said
    I honestly have no idea how I can do it without mentioning those things. I'd just look like I was contradicting /lying about all the descriptors I've lost points on because of what the assessor has said that I've stated for them. Some of it doesn't even make sense. 
    Can I take it that you have a copy of the assessment report?     

    I think it should detail towards the start what paperwork / reports the assessor looked, if that doesn't include you PIP2 form, then point that out on the MR.

    Do you have a copy of your PIP2 form? 

    I might phrase it something like:
    (And using a random activity and health condition(s) that may or may not apply to your situation, as an example) 
    The assessment report seem to contain many inaccuracies. On activity 1 it states I can prepare food unaided. My osteoarthritis means I need an aid to help me grip and undo cans / bottles ; it takes me a very long time to prepare and chop vegetables, so my partner will do this.

    The pain in my spine / lower back means I cannot stand at a kitchen work-surface without pain, so I need to sit and use a perching stool, even using this aid I need to pause and rest because of the pain so it takes me more than twice as long to prepare a simple meal than it would my partner.

    Because of my depression and anxiety I lack the motivation to cook myself an adequate meal. Some days I will go with only a snack or even don't eat at all. Other days I will have a sandwich / soup / ready meal. Family members will often leave me a pre-prepared meal and will prompt / encourage me to eat this. My anxiety means my appetite is poor, and this combined with my lack of motivation means I do not do this activity reliably on most days in the week.     

    All this was detailed on my PIP2 form, the assessment is inaccurate in asserting that I am able to do this activity reliably - it has not taken notice of my limitations as explained on my PIP2 form     

    Did you have a copy of your prior PIP award and the points it gave you?
    Did you enclose any medical evidence with your form?
    If so you could add for each activity - 

    My previous PIP award recognised the difficulties I have and awarded 2 points for this activity. My condition has not changed (as stated on my PIP2 form), indeed as time has passed this activity has become more difficult / painful.  The medical evidence I enclosed confirms my condition is ongoing.

    At the end you might conclude by writing:
    It seems to be that the assessment report and the DWP decision maker have not properly considered my PIP2 form, and my previous PIP awards - please could you look again at the decision and fully consider the submitted evidence and the papers attached. The decision seems only to consider the assessors informal observations on the day of the assessment (many of which I think are inaccurate), it has not considered the variability of my condition, and has not looked at the difficulties I experience on the majority of days, nor whether I can do the activities reliably. Additionally there are many inconsistencies in the report [very, very brief example], and comments are generic rather than specific to me, 

    If you have relevant medical evidence to hand that was not send with the PIP report then attach this, and if possible, include a letter from partner / family / friends detailing what help they provide for you around the PIP activities / descriptors.

    Do this type of write up for all relevant activities, ensuring you get to the minimum 8 points.

    If you are sure the report states your PIP form was not consulted, and you have a copy - then you could conclude by re-stating the PIP form was not used to get to the decision, and offering to send it again to the DWP so that the DM considering your MR would have sight of it.   Sometimes the DWP / ATOS, etc loss forms.

    So, this might be a way / template of writing your MR, if you think it appropriate. Delete / amend as appropriate.  Because many advice agencies are closed due to cv, I have written this to give you a view of how your MR might be phrased.



  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,930 Disability Gamechanger
    @cristobal keeping up the good work increasingly difficult these last two weeks as we move to working from home but thanks for the thought. 

    @EllsDK here’s a slightly different perspective on what’s needed for an MR. If you do a search on here you will see that myself and @poppy123456 have posted similarly many times albeit maybe in a shorter form. 

    1 - your chances of success at the MR stage are currently 16%. There is no evidence that a detailed MR gives you a better chance of being in that 16%. The outcome is effectively random in the truest sense. Anyone purporting to have some magic formula for success at the MR rate could probably make a fortune but they wouldn’t be giving an accurate picture of the reality. It really is random. No-one knows what succeeds or why in the overwhelming majority of cases. The same is not true of appeals albeit that some try to present the outcome of those as also random when in fact the success rate is 76%. 

    2 - whilst the HCP report is potentially key at the claim stage it’s important to remember that it’s ultimately one piece of evidence of several including the claim pack and supporting medical or anecdotal evidence. It’s actually pretty easy to pick apart a HCP report and I’ve seen plenty where, if you wanted to, you could find 50+ clear cut errors. It can be both exhausting but hugely satisfying to do so. However, and forgive me for being blunt, so what!

    The key point at MR stage is that a DM is absolutely not going to go against a HCP report just because it can be picked apart to a greater or lesser extent. All that picking apart does is force the DM to say “well okay, if that’s allegedly not credible what else have I got evidence wise that might enable me to make an award?” Very often the answer is “not a lot”. 

    Destroying the HCP report point by point will simply not qualify you for PIP if the strength of what’s left is not clear cut enough. You need to do no more than identify a couple of clear cut critical errors; point out that they’re so fundamental they undermine the credibility of the whole thing and then move on. Whether you undermine 2 points or 50 the DM is only going to change their mind if you have more credible evidence. Often that’s medical. More often it’s anecdotal. The stories of what happened when you last attempted the activities you think you ought to score points on.

    Equally, claiming that the DM hasn’t really read your PIP 2 is a significant and oft repeated error. You can’t possibly know that they haven’t and it undermines your case from the off. It’s just speculative. The only thing you know is that in fact they likely read the PIP2 and the HCP report but preferred the latter. You need to be brutally honest with yourself about why that might be. 

    If it were me (and it’s not) I would always use the form at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683380/if-you-disagree-with-a-decision-made-by-dwp.PDF and add a single sheet maybe 2 at the end answering part 4 slightly more fully than the space allows. 

    Identify the activities and points you score on. Briefly explain why in terms of reliability e.g. you can’t prep food without an aid or you can’t dress in a reasonable time etc. Give an example if there’s space but don’t sweat over it. Remember the success rate is 16%. 

    Your strongest argument is potentially your previous award. Enclosing the award won’t help but enclosing a copy of your original claim pack and supporting evidence might. 

    Claiming that you’ve deteriorated won’t help either. It’s an invitation to a DM to say “okay then. I don’t think you qualified at the date of claim so I’m disallowing that bad suggesting that if you’re so much worse you need to go and make a new claim”. Not exactly what you were looking for. 

    It is of course entirely up to you if you want to write page after page picking apart the HCP report activity by activity for the sake of a 16% success rate. Many people do exactly that because so much is at stake. It doesn’t automatically make it the best approach though. Almost all of my most successful MRs have been short, focused and rarely included extra medical evidence. Pays your money and takes your choice. 

  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    I've often wondered if concentrating on the assessor's 'lies' is the reverse of what happens in a criminal case...

    If you're on trial you need do nothing. The prosecution must prove that your guilty beyond reasonable doubt - if you can discredit the prosecution witnesses, and there is insufficient other evidence, the jury may decide that you're not guilty.

    If you apply for PIP the assumption is that you don't qualify and you have to show that you do. 

    If you concentrate on what, in your perception, were lies written by the assessor then even if the decision maker (be this at the DWP or at a tribunal) agrees you're still at the default position i.e. 'no'.

    You still have to show why you should get PIP by  giving examples of what you can/ can't do and what help you need.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,930 Disability Gamechanger
    A decent analogy. There are in fact some circumstances where the burden of proof falls on DWP. Not least when they’re seeking to change an existing award. 
  • EllsDKEllsDK Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I'm so sorry that I haven't been back to this thread sooner. I've been ill. Thank you so much for your replies. I'm going through them now. 
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