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Phone assessment - experiences And results so far

apple85apple85 Member Posts: 14 Connected
Hi

i haven’t seen a dedicated thread on people’s experiences on the new phone assessments for esa/pip/uc which seems to me is going to be the new norm for a good while yet.

what I’m getting from social media is that it’s mad an already bad process even worse. I think the majority of people who have had dwp assessments have had at least one ridiculous lie/statements on their decision paperwork previously but that may of stepped up with these phone assessments - it sounds like an easier way of the dwp to fail more of us

i haven’t had one yet - in theory I have my next esa reassessment in November (although the common sense reaction should of been to extend all the disabled/medical condition awards by a year) - considering the massive increase of uc applicants and the lack of jobs in general - it was next to impossible to get even unpaid work experience before Coronavirus if you were disabled - there’s next to no point trying with a few million new million fully abled uc claimants to compete with. My instincts are personally telling me to sit tight for the next 2-3 years and if mental health allows to learn a new skill - I doubt the dwp would be on the same page though.

I digress- though who have had a phone assessments what are your experiences and award results? Has anyone had an successful award renewal?

i read that the assessors won’t let you add a second phone line for a family/friend support. Can you use the speaker phone function? (I use that all the time as I don’t like the feel of the phone near my ear - gives me ear/head pain)

can you refuse a phone assessment in general and request a face-to-face? - I think I speak for many with autism when I say using the phone and?or speaking to a stranger is very exhausting and distressing

Lastly I know that phone recording is prohibited but from recent experiences of bring recording equipment to face to face assessments is even though the lies on the results paperwork remain (and get more ridiculous every time) the dwp seem to find I much harder to dock the same points they would of before. Recording a phone assessment in secret seems to be a common sense move esp when tribunal seems much more likely under phone assessments compared to face to face.

over the years disabled claimants have shared the tips and tricks of getting through a face to face assessment stacked against the claimant. We need to do the same now


thoughts and experiences below

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,155 Disability Gamechanger
    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.
  • butterfly1xxbutterfly1xx Member Posts: 8 Listener
    hi, my partner had his telephone assessment last thursday for uc and got decision this tuesday. The call took around 20 mins and the assessor spoke to me not him maybe because im his carer aswell. Could not believe how quick they were with making the decision. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,122 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community, there are lots of posts on here relating to phone assessments and peoples experiences of them if you look under the PIP section.

    It seems that a lot of them are successful and a lot of positive responses.

    There should be no issue with you using the speaker phone function however if you intend recording the assessment then you will have to follow the correct procedure and inform them you are recording and be able to provide 2 copies.

    You say you have a re-assesment in November as far as I am aware there is no set date for re-assessment of ESA as there is for PIP it is just a recommended date and your award will stay until you do have another assessment.

    Also by November things may have changed and f2f may be back in operation

    Hopefully others will share their experiences with you
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 68 Courageous
    The telephone assessment I had was about an hour and 15 minutes long, I got a copy of the assessors report where she indicated 6 points for daily living and 4 points for mobility. I got my decision 2 weeks after my assessment and they awarded me 8 points for daily living and 4 for mobility, which meant I got the standard daily living award. 

    I am still pushing for a mandatory reconsideration as I believe I am entitled to enhanced on both, and the assessors report was full of lies and stuff that neither myself nor my partner said. 

    I used speakerphone on mine and told them that my partner would jump in if needed when I get tired etc. 
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,977 Disability Gamechanger
    @apple85 I guess that proves what a vacuum social media operates in. 

    Anecdotally the success rate for telephone assessments has been much higher than for face to face and ditto telephone appeal hearings. I suspect the national DWP stakeholder engagement forum which took place on Tuesday was slightly taken aback by the positivity around telephone assessments from welfare rights officers nationwide based on the experience of thousands of their claimants. 
  • maple247maple247 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited July 2020
    I had my first assessment for PIP via telephone a couple of months ago. The rep at the call centre said no adjustments could be made for me to attend by phone with my friend, and said if I insisted on having my friend with me she'd have to escalate my case back up to the DWP who might reject my application completely.

    Interestingly, I was sent an invite by NatCen afterwards asking if I wanted to take part in a telephone interview about the telephone assessments. Their FAQ explicitly said they would make arrangements for a friend to accompany me on the call if I needed it. If NatCen can do it, why can't the DWP?

    I am waiting on the final stage of an autism assessment. I am currently two years through a four year waitlist. I find it incredibly difficult to express myself verbally without somebody else with me, which is why I needed my friend to accompany me.

    I was awarded 0 points and have requested mandatory reconsideration.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    Do you think my partner will be able to listen in on the call and speak on behalf of me if needed ? because I just read you said your friend wasnt allowed to listen in,. 
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 68 Courageous
    cupcake88 said:
    Do you think my partner will be able to listen in on the call and speak on behalf of me if needed ? because I just read you said your friend wasnt allowed to listen in,. 
    There's no reason he shouldnt be able to, my boyfriend was allowed to I just told her before she started asking questions.
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    @laurapeach Hi Laura thanks for that info. When you appeal the decision because you think you should  got more do you still get paid in the mean time ? Have you received your back pay yet. So Basically they dont go on the accessment 100 percent then because you was still awarded when they have scored you down . 
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 68 Courageous
    cupcake88 said:
    @laurapeach Hi Laura thanks for that info. When you appeal the decision because you think you should  got more do you still get paid in the mean time ? Have you received your back pay yet. So Basically they dont go on the accessment 100 percent then because you was still awarded when they have scored you down . 
    Yes you do still get the money, I got my backpay the day before I got my letter which is how I knew I had been awarded something. I think they can take away your award completely at mandatory reconsideration though you obviously won't get any money between the MR decision and your tribunal. 

    No the decision maker didn't go fully with the assessor, she awarded me two extra points which got me the standard daily living rate. 
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    That’s really good ? Do they not check that bank details are correct ? They just pay it to you ? I bet that was a nice surprise how long did you have to way for a decision 
  • laurapeachlaurapeach Member Posts: 68 Courageous
    cupcake88 said:
    That’s really good ? Do they not check that bank details are correct ? They just pay it to you ? I bet that was a nice surprise how long did you have to way for a decision 
    You would have given your bank details on your initial pip application form so they wouldn't need them again :)

    I waited 6 months for an assessment and then my decision came two weeks after the telephone assessment, which I know is really quick at the moment. 
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • maple247maple247 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    cupcake88 said:
    Do you think my partner will be able to listen in on the call and speak on behalf of me if needed ? because I just read you said your friend wasnt allowed to listen in,. 
    They would have had to make arrangements for my friend to attend via conference call, as she doesn't live with me or near me and my consultation took place at the peak of lockdown. So long as your partner is able to be in the room with you, there's no reason for the DWP to refuse - so your partner should be able to listen in, no problem.

    As laurapeach mentions though, you should say at the beginning that your partner will be listening in and will intervene for you if necessary. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,155 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to add, it wouldn't be DWP that refuse, it would be the health assessment providers. The assessment process has nothing to do with DWP.
    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.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    That’s good to know yeh I will tell them when they call . My partner will be able to answer more the questions than me because I really hate talking to people on the phone And I’m really anxious bout this . I really hate discussing my illness with people who I feel with judge me . 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,977 Disability Gamechanger
    cupcake88 said:
    That’s good to know yeh I will tell them when they call . My partner will be able to answer more the questions than me because I really hate talking to people on the phone And I’m really anxious bout this . I really hate discussing my illness with people who I feel with judge me . 
    Unfortunately there is no way to claim PIP without some judgement being made but it’s not a judgement on you. It’s an assessment of whether the functional consequences of your condition meet the threshold for entitlement. The outcome is not a verdict on whether or not you told the truth. It’s a cold eyed assessment if whether your evidence met the threshold. 
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    I’m really not doing so good this weekend at all I have been pacing up and down constantly .  I just wanna get Monday over and done with .,
  • maple247maple247 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    I know what you mean about the fear of being judged in relation to your condition. I feel that way, too. 

    Try to do what calms you, for now, so that you still get rest and sustenance over the weekend. Try to remember that by Tuesday it will be over. You'll have endured the call, your partner will have intervened when they feel the need, and the assessor will be dealing with the next part of the process. Aim your thoughts for Tuesday, not Monday, and if you can, concentrate on how much better it will feel when the call itself is behind you.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 631 Pioneering
    I feel like mental illness has made me loose my independence . I got to a point where I could go back to work part time but I struggled a lot and then my confidence was totally knocked and I went back completely again I really don’t see my self being able to work again and that’s not me I was always a hard worker . 

    I just always think people are against me . 

    I feel like pip will give me my independence back so my partner doesn’t haven’t to fully support me ect I can pay for my own monthly payment perscriotion , and I can pay for my own stuff I need I feel so bad always relying on my partner he already does so much for me 
  • maple247maple247 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited July 2020
    I have a similar experience with mental illness. Without the constant support of a friend, I wouldn't even be considering working right now. I'm not working yet, and I think it will be a while, and I know my resilience is on the ground. I'm hoping I'll be able to work on it if I can just get into a job. I had to drop out of a job I adored because of mental and physical health problems, and while it was much more complex than that in practice, it has had a deep and long-lasting affect on my belief that I'll ever be able to do any work ever again.

    cupcake88 said:
    I just always think people are against me . 
    Me too. If it helps, I try to remember that people are usually just ambivalent towards me, rather than actively against me. Many of them just don't understand.

    I'm middle-aged and still live with my mum. I hope that any pip award will help me get the mental health support I need privately, since I haven't been able to get anywhere with the NHS. If I can't get help with it somehow, I won't be able to maintain a job.

    It can be hard, having to rely on somebody else - especially when you're used to being independent. I hope the assessor is the next stage in getting the financial help you need, so you can pay for your own prescription and other essentials and get back some of your self-esteem.
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