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PIP Telephone assessment

giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
edited August 2020 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi there everyone, I’m new so thought I’d say hi first of all.

I suffer from various mental health problems.  Major depression - tr. GAD and mixed personality disorder BPD OCPD mostly with a shake of APD & DPD when I have switch to that which has happened during recent times.

My AR1 review form was returned in Feb and my PIP if not renewed was due to end 8th June.  I filled in the forms very poorly and I have to admit aggressively complaining about them removing many many points from my award for care after I had to refill a new claim when I informed them of a change of circumstance and that my physical health had improved.  I sent no recent evidence about my condition. That experience has lead to me not telling them when I’ve had other changes of circumstance such as the recent crisis where I became severely suicidaly depressed & agoraphobic.  I’ve been in a real state and had multiple referrals to the local home treatment/crisis team who kept me out of being admitted to the wards again.  I was in no state to be dealing with DWP and didn’t want to rock the boat again even though this time it’s a worsening of condition not an improvement. 

During this time (more recently as the crises abated a little) I’ve rang DWP twice to find out what was going on.  The first time as my SDP was removed from my ESA - the guy on the phone said he didn’t know why as my claim showed on the screen as being extended until December.  He also said my report had been received back from IAS and was just waiting for a decision makers decision.  My ESA claim was rebuilt putting the SDP element back and I continue to receive payment as well as my PIP at standard rate care only.  

I rang a second time last week as Id  not received the letter explaining my award was extended to December.  The guy this time said they were working through backlog and that I would soon receive a letter with a date in for a telephone assessment!  I said to him that I had been given the information by the previous guy that IAS had returned their report and it was just waiting on a DM but he said that wasn’t the case and I would need to have a telephone assessment.

Im currently waiting, dreading that invitation as I’ve never had anything other than a paper based assessment from the forms and supporting letters/reports from my mental health team.  I’ve always maintained Im not up to a face to app and that there would be a likelihood of me completely breaking down and not being able to complete it, or worse case scenario I would get triggered and angry and go off on them. I’m not proud of this and am not a violent man I just hold great shame around my multiple suicide attempts and self harm episode’s and having to or being expected to answer questions around these subjects upsets me a great deal. The worry of going through even a telephone assessment is consuming me and I don’t feel I can go though that either.  Think it may be even more scary and anxiety provoking having to speak about such things on the phone with a stranger than F2F.  I don’t feel able to handle any of it!

My question is that having not yet received a proposed assessment appointment if I gather together recent letters/reports from my care co and psychiatrist and send them off will they take them into consideration or am I too late?

If I’m not too late who do I send them to?  DWP or IAS?  I intend to put a letter in myself stating I would like them to use a paper based assessment again as they have on the past.

sorry for the essay on my first post!

Gid


Replies

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

    The reason your PIP award was extended was because of Covid19 and all awards that are ending soon will be extended by 6 months because reviews were suspended for 3 months. They are now back on but face to face assessments are still suspended. If an assessment is definitely needed then they will likely do a telephone assessment. If this can't be done then they will wait until face to face assessments are back on.

    You can of course send more evidence to IAS if you think this is needed. Although do be aware that less is often more. If you've already sent in a lot of evidence to support your claim.

    Hope this helps, good luck.
    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.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,006

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @giddeon and thank you for sharing your story.  

    I'm sure lots of us can empathise with feeling nervous about PIP assessments.  If you do need a telephone assessment it might be helpful to write down key points about your impairments that you can look at throughout to refresh your memory.  Also make sure to explain to the assessor upfront how you are feeling and that you might need to take a break if your anxiety becomes too much.

    Wishing you lots of luck.  Keep us updated and let us know if we can support you in any way.  
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks guys - @poppy123456
    You think I should deffo send new evidence to IAS as opposed to DWP?

    They've had a lot of reports etc back in 2017 but one of those items makes reference to them being hopeful about my prognosis long term as I was starting therapy which I and they hoped would help.  Unfortunately the therapy triggered me and made me worse so I feel more up to date info should be sent.

    Hope that makes sense 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    I would personally send it to IAS and not DWP. You'll need to ring them to ask for the address. Make you sure you put your details on everything you send. Although i would only send it if it states exactly how your conditions affect you otherwise it's pointless sending 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.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,155 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome I think you know you didnt fill in the form the best you could or send relevant evidence.

    Can you get your GP to send s letter to state you need a paper based assessment as you cant deal with phone or f2f 

    The more information and detailed form completion increases the chance of paper based assessment though they are not the normal and most have an assessment
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    @poppy123456 the second guy I spoke to seemed less knowledgeable than the first who told me the assessment report had been received back and was waiting on DM so I’m guess part of me wants to think he was correct as opposed to the second saying I’m awaiting an appointment to be assessed.  Because of that I was leaning towards sending directly to DWP.  I may send to both!?

    @janer1967 it was an AR1 and I think (I was a hot angry mess when I did it - have no copy) I just ticked remains same on all the boxes and only elaborated on the mixing with others saying it’s crazy that I previously got reduced from 2 points (from 8) as this is one of if not my biggest problems.  I’m hoping to have a letter stating that either F2F or telephone is a bad idea but it will be from the manager of my community mental health team not a G.P. She has taken on the role of my care coordinator for complex reasons.  
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,155 Disability Gamechanger
    It is never advisable to just tick no change even if there hadn't been one still give detail of what happens when you try do task 

    A review should be treated as new application 

    Unfortunately that is why they will feel the need to do an assessment at least you will know for next time 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Totally agree with @janer1967 here. It's never advisable to just put "remained the same" or no changes" on any review form.
    All claims should be classed as a new claim by all claimants and you should always put as much information as possible about how your conditions affect you.
    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.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @giddeon, just wanted to jump on and say welcome to the community. :)
    Scope

  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks for your advice guys.  I was in crisis when filling the forms in (partly because of the forms & also the fact I had begun having CAT therapy which was awful and not an appropriate intervention for me - I had to quit and it lead to a lot of home treatment team input etc to keep me out of hospital).

    I wish I’d done better at filling the forms in but had no help and was in a real state trying to get them done.  The fact there were just tick boxes and room for maybe a sentence or two lead me to think that I shouldn’t or didn’t need to write much but just tick the boxes.  I will know in future if I have to do it again.

    My care co wrote a letter & ive sent that off along with a covering letter and a couple of other more recent letters between psychiatrists and GP’s.

    I sent it by recorded delivery.

    I will come back here and let you know what happens when I know myself.

    Once again thanks for your help, I’m guessing I’ve messed this process up like I do everything in life. I’m just hoping & praying this turns out for the best despite my ignorance and inability to do things how they should be done! Thanks again x
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Fingers crossed @giddeon! We're here if you need anything. :)
    Scope

  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi guys,

    An update, despite sending off the recent evidence and a letter which states having an assessment will be detrimental to my mental health I have received a letter stating I have a telephone assessment on 6th October, 10 months since returning the forms.  I don’t actually know if I can or will answer, the only person I can get to support me and be part of the call is my sister which is difficult as there are things which I’m equally as anxious to discuss with her listening as I am facing the assessor (suicide attempts/plans, self harm, self medicating).  I’ve already convinced myself I will lose my award, all my problems are mental health related and my current state is different to that of my ‘normal’ which is rapid fluctuations.  I’m in the same depressed and anxious state I’ve been in since the therapy went wrong in December- In bed & struggling to be here.  Lost and scared, the only people I’ve spoken to in months other than mental health professionals  are my sister (by phone, she lives 300 miles away) & children.  This whole thing is too much for me, they already know I don’t have it in me to fight them after I gave up at mandatory consideration stage when they stripped me of higher level care & low mobility.  I’ve given in before I’ve even been assessed. Hate this 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,006

    Scope community team

    Hi @giddeon

    I've sent you a little email if you want to check your inbox  :)
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 952 Pioneering
    Hi there how are you my disabilities are all mental health I applied for pip when I was in the middle of a crisis I had alot of documentation I sent off to them my partner and crisis team helped . I had a phone assessment I was so nervous also my partner was there with me I found It went on to long my partner kept getting told off for speaking on behalf of me but he had to really insist when I was getting really stressed out. Im sorry you have to have a phone assessment when your used to paper based ones .  I would advise its  best to have some one with you and I understand its really  hard being truthful to a stranger and with a family member there. 

    I did start to get very anxious and stressed and she did right that on the report that Made no sense I really hope it goes well . 
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thank you for your comment @cupcake88 and reaching out to me @Cher_Scope - I cried as I’m not accustomed now a days to people caring, especially the people employed to do that by the NHS .  After an appointment with my care co-ordinator where she told me no information had been requested or any contact made by DWP/IAS (the letter states they’ve looked at further evidence they’ve requested from people involved in my care) I was encouraged to and did manage to ring IAS to ask/confirm they had received and taken into consideration the recent letters I sent off.  I also asked if there was any way I could record the assessment if I was required to do it which was a clear no.  I was quite upset on the phone and the lady said she was going to cancel the appointment and ask for a paper based review again.  I didn’t ask for the appointment to be cancelled and am now worried that my call was futile and stupid and that I will get another letter stating I have to have a telephone assessment for instance on 6th November just more time to worry myself sick.  On a brighter note I spent more time out of bed yesterday than I have all year and had a couple of hours with my children where I actually felt comfortable around them and capable of being their father, without doubt the best feeling I’ve had since November of last year.  I love them so much and feel deep shame for having been too unwell to even be around them let alone care for their needs. Those couple of hours were precious.  Today’s not so good and I’m very emotional but I’m still here and want to be here 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,155 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @giddeon I am glad you had a good day and felt up to being with your children and hopefully it has given you a boost

    I hope they give you a chance to have a ;paper based assessment
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    If they have enough of information to do the paper assessment then they will. If they don't then it will be a telephone assessment. All face to face assessments are currently still suspended due to Covid19.
    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.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi everyone, 
    An update and request for more advice/support.  I received another letter today from IAS stating I still had to have a telephone assessment and that “they would contact me when one was available”  I’m in a mess and worried about a few things on top of the worry of having the assessment.

    I have been offered the support of a welfare/benefits specialist who works for one of the charity’s/organisations that help me, I wish I knew he existed when I was asking for and being refused help from my care co-ordinator to fill in the review forms back in December but I didn’t.  I hope to be able to speak with him early next week.  In the mean time if anyone can advise that would be really appreciated as the worry is making me more and more poorly.

    My extra worries now are that I may be either cold called or not given enough time to organise him sitting in with me.  

    Also that the extension is until the 8th December and that if I don’t have the consultation within the next couple of weeks the PIP will just stop because they haven’t provided DWP with a report in time to make a decision.  My anxiety is now extreme and I’m suffering physically with ibs-d and repeated migraines.  I just want this to be over 😞 and after 10 months already it doesn’t feel like it ever will be.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Once an appointment becomes available they will contact you. If the appointment your given isn't suitable then you can cancel and make another one. Are you sure the welfare rights officer is planning on being with you during the telephone assessment? I honestly didn't think they do that.

    You have just over 10 weeks left on your award so hopefully the assessment and decision will be made before the end date of your award. In the meantime, i realise just how stressful it is but there's nothing more you can do but wait.
    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.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi Poppy thanks for responding.  I’m not sure of that but will check, he works for ‘we are with you’ and my support worker says he specialises in PIP.  I can’t remember 100% my heads all over but I think he said why not let me support you if you have to have a telephone assessment rather than talking about things you are uncomfortable about (self harm etc) with your sister.  

    If I had to cancel an appointment to rearrange for either him or my sister to support me and then the claim ended would that be blamed on me?  Or even if (baring in mind it took nearly 9 months to give me the appointment the call handler cancelled without me requesting cancellation) it doesn’t get reviewed by IAS and decided on by DWP in time..  Where does the burden lie?  




  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Your award has been extended by 6 months because of Covid, in an other times then it would have already ended. If the decision isn't made by the time your end date arrives then yes it will end. If you're awarded once the decision is made then any money owed will be backdated to the date it stopped.

    If anything Covid is to blame, people working from home, getting sick and not being able to work at all. All of this causes more delays.

    You have just over 10 weeks left, that's plently of time to have the assessment and for a decision to be made.
    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.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi all another update:  I still hadn’t received a telephone assessment date and had an appointment with my support worker this morning who rang IAS and she was given an appointment for this Friday morning, I can’t understand why if apps are readily available and they knew the process was causing me severe distress that they hadn’t given one before.  Her colleague (the welfare advisor/benefits specialist or whatever he is) is going to be on the call with me and is phoning me tomorrow to speak to me & about my fears.  It’s taken over my head at this point and I’m struggling terribly can’t eat or sleep and read horror stories/bad experiences all the time.  I’m incredibly anxious but glad that at least the horrible call will be out of the way soon.  I will come back and let you know more when I’m able.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    There may have just been an appointment become available on the day that your support worker rang them, which is quite possible if someone canceled one.

    I'm sorry it's affecting your health, all these reviews affect everyone the same way unfortunately. Good luck for the assessment and do let us know the outcome.
    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.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    It was earlier today and I think there were multiple apps available, as it was tied in to when I could be supported by a professional.. Thanks 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,006

    Scope community team

    Hi @giddeon

    I'm glad you have a date quite soon for the PIP assessment and completely understand the anxiety its bringing on.  It's good you have someone to support you with it so make sure to lean on them and make them completely aware of all your worries.  

    We are here too if ever you need someone to vent to so please don't be afraid to give us a shout.  I'll have everything crossed for you.
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Thanks @Cher_Scope I appreciate it.  I spoke to the welfare guy this morning and his concern which he’s been told by my support worker is that I’m prone to trying to give the impression I’m more well than I am.  I tried to explain to him that I obviously want to keep getting PIP but that I just want the award to be correct as if I got more points than I feel I deserve I would then be overwhelmed with worry about that! which was the reason I notified DWP that my physical health & mobility had improved & that I shouldn’t be getting any points for moving around back in 2018.  The paper reassessment that followed removed a lot of points from my daily living most of which were in my opinion incorrect. I just want it to be right.  

    Because I don’t have copies of the forms I’ve to do a bullet list for each question to prepare which I’d tried to do yesterday off my own back but failed I got so overwhelmed and upset.  @poppy123456 was right and he doesn’t normally support during assessment but is doing and says the assessor knows and will add him to the call.  He says he normally deals with tribunals.  Thanks and I will let you know how things go.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I think a lot of people give the impression they are more well than they really are. It's called "putting on a brave face" They say that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors and how true that is too.

    The advice you were given about doing the vullet list isn't the advice i would have given because during the assessment i would personally find it very difficult to look at the list and answer the questions. You don't know exactly what questions they will ask you and it's almost impossible to predict what they will be.

    For PIP what alot of people forget is, it's how your conditions affect you over a 12 month period. You may have a couple of weeks where you're feeling "ok" but this doesn't mean you are and it certainly doesn't mean you should ring and report changes in your condition. You should always get further advice before reporting changes regardless of whether you think you're worse or even just a little better because it doens't mean you're not entitled to PIP or even entitled to more points for a higher award.

    When waiting for an assessment the worst thing anyone can do is read all the negative stories on any internet forum.
    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.
  • giddeongiddeon Member Posts: 15 Listener
    edited September 2020
    @poppy123456 I was receiving 10 points for being able to walk 20-50m and I’d lost 7 stone in weight after coming off anti-psychotics, was dealing with my FM much better & was regularly walking more than that.  I believe not notifying them would be dishonest and it was worrying me.  I wasn’t going to revert back to being 21 stone & unable to move any time soon unless force over medicated again.

    i appreciate you taking time to respond but is that just for your post numbers and Scope awards?  What advice are you offering? That I go into the assessment blind in panic & crisis?  Telling me not to read obsessively and worry sick is akin to telling me to to ‘get over’ my mental health problems which are the reason I’m on benefits in the first place. It’s like saying the last thing someone should be doing is Removed by moderator. You should just stop.. I didn’t choose this life & know my behaviour is often not the best for me but it is my illness that causes it.  Thanks anyway 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I find your comment very rude. I live with my daughter 24/7 and she has mental health problems and Autism. I never once advised you to "get over" your mental health problems, i was never once rude to you in any way, shape or form, i was purely trying to help and advise you.

    It's a fact that reading other peoples negative stories on any internet forum will only cause someone even more distress than they already have when going through any review.

    I'm not trying to increase my posts or awards here on scope. I'm here to help others, which i why i choose to spend my time here. I'm sorry you thought any different. I will not be responding to anymore of your comments but i wish you good luck with your assessment.
    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.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    edited September 2020
    Afternoon

    Just a friendly reminder to stay mindful and respectful of other people's thoughts and intentions. 

    These topics can be hard to talk about and can cause stress, I very much understand that. I'm sure everybody who posts offering their experience and advice does so with the best motivations.

    I hope this community can continue to support you @giddeon and that you find it a useful place.

    And @poppy123456 thank you for offering your input, as ever.

    Hope everyone has a lovely afternoon and evening.
    Online Community Coordinator

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