I'd like to write a mandatory reconsideration letter for my PIP assessment. What should I include? — Scope | Disability forum
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I'd like to write a mandatory reconsideration letter for my PIP assessment. What should I include?

subs
subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
edited August 2020 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hello

I recently had a telephone assessment for PIP and found that the person on the other side was contradicting almost everything I said.  For example.  When I stated that I could walk a few meters but with pain and very slowly, she just said I could walk fine and even mentioned so on the assessment report I received so I ended getting zero points for everything.  I wanted to complain but from reading stories online, it seems to be normal for them to do that so nobody is obviously telling them off for lying.  I want to have a mandatory reconsideration but dont know how to compile a letter that would help change their minds or even help if it goes to a hearing because they have created a picture of me being fine and not struggling at all from looking at the report.  Any suggestions?
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Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,262

    Scope community team

    edited August 2020
    Hi @subs! Welcome to the community :) 

    Just to let you know, I've moved your post into the PIP, DLA, and AA category so that more of our members will be able to find and answer your post. I think this is something that quite a few of our members have experience with, so I'm sure they'll be able to help you out. 

    You can also read more about challenging a PIP assessment on the Citizens Advice website, and the Scope website, which might give you some more insight into what to expect. 

    Please give us a shout if you want any help navigating the community, or need any other advice and support. 

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  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,711

    Scope community team

    Hello @subs and welcome to the community, glad to have you aboard :) 

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  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hello and thank you.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,506 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    Although you told them how far you can walk, the question may have also been asked further into the assessment in a different way which brought them to the conclusion on your ability to walk. Not all assessment reports are bad, lots of people have honest and truth reports, which are then awarded successfully, we just rarely hear those stories.

    For the MR you should avoid mentioning any "lies" that may have been told in the report because they won't be interested in any of those. They will only want to know where and why you think you should have scored those points. Also adding some real life examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies you, stating where you were, who was with you and what exactly happened.

    Hope this helps
    Good luck.
  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    The assessor even asked me if I was telling the truth about my ability to walk within the distance she asked about, basically saying I was lying.  I know there is no use contacting anyone about the assessor but when she writes things like this in my report, it really makes me angry and want to complain about her: I need prompting and encouragement to wash and change my clothes but because I have children and care for them, I have adequate motivation...  She just contradicted almost everything I said.  If I said I could stand but with pain, she finished the sentence off herself verbally and was typing in that I could do so fine and ignored what I had said.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,506 Disability Gamechanger
    The minute you said "you can stand" was all they needed. If you have pain when standing and walking then the answer should have been no, not without pain.

    There's never enough of time to go into a lot of details during any assessment. The time to do this was when you filled out the form, without stating your whole life story, of course. Less is often more and keeping it straight to the point with those real life examples is always better.

    You can complain about the HCP to the health assessment providers. Details how to do this is on their website but i would concentrate on the MR first. Once that is done then you can complain.
  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Its not just a matter of them awarding me PIP, its about the assessor lying and contradicting things when on the phone and in the report.  How can they get away with doing things like that yet wanting people to have faith in the system? After reading stories about applying for certain benefits, I'm not surprised some people do exaggerate their condition in order to counter act the lies the assessors/DWP make up.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,506 Disability Gamechanger
    Lots of people successfully claim PIP first time without any problems at all. Obviously when reading stories on an internet forum you'll mostly only read the bad ones because if someone's had a decision they're happy with they don't have any questions to ask so we don't hear their story.

    Exaggerating your conditions really isn't advised because this is fraud. Always tell the truth and state exactly how your conditions affect you.


  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    The minute you said "you can stand" was all they needed. If you have pain when standing and walking then the answer should have been no, not without pain.

    There's never enough of time to go into a lot of details during any assessment. The time to do this was when you filled out the form, without stating your whole life story, of course. Less is often more and keeping it straight to the point with those real life examples is always better.

    You can complain about the HCP to the health assessment providers. Details how to do this is on their website but i would concentrate on the MR first. Once that is done then you can complain.
    Thank you.

    After going through the form filling, assessment and future MR, I've realised that to be successful in claiming PIP and selecting the correct descriptor, you need to be an expert otherwise like most people we just assume they are asking a very basic question and answer it so not realising that we could have stated 'no' like you mentioned but I did tell her that I can stand BUT with pain but she just ignored that part and many other similar things too.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,506 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.

    You don't need to be an expert but it does help to have some understanding of the PIP descriptors and what they mean. MR success rate has increase from 17% to 54% now which is huge. By writing those examples for each descriptor that applies to you then you could be one of those 54%. If not it's Tribunal.

    Good luck.


  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    The minute you said "you can stand" was all they needed. If you have pain when standing and walking then the answer should have been no, not without pain.

    There's never enough of time to go into a lot of details during any assessment. The time to do this was when you filled out the form, without stating your whole life story, of course. Less is often more and keeping it straight to the point with those real life examples is always better.

    You can complain about the HCP to the health assessment providers. Details how to do this is on their website but i would concentrate on the MR first. Once that is done then you can complain.
    Just for future reference, if I was to say 'No' to being able to stand due to pain/fatigue and was later asked if I manage to use and get to the toilet or use the microwave, wouldn't I have to answer 'Yes' to standing up and walking to get to do those things? Could you give me examples on how best to avoid contradicting myself but being successful in the applications as the whole process just seems to complicated and flawed if you answer simple yes/no and dont get a chance to explain yourself or they want to listen to anything you have to say regarding pain etc.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,506 Disability Gamechanger
    You shouldn't answer with just a yes or no because for this they can "assume" anything. If you can't do something safely, repeatedly, in a reasonable time period then your classed as not being able to do that activity at all. You should put no and tell them why you can't do that activity, followed by a couple of real life examples.


  • Comicmadtitan
    Comicmadtitan Member Posts: 67 Courageous
    I've just finished my MR and sent it in the other day and I did what Poppy and others have said. I said what descriptor best suited my situation and explained and give examples as to why. I also gave some medical evidence with this and referred to that when writing about the examples just for that little bit more support. As much as I sympathise with you about the health assessor as I was in a similar situation, I wouldn't attack or state why they're lying. Be formal and nice about it and focus on getting the reward you deserve. Wish you the best of luck! 
  • Comicmadtitan
    Comicmadtitan Member Posts: 67 Courageous
    Oh I forgot to add, I also included a letter from my mum who cares for me and she supported and stated why the descriptors I wrote are appropriate from her care perspective. 
  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thank you everyone.
  • dawny63
    dawny63 Member Posts: 43 Connected
    Hi subs. My husband  got 0 points after  telephone  assesment.  He asked  for mandatory  reconsideration.  He found out today  hes got standard  care.  No mobility. He filled out exactly  how it affected him in more detail. Also gp wrote a letter which helped.  Always  worth trying. 
  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    dawny63 said:
    Hi subs. My husband  got 0 points after  telephone  assesment.  He asked  for mandatory  reconsideration.  He found out today  hes got standard  care.  No mobility. He filled out exactly  how it affected him in more detail. Also gp wrote a letter which helped.  Always  worth trying. 
    Thank you.

    I asked my GP for a supporting letter but she said I would just be wasting my money as the details the hospital consultant wrote about my condition should be sufficient so I included this with my PIP form but I now realise most things dont matter when and if you get an arrogant assessor who has no interest in listening to what you have to say and just wants to get the conversation done with and will happily make things up themselves.
  • dawny63
    dawny63 Member Posts: 43 Connected
    He basically  went through all the descriptors  again. Said how he was affected.  Put real life experience  what happens  if does whatever.  If wasn't safe reasonable  time  ect. Think as was the first claim didnt put enough  in form. Its really  worth  doing.  
  • subs
    subs Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thats exactly what I did in my PIP form but everything was overlooked so they might ignore all the effort I put into completing the MR letter too.  This whole process has put me off taking this further really.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @subs - welcome, & I see you have had some excellent advice above. I'd just like to add, that like yourself, I'm in pain the moment I stand, & pain is perhaps something difficult to get across, but needs to be mentioned.
    We all have to use the bathroom, but walking to it is not taken into consideration, rather any difficulty you have once there.
    May I suggest, if you haven't already looked at these 'descriptors,' the following link may help, & please read the notes at the end. Please see: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/asset-library/Scores-for-PIP-Descriptors-2020.pdf
    On the whole a GP will not know about any difficulties you have with the activities of daily living, & whilst a consultant will likely know more about your condition, neither will they likely know any difficulties you face dressing, preparing a simple meal, bathing, etc.
    As mentioned, you need to give the details for any applicable descriptor, as to why you had difficulty doing/attempting this, what happened, did you need support/help, how did it make you feel afterwards, could you repeat the activity as often as you'd like, did it take you a long time to do? etc. This is the detail needed, even more than any medical info.
    Many members have felt angry when they see their assessment report or decision letter with 'inaccuracies,' & parts of a decision letter are unfortunately some 'cut & paste' comments, which may bear no apparent resemblance to your problems. The way forward is to try & put that behind you; your assessment is done, so concentrate on how to do a Mandatory Reconsideration effectively with the advice already given. :)



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