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Advice needed on UC Medical Assessment via phone

LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
Hello everyone.
hope everyone is doing well.

I was recently awarded PIP Care & Mobility as some will already know from my other posts.
was having quite a rough time with the phone assessment as I suffer badly with anxiety so struggling all over again now as I have a Universal Credit Medical Assessment by phone on Friday.
I was diagnosed with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in 2018 which is why I was awarded PIP.

getting quite panicky about the UC Medical Assessment on Friday as I have no idea what sort of thing they want to know, I had a rough idea with PIP as I did a lot of googling which helped calm my nerves a little but the UC one is causing be quite a bit of distress as I have no idea what to expect.

I struggled quite badly before the PIP call as I read all the horror stories online about assessors lying or avoiding vital information on the reports and now I am freaking out that UC are the same.

would be very grateful if anyone could explain to me the kinda thing they will ask or if they are known for lying on reports etc 
just want to be clear I’m in no way asking for tips on what to say to them as I believe that if I am entitled to the UC payment then I’ll get it if not then it should go to someone else.
Just want to know what I should expect to be asked etc so I may prepare myself so I don’t panic as much.
And if they are as bad as some of the PIP assessors for missing info on reports.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    No one can tell you what questions they will ask because that will depend on how your conditions affect your ability to do any type of work because they is what they will assess you on. They will want to know what a typical day is like for you.

    The process is very much like the PIP assessment but the criteria is different.

    Just like PIP you will only ever read the bad stories because if someone's had a decision they're happy with they have no questions to ask so we don't hear their story.

    I've had quite 4 work capability assessments since 2012/13, 2 have been paper based and 2 face to face and never had any problems. All reports have been very truthful and have always been in the Support Group, which is LCWRA for UC.

    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Hi,

    No one can tell you what questions they will ask because that will depend on how your conditions affect your ability to do any type of work because they is what they will assess you on. They will want to know what a typical day is like for you.

    The process is very much like the PIP assessment but the criteria is different.

    Just like PIP you will only ever read the bad stories because if someone's had a decision they're happy with they have no questions to ask so we don't hear their story.

    I've had quite 4 work capability assessments since 2012/13, 2 have been paper based and 2 face to face and never had any problems. All reports have been very truthful and have always been in the Support Group, which is LCWRA for UC.

    Good luck.
    I took your advice from before and avoided reading anything about them online in case I found horror stories 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's good to hear because i'll gaurantee you'll only read the bad stories.

    Once the assessment has taken place wait a week and then ring DWP for a copy of the assessment report (just like PIP) once you receive this take note of the LCW and LCWRA recommendations at the back of the report. They usually go with it, it's rare to go against it.

    If you don't understand what it means then post back here and i'm sure someone will help you further. The work capability assessment reports aren't easy to understand.

    You will still need to wait for the decision of course and once it's made the decision letter will be uploaded onto your journal.
    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: 9,284 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there as Poppy has advised the process is the same as PIP but just different criteria. 

    Have a look through the form you filled in before the call so you are prepared and a good look through the areas they are assessing

    Good luck and keep us updated
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    That's good to hear because i'll gaurantee you'll only read the bad stories.

    Once the assessment has taken place wait a week and then ring DWP for a copy of the assessment report (just like PIP) once you receive this take note of the LCW and LCWRA recommendations at the back of the report. They usually go with it, it's rare to go against it.

    If you don't understand what it means then post back here and i'm sure someone will help you further. The work capability assessment reports aren't easy to understand.

    You will still need to wait for the decision of course and once it's made the decision letter will be uploaded onto your journal.
    Do you happen to know what the phone number is to request the report?
    Not holding much hope for this one as the assessor barely asked any of the questions on the form 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You need to wait at least a weekl before requesting the report, when you ring the number is here. https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/contact-universal-credit

    It's not unusual for them not to ask any of the questions that were in the form because you should have answered all those questions when filling out the form. The work capability assessment is about the work you can do and not the work you can't do and this is what they assess you on. They would have wanted to know what a typical day is like for 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.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,229

    Scope community team

    edited September 2020
    If you are claiming UC, you could either use your online account to contact them or give them a call, the number to contact them is 0800 328 5644.

    You can find more information about contacting Universal Credit here.

    Hope this helps you @Luchia.

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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    If you put a note on your journal then it may go unanswered, which happens alot so for this reason i'd advise you to ring them.
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    If you put a note on your journal then it may go unanswered, which happens alot so for this reason i'd advise you to ring them.
    Shall give them a ring next Friday and ask for the report.
    Not holding much hope for anything as she didn't really seem interested at all.
    Have to say the lady I spoke to from PIP was much nicer and really seemed to care.
    The UC lady barely asked anything about my daily life or how I did things.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Try not to speculate anything at this point, you maybe very surprised when you receive the report. As always with decisions, there's no timescale but once it's made the letter will be uploaded onto your journal.

    Good luck 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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    edited September 2020
    Try not to speculate anything at this point, you maybe very surprised when you receive the report. As always with decisions, there's no timescale but once it's made the letter will be uploaded onto your journal.

    Good luck and do let us know the outcome.
    Will do :)
    Was told it would take a few weeks for the decision to be made.
    Not sure if it was accurate or not but she said unlike PIP they don't put you down as unable to work until a Face to Face has been done and the phone assessment was only Stage 1 of this.
    Not sure if that's accurate as she also said that face to face was supposed to open back up in a few weeks but they have suspended it again with no timescale on when they will open.
    But the person I spoke to a week ago who made the appointment for phone assessment said the phone assessment replaces the Face to Face as they can't do them because of virus
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    PIp isn't about not being able to work though. PIP and the work capability assessment are 2 completely different benefits with totally different criteria and one doesn't affect the other.

    No idea what they meant by " the phone assessmenrt was stage one" telephone assessments have replaced face to face assessments until further notice. Once the decision's been made on this assessment you'll either be given LCWRA, LCW or be found fit for work. There's no face to face assessment now.

    Decision timescales? there isn't any. Backlogs are just part of the reason a decision can be delayed.


    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    That's the bit that confused me also as I thought Phone Assessments replaced Face 2 Face until things get back to normal 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    They have. The person that told you otherwise, clearly had no idea.
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    I thought it was very odd.
    I know PIP is completely different but I assumed with the virus that UC would be using same system as PIP and doing phone assessments instead of Face 2 Face 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Although it has been known that sometimes they can't get enough of information during the telephone assessment and they will request a face to face assessment but of course this will be at a later date when they start back up again. If this happens then a decision won't be made on your claim until you've had the face to face assessment. I've only heard of 2 people that this has happened to. Maybe that's what they meant, if it was then all you can do is wait to see what happens next.
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Might be just a line they have to read to everyone just incase that happens 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I have no idea and i actually forgot that this can happen because i've only read 2 cases of where this has happened. Telephone assessments have only been in process since lockdown.
    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: 3,229

    Scope community team

    That certainly is a strange comment for them to make given that phone assessments have replaced face to face ones since the pandemic began, but as you say @Luchiait may be a line they have to say just in case, I'm not sure.

    Best of luck, do let us know how you get on! 
    Online Community Coordinator

    Find out more about, and apply for, the Community Co-production Group.

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Just phoned to ask for a copy of my report and the lady on phone said they don’t give copies of the report, she wasn’t overly helpful so gonna try calling again and hope for someone else
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @Luchia. They definitely do but sometimes it is the luck of who you speak to. I know some people have been successful requesting them via the journal so that might be an option for you too?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree with Adrian here, they definitely do send them but on the other hand i've known them to completely refuse to send them for the work capability 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.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hello @Luchia. Have you had any luck requesting a copy of your assessment report?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Phoned a few times to ask for a copy of my report but keep getting told it isn’t showing on the system which is a little odd as I had my phone assessment on the 4th 
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Hello @Luchia. Have you had any luck requesting a copy of your assessment report?
    Phoned them a few times but they said my report isn’t showing on the system which I’m a bit worried about now as I have my assessment on the 4th
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    It could have been sent to audit, which is why it hasn't been returned. If it is then there's no timescales how long it will be in the audit but it won't be sent to DWP until the audit is complete. It's nothing for you to worry about, it just means the HCP is being check that they done their job correctly.

    I've had a couple of reports sent to audit 1 for PIP and 1 for the work capability assessment and the PIP was their for almost 6 weeks.

    You can ring the Health Assessment Advisory Service and ask then if the report has been returned and they will tell you if it has or not. If it's in audit they will tell you but they can't tell you how long it will stay there.
    See link for contact details. https://www.chdauk.co.uk/contact-us

    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.
  • Stan23Stan23 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    @Luchia I'm in the same boat, I had my telephone assessment and now there saying I have to have a face to face but haven't give me no timescale as when to? So fustrating and confusing!
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Phone them again today to see if they had any updates.
    All they can tell me is the report isn't showing on their system but they have asked for a case manager to call me back as a matter of urgency.
    So not a clue whats happening with it all :(
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2020
    The report has nothing at all to do with DWP until it's been returned to them and it's the health assessment advisory service you need to ring at this stage, as i advised yesterday, did you ring them? If you haven't then i'd advise you to do that, they are open Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm. Number is 0800 288 8777. Tell them when you had the assessment and simply ask has the report been returned to DWP yet and they will tell you either way.
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Just spoken with people on number you provided, they said they couldn't do the medical assessment on the phone and I would need a face to face but that would take 4-8 months due to current crisis.
    Just phoned UC and had my account closed as it isn't worth all the hassle 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Sometimes they can't always get all the information needed for the work capability assessment by just a telephone call so they have to do the face to face assessment.

    I'm sorry to hear you decided to just close your UC claim because of this. If you were receiving money then this will have continued, regardless of waiting for the work capability assessment decision. If you're evebtually awarded LCWRA then the extra money would have been backdated to the 4th month of your claim from when you sent your first fit note.

    Do you claim for any help with the rent through UC, if so then how will you manage to pay this?
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Sometimes they can't always get all the information needed for the work capability assessment by just a telephone call so they have to do the face to face assessment.

    I'm sorry to hear you decided to just close your UC claim because of this. If you were receiving money then this will have continued, regardless of waiting for the work capability assessment decision. If you're evebtually awarded LCWRA then the extra money would have been backdated to the 4th month of your claim from when you sent your first fit note.

    Do you claim for any help with the rent through UC, if so then how will you manage to pay this?
    My partner has a very good job so he pays for all the bills etc, it was a joint claim as he works but it just isn't worth the stress of waiting another 4-8 months.
    Wasn't currently getting anything from them as he is way over income limit but was told the medical payment wouldn't of been affected.
    Just too much stress to bother with it all now, I did get PIP so very happy with that.
    UC also told us we will need to spend a large chunk of our savings as we are way above the limit on savings allowance.

    Already feel less stressed now they have closed account 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    In that case then i understand why you closed it. Although if your savings exceed £16,000 then you wouldn't have been entitled to any payments, even if you were placed into one of the groups.

    I don't know your circumstances but if you worked and paid the correct amount of NI contributions in tax years April 2017 to April 2019 then you'll be able to claim New style ESA. It pays £74.35 per week (over 25's) you will need a fit note from your GP to be able to claim this. The work capability assessment process for this is the same as the one for UC.
    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.
  • LuchiaLuchia Member Posts: 45 Connected
    In that case then i understand why you closed it. Although if your savings exceed £16,000 then you wouldn't have been entitled to any payments, even if you were placed into one of the groups.

    I don't know your circumstances but if you worked and paid the correct amount of NI contributions in tax years April 2017 to April 2019 then you'll be able to claim New style ESA. It pays £74.35 per week (over 25's) you will need a fit note from your GP to be able to claim this. The work capability assessment process for this is the same as the one for UC.
    Stopped working in 2018 as my back was getting worse and my partner thought it would be best to give it up and be the "Homemaker" 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Then it's unlikely that you'll qualify for NS/ESA.


    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.
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