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pip interview - uncomfortable questions

countrycreature
countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
recently had my t/c interview for pip the assessor asked some questions that I didnt find relevant, can anyone clarify why they would require to know this? Also have you been asked similar questions.
- do you own a smartphone
- do you use social media 

there was nothing in my application about being illiterate which is the only reason i can think of why they would want to know this (ie can i read the content)
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    You'll be very surprised at some of the questions they ask people but i can assure you they wouldn't have asked the questions unless they were relevant to your assessment. The answer to those questions can tell them a lot of things.

    It can often feel very uncomfortable talking about our conditions and the way we're affected by them. The mojority of people just "deal" with their conditions in the way they've got used to, i know i do anyway. If i wrote down how i'm affected then i'd be amazed at exactly how my disability affects me but i do things because i have no choice.

    All you can do is request a copy of the assessment report about a week after the assessment, if you live in the UK. Once you receive the report you'll have some idea what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report. Check the recommended points against the PIP descriptors online.

    Hopefully you won't be waiting too long for a decision but there's no timescales.
  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hi I've recently received pip decision after t/c interview  (first time applying) & scored zero points. Progressing to MR seeking advice.
    There are a number of points in the decision letter (here on in rereferred to as DL)  that are inaccurate or misleading / don't include all of the information I shared with the assessor.

    DL says I am able to walk my dog thus have no mobility needs, however what I said was that I have a dog walker to take the dog long walks as I am only able to take the dog a 5 minute walk to the park across the road due to my arthritis making it painful to walk any longer than that.
      
    I have been marked down for driving a manual car can anyone shed light on this as I wouldn't have thought that everyone in receipt of pip drives an automatic car. 

    DL states that I did not make audible signs of pain during the phone consultation - I take medication to manage my pain & also wouldn't it have been rude for me to scream in pain during the call? 

    DL states I have no input from specialist teams re my osteo-arthritis but I discusses with with the GP who said a referral would be pointless as there is nothing that can be done for the condition. 

    DL states I did not need support during the phone call (managed alone) but assessor did not ask whether I had anyone there supporting me or not. 

    Sometimes the pain is so bad/unmanageable I suffer from blackouts/fainting attacks whilst I acknowledge that this tends to have a "warning" DL states I am able to get myself to a safe space in that warning time however this is not always the case as sometimes I am out in public. 

    Awarded zero for bathing & dressing sections due to having "adequate limb function" as I can grip a sponge in the bath/shower however I advised assessor I needed help from my partner getting in & out of the bath & putting my clothes on. 

    any advise is appreciated. I feel very deflated as am in constant pain & it feels like they don't believe me. 

  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    HI and welcome,

    You'll be very surprised at some of the questions they ask people but i can assure you they wouldn't have asked the questions unless they were relevant to your assessment. The answer to those questions can tell them a lot of things.

    It can often feel very uncomfortable talking about our conditions and the way we're affected by them. The mojority of people just "deal" with their conditions in the way they've got used to, i know i do anyway. If i wrote down how i'm affected then i'd be amazed at exactly how my disability affects me but i do things because i have no choice.

    All you can do is request a copy of the assessment report about a week after the assessment, if you live in the UK. Once you receive the report you'll have some idea what the decision is likely to be because they mostly go with the report. Check the recommended points against the PIP descriptors online.

    Hopefully you won't be waiting too long for a decision but there's no timescales.
    Hi are you able to suggest what they would have been looking for from these questions, as i am still confused. Whilst I expected to be asked uncomfortable questions I struggle to see why it is relevant whether or not I have or use either of the above. Many people i know in receipt of pip have smartphones & use social media. 
    I have recieved outcome with decision letter & was awarded zero points for all categories. 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    When requesting the MR and Tribunal you should avoid mentioning any lies/contradictions that may have been told in the report because this is not going to get you a PIP award. If it gets to Tribunal, concentrating on the report can harm your case. They won't be interested in any of the "lies or contradictions"

    What you should do is state clearly 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. Stating who was with you, where you were and exactly what happened.

    The car question is useful for them to know how you manage things like "getting in and out of the bath" Your grip and memory. You say you have blackouts and fainting attacks, yet you drive? That's quite scary.

    You mention you can walk for about 5 minutes but this can be quite a distance, depending on how fast you walk. Some people can walk quite fast and would be able to walk quite far in this short time.

    How far is the park that's near to you? if you walked this distance to the park, would you be able to walk the same distance back home and would you be able to do that again later that day? All the questions they ask are relevant in ways you wouldn't even realise.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.




  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    I've just answered another question of yours here https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/74976/pip-appeal-help#latest I didn't link the 2 together. It would be helpful if you could keep to the same thread, rather than start new ones because it gets very confusing when trying to answer different questions between various threads from the same person.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    The smartphone/social media question suggests that you have a degree of manual dexterity. It also tells them something about your sight. Added to that it may be aimed at your ability to not just read but understand and linked into that might be budgeting. 

    Having a smartphone also suggests a degree of mobility and if you do have the manual dexterity it suggests then that could be linked to the ability to do buttons, laces and zips when it comes to dressing and undressing. 

    As your other thread refers to arthritis and pain I think it’s possible to see exactly why it’s such a good question. 

    Reading across your two threads your reaction to zero points has been to pick holes in the HCP and the HCP report. This will not help you get PIP. If they are able to ask a question like the above and draw the inferences you mention in your other thread then that’s explicitly because you have large gaps in your evidence and a number of things you assumed they would know but they did not. To have any chance of improving your points score you need to put the HCP report to one side and focus on the weaknesses in your own evidence rather than the weaknesses in theirs. You have to prove that you are entitled to PIP rather than prove that they were wrong to say you were not. They are very different things. 
  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    HI,

    When requesting the MR and Tribunal you should avoid mentioning any lies/contradictions that may have been told in the report because this is not going to get you a PIP award. If it gets to Tribunal, concentrating on the report can harm your case. They won't be interested in any of the "lies or contradictions"

    What you should do is state clearly 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. Stating who was with you, where you were and exactly what happened.

    The car question is useful for them to know how you manage things like "getting in and out of the bath" Your grip and memory. You say you have blackouts and fainting attacks, yet you drive? That's quite scary.

    You mention you can walk for about 5 minutes but this can be quite a distance, depending on how fast you walk. Some people can walk quite fast and would be able to walk quite far in this short time.

    How far is the park that's near to you? if you walked this distance to the park, would you be able to walk the same distance back home and would you be able to do that again later that day? All the questions they ask are relevant in ways you wouldn't even realise.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.




    thank you for the helpful reply. 
    yes the DL was all i had to go on so wasnt sure if i was meant to reference it in my appeal but I will do as you advised. 

    yes I have had blackout as stated I get a bit of a warning thus if driving I would obviously pull over however DL states I can get to a safe place (not specifically in relation to driving) but i don't feel that is always the case. For example if i was driving i would pull over, but what about when I am out in public & a "safe place" isn't always accessible during the time period?

    re walking I would not say I walk at a fast pace.  5 mins is the maximum i can walk without stopping to rest due to the pain. The park is across the road, so the width of an average road, about 2-3 meters i think. 


  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    The smartphone/social media question suggests that you have a degree of manual dexterity. It also tells them something about your sight. Added to that it may be aimed at your ability to not just read but understand and linked into that might be budgeting. 

    Having a smartphone also suggests a degree of mobility and if you do have the manual dexterity it suggests then that could be linked to the ability to do buttons, laces and zips when it comes to dressing and undressing. 

    As your other thread refers to arthritis and pain I think it’s possible to see exactly why it’s such a good question. 

    Reading across your two threads your reaction to zero points has been to pick holes in the HCP and the HCP report. This will not help you get PIP. If they are able to ask a question like the above and draw the inferences you mention in your other thread then that’s explicitly because you have large gaps in your evidence and a number of things you assumed they would know but they did not. To have any chance of improving your points score you need to put the HCP report to one side and focus on the weaknesses in your own evidence rather than the weaknesses in theirs. You have to prove that you are entitled to PIP rather than prove that they were wrong to say you were not. They are very different things. 
    I reported no issues with my sight thought. 

    thank you for clarifying manual dexterity.

    its not about picking holes, I simply came on this forum to request advice re progressing to MR, all i had to go on was their DL which as stated I feel has ommited some point which I did discuss with the assessor. I appreciate the pointers re how to progress things however do not appreciate the finger being pointed. Its a kick in the teeth when no one seems to believe the constant pain you are in. Simple tasks others take for granted are difficult for me & it's embarrassing to admit I cannot do many of these things alone eg getting dressed & bathe yet seems like I'm being told because you can type or lift a phone you are thus able to dress/bathe yourself etc. These tasks are different & whilst there may be similarities in some of the functions required there is still a difference. 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    In all honesty, no one is pointing any fingers at you, at least i can't see that. You have simply been given advice and nothing more. Yes, i agree seeing things written that may not have been said is upsetting but you have to let that go because pointing those out will not get you a PIP award.

    We have lots of members here that have conditions that cause them pain, myself included, so yes, i do know what it feels like. I know what it feels like to want to be able to do things, but can't. That barrier is there right in front of me but if i cross that just one inch then i pay the price massively, so i try my hardest not to cross it.

    We are here to give advice, not to point fingers. You came here asking for advice, which you've been given. Many people here, including myself claim a disability benefit and having been through it all myself many times, including claiming for my daughter and being her appointee, her benefit claim is my responsibility, so double whammy for me.

    You don't have to take the advice of course but it would help you hugely if you did take it. Experience and understanding the PIP descriptors myself does help.

    I wish you good luck with your claim.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    Answering different things on the same thread for the same person is for me extremely confusing so i'm asking admin to join this thread with your other one. In the meantime, i've answered on your other thread.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,270 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @countrycreature - I'm commentating on your threads somewhat late in the day, as I feel you've had excellent advice, however, I feel perhaps you lack an understanding about the descriptors/activities that are looked at with PIP, & I hope this might help with your MR. Please see: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/asset-library/Scores-for-PIP-Descriptors-2020.pdf  reading right through to the notes at the end.
    I appreciate that you feel all you have to go on is your Decision letter, which as many have found (myself included) contain 'inaccuracies'.....unfortunately there are also often 'cut & paste' responses which also bear little resemblance as to how you are.
    Right, honestly with your MR you need to put the assessor's report on which your Decision letter has been based to one side; that is in the past, & altho Mike gave examples as to what inferences might be made, they were examples, nothing more. Only you know how your disability affects you, which is a very personal response. This individual response is what's needed with your MR.....exactly how your disability affects you. If you look at the descriptors in the link above, what you need to do is give a couple of detailed examples as to the difficulties you face..... when was it difficult, what exactly happened, how was it difficult, did anyone see the difficulties you had, & how did it leave you feeling after attempting/doing any applicable descriptor? Could you do the activity 'reliably,' i.e. safely, to an acceptable standard, could you repeat said activity as often as would be reasonably expected, & did it take you longer than someone without your disability?
    As advised, about a week after your assessment, you can ring the DWP & ask for a copy of the assessor's report, which may be helpful. Then build your case with your MR as to where you feel points should have been awarded, & why, giving those very important detailed examples.
    Please be assured everyone here tries to help; only you can decide whether to take that advice onboard, but I strongly urge you to do so, as the members who have replied to you have a wealth of knowledge.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    I was making a general point about the question not specifically about sight. The point was that one question covers multiple activities and that’s the sole reason it is asked. It’s a great, intelligent question. 

    I must profess some bewilderment as to why you think fingers are being pointed. @poppy123456 and I have hopefully explained why the question was asked and why you need to forget about it and concentrate on other aspects of your claim. 
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,234 Pioneering
    Great advice given above . I can’t give any factual helpful advice like above , I was asked if I use a phone or the internet I explained my partner messages me to remind me of my medication and I do check my emails ect I was given 0 points for communication even tho I struggle with communication but because I’m able to use the internet and check textes I was given 0 points for that . 

    I did recieve my pip I scored enough points to recieve pip so I have not gone threw a MR but im just letting you know that I was asked a similar question so it’s not just your self . I was also asked bout my dog also . But my illnesses are mental illnesses I’m not in physical pain . 

    It’s a real shame you didn’t get pip I know it’s a massive panic . But there people on here who can help you with your MR and there are people who have had there pip decisions over turned on here  which is great .

    when I sent my form off I did include a lot of paper work with how my condition affects me if you have any thing like that never too late to send that to them also . Good luck with it all . 
  • justlooking88
    justlooking88 Member Posts: 24 Connected
    The fact you drive a car means that it’s highly unlikely you will score for blackouts or loss of consciousness. You said you have enough time to pull over I believe? That’s enough time to make yourself safe. Or if it’s that bad and the risk is high then you should consider not driving anymore. 
  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    thank you again for the responses. I am working on my MR currently.  To double check, should I say anything along the lines of "it was shared with the assessor that .... " or should i refrain from saying that what I said to the assessor or mentioning the word assessor. I'm confused. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,627 Disability Gamechanger
    You need to totally forget the report altogether, the assessment has gone, it's in the past. Look forward and think ahead because the report is not going to get you any award. A couple of recent real world examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you, is all that's needed. Please read back through the comments because the advice you need is all here in the thread.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,270 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2020
    Hi @countrycreature - the thing with your assessment is that it would be your word against the assessor's, & however incorrectly they have written your assessment report, it would be hard to prove. As has been advised above, please do describe your problems giving a couple of detailed examples of any functional problems you have. This, rather than saying an assessor was inaccurate, & concentrating on your assessment, is what may help you get awarded PIP. If there are one or 2 examples of something provably wrong in your assessment, by all means mention these, otherwise please do mention the activities you struggle with, & exactly why, what happens, etc.
    I was awarded the standard rate for PIP for both components, but proceeded to a MR because I'm in pain the moment I'm upright, which impacts greatly on my mobility. In my decision letter it said that I could walk further than I'd said (altho it noted that it could be seen I was in pain) because I didn't see 'a pain management nor physiotherapy specialist.' Now the assessor had reported that I'd said that my medication 'dampened the pain down a bit,' yet the Decision Maker said that I'd said my medication was 'effective.' So I commented about this, & also asked them to look at my GP's letter where he said pain management was largely ineffective in those with my genetic disorder. I also drew their attention to the fact that I am a physiotherapist (& sent off documentation proving this). Now these were perhaps provable examples of 'inaccuracies.' I hope this illustrates what I mean.
    You mention that your decision letter states you have no input from specialists about your osteoarthrosis (OA), & say your GP says,' a referral would be pointless as there is nothing that can be done for the condition.' Now that is a broad generalisation, as many people with OA can indeed be helped. I know not all, as I suffer from generalised OA myself due to my genetic condition. So that doesn't help you, unless you could say exactly why in your specific case this might be true. Many people have OA, but will be affected differently. Again, I hope this shows that your own detailed evidence is needed with your MR. I hope this may help.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    If the focus of your MR is the HCP report then pleasers-read the comments above as what we are saying is the exact opposite.
  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    If the focus of your MR is the HCP report then pleasers-read the comments above as what we are saying is the exact opposite.
    no it's not the focus however as i was asking above am i allowed to reference it to highlight blantant inaccuracies eg. I shared I have a dog walker as cannot give the dog a suitable walk on my own but the report does not mention this & states I am able to walk my dog. 
    that's what I was getting at. 
  • countrycreature
    countrycreature Member Posts: 12 Connected
    chiarieds said:
    Hi @countrycreature - the thing with your assessment is that it would be your word against the assessor's, & however incorrectly they have written your assessment report, it would be hard to prove. As has been advised above, please do describe your problems giving a couple of detailed examples of any functional problems you have. This, rather than saying an assessor was inaccurate, & concentrating on your assessment, is what may help you get awarded PIP. If there are one or 2 examples of something provably wrong in your assessment, by all means mention these, otherwise please do mention the activities you struggle with, & exactly why, what happens, etc.
    I was awarded the standard rate for PIP for both components, but proceeded to a MR because I'm in pain the moment I'm upright, which impacts greatly on my mobility. In my decision letter it said that I could walk further than I'd said (altho it noted that it could be seen I was in pain) because I didn't see 'a pain management nor physiotherapy specialist.' Now the assessor had reported that I'd said that my medication 'dampened the pain down a bit,' yet the Decision Maker said that I'd said my medication was 'effective.' So I commented about this, & also asked them to look at my GP's letter where he said pain management was largely ineffective in those with my genetic disorder. I also drew their attention to the fact that I am a physiotherapist (& sent off documentation proving this). Now these were perhaps provable examples of 'inaccuracies.' I hope this illustrates what I mean.
    You mention that your decision letter states you have no input from specialists about your osteoarthrosis (OA), & say your GP says,' a referral would be pointless as there is nothing that can be done for the condition.' Now that is a broad generalisation, as many people with OA can indeed be helped. I know not all, as I suffer from generalised OA myself due to my genetic condition. So that doesn't help you, unless you could say exactly why in your specific case this might be true. Many people have OA, but will be affected differently. Again, I hope this shows that your own detailed evidence is needed with your MR. I hope this may help.

    thank you @[email protected] that was really helpful. 
    re the specialist input, i would welcome it as would welcome anything to help but what can I do if my GP is refusing to refer me telling me it wont help, should I ask them for further info why?

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