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Phone assessments - Mental health

stee27stee27 Member Posts: 3 Listener
Today would be the 3rd assessment via phone, however my anxiety makes it extremely difficult for me to answer the phone and find the right words every time.... I’d much prefer a face to face assessment, does anyone else have this problem? 


  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,240

    Scope community team

    Hi @stee27 and welcome to the community :) 

    That's completely understandable, any benefit assessment can be a nervous experience, especially in the run up to it. The current lockdown situation doesn't help things, with assessments being re-arranged frequently and telephone calls being the only option in most cases.

    When you say that today "would be" your 3rd assessment, do you mean it was due to be today but it isn't happening anymore? 

    I think there will be many people who much prefer the face to face assessment, while on the other hand some will prefer the phone call, everyone will be different. Have you considered asking a loved one to sit with you during the call to provide support?
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  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,448 Disability Gamechanger
    Personally I'd prefer a webchat assessment...  Doubt they'll ever bring those in though!

    Not sure what to suggest really, face to face won't come back until at least summer now.  Is there any chance of having a paper assessment at all?
  • stee27stee27 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you. 

    Yeah this would be the 3rd appointment booked and missed, I can’t bring myself to answering each time, the second time I was at work and was prepared to take time out with a colleague however the phone rang and then hung up, today I would have my mum sit with me however she also suffers with mental health and isn’t in the right state do to this today. 
    I totally understand phone assessments could be easier for some, my mum doesn’t understand how I would prefer a f2f assessment, or via text relay (although I’m only now trying to understand how it works) I just hope I can get the across to DWP somehow. 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,240

    Scope community team

    Have you broached the subject of a paper based assessment with them @stee27, it sounds like that would be right up your alley.
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  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 957 Pioneering
    hi there my nurse always calls me every other week . I don’t mind when she calls she used to come out and see me but she can’t do that because of covid . 
    I also have my therapy via zoom .
    my medication reviews I find very hard over the phone as my psychiatrist is hard to under stand plus the fact I’m always extra anxious I find also hard to understand so your not on your own there . 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,448 Disability Gamechanger
    Not to worry you even more but I think if you miss enough of the assessments that could cause problems for application.  I really would do whatever you can to make sure the next one doesn't get missed, whether that's asking for paper based or trying to find a 'backup' person that could help on the day if your Mum isn't up to it.
  • stee27stee27 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you for your advise, would a paper assessment be different to “how your disability affects you” form? 
    They have called with unknown number so I guess all I can do is try contact them on either their main number (I’d get someone to call on my behalf) or try the text relay service and see if there is another platform to have my assessment ?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    A paper based assessment can only be completed if there's enough of evidence to do this. Most people have telephone assessments now.

    I owuld advise you to ring DWP as well as the health assessment providers because as this is the 3rd assessment you've missed then your file could potentially now be returned to DWP and you'll be refused PIP. You need to explain to them that you find it extremely difficult to answer the phone. I'm not aware of any other way of doing the assessment other than by telephone.

    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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