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Pip telephone assessment

afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
My wife had her assessment today and I did it for her with her permission. It all seemed to go ok except for one thing that has got me thinking. He asked about her medication at the start and then at the end of the assessment he said oh, can I just ask something about medication again....he said the thing that confuses him is my wife's side effects seems a lot for the dosage she is on. Shes on venaflaxine 3x 37.5mg a day and he seemed to think this was low?! I feel this was very random and a bit of a trick question maybe? Has anyone got any thoughts? Or been asked something similar? 

Replies

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

    There are no trick questions asked during any assessment, although i know sometimes it feels this way. The reason they are asking those questions is to get a full picture of how a persons conditions affect them against the PIP descriptors.

    At this point it would be difficult to speculate anything. If you live in the UK, wait a week and you can ring DWP to request a copy of the assessment report to be sent to you. From this, you'll be able to add up any possible recommended points in the report by using the PIP descriptors online. You will still have to wait for the decision but they usually go with the report.

    Good luck.
    Community champion and 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: 9,132 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome glad the assessment was ok I wouldn't read anything into the question just doing their job to get all required info 

    Follow advice above and let us know how your wife gets on 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,359 Disability Gamechanger
    I found Side affects from venlafaxine to be quite severe and I had a smaller dose than 37.5. Psychiatrists are best placed to know whether a dosage is low or not, anyone else would just be guessing. Doses vary according to many factors including age.
  • afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
    My wife suffers generalised anxiety disorder, depression, panic attacks for which she has had hospital treatment for in recent years. Her mum and siblings all suffer the same illness, her mum was in a psychiatric hospital for 2 years just before she gave birth. The doctor has said it's an inherited illness. The doctor prescribed her the venaflaxine, it confuses me how he can question the dosage a doctor has prescribed?! I know they have a job to do but I personally didn't think they could tell you if your on the correct dosage or not! 
  • mykiddies3mykiddies3 Member Posts: 43 Connected
    I don’t understand that either? And tbh it doesn’t matter what dose you are on As it affects everyone differently? You could be on a very low dose and have harsh side effects! But someone else could be on a high dose and have no side effects? 
  • afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Exactly! This is what I thought! Its irrelevant to the descriptor questions also, there is no question regarding medication with a point scoring answer? I'm thinking it could have been a tactic to unnerve me and put me in a state of confusion regarding the outcome? As the rest of the assessment seemed to go ok.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The starting dose for this is 75mg a day. I wouldn't worry too much at this stage because it's impossible to speculate anything. The HCP was just trying to get as much information as possible about how you're affected. All the questions asked are part of the assessment process, even though some people think otherwise.
    Community champion and 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.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,729 Disability Gamechanger
    The application asks for a full list of medications and also any side effects, which themselves can give rise to care/mobility issues, my meds and I take 19 of them affect my sight most days as an example.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Yes I totally understand that they ask for a list of meds and side effects! But the fact that my doctor prescribed me my current medication and I have this person who doesn't know me properly like my doctor does, saying that my side effects shouldn't be as bad as my dosage isnt high enough?! Yes there are people on lower dosages with worse side effects. 
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,953 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @afells - i would also hope to reassure you. As has been mentioned, we're all affected differently by medication. I was on a very high dosage of opiates (via Fentanyl patches), which didn't help my pain, yet can't tolerate a very low (starting) dosage of antidepressants that can also help with pain, as they lower my already low blood pressure. The last time I tried them I was really ill for several days until I realised it was the meds.
    The assessors are not medical professionals, & everything will be looked at with any PIP claim.... a diagnosis will not be in dispute, nor prescribed medication, it's about how your disability affects you in activities of daily living, &/mobility.
    It's good that you feel, other than that, that the assessment went well. Please kindly let us know how you get on, thank you. :)

  • afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi, thanks for your reassurance! My wife was originally on citalopram for 6 years before being taken off due to a bad side effect of high prolactin levels! Which in itself caused her many unwanted side effects. This was down to the citalopram, that was the doctors conclusion. So maybe the doctor has given a lower dose of venaflaxine due to her reacting so bad in the past to the citalopram? Who knows! We just have to hope for a positive outcome! 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,729 Disability Gamechanger
    I must have been lucky with my last assessor as she knew everything there was to know about epilepsy and how it affects people, most assessors do have some knowledge.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • mykiddies3mykiddies3 Member Posts: 43 Connected
    I have always been on fluoxetine and have for years! I have health anxiety 😫 Anyway one day my doctor said to try sertraline as they are one of the best for anxiety apparently? Well omg the side effects were awful! I couldn’t eat! I felt like I was constantly seasick along with horrendous headaches and brain zaps? I’d never heard of them before! And my arms would suddenly jerk?? I tried sticking them out for around 2 months but they made me so much worse! But I know people who have taken them with no problems 🤷‍♀️ I have been given venlaflaxin to try now but I’m scared to try them 😫 having health anxiety doesn’t help?😞
  • afellsafells Member Posts: 22 Connected
    As people are mentioning here, everyone is different! My wife just has general side effects like headache, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness.  But they may agree with you, try them and see how you get on! Good luck with them 😊
  • kes2611kes2611 Member Posts: 118 Connected
    I think phone assesments shd b done via zoom as i think it bit unfair as they cant see u n how ur disabilitys mite affect u. I am waiting for an assesment for renewal for pip.It been extended till august but waiting on assesment.
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