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PIP Assessment - assessor medical knowledge

Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
edited March 2021 in PIP, DLA, and AA
So my son has had his assessment back and was unsuccessful.  I will go for MA but have a query regarding the assessor medical knowledge.  My understanding is the person undertaking the report will not be medically qualified.  Yet the person who completed my son's report has stated that there is no proof that my son has panic attacks as he is not prescribed any related medication.  Now he is prescribed medication (fluoxetine/prozac) which he has been told by his GP and at least two psychiatrists is to help him with his anxiety.  The manufacturers accompanying leaflet also states this medication is for treatment of anxiety disorder.  On the basis the DWP does not seem to accept/want to know about medical opinion when it comes to PIP's,  do I have to accept that the assessor is correct and these highly trained medical professionals (plus manufacturers) know nothing? Or maybe the assessor 'googled' fluoxetine, saw it was for anxiety but does not know about the relationship between anxiety and panic attacks, and I need to point that out?


  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,772 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cody0709 evening and welcome to scope glad you found us. The thing with PIP is that it is not awarded on the basis of your illness/condition but for the care and/or mobility issues that arise from it, some assessors are medically qualified but not all, medical opinion is really not always relevant as a doctor won't know how you are affected on a daily basis only perhaps what your illness is.
    Now as regards the MR what you need to do is go through the report and look where your son didn't score points but you think he should have and try and give some real life examples of when he tried to do something but couldn't and why.
    Some MR's do succeed but it won't be a bad idea to look into the appeals process and seek if possible help with that.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • justlooking88
    justlooking88 Member Posts: 24 Connected
    Fluoxetine is primary given for depression. Anxiety specific medication is normally something like diazepam, clonazepam, temazepam, propranolol that sort of this. They may have worded it badly and actually meant ‘acute anxiety medication’
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
     Hi @Cody0709 - & welcome to this online community. The assessors will have some medical understanding as the majority are nurses, & also some physiotherapists & paramedics. As woodbine has said however, PIP is not based on a medical diagnosis, nor on the medication taken, it's rather how does a disability affect certain activities/descriptors of daily living such as dressing, bathing, cooking a simple meal, budgeting, etc. & /mobility problems. So in that regard the assessors don't need to have an understanding about your son's diagnosis, nor medication. Moving forward, hard tho it may be, try to put the assessor's report behind you; you are certainly not alone in finding 'inaccuracies' in the report, but highlighting these does not get an appropriate PIP award put into place, & should you end up appealing to a tribunal, a diagnosis & medication will rarely be disputed by the panel.
    Again, as above, you should concentrate on where points should have been scored for your son's MR, & give a couple of detailed examples of exactly why for each applicable descriptor. Just in case, this website may help a little more. It's about completing a PIP form, but looking at the descriptors in this link, & some reasons as to where points may be gained, I hope is helpful. Please see: https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/pip-mental-health-guide/help-with-your-pip-claim/how-to-fill-in-the-pip-form/

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    Advice on completing the PIP2 also available here https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/fill-in-form/
    If you didn't cover it when you originally completed the PIP2 this will help you to work out what extra information you may need to include with the MR.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    @justlooking88 thank you for your comment.  My son is prescribed propranolol but as he is severely underweight he has low blood pressure, and taking it risks passing out.
  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    @calcotti thank you for the link.  I looked at the citizens advice website and cannot believe I did not find this, as it looks helpful. 
  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited January 2021
    @woodbine thank you for your welcome and reply.  My son scored nil, so the only way is up! What I am struggling getting my head around is giving a real life example and not explaining why his condition causes it to happen. For example with regard to mixing with other people - my son was 'let go' from his first and only job because he took what a manager said to him literally. If I do not explain that as a difficulty (taking things literally) suffered by someone on the Autistic spectrum, then an assessor with no understanding of ASD is not going to believe such a thing could happen and discount the whole thing as a lie.  In fact the main thing I get from the rambling assessor's report, is that my son does not have learning difficulties so he should be able to do everything. 
  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited January 2021
    @chiarieds Thank you for your welcome and the link, which I will definitely look at. I hope that the assessor here was not a nurse, because I would pity her patients - her distain was palpable over the phone, had my son in tears and she let out a loud 'ewww' at one stage at him. However you are correct and I will take your advice and put the assessors comments behind me.  I had completed the same forms for my mother who is wheelchair bound after a stroke affected her legs and was successful first time.  Her  disability in terms of its affect on independence, finance, quality of life and health is nowhere near as bad as my son's. Naivety on my part.
  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
     mikehughescq Thank you for your comments which made me take a different approach to completing my son's MR.  Also to others on the thread who kindly gave me helpful links.  Have received DWP decision today and my son has gone from zero on both mobility and daily living to 10 and 11 points respectively. Very relieved.  
  • berry123
    berry123 Member Posts: 264 Pioneering
    @Cody0709 good news I'm planning to send my MR next week what information evidence needs to be attached any advise appreciated
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,400 Scope online community team
    @Cody0709 That's great news and testament to Mike's exceptional advice.  Thank you for coming back to inform us :) 
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  • Cody0709
    Cody0709 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited March 2021
    @berry123, My son disability is not physical, so this may not be of help to you.  But I went into detailed, layman terms of what happens when my son tries to do the daily living tasks or we try and get him to do the tasks. Also I gave specific examples.  I included letters from various medical professionals detailing his mental health problems, which I did not in my first application as they did not describe his day to day difficulties.  In the MR, they accepted that whilst he had the physical and cognitive ability to do the tasks, his mental illness meant he could not do them without support.  Wishing you the very best of luck Berry with your MR.


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