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Assessors report /decision maker

kaymcmanus210180kaymcmanus210180 Member Posts: 6 Listener
Sorry In advance for the long post

 Hi all I applied for PIP in December 2020 finally had my pip assessment on the 7th July. I received a copy of my report on the 16th and am slightly confused by what the assessor has written in her justification notes to the points that have been given. It looks like I will be awarded enhanced on mobility as was given 12 points just for the moving around descriptor. Looks like I have only been given 6 points for daily living descriptors although her justification notes completely contradict the points given. I have severe issues with both my legs have evidence from gp and consultant that due to the pain a both my legs and feet are classed as high risk I am not to weight bare at all. I have been given adapted under arm crutches as I also have damaged and weakened wrists and onset of rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and fingers. She notes all of these in the descriptors for preparing and cooking food, washing and bathing, toilet needs & therapy. During my assessment when speaking about the food part I told her that I am unable to stand due to pain and discomfort and on advice by gp and consultant not to do so as to not cause more serious problems than I already have. I have reduced clasp grip on both hands with my right hand being worse so cannot hold a knife and cannot hold pots pans and whatever else is needed also I cannot stands with my crutches and use my hands to hold things due to safety issues with sharp knives and hot foods and liquids. I also have 2 prolapsed discs in my back which I am in pain all the time with. Extended my arms out or above or bending causes my back to go into severe spasms which increase the already bad pain. She suggested could I not “hop on one leg” which I explained I have issues with both my legs she then said could I not sit on a stool. I said yea I can sit on a stool but cannot do the functions involved to make the meal. Her notes on the moving around part say I cannot stand unaided or walk without these aids and weakened wrists and everything that I have wrong yet basically awarded 2 point saying I can use an aid ie the stool to do this descriptor. 

Same thing with washing and bathing said I can step into a bath unaided sit in my bath seat and wash my hair and do not need any assistance just the bath seat. I told her on the assessment my husband who is a professional carer will help me into the bath as the mobility issues make it unsafe when I have to wear foot protectors to cover my bandages. It slippery. I can’t bend to wash the bottom half too much excessive movement heightens the pain and limited arm restrictions means I can’t hold a shower head with my grip problems and back spasms. She asked can I was my face with a flannel I said I could if the flannel was prepared for me and rinsed off for me. Yet again 2 points saying it’s because I have a bath stool. 

I have lymphedema which she had proof of and we discussed this is quite some length I have weekly drainage massages from the lymphodema nurse and twice daily I need to have specialist lotion massaged into my leg and feet. These take 30 minutes a time and are extremely painful. This means I receive therapy of over 7 hours a week. She awarded no points and in her notes wrote all about the lymphedema and treatment how I am waiting for compression garments but awarded none. 

As above with all my pain and limited restrictions physically and painfully she deemed as I was able to do a button or zip up I was able to dress
myself 

I could go on and sorry again for the long post 

now for my question has anyone ever had their report which points scores were low had the decision maker actually award more points when reading the assessors notes. I feel I should be awarded enhanced on both but looking at the report points as it is I will only get enhanced mobility

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,160 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    There are some cases where the decision maker doesn't go with the report but this is rare 

    The assessor doesn't repeat what you say they form their own opinion of your functionality based on all you say 

    If you disagree with the report you can send in more detail before the decision is made 

  • kaymcmanus210180kaymcmanus210180 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks for the reply. How would I do this would I just write it a bit like a mandatory reconsideration or is it worth just waiting to see what they award and do the MR then with the extra evidence I have that the assessor wouldn’t listen to. It took 24 weeks from applying to assessment and was diagnosed with 2 other things which confirm the problems I face. Thanks again
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,590 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 21
    The general line peddled around here is that decision makers usually follow the recommendation of a HCP. I would phrase it differently. A decision maker will always prefer the recommendations of a HCP in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary. 

    What you say on the day of a HCP assessment is not the sole thing considered. Your PIP 2 will also have been viewed and some of their views may have been framed by there being inconsistencies between the PIP 2 and what you said on the day or indeed the PIP 2 not covering the issues adequately or at all. 

    This is another case which demonstrates why getting a copy of a HCP report is not necessarily the best idea because your focus switches onto what's wrong with the report rather than what might have been missed from your evidence which then allowed them to draw such conclusions. 

    As an example, and I appreciate this is wholly out of context, if I were to read your post as is then I could not unreasonably conclude that the HCP was right. You can't hold a knife, pots and pans or a shower head but you can use a flannel and you can grip crutches. There is, on the surface, a contradiction there. Did you address that up front on the PIP 2 or during the assessment? If you instead assumed they would understand the difference then that's why you may not have scored what you think you ought. 

    If you don't cook then have you explained who does and why? In the absence of that detail they will conclude that you're not starving and thus must have found some way to cope etc. Having crutches does not prevent you from cooking, toileting, bathing or dressing but it can in some cases (not all) make those things more difficult. The starting point for PIP is whether you can do something at all. If you can't then you score points but if you can do those things to any extent then the question is whether you can do them reliably. 

    I am wondering out loud what your arguments were; whether you gave any detailed anecdotal examples of what has happened when you have attempted each of the activities you wish to score points for and so on.   

    If you want to get PIP you now need to put the report to one side and go review what you put in. Prior to a decision being made you can submit further evidence and it may be prudent to do so. If it doesn't make it in time then it will usually serve as the start of a mandatory reconsideration. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,160 Disability Gamechanger
    If you wait for the decision you will then have to wait If you pur in mr all over again some ars taking months 

    If you follow the advice from Mike and review your claim form and send it in a letter prior to decision it would reduce the time if having to have your claim all looked at again 


    But obviously it's your choice 
  • kaymcmanus210180kaymcmanus210180 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Mike, thank you for your reply. I gave detailed explanations to the HCP about various accidents that happened around 8 months ago when I attempted to prepare and cook a meal I have adapted under arm crutches so the weight is bares by lower arms due to grip issues I have dropped hot pans to the floor when my wrists give way I have also dropped pans and cups with hot liquid whilst my child was in close proximity. It is not safe for me to stand and hold anything or move whilst standing as I have to use the crutches to move. She listed in her notes that I had not been able to prepare or cook food for 8 months due to prior incidents. I have pinch reflex but limited grip reflex. I explained that my husband does these things for me as I am unable to do these safely or for long enough. 

    One point that has me a little concerned is at the start of the call she said that she couldn’t read some of the evidence as when the DWP sent it to them the scans were too blurry to read. 

    I appreciate your reply and if how things normally go in an assessment were how they happened would agree with how the HCP came to their decision. I recently had to go to a tribunal for my LCWRA and the advice from the welfare rights advisor  was to explain everything in detail and give examples of why I am unable to do a task and instances when attempting this has caused injury or harm. 

    The HCP for taking nutrition said that I require someone to cut my food up for me due to the weakened wrists and grip issues that the evidence corroborated yet gave me no points when the descriptors clearly define needing food cut up for a person should receive the points. 

    Thank you again for taking the time to reply
  • kaymcmanus210180kaymcmanus210180 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    If you wait for the decision you will then have to wait If you pur in mr all over again some ars taking months 

    If you follow the advice from Mike and review your claim form and send it in a letter prior to decision it would reduce the time if having to have your claim all looked at again 


    But obviously it's your choice 
    I will speak to the welfare rights advisor as they also helped me to complete the original form and ask them to help me draft a letter. 

    Thanks for your reply 
  • hughiemachrinshughiemachrins Member Posts: 35 Connected
    What address should be used for sending the letter to?
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,160 Disability Gamechanger
    The same one as you sent the form.  Remember to put your name and ni number on top of each page you send 
  • hughiemachrinshughiemachrins Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I did the form online but I am sure I can find the address somewhere!
  • hughiemachrinshughiemachrins Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I have now found out how to upload extra information online and I have done this. Fingers crossed (again)!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,590 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah, if you have a WRA then yes stick with them. It can get very messy if you also seek advice from a forum when you already have an adviser. 
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