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Anonymously share your thoughts to help telephone and video assessments improve

Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,610

Scope community team

edited August 23 in Disabled people

Share your thoughts on video and telephone assessments to help Scope formulate a response to the DWP


Note, details of your comments on this discussion and those emailed will be used to form Scope's response to the DWP, and no personal or identifiable details will be shared.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently consulting on the future of the welfare system and they are seeking views about how benefits and employment support should work in the future.

Scope are gathering ideas and experiences to form a powerful response to DWP to ensure that any new system works as well as possible for disabled people. 

One of the questions looks at telephone and video assessments and we would like to gather views from the online community to support Scope’s answer. The DWP want to know:


“How could we improve telephone and video assessments, including making sure they are as accurate as possible?”


If you’ve had a telephone or video assessment, please tell us how you think it could’ve been better. This could be anything about how the assessment was conducted, for example reasonable adjustments, the role of your support network/advocates, the questions asked, the length of the assessment and so on. 

This could also include any changes prior to the assessment, such as the information you received, which would have improved your experience of the assessment.

If you do not want to share your answer within the comments, please email our policy team at [email protected].

Please note, we would encourage you to also respond to the consultation as an individual, you can find the consultation here, you do not have to answer every question.  Many voices will more likely be heard.


Thank you!

Online Community Coordinator

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Talk to our chatbot and give us feedback on the community.

Replies

  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,610

    Scope community team

    Just to note, this is completely anonymous and your comments will be used to help Scope formulate a response to the DWP about how assessments can be improved.
    Online Community Coordinator

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Talk to our chatbot and give us feedback on the community.
  • JKCJKC Member Posts: 23 Courageous
    Well, i will never go to another assessment unless i record both video & audio myself after the last one i had, thing i felt were important were ignored, mental health was not taken seriously and the interviewer thought a huge majority of people were faking it all, he even said so, wished i had taped that part, my heart sank when he said that, i thought "what chance has any of us now" my assessment was failed in ESA claim and i was left with nothing for 6mths, i took it to tribunal which i won back all i lost, but the stress was terrible, so i think it should be made law that we can also record audio & visual too..for all assessments, PIP, ESA, DLA or anything of the others.
  • JS69JS69 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    My son and myself had to endure a telephone tribunal back in January, he has autism and I was his appointee. I telephone assessment is hard when someone has autism as they couldn’t see him fidgeting, getting stressed, sweating, wandering around the room, they also wouldn’t let me help him with the answers and told me to be quiet even though I was his appointee. 

    When he had his face to face a year or so before I wish I could have recorded that interview as what the assessor writes is all lies and you have no back up for your case if it needs to go to MR then tribunal, and they basically take the assessors word for it over yours. Asking an autistic person to touch each finger to thumb isn’t a great assessment for his condition  in my opinion, I feel
    like the assessment should match the disability in some way. It’s To late for my son now as he will never go through that trauma again (his words) .
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,610

    Scope community team

    Thanks for sharing :) 
    Online Community Coordinator

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Talk to our chatbot and give us feedback on the community.
  • Stoney316uk21Stoney316uk21 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    The assesors view whether phone ,video or face to face over rules gps and specialists on the form they ask for details (whats the point) they NEVER contact them because they dont want proving wrong .they make their own mind up reading the form before contacting you.they was only paramedics  nurses etc nothing of magnitude of specialists or gps otherwise they would be doing that getting paid more .assesors unless they have gone through it or have it WILL NEVER understand the issues and consequences of their own doing for disabled people .because of covid i struggled for support almost sectioned under the mental health act now im only just going to therapy and phsyciatrists .bet that wont be enough evidence either .because of them i came extremely close to taking my own life but that wont matter to them . 
  • jsjswoodjsjswood Member Posts: 2 Connected
    I had a phone assessment for my PIP claim. Never again do I want a phone assessment as I hated it. It was a utter nightmare. I was shaking like a leaf. It was horrible. My sister in law was my appointee but she was told to shut by the assessor. I didn't hear that bit but my sister in law did which disgusted her. I would much rather have had a video or face to face assessment but since we never got asked what type of assessment we would like, we didn't have much choice. The assessor basically said that there was not enough wrong with me to get pip. She claimed that I converse with other people  As I have over 300 blocked phone numbers on my phone I don't call that conversing with other people 
     As I have low back pain, I have a sock aid to help me put my socks on in the mornings but she said I can get dressed unaided!  I wasn't very happy with that assessor. 
  • Stoney316uk21Stoney316uk21 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    I have frontal lobe damage which affects numerous mental things.
    Flashbacks,memory loss ,personality flips,brain fog tremouring eyes arms hands back and leg spasms insomnia and more .i didnt have anythimg wrong and my cognitive function was above average .yet i had surrendered my hgv and pcv license because of my issues.me driving a coach with 60+people on then flipping out not a wise idea .my asessor lied and when i challenged it because my temper flared i lied according to them .if i get face to face im turning on our internal cctv with audio 
    Ive ordered a dictaphone to record calls too.
  • bart70bart70 Member Posts: 50 Courageous
    It would be better if you were able to speak to a professional linked to your illness rather than a random Lucknow the draw. If the professional actually listened to what you said rather than just jumped to conclusions. If they took the time to listen to how your illness affects you as they should. We’re not just a number we’re people. I found that rather than ask more questions the Nurse who did mine just came to her own conclusions and added bits to justify it. 

    The overall waiting time was horrendous, yes we know Covid has left them short, but where the paper evidence is quite good why not a temp award while waiting? 
  • dawnsafdawnsaf Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I,ve never had a telephone assessment,but it's going to be like a face to face one,but without seeing you.These assessments are so degrading,they can talk down to you,or they can be really friendly with you,like saying things like,I understand,it must be hard/painful for you or bless your heart,what is suppose to make you thing,she/hes nice so then they think you will open up to them,my opinion is I dont think they read all of the forms ,especially if we.ve given them extra information about our conditions and so on,then some lie in the assessments,for us not to get what were entitled too ,to them were just low lifes.when you have a condition what is never going to get better we shouldn't have to have these assessments,no wonder some sick/disabled people think what is the point of going on with life,because I have thought it,less for them to pay out,which is so so wrong and disgusting,how can sick/disabled be treated like that.At the end of the day any genuine person on benefits,for what ever the reason,working or not working,the dwp arnt interested in us one little bit.I feel strongly about this,because people should not be treated like a nobody. 
  • Stoney316uk21Stoney316uk21 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    PLEASE all be aware the telephone assesments say they are recorded but THEY ARE NOT this was when i challenged the capita assesors over how they treated me and gave verbal to my wife .so PLEASE RECORD IT YOURSELF .
  • JKCJKC Member Posts: 23 Courageous
    edited August 22
    (Removed by moderator, unsubstantiated and potentially defamatory remarks)

    "The executive in charge of running medical assessments for benefits claims at Atos Healthcare has offered an apology to those long-term sick it has incorrectly assessed as being "fit for work" in 2013. All companies since have been just as bad.
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Never go alone or speak for yourself. Have someone advocate as much as possible from start to finish. 
    Stick to your esa 50 form words and add if things got worse. 

    I’m what you would call high functioning or very able or capable it appears. 
    Adhd autistic and dyspraxic. 
    Oh yes I can hold an argument a job I have for 25 years but I’m worn out burned out. I think I still can but others and my health say otherwise. If I don’t slow down I fear my health. I’ve had to go back to the beginning and get someone to help me fill in and advocate. It’s frustrating embarrassing and against everything I am but unless I want recognition for my condition and it’s impact on my health then I must. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener

    On the DWP and it’s service. 
    Application is poor accessing forms is poor. Telephone calls take way too long and cut you off. Postal works best. 
    Use your mp. 
    Assessments are misleading and derogatory and don’t take account of that day or afterwards or that you might mask well. Cover up and meds up to get through. 
    No grace period for payments you either get or don’t. 
    Very specific criteria that don’t cover all aspects of disability and it’s impact on a person. 
    Working entitlement is very poor esa contribution or nothing. Where is the long term disability working support network. 

  • HartnsoulHartnsoul Member Posts: 22 Connected
    I had my first telephone assessment where it started with is my condition still the same, better or worse since previous assessment. Then he never asked a single question about it. When asking about my daily routine when I stopped to think about what to say as I need so much sleep, he answered for me and never allowed me to correct him. Then he used that against me stating Id said it! I appealed, asking them to listen to the recording, assuming it would be, as I felt I should be suing him for that but will use it in my formal complaint anyway. The questions asked were so I could appear totally well while he omitted relevant parts where Id answer demonstrating my disabilities. For example, He asked if I washed and dressed myself, which I do, but no chance to explain the difficulties I have when my condition is bad. My report stated in great detail what food I eat, and apparently cook daily, but not one single word about my condition, but it was the lies that made me so determined to fight and win my appeal. I simply sent in copies of my consultants and doctors reports and asked why none of this was discussed or mentioned. 
    I wonder how much money theyre saving by employing so many more office juniors as health professionals who arent qualified to be professionals at all? The cost of all the appeals must surely be a measure if their incompetence? 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,619 Pioneering
    Hartnsoul said:
    I wonder how much money theyre saving by employing so many more office juniors as health professionals who arent qualified to be professionals at all? The cost of all the appeals must surely be a measure if their incompetence? 
    The clue is in the name. 

    They are clearly not office staff. 

    They are a currently registered healthcare professional e.g. nurse, paramedic, etc. 

    So they are qualified. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    MarkN88 said:
    Hartnsoul said:
    I wonder how much money theyre saving by employing so many more office juniors as health professionals who arent qualified to be professionals at all? The cost of all the appeals must surely be a measure if their incompetence? 
    The clue is in the name. 

    They are clearly not office staff. 

    They are a currently registered healthcare professional e.g. nurse, paramedic, etc. 

    So they are qualified. 
    I have never seen an official credential in any assessment let alone telephone assessments. I could be talking to plumber for all I know. 
    Also it’s always been a 1-1 assessment so can be viewed biased both ways yet always in favour of the HCP not the claimant. Often the claimant is the one under such scrutiny to prove beyond doubt using DWP criteria. Yet try and appeal on ableism or poor criteria and you’ll find the same  poor support network and laws benefit anyone but the claimant. 
    Consistency none contradictions many. 
    I read a stat that said only 10% of working assessments were refused and zero on appeal. I must be the anomaly then. I’ve failed multiple times and have the same issues as most with my condition who easily qualify. But i fill my own forms in. That is ableist. I can find no other reason for refusal. 
  • Stoney316uk21Stoney316uk21 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    But they CANNOT over rule a gp or specialist but they appear to they dont have the expertise to become one thats why they do this .
  • ariesaries Member Posts: 45 Connected
    Hi all,
    I have recently had a telephone assessment for universal credit.
    for the first time I spoke to a nurse who understood my disabilities and medical problems. I suffer with peripheral artery disease which severely affects my mobility. She seemed to understand this and the threat of amputation. Never experienced someone who understood!
    ive recently been diagnosed with gastroperisis (not the right spelling) and this has had a major impact on my life. Being sick, vomiting, dry vomiting etc. Stomach pain daily, plus incontenance.
    she said although rare she knew exactly what I was describing and understood how it limits my life.
    so speaking to someone who has knowledge is essential I believe. It was refreshing to speak to someone who understood. 
    Thank you 

  • MandyJFMandyJF Member Posts: 1 Listener
    My adult son was diagnosed with autism in September and when we eventually had the telephone assessment for PIP in May, he scored no points. I was allowed to listen but not contribute. The assessor showed no awareness that she was speaking to someone who was shutting down with anxiety due to his autism, and didn't seem able to interpret what he was actually saying. For example, he said that he could physically leave the house, but mentally he can't bring himself to and hasn't left the house for several months. All that mattered to her was that he could walk. She had no autism training whatsoever. The form information was completely ignored. She also asked why he wasn't receiving mental health services; if she'd checked with our authority, she would have known that the GP doesn't give this service to people under the autism team, and the autism team have limited short blocks of input, which is why we're having to find money to pay for private counselling. This was all ignored also. I believe that these phone assessors are actually guilty of discrimination against less visible disabilities such as autism, and should be brought to task with a legal challenge.
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,619 Pioneering
    But they CANNOT over rule a gp or specialist but they appear to they dont have the expertise to become one thats why they do this .
    There is no over ruling to do though. 

    The HCP is not there to do a medical assessment, they are there to do a functionality assessment in relation to PIP descriptors. 

    A specialist or GP will have no knowledge of how you are affected or impacted in day to day life apart from what you tell them, they are unlikely to have seen you take a shower, or go to the toilet, or walk to the shop or cook a meal and therefore can’t comment, so what’s to over rule? 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,619 Pioneering
    JPW said:
    I have never seen an official credential in any assessment let alone telephone assessments. I could be talking to plumber for all I know. 
    Also it’s always been a 1-1 assessment so can be viewed biased both ways yet always in favour of the HCP not the claimant. Often the claimant is the one under such scrutiny to prove beyond doubt using DWP criteria. Yet try and appeal on ableism or poor criteria and you’ll find the same  poor support network and laws benefit anyone but the claimant. 
    Consistency none contradictions many. 
    I read a stat that said only 10% of working assessments were refused and zero on appeal. I must be the anomaly then. I’ve failed multiple times and have the same issues as most with my condition who easily qualify. But i fill my own forms in. That is ableist. I can find no other reason for refusal. 
    I don’t see the relevance to what I said you have just ignored what I put and talked about something completely different. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    MandyJF said:
    My adult son was diagnosed with autism in September and when we eventually had the telephone assessment for PIP in May, he scored no points. I was allowed to listen but not contribute. The assessor showed no awareness that she was speaking to someone who was shutting down with anxiety due to his autism, and didn't seem able to interpret what he was actually saying. For example, he said that he could physically leave the house, but mentally he can't bring himself to and hasn't left the house for several months. All that mattered to her was that he could walk. She had no autism training whatsoever. The form information was completely ignored. She also asked why he wasn't receiving mental health services; if she'd checked with our authority, she would have known that the GP doesn't give this service to people under the autism team, and the autism team have limited short blocks of input, which is why we're having to find money to pay for private counselling. This was all ignored also. I believe that these phone assessors are actually guilty of discrimination against less visible disabilities such as autism, and should be brought to task with a legal challenge.
    So true on discrimination against hidden and not so obvious disability. 

    I’ve been told to attend my appeal and my advocate will speak and prime me
     beforehand as to what I should say. I don’t think it is fair that gps advise and specialists and private psychologists work we have accessed isn’t taken into account when being assessed. 
    I use lots of mindfulness and take more breaks than I ever did. I don’t take a many as I should but work less to rule more to me. This is so obviously impacting my ability to work part time never mind full time. In the mean time my income suffers my bills
    stack up and I’m robbing Peter to keep afloat. Even though my partner works part time too. 
    If you don’t qualify for one aspect you get nothing else too. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    MarkN88 said:
    JPW said:
    I have never seen an official credential in any assessment let alone telephone assessments. I could be talking to plumber for all I know. 
    Also it’s always been a 1-1 assessment so can be viewed biased both ways yet always in favour of the HCP not the claimant. Often the claimant is the one under such scrutiny to prove beyond doubt using DWP criteria. Yet try and appeal on ableism or poor criteria and you’ll find the same  poor support network and laws benefit anyone but the claimant. 
    Consistency none contradictions many. 
    I read a stat that said only 10% of working assessments were refused and zero on appeal. I must be the anomaly then. I’ve failed multiple times and have the same issues as most with my condition who easily qualify. But i fill my own forms in. That is ableist. I can find no other reason for refusal. 
    I don’t see the relevance to what I said you have just ignored what I put and talked about something completely different. 
    It’s a shame you didn’t read my opening statement then. I’ve never seen a credential of HCP over the phone. How do we know who we are talking to. 

    I detect you are being deliberate on your retort rather than understanding and would
    suggest changing tone
    or ignoring replies as
    your reply is not helping me or others clearly. 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,619 Pioneering
    The point is, they don't show you credentials, obviously they cant do that over the telephone anyway, but they employ HCPs, as I said the clue is in the name, you are not been assessed by an administrator. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    But they CANNOT over rule a gp or specialist but they appear to they dont have the expertise to become one thats why they do this .

    Not sure what use a GP is with any assessment process. They very rarely know how any conditions affect anyone. The most they will know is diagnosis, medication and any appointments... all of this doesn't help either a PIP claim or a work capability assessment.
    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.
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    MarkN88 said:
    The point is, they don't show you credentials, obviously they cant do that over the telephone anyway, but they employ HCPs, as I said the clue is in the name, you are not been assessed by an administrator. 
    If the clue is is in the name what actually constitutes a “healthcare professional “ surely a GP specialist psychiatrist psychologist trumps them as a HCP. 
    And the HCP is reading from a script or descriptors. Surely that is administration of rules and such making them administrators?  

    From what I have seen a few have just graduated. Others are experienced and personal and actually help with the applications. My experience is that unless I fully unmask they will never know what my issues are based of descriptors   I don’t fit descriptors mental health is very difficult to determine under them. 


  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,619 Pioneering
    edited August 22
    Regardless of all of that, the requirement is to be a healthcare professional who is registered with their professional body, they work within guidelines of course, but whether they have a few years experience or 20 makes no difference.  

    You don’t need a specialist in a particular area, a GP or a mental health specialist because it is not a medical assessment they are carrying out. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    HCPs for PIP assessments do not need to have any knowledge with any medical conditions. PIP is about your functional ability. Unfortunately, with PIP You can have a disability but if you don't meet the descriptors, you won't score the points for an award.
    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.
  • JS69JS69 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    In the assessment just because my son could could open a packet of crisps was enough to say he could feed himself 🤷🏻‍♀️ The facts ignored were he can’t use a knife, he’s afraid of heat and fire so won’t use a cooker or a microwave and anything he does do in the kitchen he needs guidance and support but that scored 0 points when the descriptors should score for ‘help and supervision’
  • HartnsoulHartnsoul Member Posts: 22 Connected
    'Mark N88 says They are a currently registered healthcare professional e.g. nurse, paramedic, etc.'

    I questioned the healthcare qualifications the 'professional' who interviewed me had. It appears to be none. He asked no medical questions, nothing about my condition and completely disregarded anything related to it despite what Id told him. He also asked the appeal panel to disregard the main symptoms Id mentioned that were totally relevant to my condition impacting on my daily life, and if ignored could be fatal.
    On my report his opinion in writing was mainly copied with some parts of their 2017 inadequate assessment included word for word, and signed off as a true account to the Secretary of State by someone else who was a qualified physiotherapist. As she had copied someone elses lines from the old report, apparently she had seen me. How? So that makes it all ok then? In other places that practice could be labelled as fraudulent. I've never seen such a bad misrepresentation of the truth before, but prisons must be full of them! Then verified by someone else to make the decision to stop my disability claim. When he called me to announce theyd ready stopped payments because of their decision, he was shocked to hear I had a condition that had been totally omitted from the report, so he advised me to appeal. Not one of these professionals had seen me, despite wording my report as if they had, one had spoken to me and not one trained in anything relevant to my condition. I appreciate they cannot have independent doctors for everyone but surely some sort of professional trained to deal with certain types of disabilities would be a good start? Surely they need to know what a persons condition is to relate to their difficulties in their daily life? How can they decide you no longer have the condition (the same permanent condition they had decided a few years earlier that you do have) without any medical information? I really think they need to drop the title of healthcare professionals, they clearly arent interested in the health of anyone claiming disability, they clearly dont care, and are only professionals at bending the truth to such and extent. They maybe have so many claiming that shouldnt be, have heard every trick to try and claim but I cannot see how their lies and misrepresentation of the reality will save them so much when it costs them to put so many cases through the appeal process. The untold stress put me back in hospital before and after my appeal. I was so anxious that I wouldnt get discharded in time for my appeal but won my case a day later with a v short hearing, 5 questions in total and was carried out of the courts on a stretcher to A&E, although they didn't need that proof! They had my consultants and GP reports to go on. Fully qualified healthcare professionals do appear to overule the dwp 'healthcare professionals'. Thankfully. 

    So if a dwp 'healthcare professional' has to get a physiotherapist, who hasn't seen you or spoken to you, to write the report and sign it off as her assessment, what does that say about his healthcare qualifications?
    Still not impressed. 

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    JS69 said:
    In the assessment just because my son could could open a packet of crisps was enough to say he could feed himself 🤷🏻‍♀️ The facts ignored were he can’t use a knife, he’s afraid of heat and fire so won’t use a cooker or a microwave and anything he does do in the kitchen he needs guidance and support but that scored 0 points when the descriptors should score for ‘help and supervision’

    Did you explain why he can't do that activity? Why does he need supervision? What would happen if he didn't have that supervision? Give a couple of real world examples of what happened the last time he attempted that activity. Do all of this for each descriptor that applies to him. You should have at least 1 A4 sheet of paper for each activity.

    You have to explain everything in as much detail as possible. They don't know your son, so you have to "paint the picture"
    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.
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    But they CANNOT over rule a gp or specialist but they appear to they dont have the expertise to become one thats why they do this .

    Not sure what use a GP is with any assessment process. They very rarely know how any conditions affect anyone. The most they will know is diagnosis, medication and any appointments... all of this doesn't help either a PIP claim or a work capability assessment.

    Poppy

    poppy I wish I had your optimism. 
    If the criteria are based on how your condition affects you then why do they ask if you can do blah and blah and then use that as reason enough to say you’re capable. Despite many conditions like mental health being stochastic and no one time is the same. If you asked me can i drive I’d say yes. But in bed no of course. It’s relative. I’ll do at detriment to self and say so. That doesn’t belie the truth though. Something I can never get over to them. They use what’s convenient at the
    assessment. That is either you can
    becaue you said so or your condition is irrelevant. 

    What’s pretty clear is the definition of and our interpretation is clouded
    by uncertainty and lack of
    consistency. One person apples
    says she’s autistic and works and drives and has no problems and get full pip. Another lists their autism issues sensory anxiety etc and gets nothing. Explain that. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Steve double emailed me that only 10%!of work assessment are refused and zero on appeal. I’ve been refused and obviously an anomaly. 
    I now face a year waiting for appeal and the financial and functional embarrassment not to mention where my head will be. And no help
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    JPW said:
    But they CANNOT over rule a gp or specialist but they appear to they dont have the expertise to become one thats why they do this .

    Not sure what use a GP is with any assessment process. They very rarely know how any conditions affect anyone. The most they will know is diagnosis, medication and any appointments... all of this doesn't help either a PIP claim or a work capability assessment.


    What’s pretty clear is the definition of and our interpretation is clouded
    by uncertainty and lack of
    consistency. One person apples
    says she’s autistic and works and drives and has no problems and get full pip. Another lists their autism issues sensory anxiety etc and gets nothing. Explain that. 
    The majority of the time it's down to a poorly written claim pack.
    Personally, i've never had any problems with my own claim or my daughters. She's claimed successfully since 2017 and had 2 reviews in that time, both of which were paper based assessments. I've claimed since 2013.


    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.
  • tamaramonique94tamaramonique94 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    The terms PIP and DWP infuriate me and also make me want to cry.

    I had a telephone assessment in June and the 'medical professional' was a paramedic who believed that she was experienced enough to have a opinion on endometriosis and fibromyalgia, said I must be able to walk more than 20m at one because it's medically probable in her opinion but then said I need regular reviews because these conditions progress over the years. How does that make any sense? I can barely walk to the toilet most days and every single movement causes me some kind of pain. 

    Anyway, none of what my mother said was noted down. The majority of what I said was not in the report at all and not matter what I said she'd write 'in my professional opinion she can shower using a chair and long aids' HOW?!!!! She also said because I can sit in a wheelchair or car I must be able to sit in the kitchen and cook, as if we hadn't tried to find our own solution. Almost everyone applying for pip can sit doesn't mean they can cook.

    Both the assessor and my case manager made very rude comments about my dyslexia, but I'm sure you'll pick up from this text I'm clever but hopeless with spelling and grammar and require computer programmes to understand complex information. But because I'd previously gone to uni to study fashion styling i'm exaggerating and my reading is fine. I've scraped by in education, failed the majority of my GCSE's, got kicked out of school, and I've only started to get firsts once I had said programmes.

    They also said that my mental health must be fin because I'm not under any health team but as I explained to my assessor and she conveniently omitted, I had two very bad experiences and wasn't keen on any more therapy, and once I was I couldn't be referred to my community mental health team as my home borough and GP didn't match up but will be changing GPs soon to do so. Anyone diagnosed with BPD should be told they're fine or it's not that bad. I am terrified of my stairs, I'm stuck in a third floor council flat (I'm fighting tower hamlets too, they won't house me because my granddad left me 4.7% of his house worth 17,000), I don't get on with my mum, I'm stuck w her and she's my primary carer. I feel abused by this entire government, nothing is ever easy or as it should be. 

    And because I had a phone assessment they basically justified their decisions based on a previous face-to-face assessment I had in Feb 2020 but in January 2021 I was diagnosed with an additional illness so why would they even refer to that? I intended to appeal my first assessment but after my experience I was too frightened and was made to feel like I wasn't ill enough. But this time I'm pretty much housebound and I'm two years through a law degree I know for an absolute fact that I'm entitled to the higher rates for both regardless of what they 'believe in their professional opinion'. 

    I also don't understand the difference between the standard and high rates of mobility. The higher rate gets you a mostly free car, that you have to put petrol in and thats it, the lower rate gets £23 half price road tax and that's it. If you can't walk more than 200m you are not an able bodied human being end of. £23 is not really helping anyones mobility and in London that's one taxi fare and I'm back to square one. Why can't people on the lower rate pay the difference and lease a car? Or the dwp offer to pay or help towards insurance? The perks of higher mobility compared to lower are night and day.

    To conclude, the pip system is flawed by design, its like they scored me purposely to be just below the threshold of the higher rates. My appearance was also questioned at my in-person assessment but this isn't a means tested benefit, even if it was, I like fashion and was wearing a tracksuit I got on sale for £60 in total. They need to stop judging peoples appearances you can be disabled and look somewhat put together.

    Moreover, I'm absolutely tired of all this nonsense, why is it that the sickest, weakest and most tired of society have to fight like this for what they're entitled to, it should be our doctors and consultants making those decisions not them. Live should be made easier for us not harder, harder to the point where I consider suidide every day. Something has to change because if I have to go through this process again I'm not sure I'll see the other side. I've already sent my mandatory reconsideration but I'm sure I'll end up having to go to court. I'm tired of all this, I have such little energy and it's always spent on appeals or complaints. It's no way to live, something needs to change. DLA FOR ALL PERHAPS? 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    The mobility vehicles are not free cars. We exchange our entire mobility payment for the car.....
    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.
  • tamaramonique94tamaramonique94 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I’m obviously awake of that which is why I said mostly free as there are other considerations; the advance payments, some cars don’t cost the full amount etc. 

    Either way I’m just trying to show my distaste towards the disparity between standard and enhanced.  
  • tamaramonique94tamaramonique94 Member Posts: 4 Listener
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    It's not mostly free either. The mobility payment is used to pay for the car and DWP pay motability. Even when it was DLA the low mobility part has never qualified for the car.
    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.
  • abbyk41abbyk41 Member Posts: 95 Connected
    I had a telephone assessment last Tuesday she seemed very nice and actually I received the report the other day she did write everything that the two people in the room and myself said that was my carer and my friend.
    I have read on this forum that some of the assessor shut down the people that help will my assessor did not she did actually listen to them and actually receiving the report She Wrote everything that I said and somebody said that they don't know what medical assessment qualification these people have.
    Well I looked at the back of the report and it said that she is a nurse and I've got to say she pretty much understood my conditions very well she even prompted me with things that I didn't think about and overall I think the report is a fair  report I don't know what the decisions going to be. I don't know I'd  decision makers going to go with that or not but I don't think the phone assessment went bad at all I think if you explain everything in detail it took over 50 minutes
  • JS69JS69 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited August 23
    JS69 said:
    In the assessment just because my son could could open a packet of crisps was enough to say he could feed himself 🤷🏻‍♀️ The facts ignored were he can’t use a knife, he’s afraid of heat and fire so won’t use a cooker or a microwave and anything he does do in the kitchen he needs guidance and support but that scored 0 points when the descriptors should score for ‘help and supervision’

    Did you explain why he can't do that activity? Why does he need supervision? What would happen if he didn't have that supervision? Give a couple of real world examples of what happened the last time he attempted that activity. Do all of this for each descriptor that applies to him. You should have at least 1 A4 sheet of paper for each activity.

    You have to explain everything in as much detail as possible. They don't know your son, so you have to "paint the picture"
    Yep, he said it all and why he couldn’t do these things as they wouldn’t let me speak as his appointee. He explained that he loses concentration and wanders off and how he doesn’t realise heat and cold amongst other things. Also because he did his GCSE’s without a EHCP he’s perfectly fine, what they didn’t listen to was that it took me 11 years to get his diagnosis so by that time it was too late, the school failed him and if it hadn’t been for me telling them
    i was going higher he would not have got the laptop or extended times on his exams. It took his school 2 years to send back a report that they ‘lost’ in their office. So now after losing at tribunal he doesn’t want to try again for PIP he’s like what’s the point no one has ever believed me 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,566

    Scope community team

    edited August 23
    Hi all,

    Firstly, thank you all for sharing your experiences of assessments so far :) Through sharing your experiences, you're helping Scope to understand what disabled people really think so that we can feed this back to the DWP and hopefully bring about some positive change. 

    As this thread was started for people to share their personal experiences and opinions we want to try and allow the discussion to flow as much as possible, so long as the comments are on-topic. Just to remind anyone who doesn't want to scroll all the way to the top, the question is: 
    “How could we improve telephone and video assessments, including making sure they are as accurate as possible?”

    If you’ve had a telephone or video assessment, please tell us how you think it could’ve been better. This could be anything about how the assessment was conducted, for example reasonable adjustments, the role of your support network/advocates, the questions asked, the length of the assessment and so on. 

    This could also include any changes prior to the assessment, such as the information you received, which would have improved your experience of the assessment.
    On the point about the qualifications and expertise held by health professionals (HPs) who carry out PIP assessments: 
    All HPs recruited for the delivery of PIP assessments (or any parts of these) must meet the following requirements:
    • be an occupational therapist, nurse, physiotherapist, paramedic or doctor
    • be fully registered with the relevant licensing body (doctors must have a licence to practise)
    • have no sanctions attached to registration unless they relate to disability. In individual cases, this requirement may be wavered subject to prior written agreement with DWP
    • have at least 2 years post full registration experience (this refers to either UK registration or equivalent overseas registration for non-UK HPs) or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual, prior, written agreement with the department
    • have passed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
    Before they are approved to carry out assessments, providers must be able to demonstrate that HPs:
    • have appropriate knowledge of the clinical aspects and likely functional effects of a wide range of health conditions and disabilities
    • have appropriate skills in assessing people with physical health conditions, including history taking, observation and ability to perform a relevant examination
    • have appropriate skills in assessing people with conditions affecting mental, intellectual and cognitive function, including history taking, observation and ability to perform a relevant examination
    • are able to critically evaluate evidence and use logical reasoning to provide accurate evidence based advice
    • have excellent interpersonal and written communication skills that include the ability to:
    • interact sensitively and appropriately, with particular regard for an individual’s cultural background and issues specific to disabled people
    • take a comprehensive, appropriately focused and clear history
    • accurately record observations and formal clinical findings
    • produce succinct, accurate reports in plain English, fully justifying conclusions from evidence gathered, and dealing appropriately with apparent conflicts of evidence and fluctuating conditions
    Taken from: PIP assessment guide part 3: health professional performance (gov.uk).

    If you don't feel as though you were awarded the benefit, or level of benefit, that you're entitled to, you can look into appealing the decision. There's a list of benefits you can appeal on the gov.uk website.
    If you feel as though you need some support in relation to challenging your decision, the following resources may be helpful:
    If you're challenging a PIP decision, it's worth re-reading the descriptors (pipinfo.net) to identify where you should have scored points.

    As has been stated in this thread a few times, PIP is awarded based on how your condition affects you in relation to the descriptors, rather than a diagnosis. Many people find that anecdotal evidence works best, as giving real examples of how your condition affects you in terms of a specific descriptor should demonstrate most clearly why you should score points in that area.

    The 'additional information' section at the bottom of this page (Benefits and Work) is also useful in understanding what some of the key terms mean, such as reliably, safely, and so on. 

    If you have experiences, questions, or opinions unrelated to the question that you'd like to share, please feel free to start your own discussion

    I'd also remind everyone to have a read of our house rules. These outline the importance of ensuring your tone is friendly and polite, as well as making sure that any information you share is correct and evidence is provided where possible.

    Thanks again to everyone who's shared their opinion so far. I hope that this can continue to be a constructive and positive thread for you all to share your experiences and make your voices heard.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,566

    Scope community team

    Hi @dawnsaf :) I'm sorry to hear that you've felt as though you can't continue on at times. I've sent you an email from [email protected], so please do take a look at that when you get a moment. 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • JS69JS69 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited August 23
    It’s all well and good weather these HCP have these qualifications it’s weather they put it into practice at assessments and not bypass what the client is saying to them. I find they pick up on certain terminology but disregard the obvious on what makes people’s lives a struggle. 

    I had to go to tribunal myself for fibromyalgia and I luckily won. The HCP said because I worked part time I was fine, what they didn’t listen to was how my body was after I had worked, which I explain and again at tribunal. My thoughts were in the HCP’s head that disabled people shouldn’t be able to work. I explained that if I didn’t work 2 days a week part time my mental health would suffer more. I needed to see other people instead of 4 walls. 
  • JPWJPW Member Posts: 18 Listener
    The system of appeal is flawed and elongated. You are waiting an eternity have to prove your being discriminated against and challenge the law which is basically impossible. I’ve tried anecdotal it works against you. They always refer to the descriptors that are based on mostly physical disability not those attributed to sensory etc with autism. 
    It doesn’t take account of the spectrum of a discriptor. Maybe not being able to walk 50’metres make you fit but equally walking too much to overcome anxiety is equally debilitating. If it’s like 3-4 hours. How does that not qualify or show that this person will obviously struggle to hold down a full time job. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 23
    JPW said:
    The system of appeal is flawed and elongated. You are waiting an eternity have to prove your being discriminated against and challenge the law which is basically impossible. I’ve tried anecdotal it works against you. They always refer to the descriptors that are based on mostly physical disability not those attributed to sensory etc with autism. 
    It doesn’t take account of the spectrum of a discriptor. Maybe not being able to walk 50’metres make you fit but equally walking too much to overcome anxiety is equally debilitating. If it’s like 3-4 hours. How does that not qualify or show that this person will obviously struggle to hold down a full time job. 

    The descriptors are also aimed at mental health, including Autism and learning disabilities. My daughter has both and claims Enhanced for both parts and has done since 2017.

    The moving around part of mobility doesn't apply to those with Autism or mental health etc.The following and planning a journey is for those with these conditions.

    PIP isn't about not being able to work either.
    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.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 4,415

    Scope community team

    edited August 23
    @JS69 I can empathise, I've been through the PIP assessment process myself and had many tears/moments of frustration having been unsuccessful. 

    Unfortunately HCP's (who are generally trained) can't realistically have insight into how every condition impacts the person before them.  This means the onus is on the claimant to describe in detail how they struggle to satisfy the PIP activities listed, including the seemingly obvious - which to the claimant living with an impairment is very obvious(!) - but to someone without lived experience would be otherwise unknown.

    To quote a recent reply by @Adrian_Scope:
    Imagine you're someone else reading [the claim form], someone who can't relate to your experiences and has no understanding of you, has never heard of your conditions, doesn't know your history. Would they understand how your daily living and mobility are impacted? Is there anything they could incorrectly assume that needs more clarification? What assumptions might they make from what you've written? It may seem obvious to you but would it be to someone else?
    I'm sorry to hear the comment made about you working part-time by the HCP.  Everyone has a right to work irrespective of health status and I can imagine how frustrating that was to hear.  Good to hear you won the tribunal - well done on persevering :) 
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  • CressCress Member Posts: 845 Pioneering
    I've had paper based assessment for WCA and telephone assessment for PIP.
    I was successful in both claims.
    I know there are an endless stream of people who find it very hard and stressful myself included.
    But I don't know what the alternative should be.

    I also think it's very worrying that two people affected as badly as each other could end up with one of them scoring zero and the other enhanced because one of them was better able to understand and complete the form.

    There needs to be changes but I'm at a loss as to what they should be.
  • bonniebohemianbonniebohemian Member Posts: 13 Listener
    I recently had an appeal court phone hearing, the DWP had made four submissions in the year leading uo to this hearing, I knew they were lying in these and at the hearing I could prove it......."we accept that" is what the DWP said at the hearing........Now you would think that HM courts would say well Mr DWP I dismiss your case because you based it on falsehoods............but yes you have guessed it, great British Justice found in favour of the lying underhand devious DWP......the independent court set up by the govt to brainwash the plebs that they have a chance of justice is no more independent than my big toe..........dont be fooled they are crooks of the highest calibre.......if they had of bothered to make one telephone assessment in the last 20 years all the above could have been prevented.....good luck everyone with British justice you will need it

  • 3358thanks3358thanks Member Posts: 5 Connected
    I am waiting for my second tribunal and I am not attending as I think it went against me.  I look well but I have panic attacks and dreadful anxiety.  I am 65 and at 14 years old I was close to bombs in Belfast. And from then on I suffered agoraphobia.  My life just stopped.  After several years I signed myself off the sick against my GP s wishes and managed to start building a life. Read a lot of books and read articles re my illness and volunteered for work at a charity and continued to study and got a degree.
     My GP filled out my dla form as I could not travel on public transport.
     Had the lowest payment for life.  But then had to apply for PIP.  the assessor told a lot of lies and I had provided all my medical records. I am still working because the government changed the pension age.  I feel worthless, stupid and to top it all the tribunal said I walked my dog I haven't got a 🐶
    On the way out a man told me I should use the lift as that is how they watch you.  He has full PIP and knew all the tricks that they use.  I was upset and cried during the tribunal because I felt I was on trial.
    Criminals get better treatment and get help from legal aid.  I have quoted cases in law for my next tribunal and will continue to fight.  DWP should be scrapped the way they treat people.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,836 Disability Gamechanger
    @3358thanks Paper based hearings for Tribunals have a very low success rate of between 5-8%. I would urge you to have a re-think on this to give yourself the best chance of success.
    Appearing in person/telephone hearings have a 70%+ success rate.  If you can get representation then even better. For this start here. https://advicelocal.uk/
    Not sure what you mean by "all the tricks they use"

    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.
  • dawnsafdawnsaf Member Posts: 2 Listener
    so true,these assessments are cruel,its annoying to think that they say you look well,are you suppose to turn up in a bin bag, for them to believe you.Its because of having hidden disabilities,your hurting on the inside,what people cannot see,depression,anxiety,pain in back,legs,and so on.Why should we have to keep fighting,when our disabilities,pains,are genuine and mental health,which most of them gets worse with age,we get treated like a nobody in the assessments,they try and trick you out.Everybody should be treated with respect.something need to change.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,495 Disability Gamechanger
    Lots of people have papper based assessments if this makes you feel more comfortable I think its personal choice  from experience and from helping others pip isn't an easy benefit to claim 

    I found face to face and telephone assessments daunting and stressful I did paper based with  supporting  evidence I javent had to do assessments for a long time as I have been awarded a long award which I am realy grateful for 


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