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PIP review Telephone Assessment advice?

Tharos
Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
edited September 27 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi all, 

I'm hoping you can offer some words of advice. I have my telephone assessment in a few days and It's my first review since my initial application so I'm very nervous.

I'm doing my best to prepare as best I can. I have a copy of the answers I submitted on the paper forms, I've also tried  to research the sort of questions people have been asked during their own assessments and made notes that are applicable to my condition. I've also requested that the assessment be recorded and I plan on having a family member sit in on the call as well. 

Can you think of anything else that may be beneficial for me to prepare for the assessment? How was the experience for you in general?

This may also sound cynical but I'm concerned that although I have requested an audio recording, they may "lose" this recording or say that they aren't able to record the assessment on the day. I'm hoping that this is just me being paranoid, but am I allowed to record the assessment on my end as well just in case? Since I have already made a request for an audio recording and they will be aware of it. 

Also, is it worth asking the assessor what experience they have with my condition so I can have it on record should I need to appeal the decision etc?

Any further advice would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,323 Disability Gamechanger
    @tharos hi and welcome to scope, if it's been recorded then there is no need for you to record it as well and it wouldn't be of any use if you did.
    Best advice is take a deep breath and think about your answers, It doesn't matter what the assessors background is as they are basically following a format on their PC.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,
    It wouldn't be possible for anyone to predict what questions you'll be asked because these will be based on the form you filled in as well as any other additional information they need. You can have the phone on loud speaker if you wish. If you don't understand what's been asked then you can ask them to repeat it. Make sure your phone is fully charged if you're using a mobile.
    You can certainly ask what experience they have but please do remember that the HCP doesn't need to have any medical knowledge in any specific conditions because it's not a medical assessment. It's an assessment to gather further evidence on how your conditions affect you.
    As for the recording, if it was me then i'd prefer to concentrate on what i'm saying rather than any recording because a recording isn't going to get you a PIP award. It also depends on who's doing your assessment, to the best of my knowledge Captia are not yet recording assessments only IAS are doing those. Infact i didn't even know they were until i just looked it up. Details here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/4283-pip-assessments-now-being-audio-recorded Did you ring to request the recording? If you didn't and you requested it on the form then it may not be recorded.
    Assessment times can be anything from 20 to 90 minutes, sometimes longer.

  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    edited September 26
    Thank you both for the responses 

    @poppy123456 To answer your question, yes I phoned as soon as I recieved the text and requested an audio recording be made available for the assessment. I suppose I am just very wary. My experience of the initial application was not at all positive. They essentially lied on their report for my initial claim stating I could do things I had explicitly explained I could not, without even assessing me first. I had to take it to tribunal to have my claim upheld, so this time I want to make sure I have as much "on the record" as possible should I need to do so again, since I am aware of the..liberties they appear to take when making their decisions. 

    I understand there will probably be some specific questions  relating to my condition. I meant more with regards to the general questions such as Good/bad days, how I perform certain tasks, mobility restrictions etc . Things that I would be very surprised if they didn't ask given the nature of the assessment..I've done my best to prep those in as much more detail to give as succinct and relevant answers as possible, so I'm hoping it will help! 

    Thanks again :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Even if the worst did happen and you were refused, you won't be able to use the recording in a Tribunal because they don't have the equipment for this. You would need to have it transcribed and this would cost you.
    You're much better off just concentrating on what your answers are and avoid answering with just a yes and no. Do be aware also that during the assessment the HCP isn't there to write what you say verbatim, they are there to gather more evidence and to write the report based on their opinion of the form you sent, your evidence and the assesment itself.
    Even with general questions, each persons claim is likely to be different depending on how their conditions affect them. For example, not everyone will be asked mobility questions because not everyone has issues with this.
    Personally, i've never written down anything prior to any assessment because i just wouldn't be able to think about answering the questions as well as look at what i've wrote.
  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thanks for the advice @poppy123456  I will be sure to give as much detail as I can as opposed to yes/no. I'm just keen to make sure I try to remember as many of the things I know I will need to get across with regards to my CP as possible. Hence the notes :) 

    Hopefully I am just imagining the worst, and my experience will be much smoother this time around!  Can I just clarify, are you saying that even if the recording is provided as per the DWP guidlines, they won't use it as relevent evidence if I do need to take it to tribunal?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    Tharos said:
     Can I just clarify, are you saying that even if the recording is provided as per the DWP guidlines, they won't use it as relevent evidence if I do need to take it to tribunal?
    That's correct. The Tribunal don't have the equipment for it to be used. You will have to have it transcribed for them to use it. The recording isn't evidence though which is why i said a recording is not going to help you get a PIP award.

  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Tharos said:
     Can I just clarify, are you saying that even if the recording is provided as per the DWP guidlines, they won't use it as relevent evidence if I do need to take it to tribunal?
    That's correct. The Tribunal don't have the equipment for it to be used. You will have to have it transcribed for them to use it. The recording isn't evidence though which is why i said a recording is not going to help you get a PIP award.

    Thanks, that's good to know. At least transcription is an option if it really becomes necessary. I suppose at the very least I can use it to jog my own memory when writing for MR if need be, even if I can't reference it directly. I shall keep my fingers crossed that none of this becomes necessary, and that the initial report is accurate enough to maintain my award. I guess I'll find out soon.. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    You're completely missing my point and i just don't understand why you're so focused on the recording, it's not going to help get you any award.
    Good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for you.
  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    You're completely missing my point and i just don't understand why you're so focused on the recording, it's not going to help get you any award.
    Good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for you.
     Excuse me?? I don't understand your issue with my reply. Perhaps if I am missing something imperative in your response, it would be useful for you to elaborate further. than "You're completely missing my point"

    You said I cannot use the recording as evidence should I need to take this to MR or tribunal. That's fine. I understand that. As I said that was good to know. Thank you. 

    My last point was simply that, if the assessor states something innacurate. E.g "Claimant can walk 50 meters or more unaided" I  can listen back to the recording myself when composing a written response to remind myself of my exact response to that question at the time. E.g. I  can respond  "This is incorrect. When asked by my assesor how far I can walk unaided, I replied I was unable to walk any distance." 

    Again, we may have our wires crossed. But I appreciate you trying to help me. 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 26
    Tharos said:
    You're completely missing my point and i just don't understand why you're so focused on the recording, it's not going to help get you any award.
    Good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for you.
     
    My last point was simply that, if the assessor states something innacurate. E.g "Claimant can walk 50 meters or more unaided" I  can listen back to the recording myself when composing a written response to remind myself of my exact response to that question at the time. E.g. I  can respond  "This is incorrect. When asked by my assesor how far I can walk unaided, I replied I was unable to walk any distance." 


    I don't have any issues with your replies and i'm sorry you thought that.
    This here is my exact point. Focusing on the recording, rather than the strength of your evidence. It's the same as a person that focus's on the assessment report, neither will get you a PIP award.
    Focus on giving as much detail as possible and include real world examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you. Adding detail such as where you were, what exactly happened, who (if anyone) seen it and what the consequences were. Just telliing them you are unable to walk any distance is not enough of detail, you need to tell them why you can't do that. I hope this helps.
  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Tharos said:
    You're completely missing my point and i just don't understand why you're so focused on the recording, it's not going to help get you any award.
    Good luck and i hope you get the decision that's right for you.
     
    My last point was simply that, if the assessor states something innacurate. E.g "Claimant can walk 50 meters or more unaided" I  can listen back to the recording myself when composing a written response to remind myself of my exact response to that question at the time. E.g. I  can respond  "This is incorrect. When asked by my assesor how far I can walk unaided, I replied I was unable to walk any distance." 


    I don't have any issues with your replies and i'm sorry you thought that.
    This here is my exact point. Focusing on the recording, rather than the strength of your evidence. It's the same as a person that focus's on the assessment report, neither will get you a PIP award.
    Focus on giving as much detail as possible and include real world examples of what happened the last time you attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to you. Adding detail such as where you were, what exactly happened, who (if anyone) seen it and what the consequences were. Just telliing them you are unable to walk any distance is not enough of detail, you need to tell them why you can't do that. I hope this helps.

    It does help, thank you. And I take your point. I'm definitely going to do my best with the evidence I have. I think it's just that I'm very anxious and when I get anxious I tend to try to look for other tools to help me in case plan A doesn't work. I don't know if that makes sense? It's probably not very useful I grant you,  but anyway, I see your point. Thank you for taking the time to explain. :)  
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,842 Disability Gamechanger
    You're very welcome. Yes, i totally understand how much anxiety these reviews cause. I hope i've helped a little anyway. Good luck :)
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,508 Disability Gamechanger
    Key pointers:

    - you can’t script your responses and this is not an opportunity for you to tell your story. The HCP has set questions to get through asap. 

    - recording isn’t going to help. Ultimately PIP is about the strength of your evidence not the weakness of theirs. The HCP report only carries weight with a DM if you do a poor PIP2 etc.

    - your anxiety is understandably leading you here but you’re looking for a magic bullet to guarantee a positive experience and/or success and there really isn’t one.

    - make sure you have a drink and snack to hand; have been to the loo beforehand and have a fully charged phone. 

    - they’re not going to ask you specific questions relating to your condition or stuff about so called good/bad data. They’re focus will be on the 12 activities and that alone. Their questions can seem obtuse but they are not trick questions. They enable a HCP to cover multiple descriptors in part with 1 question e.g. questions about holidays or pet ownership. 

    - asking a HCP about their knowledge of your condition is generally a terrible idea. Partly for the reasons already covered by @poppy123456 but partly because it makes the terms of engagement you versus them. You’re setting the tone as :I think you’re going to screw me over and I just want you to know that I sing think you should be my HCP”. I’ve yet to hear of any case where that ends well for the claimant. 
  • Tharos
    Tharos Member Posts: 11 Connected
    edited September 27
    mikehughescq said:. 

    - asking a HCP about their knowledge of your condition is generally a terrible idea. Partly for the reasons already covered by @poppy123456 but partly because it makes the terms of engagement you versus them. You’re setting the tone as :I think you’re going to screw me over and I just want you to know that I sing think you should be my HCP”. I’ve yet to hear of any case where that ends well for the claimant. 
    That's a good point, I hadn't thought of that angle. I will definitely avoid that question then. Thank you for that.


    - they’re not going to ask you specific questions relating to your condition or stuff about so called good/bad data. They’re focus will be on the 12 activities and that alone. Their questions can seem obtuse but they are not trick questions. They enable a HCP to cover multiple descriptors in part with 1 question e.g. questions about holidays or pet ownership. 

    OK I will bear this in mind as well, thanks.  I guess I assumed it would be similar to the  tribunal I went to during my initial claim where they did sort of ask me to elaborate on things like, if I had good days bad days etc and how I performed certain tasks etc in more depth/with other examples than on the form. But I suppose it makes sense to bear in mind that it was a different part of the process. 

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