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Assessor/decision maker

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Sianee
Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
Hi,

I was wondering if it's usual for the decision maker to concur with the assessors report or do they often disregard it?

I've recently had my review assessment and I received the report today.  While there are some points I disagree with in the report, for the most part it is positive and going from the report I should have my award increased.

How likely is it that the decision maker would agree/disagree  with the report?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,229 Disability Gamechanger
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    Mostly they go with it but it has been known for them to go against it.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Sianee
    Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
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    Mostly they go with it but it has been known for them to go against it.
    Thank you for your reply.  

    I know there isn't any certainty so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    How did you find the assessment @sianee

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Sianee
    Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited November 2022
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    How did you find the assessment @sianee
    The assessment was supposed to be a video one which I was prepared for.  I thought it would be an opportunity for the assessor to see how my illnesses affect me physically.  As the assessment was due to begin, I was in the virtual waiting room when a call came through.  I do t usually answer calls when I do t know the number but I did that day as I wanted the caller off the line.  It turned out to be the assessor, she couldn't get online to do the video call.

    She explained that the call would take a maximum 1 hour so I told her that I'd probably need a break during it as I can't sit for long periods of time.

    For approx 45/50 minutes we just talked about my illnesses, symptoms and medication.  She then rushed the last 10/15 mins asking me how my illnesses affect my daily life.

    She didn't cover a few of the questions on the pip assessment form and the ones she did, she rushed me through my answers.  She kept saying that if she didn't finish within the hour then we would have to do the assessment again on another day.  

    During the assessment my Alexa device alarm sounded to remind me to take my meds.  I asked her to pause the assessment for a moment for my husband to give me my meds.  I started choking and the coughing lasted about 2 mins.  I also explained that I had weed myself due to coughing.  I was quite distressed when the call contained and as she was still on the line and had heard what had happened she said she understood my distress.

    At the end of the call she said she had no more questions as everything tallies up.  I took this as a positive statement.

    During the assessment, my husband was taking notes and at times had to prompt me as my memory is shocking due to cognative impairment.

    On Monday, I received a text to confirm that the DWP had received the assessment.  I called immediately and requested a copy.  When it arrived on Friday I was surprised to see that she had recorded most of the assessment correctly at the beginning.  I did notice however that she didn't list my medical report as evidence! Although she seemed to summerise the assessment as mostly correct, there were some glaring mistakes.  She claimed that I don't have trouble swallowing when she had actually witnessed me choking. There were other things too but for now I won't quibble with those.

    When it came to the descriptors however, there seemed to be outright lies.  One big one for me was that I can read without any issues.  I can't, I have blind spots due to severe pre proliferative retinopathy.  She had the diagnosis report from eye specialist that confirmed this. (In case you're wondering, my husband is typing this for me!).

    Even though I feel I was very undermarked on most of daily living descriptors, she has still ticked anough that I would get 16 points, so hopefully the decision makers concur.

    With the mobility side, she has suggested 22 points.  I did tell her though that I could walk 15 meters using my walking stick, have a minute rest then do another 15 meters.  She has made a typing error though at the beginning of the report, she typed 15 minutes as opposed to 15 meters.  On the actual no. 12 question though she ticked 12e.  I hope that the decision maker recognises that stated 15 minutes at the beginning of the report is an error and doesn't take the points away!

    For many of the questions she seems to refer to my PA4 from 2016 and not the medical evidence I sent with the review form.

    All in all I feel mixed about the assessment as she does seem to recognise and understand some of the issues I have.  I am disappointed though that she suggests an award period of just 18 months. This seems unfair as in my previous PA4 from 2016 which she referred to many times, I was awarded for a minimum 5 years as the assessor recognised that some of my illnesses have been for at least 20 years and are more likely to get worked and not better.

    I just hope now that the DM agrees with the points but realises that 18 months is too short an award.

    Hopefully I'll hear from them soon as the waiting literally makes my stomach burn!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,229 Disability Gamechanger
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    The points that are recommended would be Enhanced for both parts. Even though you think you could have scored more, scoring more will not get you a higher award than Enhanced for both parts. You only need to score 12 points for each part for this award.
    Timescales once the report is returned is 2-12 weeks. Once the decision is made if you're not happy with the award length you can request the Mandatory Reconsideration for just that. You will need to make sure you tell them you're happy with the award itself and you're just disagreeing with the length. You must state your reasons why you think a longer award length should apply. The most likely outcome would be the decision doesn't change, if this happens you can proceed to Tribunal.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Sianee
    Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
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    The points that are recommended would be Enhanced for both parts. Even though you think you could have scored more, scoring more will not get you a higher award than Enhanced for both parts. You only need to score 12 points for each part for this award.
    Timescales once the report is returned is 2-12 weeks. Once the decision is made if you're not happy with the award length you can request the Mandatory Reconsideration for just that. You will need to make sure you tell them you're happy with the award itself and you're just disagreeing with the length. You must state your reasons why you think a longer award length should apply. The most likely outcome would be the decision doesn't change, if this happens you can proceed to Tribunal.
    Thanks Poppy.  I know about the 12 points for enhanced, fingers crossed that the DM agrees to what the assessor has said for the points.  I do think that if they only award 18 months then I will try the MR.  Do you think if I asked my GP to write a letter detailing the reasons that my conditions will not improve over time that the DM will accept it?  If not, do you know what type of evidence they're likely to accept? Would referring to my PA4 from 2016 would help? Thanks for any advice.
  • Sianee
    Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
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    Just thought that I'd update you on my review. I found out today that my award has been increased from standard to enhanced for both components and I've been awarded for 3 years.  Also, a huge surprise, it's been backdated to February which is when they sent the form to me. I thought it was only backdated if I had initiated a change of circumstances. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,229 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
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    Under normal times they don't usually backdated anything when it's a review started by DWP. As the reviews are taking longer than usual they do seem to be paying the difference for some people.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Congratulations @sianee :) That sounds like good news! How are you feeling today, now that you've had some time to process it?

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Sianee
    Sianee Community member Posts: 14 Listener
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    Congratulations @sianee :) That sounds like good news! How are you feeling today, now that you've had some time to process it?
    Thank you.  I still feel like it's a dream.  It's more than I could have hoped for and to me it's pretty much life changing. The first thing I said to my husband is let's celebrate by putting the heating on!!


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yes, it's chilly at the moment @sianee! I hope you've both warmed up a bit now :)

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

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