Face to Face Assessment Abuse — Scope | Disability forum

Face to Face Assessment Abuse

AKris Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited October 2017 in PIP, DLA, and AA
I had my so called face to face assessment on Monday. It's left me feeling both abused, very traumatised, and violated.

The assessor said she had read my application and supporting evidence (which detailed my complex and severely challenging behaviours, especially when communicating with others) yet obviously totally lacked any understanding of them as throughout the assessment I was constantly threatened with having the assessment stopped due to my not behaving to the assessors expectations. I was not allowed to question the rational for some of the questions, there was no discussion of what what actually happening or why, there was no time given for understanding, no effort made to help me understand, there was no conversation as such, it was a question and answer session, end of, and many of the questions were totally irrelevant, many were pointless as the answers had been clearly given in my application and supporting evidence.

Every time I tried to ask why the assessor was asking such questions, trying to find what the rational was and what this whole exercise was actually about, I was threatened with having the assessment stopped! Of course, this only made my behaviour more challenging.

My carer who was there with me helped a great deal but still, due to the state I was in and the total lack of time given and no allowances made for my mental health state, much that I had wanted to say was left unsaid, although to be honest, everything I wanted to say had already been included in my application and supporting evidence.

Sadly, due to my mental health issues I lack any ability and mental capacity to 'perform' at face to face meetings, but this was clearly already explained in my application.

Many questions that I feel should have been asked (given what is written in various PIP assessment guides), when I think back, were not., For example, there were no questions at all regarding my daily routine (my application had not detailed this at all), neither were there any questions regarding variability, good days or bad days, etc. At the end she did not give any clue as to what she would be recommending in her report. Neither at any time did she show me her ID so I have no idea of who she is or what her qualifications are.

I think it was blatantly obvious during the grilling that the mental health issues as stated in my application and supporting evidence were honest and correct, maybe that's what this abuse was about, did I really have the problems stated?

As I say, the assessor made absolutely no effort to explain what was happening, made zero allowances for my mental health issues, and constantly threatened me if I didn't perform to her expectations or if I wondered off her script. This was not an "assessment" it was an interrogation where my rights had been withdrawn. No understanding, no allowances made for my health issues, no compassion, no empathy, no time given for me to calm down, no thinking space.

I won't detail how this abusive exercise has left me feeling, but I am trying very hard not to go into crisis. I will be requesting a copy of the assessors report, but not at this moment, I just can't face it.

I will be making a formal complaint, but I don't know how much of what I have experienced is due to the system itself or the assessor. Overall though I am left in no doubt that the assessment process is unfit for purpose - especially for those with mental health issues for whom it can be an abusive and traumatic exercise which only serves to trigger the very issues for which PIP is being applied.


  • tinapowell97
    tinapowell97 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Totally agree 100%
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @AKris

    A very big welcome to you this evening !!!!!

    "OMG" I'm so sorry to read your post !!!!!!!

    We have got some Benefit Advisors on our site.

    I will forward your post to the for there help if that is ok ???

    Hi @BenefitsTrainingCo

    Can you please advise me with this post ???

    Many thanks.
  • jose2
    jose2 Member Posts: 126 Pioneering
    Hello @AKris,welcome to site , same experience c/o my FTF,and when I received my assessment report back 10 days after the interview,(which I requested day after assessment) I nearly fell off my chair when reading it ,thought I'd got someone else's FTF report,same day got this report rang for a MR and asked to speak to DM,he was very rude and demeaning to me over phone(I told him that he would receive a letter from me also informing him that I would like /request a MR,after he was rude to me via phone,was so incensed by it,I  filled a form for a Tribunal ,then about 10 days after received MR letter back  ,'guess what', knew they had refused me as his report was no different to FTF assessment report. Started getting all info together for tribunal ,and wrote letter to Atos Medical   Professional(via email ) and also emailed my MP with details about what happened c/o assessment/MR and phone calls to DWP and how rude and demeaning they had been , then about 10 days after that suddenly received brown envelope that my claim for PIP mobility enhanced had been reinstated,that they had looked into it all again and the Medical Professional had agreed that I did indeed have medical problems .I like you sent all info on my application form before assessment and reams of medical letters and investigation letters and results,I have terminal cancer and Lupus,and that's only x 2 illnesses, the other things which overlap via Lupus are numerous.
    I wasn't hanging around for and requesting a x 2nd MR I went to the top ,fought back.Understand hoops they want and try to make you jump through,all with you on this @AKris.Keep us updated,all best @jose2      
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I have heard that statement about choosing to not be offended and it's another placebo thought up by someone healthy and without any real issues. I often find myself being offended and certainly cannot deal with it well unless being given plenty of time to prepare for it, even then it can rankle.

    Unfortunately the assessment system, which was never very good to begin with, has become worse as any real professional has distanced themselves from it. They are left with completely untrained and unprofessional staff to handle it. Like most systems it was thought up by people with none or little training and experience and with preconceptions about what constituted disability. Unfortunately we are stuck with it and the people wo suffer the most at it's hands.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • janice_in_wonderland
    janice_in_wonderland Member Posts: 265 Pioneering
    Sorry to read about your experience too... mine went in for an hour & a half which not only stressed me but also irritated my carer who surprised me as she's such a supportive person who also felt things were inappropriate 

    The Royal family are drawing attention to Mental Health yet Assessors aren't  

    They're emotionally detached and totally uncaring 

    hope you win your case 
  • AKris
    AKris Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you all for your replies, it means a lot to me to know that I'm not alone in this. :)


Do you need advice on your energy costs?

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.