Complaint — Scope | Disability forum

Complaint

muldoon
muldoon Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi everyone 
Has anyone complained about their assessor and the inadequacy of the face to face consultation? My assesors report is not a true reflection of my assessment nor evidence supplied    
              

Comments

  • lindadenise
    lindadenise Member Posts: 302 Pioneering
    I have in my Mandatory Reconsideration i am not happy with what my Assessor said about me. I also feel that non of my medical evidence was looked at, my Daughter came with me and was shocked at what was said in my pip decision. 
  • muldoon
    muldoon Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I intend to pursue a complaint so if anyone has any experience of complaining about the assessor to Capita I also intend to meet with my MP to get her help with this 
  • cobra
    cobra Member Posts: 36 Courageous

    Hi all,

    Those of you who’ve starting a new claim, have had a f2f, have had a problem with your assessment, are thinking of or have had Mandatory Reconsideration rejected, are now going to a tribunal, please do NOT give up as I’ve been through ALL this and HAVE won my PIP appeal (albeit partly) before the actual hearing. 

    There are some wonderful people here on this site who’d helped me with their kind help which gave me the inspiration to carry on.

    Please read all my messages by searching for my name @COBRA.

    You can find my last post here:

    https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/42346/pip-part-success

  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,799 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi all, you may find this page on the DWP complaints procedure helpful.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Part of the problem with the assessment process is that HCP's do not have crystal balls. The assessment is a snap shot of your life and the HCP can only base their recommendation on what they see on the day. When you have a long term condition you find ways to manage which become second nature, we hide our problems so that we can cope. Unless you drop your coping strategy for the assessment it can never be a true reflection of your life. Yes you have to become disabled for the Assessment.
     
    Medical evidence is important but it will not win you an award. PIP is about the "HOW", medical evidence can only support this by giving the "WHY" which is of secondary importance. Many people throw as much medical evidence as they can and then wonder why it is not read. HCP's and DM's are only interested in the bits that are relevant, so don't expect them to wade through the equivalent of "War and Peace " to find the snippets that prove your claim 

    Often over looked are the reliability factors of Safety, Repeatedly, Timely and to an acceptable standard and unless you bring these in the assessor will not know how or if they apply

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • sam12
    sam12 Posts: 1,338 Member
    I had tricked questions forced to medical exam things I couldn't do. He even touched me doubt this is allowed. He said if u don't like life why u still here and what stopping u from goin. Can u read goggle maps I don't read maps only look pics. Had he said u have moblie u can read there difference words I dont understand I jump lines even I tired to read to my bf poems I struggle to he is expert in welfare so he goin to help me win if I fail assessment he said I have serious mental health issues I have visable scsrs self harming to
  • Spock
    Spock Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi All,
    I'm going through the whole PIP process for the second time. I lost my high rate Motability, and my only means of getting out of the house, last February. I went through the whole process up to tribunal believing that, despite the lies after my medical, common sense and my extensive medical records would prove my case.

    I'm afraid to say that the solicitor leading the tribunal was so aggressive I panicked and withdrew my case because I felt that they were not giving me the opportunity to put my case before they had made a decision. A large part of the problem, everyone out there thinking of taking on the DWP should bare this in mind, was I assumed that I would be able to win on my own as I live this life and can answer any questions asked, how wrong I was.

    Anyway that part is behind me and I just went home and started again as my condition has deteriorated significantly. Low and behold I had the "medical" which took a fraction of the time of the first one, and got the award letter last week which stated I was still entitled to standard rate for both elements of PIP.

    I asked for a copy of the "medical" assessors report so I could ask for a mandatory reconsideration and was pretty shocked to read it. Apart from mentioning things that just weren't looked at in the exam the assessor said that I had walked all the way to the office without stopping. This was exactly what was said after my first assessment when it was a blatant lie as I'd had to stop on the way to the office when my leg collapsed. This time round I deliberately counted how far I could get without stopping, which was about 15m and made sure to engage the assessor in conversation about why I needed to rest for a minute. I stopped and talked to the assessor TWICE on the 22m walk to the office and TWICE on the way out. I honestly don't know how they can do this, this is gambling with peoples lives..The vast majority of people going through this are open and honest but stand no chance if the system is rigged against them.

    For the record I have deformed feet with severe nerve damage and chronic nerve pain among other serious medical conditions. As Cockney Rebel says you find ways to cope over many years and I also take very high doses of opiate pain medication, which have there own problems.
    Apart from my deformed feet I guess I look pretty normal to most people. During both medical examinations I asked the assessor to examine my feet and both times the request was denied with the statement "it's not required as part of the examination" How can they asses how someone can or can't mobilize if they don't examine the damage.

    I'm sorry for going on a bit but I don't want other people to fall foul of this crooked system, take to heart what Cockney Rebel says.
    I'm using a welfare rights officer and if needed a solicitor this time round as common sense does not figure when taking on the DWP.

    Be warned, the DWP don't request any medical evidence from GP's or Consultants and neither do ATOS or CAPITA. In the vast majority of cases the decisions are made purely on the examination and any info you send. This is from the guy at DWP I spoke to an hour ago.
    You can't beat a system that lies so GET PROFFESIONAL HELP, GET PROFFESIONAL HELP, GET PROFFESIONAL HELP. Welfare rights officers are free and will help you at every stage.
    Good Luck and God Bless.
    Spock.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,799 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Spock, and thank you for sharing your experiences with us- sadly, I'm sure many others will be able to relate. Please do keep us updated if you pursue the MR, and we'll advise where we can. I hope today is as kind as possible to you.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited August 2018
    Spock said:
    Hi All,

    You can't beat a system that lies so GET PROFFESIONAL HELP, GET PROFFESIONAL HELP, GET PROFFESIONAL HELP. Welfare rights officers are free and will help you at every stage.
    Good Luck and God Bless.
    Spock.
    They may well be free but you are going to be extremely lucky to even get an interview with the CAB or similar within the time frame set by the DWP.

    I would not be too optimistic in finding someone of that calibre who will be prepared to work with you from start to finish including representing you at a tribunal.

    I tried the following a few years back

    CAB
    Independent Disability Advice Centre
    Royal British Legion (veteran)
    AgeUK

    None was able to provide the level of service you are suggesting.

    What I would suggest is that you read, read & read the many excellent websites that are available. Teach yourself to do the job properly. 
    And if you are stuck ask a question on this site.
  • Spock
    Spock Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Pippa,
    Thanks I will.
    Sorry for the long post, that's just part of what happened. I just don't want people to fall into the same trap without asking for the right help. Our local CAD has closed and the nearest is snowed under with pip complaints so a welfare rights adviser is a must go to.
    Regards,
    Spock.
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    Looking at things logically for a moment..... each assessment  is given only a certain amount of time and, as has been said, it assesses how you are affected and not what you suffer from. In theory this should be a better test for entitlement but only if done correctly.

    I don't understand why anyone would supply tons of medical information as most of it isn't relevant and, if the assessor is short of time, looking at a large pile and knowing they don't have time to go through it all will not bother with it at all. After all, having a certain condition does not mean you will suffer all the problems it can cause because it depends at what stage you are. From what I have read a lot of weight is given to visual observation and there will always be trick questions, designed to catch out people who do not deserve it. Unfortunately, most disabled do not function well under pressure and this might appear to them as a fraudulent claim. Another possibility is that, if they run out of time, they might leave some of the forms to fill until later, expecting to remember the cases, but unfortunately most people's memory is not likely to be able to always do that correctly. I would also guess that, in a lot of cases, a physical examination is not only not required but actually completely useless as many disabilities now seem to be invisible. Consequently no time would be allowed for doing so, no matter how much importance the claimant puts on it.

    I am in no way suggesting that things are done correctly, just trying to be devil's advocate and suggest why some of the problems occur. I also think that most assessors are entirely unqualified and inexperienced for the job they are trying to do. Even qualified GP's have had problems understanding my problems and I am sure this has happened to others and most assessors, from what I have read on this site, are not even qualified to GP standard.

    In an ideal world the MR should work correctly and catch mistakes but I suspect that mostly they are done with more emphasis on not attaching blame to the assessor. An appeal is done a long time after the assessment and, I suspect, does not tend to be reverse applied to the assessors except in really obvious poor decision making over an extended period. This sort of attitude seems rife in all parts of the health and support systems. Something I have run into many times in the last few years.

    I'm sorry if this doesn't appear helpful, just hoping to perhaps remove some of the worries you have. It is always hard to put yourself in someone else's place, as we often state, but that works both ways too. I always try to work with people who are trying to help me but I suspect that the fear and concern I have regarding a f2f might make that impossible for me and I am sure for others too.

    All we can do is our best and try to keep going when it seems like the whole world is against you.

    I'm sorry, even my simple explanations today seem to be waffling on and on. It isn't intentional I assure you.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Spock
    Spock Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @ Yadnad, I agree you will struggle to get an interview at any CAB office, most are overwhelmed working on PIP refusals even if you're lucky enough to have one in your area. I suggested in my post that people see a welfare rights officer who they should be able to access through their local council or benefits office. These are free to use. 

    @ Topkitten,

    I'm afraid I disagree with some of your comments, the assessments have a direct impact on peoples lives and consequently should be done thoroughly but above all honestly and fairly.

    I've had medicals in years gone by for what was incapacity benefit then transferred to esa. These medicals where carried out by qualified doctors and involved a full strip down medical examination as well as lots of questions. I've never had to question their conclusions and always been happy to accept the results because I knew I'd had a full and proper examination.

    If you think its more efficient to have someone sit behind a desk ticking boxes on a computer then asking you to bend your elbows then your knees then all I can think is that you must have been happy with the result of your assessment.

    Having a limited amount of time to carry out an important assessment is no excuse for lying and giving false information to the DWP. I was naïve enough to think that ATOS/DWP would be contacting my GP and Consultants for an update on how my condition's have deteriorated rather than me bury them under mounds of paper work from all the consultants I'm under. I was wrong, they only look at the information you supply, which in my case was sparse as I'm mainly looked after by my GP after so many years 

    I've been disabled for many years but have never yet asked a consultant for any kind of letter. I think their time is more important spent treating patients rather than writing letters to the DWP. I know they write to my GP as we've often discussed them but ATOS/DWP ignored the letter from my GP that I supplied with my initial application.

    I'm more than happy to be open and honest during an assessment as I've nothing to hide, all I ask is that the examiners operate on the same principals and treat us all fairly.
    Problem is, I find from reading many posts, is that there are a lot of bent examiners out there who have their own best interests at heart and are quite happy to lie.
    Anyway this time I'm actually looking forward to going to tribunal as I'm far better prepared, I only wish I hadn't been to proud to ask for help the last time
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Spock said:
    @ Yadnad, I agree you will struggle to get an interview at any CAB office, most are overwhelmed working on PIP refusals even if you're lucky enough to have one in your area. I suggested in my post that people see a welfare rights officer who they should be able to access through their local council or benefits office. These are free to use. 



    In the main Council's Welfare Rights Officers no longer see the general public. They only deal with claimants that are working with Social Services.

    As a Councillor myself I am aware that is has caused problems, but with the ever reduction in available funds we had to close our department down and made  all bar 1 redundant.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,846 Disability Gamechanger
    I disagree with your first paragraph. It’s certainly true of some but not the majority.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    edited August 2018
    I disagree with your first paragraph. It’s certainly true of some but not the majority.
    Kent as a whole (ie Kent County Council) only employs WROs who will only act for someone that is already a client of their Social Services dept. 

    Obviously there may well be other councils that still employ WROs for the public at large but in the main most councils saw that as one of the first departments to get the chop.  The argument used at the time was that there are other agencies doing the same work ie CAB, AgeUK, thus the public would not suffer from those cuts. Unfortunately in the years that followed the funding made by the council to those agencies was cut as to 90% cut to CAB and 100% to AgeUK.

    AgeUK had to close some of their branches until funding from other sources could be found. In fact one branch which provided meals as well was axed overnight. It has subsequently reopened but without any WRO's.and no help from the council.

    I would further mention DIAL as an example. It used to have offices that covered the whole of Kent . Due to cuts it joined forces with KSBAH and only now can support people who live in the most deprived areas of Kent, namely Gravesend, Northfleet, Dartford and Swanley. Geographically this is in the NW area of Kent. other areas now have no cover whatsoever.

    When looking at England as a whole it does seem to follow that deprived areas are mainly the only ones where you will see sufficient resources being available and supported by the councils
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,846 Disability Gamechanger
    A significant number were wholly cut but of the ones which remain it’s 50/50 overall but if you only look at the functioning ones then most see anyone.

    If you take GM then Rochdale have gone completely. Wigan have been in-house only long before current cuts. Bolton are in-house. Bury have gone but at least have things in place. Manchester do appeals only on referral so that’s technically second tier too. However, you then have Oldham, Salford, Tameside, Stockport and Trafford who all have an open door policy. So that’s 5 first tier and 3 second tier.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Hi Mike - this is getting into the realms of North v South.
    Being a Lancastrian, born and bred I agree it does seem to be the case that in the North there is a far better provision of this type of help. Also having met and married a Mancunian - originally from Salford then Urmston I am fully aware that the likes of Trafford are keen to help anyone. 

    When I used to visit Liverpool on a regular basis (hospital appointments) .It was so obvious to see welfare advisory shops everywhere when compared to Canterbury.

    Nothing that I can say or do will change anything. On the whole the South of Kent, Surrey, Sussex (excluding the likes of Brighton and surrounding areas)  are poorly served.

    Sometimes I do wonder if this is a political thing  or that by comparison the number of welfare claimants are greater in number north of the Watford Gap.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,846 Disability Gamechanger
    A lot of it is fluke, coincidence and circumstantial. Manchester had one of the largest services in the UK. Chief Executive was not a fan. One of the two below was and held them there for years. They step down and the service gets decimated. 
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Whilst working I used to have the pleasure of calling on people in the Whalley Range/Moss Side areas and in the main indoor shopping area I used to see solicitors and WR offices side by side out number the bookies!! So I would agree that in time previous MCR must have had a large presence.

    Those were 'good' days - I had to have security meet me in the car park and escort me to and from the one individual I had to visit in the centre far too often. 


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