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Should I complain?

JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
Hi,

I had my assessment yesterday with Atos, and as you could predict, it was emotionless and barely left any room for me to detail my experiences.

My difficulties are severe social anxiety and depression. I had written down with me my notes for each section they would assess me on as I have difficulty expressing complex information or thoughts out loud when feeling anxious.

At the end, we asked to see what she had written and explained that their own booklet that I am entitled to see it or have it described to me. It took me 4 times explaining for her to get what I was saying as she just kept saying I can request the report over the phone etc. When she finally got it, she had to go get a manager who both stood there contesting our request, saying things like "oh we've never done that before, all we have written is exactly what you have said" over and over. I explained I needed to see it because I wanted to make sure I hadn't left anything out as I didn't get to read from my notes because they didn't follow the set structure of questions so I got lost. My partner explained that it is all well and good them saying they write what we say, but we don't know that deffo true. We handed them the booklet with the part highlighted that says we can request this. They still didn't comply, and said if we had asked at the beginning they could have read it out as we went along. My partner said 2the booklet doesn't state that you need to ask at the beginning", I said I didn't know when to ask as you just went straight into the questions without telling me we had even begun and my anxiety meant I didn't feel comfortable interrupting. The manager made jokes saying that maybe we need to update our computers so you can see it from the other side too cause we can't exactly show you what we are typing whilst we type it as it is. 

Honestly, I almost gave up because I was exhausted trying to argue something their company sad I was entitled to, but my partner didn't give up. I said one last time, I want to see what you have written, for my own peace of mind. I want to check the accuracy of what you have written against my own experience. They finally agreed to do it. She again re-iterated it is just what I have said, then when she read out the first sentence, about how I didn't get a taxi there because I didn't feel comfortable with having the baby and the baby seat - It was already wrong. I said, no, I wasn't comfortable because the taxi driver would have been a stranger and with the ADDITION of having the baby it was worse. It wasn't just because of the baby. She then said, yes, I was going to add that in later when writing the report. At the time, we didn't think to say - well you just told us that you wrote everything we said down but have then in the first sentence told me you haven't. She didn't read anything out again. Just what each section was. Which I already knew. 

It sounds petty, theres also small things that I didn't like about the experience, but that was the major one because they wanted to hide their report from us, despite showing them their own booklet saying we can see it, and then, knowing about my severe social anxiety, having cried twice during it already, made me feel humiliated and stupid.
I want to complain more so the DWP know in advance that they missed out information out in the very first section, but refused to read the rest to me so I have little confidence of their accuracy of my condition.

Is this a worth while venture? I dont want to have to appeal to tribunal, so I am trying to make sure that I have the best chance with the MR if it's needed (I have seen advice to ask for a call from the decision maker if you don't agree is this has higher success of it being changed?)

Thanks for reading!

Replies

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,088 Disability Gamechanger
    You are technically correct that they ought to show you the section where you’ve given them a typical day etc. The rest? No. 

    You can request a copy from DWP but it’s not the thing to focus on. Your anxiety may lead you to want to control as much of this process as possible but that’s just not how it works. Get a copy of the report. Await the decision. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you need to do an MR do not focus on the HCP report other than in psssing. Focus predominantly on which points you score; why; the supporting evidence you have and so on. Proving a HCP report wrong does not get you PIP. 
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    You are technically correct that they ought to show you the section where you’ve given them a typical day etc. The rest? No. 

    You can request a copy from DWP but it’s not the thing to focus on. Your anxiety may lead you to want to control as much of this process as possible but that’s just not how it works. Get a copy of the report. Await the decision. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you need to do an MR do not focus on the HCP report other than in psssing. Focus predominantly on which points you score; why; the supporting evidence you have and so on. Proving a HCP report wrong does not get you PIP. 
    You say that but that isn't what their booklet says. Their booklet that they send to you prior to the meeting clearly states "you can request to see what your assessor has written during the interview or if it is easier they  an describe it to you" - there is nothing that says this is limited to only specific parts. That's why I was so thrown with them refusing to do what the booklet says I'm allowed to do.

    Thanks for the advice on the MR. I have a feeling based on the meeting i wont get what i think i qualify for.
    The mobility section on travelling is very vague. The 10 pointer and 12 pointer seen almost identical in severity. So I have a feeling they will push it down to 10 for no discernible reason other than to keep me from the higher rate.

    You're right in that my anxiety makes me feel like I need full control and not having it is driving me insane.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,088 Disability Gamechanger
    If you want to go in search of the vaguest, most misleading information about benefits then DWP literature is the way to go. The accurate position is summarised in the PIP assessment providers guidance where it says...

    ”1.8.20 The consultation report is primarily for CMs, but the claimant has a right to see it and can request a copy from the DWP. In the case of an appeal, the claimant, his/her representative and members of the tribunal will see a copy of the report.”.
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    This is atos's own booklet. "Please tell the health professional If your like to see what they are writing in their report" (note: not the past tense - have writte) "sometimes it may be easier if they describe what is being written"

    That to me is a quite clear sentence stating you can see what they are writing, during your meeting or have it described to you. 
    Again this is atos guidelines and booklet. Not the DWP. That is why I am annoyed. Because clearly atos have not relayed this information to its staff. And when we showed the ladies, they refused to acknowledge it.
  • MiskeyMiskey Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Ii would await there decision and 
    then appeal it if you are not happy, this  often gets a better result if you do not wish to go to a tribunal.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,088 Disability Gamechanger
    ATOS guidelines are wholly dictated by their contract with DWP. How they interpret that is at best misleading as with much of what they do.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,088 Disability Gamechanger
    ATOS guidelines are wholly dictated by their contract with DWP. How they interpret that is at best misleading as with much of what they do.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    JazCo said:
    This is atos's own booklet. "Please tell the health professional If your like to see what they are writing in their report" (note: not the past tense - have writte) "sometimes it may be easier if they describe what is being written"

    That to me is a quite clear sentence stating you can see what they are writing, during your meeting or have it described to you. 
    Again this is atos guidelines and booklet. Not the DWP. That is why I am annoyed. Because clearly atos have not relayed this information to its staff. And when we showed the ladies, they refused to acknowledge it.
    Mike is right. The chances of you being allowed to see what they have written or that the assessor will read back what has been said during the assessment are no better than you being able to swim non stop to Australia! It simply will not happen despite what booklet or web page you are reading.
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    Yadnad said:
    JazCo said:
    This is atos's own booklet. "Please tell the health professional If your like to see what they are writing in their report" (note: not the past tense - have writte) "sometimes it may be easier if they describe what is being written"

    That to me is a quite clear sentence stating you can see what they are writing, during your meeting or have it described to you. 
    Again this is atos guidelines and booklet. Not the DWP. That is why I am annoyed. Because clearly atos have not relayed this information to its staff. And when we showed the ladies, they refused to acknowledge it.
    Mike is right. The chances of you being allowed to see what they have written or that the assessor will read back what has been said during the assessment are no better than you being able to swim non stop to Australia! It simply will not happen despite what booklet or web page you are reading.
    I mean that just doesn't make any sense to me. I didnt even know I could ask until I read it in the booklet
     If they won't allow you to do it then why are they telling you they can. All that does is cause unnecessary anxiety whilst I have to explain over and over that the company they work for are telling claimants they can do something then being refused it.

    The government and DWP are horrid at going back on their word I know but how can you be denied something when it is clear as day in writing saying you can do it. It makes no sense
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,088 Disability Gamechanger
    You are focusing on an aspect of a process which will make no difference at all to the outcome. HCPs are allowed to complete their report on their view and are allowed for it to be their view. They make a recommendation to DWP abd they in turn will make a decision. You get your say at that stage and no sooner.
  • LittleGizmo86LittleGizmo86 Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    JazCo said:
    Hi,

    I had my assessment yesterday with Atos, and as you could predict, it was emotionless and barely left any room for me to detail my experiences.

    My difficulties are severe social anxiety and depression. I had written down with me my notes for each section they would assess me on as I have difficulty expressing complex information or thoughts out loud when feeling anxious.

    At the end, we asked to see what she had written and explained that their own booklet that I am entitled to see it or have it described to me. It took me 4 times explaining for her to get what I was saying as she just kept saying I can request the report over the phone etc. When she finally got it, she had to go get a manager who both stood there contesting our request, saying things like "oh we've never done that before, all we have written is exactly what you have said" over and over. I explained I needed to see it because I wanted to make sure I hadn't left anything out as I didn't get to read from my notes because they didn't follow the set structure of questions so I got lost. My partner explained that it is all well and good them saying they write what we say, but we don't know that deffo true. We handed them the booklet with the part highlighted that says we can request this. They still didn't comply, and said if we had asked at the beginning they could have read it out as we went along. My partner said 2the booklet doesn't state that you need to ask at the beginning", I said I didn't know when to ask as you just went straight into the questions without telling me we had even begun and my anxiety meant I didn't feel comfortable interrupting. The manager made jokes saying that maybe we need to update our computers so you can see it from the other side too cause we can't exactly show you what we are typing whilst we type it as it is. 

    Honestly, I almost gave up because I was exhausted trying to argue something their company sad I was entitled to, but my partner didn't give up. I said one last time, I want to see what you have written, for my own peace of mind. I want to check the accuracy of what you have written against my own experience. They finally agreed to do it. She again re-iterated it is just what I have said, then when she read out the first sentence, about how I didn't get a taxi there because I didn't feel comfortable with having the baby and the baby seat - It was already wrong. I said, no, I wasn't comfortable because the taxi driver would have been a stranger and with the ADDITION of having the baby it was worse. It wasn't just because of the baby. She then said, yes, I was going to add that in later when writing the report. At the time, we didn't think to say - well you just told us that you wrote everything we said down but have then in the first sentence told me you haven't. She didn't read anything out again. Just what each section was. Which I already knew. 

    It sounds petty, theres also small things that I didn't like about the experience, but that was the major one because they wanted to hide their report from us, despite showing them their own booklet saying we can see it, and then, knowing about my severe social anxiety, having cried twice during it already, made me feel humiliated and stupid.
    I want to complain more so the DWP know in advance that they missed out information out in the very first section, but refused to read the rest to me so I have little confidence of their accuracy of my condition.

    Is this a worth while venture? I dont want to have to appeal to tribunal, so I am trying to make sure that I have the best chance with the MR if it's needed (I have seen advice to ask for a call from the decision maker if you don't agree is this has higher success of it being changed?)

    Thanks for reading!
     @JazCo
    Please let me put your mind at ease. Seeing what she wrote probably would have made little difference.

    The report comes in 2 parts. The 1st part are the questions asked and answers given. The 2nd part is what point for each section they suggest be awarded and why.

    The 2nd part is the most important part and would likely not have been worked at til after the assessment.

    Now, when i had my assessment the assessor wrote word for word everytbing i said (well almost) it was brilliant. I though wow she couldnt have written what i said more clearly and anyone reading this can see how bad i am.... well imagine what it was like to read the recommended point section was absolutely zero. And her reasons for why were pointless, irrelevant to the question, totally against what she had written i said and totally against my evidence sent.

    She could have read every word of the whole report. Doesnt mean she will then agree with what you said or recommend the points you think you should be awarded.

    I would not complain but instead phone up and ask for a copy of the report to be posted out. That way you can see exactly what she wrote AS WELL as what points she recommends.

    Then you can either call them with wbat you disagree with, have your MR ready to send should you disagree with what was said and they award her recommendations (gives you plenty of time to compose the letter knowing what was said), gather any extra evidence you may need.

    Good luck
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