PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP assessment

swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
hello everyone, never thought that I would ever need to do something like this, actually embarrassed at my situation. Little background info - woke up in January with a really sore stomach and back. Was admitted to hospital for 4 days where they ran blood/urine tests. Received a ultrasound on my ovaries where all was normal. Went for a CT scan, again all normal. I have been living with constant severe back pain since. Nothing found on MRI. Just went for another MRI of full spine and head and waiting for results. So been off work since January and take morphine tablets as well as liquid. On a bunch of other meds too. Everyone told me to claim PIP but only recently done it.

Went for my assessment today and truthfully was dreading it as I’ve read so many horror stories! Anyway the nurse who interviewed me was actually really nice. My issue is that she didn’t ask me to do any physical movements or exercises as she “could see I was in pain”. Has anyone else ever had this and is this a good or bad thing? This money is desperately needed as I have no pay now. So worried why she didn’t ask me to do anything and what she may put in report i.e refused to do anything.

Sorry for the long winded message but any help/advice/comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @swifty Pleased to meet you welcome. Thank you for sharing.

    Understand the issues around PIP assessment. I can just say we all of us who have done these. Have moments of regrets and get guilts. All the time getting anxiety. You have in the end of the day. Done your best and to reassure you we are here to support and help you.

    All I can add is please try to not to worry. Think of positivity.  My concern is right now and what happens next.

    Your wellbeing and health . Try to get help and support for anything you might need.  Advice and information. Have a look at our Posts. Dealing with Chronic Pain might be useful.

    We are a supportive friendly community care and share.

    Ask the community anything some one will know.  Ready to listen.

    Wish you the best for a successful outcome.

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
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  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @swifty,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you on board.

    Best of luck for a successful result for your assessment. I've moved this post into our dedicated PIP category, so other members of our community can share their experiences and offer their advice and support.

    If you have any other questions, then please do get in touch!
    Liam
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi @swifty just wait for the outcome a nurse assessed my brother in law she was nice and chatty got his outcome they’ve reduced his money hopefully yours was genuinely nice good luck
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Thank you for the welcome! Guess I just have to wait although 4 weeks is a long time! Wish DWP would employ more people and process this quicker. So stressful waiting that long. 
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    [email protected] I think they do it deliberately so people give up cos they can’t handle the stress
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    blueboy87 said:
    [email protected] I think they do it deliberately so people give up cos they can’t handle the stress
    I won't disagree with that comment

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    The assessment is not a medical and a functional test or observation is not necessary if up to date clinical information has been submitted.
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    The assessment is not a medical and a functional test or observation is not necessary if up to date clinical information has been submitted.
    Does this mean that my doctor has given them a report on my capabilities/medication etc?

    This is so confusing as I read on so many comments on google where they said doctor hadn’t been contacted.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    No, it doesn't. They vey rarely contact GP's/Consultants for any evidence, the onus is on you to make sure it's sent. It's your responsibility to prove those descriptors apply to you and not their job. 
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi @swifty when my brother in law had his assessment she had him trying to pick things up then bend even tho he had just had an op on his spine which unfortunately hasn’t worked he came out said he felt as if he had been kicked all over he has osteoarthritis in his knees hips and spine I told him not to do the tasks if they were causing pain but the nurse said I need to know what he can do 
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    My brother in law had letters from gp cardiologist orthopaedic none of these were used his outcome was what the nurse said they should have cameras so there’s proof of what happened in assessment 
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi @ joe377 you couldn’t have worded that any better 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    The paramedic who did my assessment couldn't even pronounce the name of one of my meds let alone know what it does.
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi @Matilda the nurse who assessed my brother in law hadn’t even heard of 1 of his illnesses. Anyone could do assessments and just write stuff down cos that’s what’s happening 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, @blueboy87

    That's why there are so many incompetent and dishonest reports - and therefore why 71% of appeals win.
  • dougal1dougal1 Member Posts: 23 Connected
    Comment made by Joe 377 in my own humble opinion is spot on, l have had many medicals at my previous employment to see how I was affected by my illness, they were all qualified doctors, this was a local authority, so surely these companies like Atos etc should do this as well, umm silly me it comes down to money and targets 
    Regards Doug 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    @jae377 the problem is more that people think they are going into a medical assessment when they’re not. Then when they find out they’re not they decide to educate the HCPs on their conditions because they’re not “medically qualified” etc. As a result some claimants spend little time in their assessment talking about the functional consequences of their conditions and then wonder why the HCP concludes that the functional consequences aren’t as the claimant says they are.

    Now sure there are some HCPs with limited life experience and limited knowledge of certain conditions but that’s not a problem if the functional consequences rather than the condition itself are explained to them. 

    DLA used doctors and the outcome, measured over a 22 year period, was that it didn’t produce accurate results. I don’t think you could have any stronger evidence that medical training is not the issue when it comes to functional outcomes. 

    It’s illustrative of just how far the PIP process is from what people think it is, and how much it is misunderstood, that comments thus far agree with Joe. 
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 921 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq I'm sure you're right in some cases, but certainly not all of them. 

    II don' explain what my conditions are, and I do tell the assessors about my functional limitations. I've still had multiple bad experiences with assessors who didn't know what one of my conditions was:

    One assessor didn't allow me to talk about important functional issues because he didn't understand that they were part of that condition. 

    A couple of assessors have had silly/wrong ideas about what a condition is/means. e.g. One of mine, a physio, clearly didn't understand that depression (I have chronic refractory major depressive disorder) can be worse than moping about feeling sad. She completely discounted all the functional effects from my depression, and wrote things like, "Unlikely to be due to depression".

    One assessor just ignored my mental health completely. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    @Waylay I didn’t say it was all of them. The evidence to the Work and Pensions committee did suggest most of them though. After all these years I still find it terrifying how many people can have a WRO and still no clue as to what they’re on or why. 

    The one thing which is certain is that the solution is not more medically qualified people.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 921 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq I think the solution is to scrap the assessment and re-imagine the whole thing.
  • jae377jae377 Member Posts: 27 Courageous
    @jae377 the problem is more that people think they are going into a medical assessment when they’re not. Then when they find out they’re not they decide to educate the HCPs on their conditions because they’re not “medically qualified” etc. As a result some claimants spend little time in their assessment talking about the functional consequences of their conditions and then wonder why the HCP concludes that the functional consequences aren’t as the claimant says they ar. 
    Sorry to disagree, There is no way that the interviewer can assess either what is reasonable to request me to do (physical actions) or its effect on me without understanding my issues. An example is that with a high level (C4, C5) spinal cord injury and Cardiac arterial Disease one DLA assessor demanded I get on a treadmill on the grounds I could support myself on the side rails. Threatened with withdrawal of benefits if I did not, I duly attempted to comply, luckily assessment was in rented room in BUPA Hospital and one of my NHS Consultants happened to be passing. He immediately stopped assessment.
    Another is requesting me to perform movements that WILL aggravate cord injury but crucially not until later - invitation to see effect on me e.g. next day consistently refused.. The reply to  last report requested from the surgeon who carried out my last lot of spinal surgery read  "I suggest someone with basic medical knowledge reads this gentleman's notes and repeat prescriptions"  - enough said I believe.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    My assessor did ask about my medical conditions, though she didn't understand them.  The tribunal doc also asked about my medical conditions.  Both I assume wanted info because I have a degenerative disease known to cause physical disabilities.  Therefore in certain cases at least assessments, and tribunals, are something of a medical consultation.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    jae377 said:
    @jae377 the problem is more that people think they are going into a medical assessment when they’re not. Then when they find out they’re not they decide to educate the HCPs on their conditions because they’re not “medically qualified” etc. As a result some claimants spend little time in their assessment talking about the functional consequences of their conditions and then wonder why the HCP concludes that the functional consequences aren’t as the claimant says they ar. 
    Sorry to disagree, There is no way that the interviewer can assess either what is reasonable to request me to do (physical actions) or its effect on me without understanding my issues. An example is that with a high level (C4, C5) spinal cord injury and Cardiac arterial Disease one DLA assessor demanded I get on a treadmill on the grounds I could support myself on the side rails. Threatened with withdrawal of benefits if I did not, I duly attempted to comply, luckily assessment was in rented room in BUPA Hospital and one of my NHS Consultants happened to be passing. He immediately stopped assessment.
    Another is requesting me to perform movements that WILL aggravate cord injury but crucially not until later - invitation to see effect on me e.g. next day consistently refused.. The reply to  last report requested from the surgeon who carried out my last lot of spinal surgery read  "I suggest someone with basic medical knowledge reads this gentleman's notes and repeat prescriptions"  - enough said I believe.
    Feel free to disagree. Debate is healthy. I do think your post remains based on a misunderstanding though. The incidents you describe relate to DLA where there was a medical professional. Given that you’ve earlier argued that medical professionals would be better you’ve just given two examples of why that would not automatically be the case.

    As regards PIP and DLA the reality is that both types of assessment allow assessment of what can reasonably be done provided sufficient information was put in the claim pack. The standard line from claimants is that they list their conditions in the claim pack but don’t explain the consequences because they’d rather do that face to face or they’re not going to explain it because they assume medical professionals are involved and will therefore know all about it. 

    Both assumptions are wholly wrong. The claim pack is the place to fully explain conditions and their consequences. The assessment is not the place for that discussion. There simply isn’t ever going to be the time. It is the place where the assessor forms their own view based on the claim pack and what they see. They can’t possibly know or quickly learn the consequences of most conditions so if it’s not fully laid out in a claim pack then of course the assessment will fall short. 
  • angel137angel137 Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    @ Mike Hughes
    I agree with some of what you say.
    I can only tell you that my Pip application was a long, fully detailed description of my abilities, with the help of a guide, for each descriptor that pertained to me. I added an A4 sheet for virtually every descriptor. It was a fully detailed application. 
    Many people have unseen conditions, illnesses/ disabilities and this is something that is very difficult for the HCP to assess. However, during my assessment,  which took place at my home, the assessor was continually trying to get me to say things that contradicted what I had stated on my application. (I had a friend with me taking notes.)
    I do not cook (I also have a lower arm disability). I had already stated this during assessment. We discussed this discriptor. A minute later, she asked me if I live on my own. Then she said: "So, you cook for yourself then?" This continued throughout the assessment. Luckily, I have experience of this. Far too much experience. She didn't catch me out. I was prepared. So the HCP resorted to lying on the report to stop me getting points/higher rate. Shameful.
    If you try to do the movements during the assessment, even though you know it's going to cause you pain and you are unable to do them without leaning on chairs or walls/ people,  then they'll say you are able to do it, despite the pain and discomfort that it's clearly causing you and negative aftereffects. On the other hand, if you don't do the movements because of pain etc. they report you "refused" to do it. Or, don't even ask the client and say they refused. It really is Kafkaesque.
    I'm glad some people are treated fairly and respectfully but there is still a long way to go. A private company that is paid to assess ppl-often seems like they are paid to get rid of as many as possible. The assessor should be independent and have no targets/bonuses related to numbers completed or denied claims. 
    I won at MR stage on 2 separate benefits. At this stage, I stated clearly how many points I thought I should receive for each descriptor and why. I also sent in more evidence. The DWP ended up sending the report back to the provider to get them to change it. I'm convinced, for me personally, that I will never get any of the benefits in the first instance. It takes a senior manager or senior caseworker to look at my case for me to get the benefit that I qualify for. I went from 0 points/ fit for work to getting full points on ONE descriptor for my ESA CB. From 0 points to standard PIP at MR stage.
    It has cost me a lot though, healthwise. My health has worsened as a consequence. I've been going through these processes for over 2 years now......! Still, at least I've managed to be successful, up to a point. But it shouldn't have to cost me, or anyone else, what's left of their health.
    Peace out. 
  • jae377jae377 Member Posts: 27 Courageous
    @mikehughescq
    Now had PIP assessment. Having had to fill out DSS forms for 25 years I consider myself quite proficient at doing so. I am extremely careful to include  a full explanation of conditions and consequences WHERE POSSIBLE. The PIP form being an excellent example of circumventing this by design an example being do you use mobility aids - there is no space to state that you do not because you have been assessed against them and told NOT to use them as they will exacerbate spinal issues._ DSS assumption is that once assessed as requiring a / being a wheelchair user you will not try to walk at all.
    Request for on-line or Word format (i.e. accessible) doc met with incredulity and "we haven't been asked for his before" - Really ? dealing solely with disabled people the majority of whom such as myself use a PC to type everything.

    Able to park 2 yards from centre door so didn't use wheelchair but walked supported by my carer. Painful, but encouraged by my OT as good for my heart disease, arthritis and Diabetes to remain as mobile as possible.
    All seats at centre were very low plastic with no arms, lumbar support or height adjustment. This meant unable to stand up unaided - in 2018 a center which deals specifically with disabled clients doesn't understand basic seating requirements ? or a carefully thought out ploy ?
     Asked to "come through" to be faced with a staircase. Only after several seconds of standing looking at stairs was I told, I was watching your face for reaction - then told lift around corner.
    Assessor stated that she had read forms so was fully aware of medical conditions, then asked me why I could not get in and out of a bath - I have a damaged spinal cord and am assessed as wheelchair dependent (By NHS Wheelchair Unit).
    When I replied "I have high level spinal cord damage" I was asked to elaborate. Rather kills your points regarding not explaining medical conditions.


    Asked about school / education. Replied Grammar School plus Professional qualifications and .Post Grad Level education, entitled to use prefix DR.
    Asked what my last job was, replied IT Consultant, asked if this was manual clerical etc.

    Then asked if I had passed GCSE's (O Levels) in English and Maths !!!!

    Lots of questions about shopping - 99% of which is done by carer.
    Ditto Cooking.

    Basically totally inappropriate set of questions to establish what I can and cannot reasonably do.
    Conclusion, this process is not aimed at those of us with long term disabilities and is NOT fit for purpose.




  • angel137angel137 Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    @jae377  

    Thanks for posting.

    PIP has absolutely nothing to do with your education or work experience. It is not a work-related benefit. Your education shouldn't really come into it. As  part of your social history, it's understandable, but going into great detail about these things is unnecessary.

    It is different for ESA. That is a work-related benefit. Pip has nothing to do with work- some people receive PIP and work and some do not.

    I need more help than I currently get. They (DWP/assessors) seem to draw the conclusion that if you don't have that help, then it must mean you don't need it. This is not the case. 

    Our social care system has been decimated by cuts. That's one reason why PIP is so important.

    @mikehughescq is right though. One must focus on the descriptors, not the illness /condition /disability. It's how it affects your ability to do  specific activities in daily living and mobility. 

    The application itself is a bit of a nightmare. I would maintain that even the application is designed to trip you up. It is difficult to understand what some of the questions mean. A guide is necessary to navigate through it.

    I don't want to be cynical but it seems every stage of the process is designed in a way that means you need to be a benefits lawyer to get through it and get what you qualify for. It is purposely done this way. It's not accidental. 
    Your experience re: the stairs/lift during assessment.....They have no shame. 
    Despite this, we will prevail. ☺
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    @angel137 an OT report should be enough they know what you are capable of that’s why they do adaptations in your home and get you aids to help you move about the Ot spends hours with you were an assessor 30 minutes I’ve been married 32 years and still don’t fully know my husband likewise him with me but 30mins with a jobsworth and they know everything
  • dougal1dougal1 Member Posts: 23 Connected
    Hi all,
    I had my pip assessment on 8th Aug 2018, l asked for a copy of the report on the 16th Aug l was told 7 to 10 days ,I've just phoned DWP and asked where copy was they told me l didn't request a copy till the 24th, I did phone on 24th to give the additional information so either the call taker on 16th didn't put request in or chap I spoke to today is telling porkies, I kept on telling him l requested copy on 16th but he wasn't interested, it all a farce 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    blueboy87 said:
    @angel137 an OT report should be enough they know what you are capable of that’s why they do adaptations in your home and get you aids to help you move about the Ot spends hours with you were an assessor 30 minutes I’ve been married 32 years and still don’t fully know my husband likewise him with me but 30mins with a jobsworth and they know everything
    An OT report will rarely be enough as they don’t record unmet need. They only record those things they either recommend and provide or recommend but don’t provide and recommending aids or appliances only tells you a little about functional ability. So, the fact you have a perching stool tells you zilch about when and how often you’d use it. The fact an OT recommends 3 aids when you might need 7 shows just how far such things can fall short. Same with a care plan. It paints a picture but it’s only a partial one. It records the care you get but financial restraints mean that could fall well short of the care you need. People looking for a magic bullet evidence wise will find there simply isn’t one.

    @angel137 one of the issues you will have had with your claim is that a sheet of A4 per descriptor is simply too much. I have yet to come across any condition which can’t be illustrated with a couple of contrasting but detailed examples per descriptor. No-one is going to read that volume of material until the appeal stage and that’s why you’ll have needed an MR. And whilst you’re right that PIP is not a work-related benefit I'm afraid employment history is absolutely relevant. See below. 

    I disagree with @jae377 re: “where possible”. You don’t need an online form to be able to add info. and there’s definitely enough space to state you have been recommended to not use aids. You can just add extra sheets as you wish though. 

    Again though there’s this assumption that the questions don’t apply to you. Shopping is relevant to mobility; motivation; navigating; budgeting, communication, reading and engaging. Education is relevant to the last 4 of those.  Work history is relevant to reading, budgeting, motivation, communication and engagement also. In a limited time these are good well directed questions the answers to which will either reinforce or contradict the answers given in a claim pack.
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Thanks everyone who has commented, however my mind is not at rest and no one has really answered my question. Still need to wait approximately another 2 weeks for decision... 😞
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Fair comment @swifty.

    The answer is that the PIP assessment is a functional assessment but does not have to include functional testing as it’s not a medical. Indeed, if they have been given up to date functional information then their guidance suggests they should not and ditto if it would cause pain or distress. The lack of functional testing is for the most part a good thing.
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Fair comment @swifty.

    The answer is that the PIP assessment is a functional assessment but does not have to include functional testing as it’s not a medical. Indeed, if they have been given up to date functional information then their guidance suggests they should not and ditto if it would cause pain or distress. The lack of functional testing is for the most part a good thing.
    Thank you! I’m so stressed out by the whole bloody thing! Stress does not help with my pain so just so fed up with it all. Plus the thought of appealing when I don’t get it, is a nightmare!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Stress helps nobody’s pain. However, appealing is actually okay as it’s the first time you’ll be heard by somebody independent.
  • dougal1dougal1 Member Posts: 23 Connected
    My assessor never asked one question Re my main disability my legs and back she was more interested in whether l could use a microwave and if l could wash myself ,l was told to expect a desicion within four weeks of them receiving the info they needed 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Your legs impact mobility so not a lot to ask there. They’ll have observed you enter the assessment centre. Your back doesn’t score points in isolation for anything on daily living like cooking, eating, communicating, engaging, budgeting, taking meds. so no I wouldn’t expect them to ask you anything much about it but I would expect them to ensure they assessed every activity.
  • angel137angel137 Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    @mikehughescq
    Absolutely.
    To clarify though, I didn't add a FULL A4 sheet to every descriptor! I just added info. where necessary and where I felt I needed further detail for those descriptors I knew were important for my application.
    Having said that, I think I did make my MR too long, but it really is difficult to determine at that stage how much is too much. You want to keep it as short as possible but if you've been given 0 points, you  have to no choice but to go through every single descriptor that pertains to you.... It was exhausting, but I was successful. 

    @dougal1 Whenever  you speak to the DWP, you need to write down why you called and what's been said. Keep  a diary. If you request a report, any requests, you need to put that request in writing (as well as calling them). That way, if anything goes wrong, the DWP will have it on record. Only a short statement is needed. Send it "signed for" if you can. Keep the receipt. 

    Other post: "Cooking" means preparing a meal from scratch. It potentially involves lifting pots, boiling a kettle, standing for longer periods, etc. so if you have back pain and leg pain, or other disabilities with regard to standing, lifting, grasping, carrying, or if you have cognitive or neurological symptoms, that is relevant for this descriptor. If you are unable to cook and mostly use pre prepared foods,/ are unable to stand for longer periods due to exhaustion or pain, for example, then you may get points for this descriptor.
     o:) 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    @angel137 thanks for the clarification.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 921 Pioneering
    @mikehughescq On the contrary, my back is my main physical disability, and it affects cooking, bathing, therapy, dressing, engaging, etc. When one is always in pain, and any activity more than 10min can cause a severe back spasms (oops, bedtime, no mobility, morphine), you can't do anything involving sitting, standing, kneeling, leaning, etc. reliably.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    @Waylay I think you may have misunderstood my post. I meant that it is not an automatic thing that a back problem scores points. You would have to specifically link it to those activities before they would ask questions.
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    @mikehughescq I have to agree with you there my brother in law had spinal op drs letter explained he has chronic pain but the only thing the assessor said can you pick something up of the floor which he was unable to do he’s going to a tribunal but last week was told by his specialist he has failed back surgery syndrome he is writing a letter then it will be with the tribunal his representative has gone into great detail and wants to know why what was on his claim form and drs letter weren’t on assessors report 
  • dougal1dougal1 Member Posts: 23 Connected
    Hi all,
    I have just received my assessor's report, mmmm interesting reading, according to the assessor l have normal movement in my left ankle ,odd that I've not had that for 20 years, got a physio pal of mine to check he was appalled at what she ( the assessor who was a nurse) must have put a generalised statement down, l also had my right hand in bandages from previous days opp she put down l had normal grip in right hand, odd that because I refused to let her touch it as it was to painful, l just wonder sometimes what the hell is going on. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    dougal1 said:
    Hi all,
    I have just received my assessor's report, mmmm interesting reading, according to the assessor l have normal movement in my left ankle ,odd that I've not had that for 20 years, got a physio pal of mine to check he was appalled at what she ( the assessor who was a nurse) must have put a generalised statement down, l also had my right hand in bandages from previous days opp she put down l had normal grip in right hand, odd that because I refused to let her touch it as it was to painful, l just wonder sometimes what the hell is going on. 
    You added the points?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • jae377jae377 Member Posts: 27 Courageous
    Not surprised. The same company that does these were contracted to my last employer to assess those on ill health pensions. Only after 10 years of being assessed yearly did I contact company doctor to query what the point was at a cost to pension fund of hundreds of pounds. (I was reasonably senior in the company so able to speak directly)
    Response staggered me, Atos had totally ignored my damaged spinal cord (incurable - 17 hours of surgery just to stabilise my neck / spine) in every report but stated that the reason I was in a wheelchair was unclear - which might improve - hence yearly review.
    Sent to specialist spinal unit for Independent assessment. Report stated that no known cure for high level spinal cord damage (C4/C5) exists. - end of assessments.
    Just had my own PIP assessment and am now awaiting with interest copy of the report. Given that guidelines state "where clear entitlement exists an assessment will not be needed" and I have been on highest level DLA mobility for 23 years I am not expecting it to be accurate or truthful.
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    [email protected] I think assessors just write down what they want not what happened at the assessment 
  • dougal1dougal1 Member Posts: 23 Connected
    I was on DLA for five years then changed to pip, got the same amount no worries, I had to stop work two years ago as company said l was a liability and danger to myself because of frequency of falls, I was assessed by company doctor as well as NHS ,my condition is not curable, my ATOS assessor has recommended in report l go back in nine months to be reassessed to see if condition has got better,
    Farce is an understatement, you could make a comedy series out of this
  • jae377jae377 Member Posts: 27 Courageous
    Now got copy of assessment. Stated full range of head movements (Umm is that with or without the neck brace ?) Normal grip in left hand, oh so that's why I drop things and on blind testing have only 40% normal grip/use. Stated I refused to carry out an exercise - flat lie, tried everything asked. Ignored fact I am assessed as needing wheelchair (and have one). Ignored damaged spinal cord - states problems are muscular skeletal. Stated I have no short term memory problems - but everyone I know is fed up with me repeating myself and forgetting names, directions etc. Biggest joke is that the timescales given for assessor to tick do NOT include a "permanent" option 3 months is longest. I have been like this for 25 YEARS. Was surprised I got upset by being made to look useless when I AM NOT. I now know assessor was a nurse, oh that will be one of those people I have to teach how to handle me every time I am an in-patient because "we are not taught that anymore" and I need significant help after procedures.

    I am not very hopeful regarding outcome of this but must wait and see.
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi @joe777 my brother in law had a nurse she was late and got us out quickly as her next victim was due nurses don’t specialise in everything most are on a ward permanently she hadn’t even heard of 1 of his illnesses 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    What you need to do is look for the boxes with either dots or ticks next to them. The look online at the PIP descriptors and add up the points, to see what's been recommended, if any. Usually they go with the report.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 921 Pioneering
    Apologies, @mikehughescq , was apparently feeling a bit sensitive that day.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    So got my letter through from dwp who have awarded me the standard rate for mobility. Basically £22 per week. Nothing for anything else even though I need help with everything! Rather disappointed but I guess better than nothing...
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    So challenge it.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    So challenge it.
    And if no challenge is made the statistics will show that the award made is the correct one!
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    I don’t think I have the fight in me...just went through so many forms and interviews for esa. Still nothing found on last mri. 8 months of extreme pain with no diagnosis. Just fed up with it all.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    swifty said:
    I don’t think I have the fight in me...just went through so many forms and interviews for esa. Still nothing found on last mri. 8 months of extreme pain with no diagnosis. Just fed up with it all.
    You have my sympathy. I too felt like that and had to decide if my health and wellbeing was more important than government money. My health came first and I shut down my PIP claim.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    swifty said:
    I don’t think I have the fight in me...just went through so many forms and interviews for esa. Still nothing found on last mri. 8 months of extreme pain with no diagnosis. Just fed up with it all.
    Get a representative. They’ll do the fighting.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018

    Get a representative. They’ll do the fighting.
    I know that you mean well and probably the poster is well provided for in their area with excellent welfare rights organisations just waiting for them to walk in their door.

    But the reality is that there are very few organisations in some areas which has created a 'desert'.
    Having been brought up for the first 40 years of my life in and around the towns of Lancashire (Blackburn, Rochdale, Oldham & Bury) I am acutely aware that there used to be Welfare Rights organisations in abundance.
    Now living in the rural parts of Kent for the last 30 years where even if you would like to go out for a meal on a Saturday night, journeys of one hour are common.
    Welfare Rights organisations do exist but they are so inundated with people wanting help that the queues mean waits of 1/2 months are common and that is just to be registered for help (as with the CAB) It can then be another 4/8 weeks before you get to see anybody. Time limits imposed by the DWP make it impossible to wait that length of time.
    AgeUK had to close up due to loss of funding. It has since reopened but no longer has a quality welfare rights service - their local website says that they offer a service of helping to fill out forms only
    Council run services were cut some years ago 
     
    As I have mentioned in the past, I have had the experience of having a Professor of Law from the local university represent me at a Tribunal for a Council Tax appeal. He was utterly amazing in the way that he briefed me before hand but also how he handled the legal aspects of the hearing. I have never seen so many books of law on one table spread between the Judge, Counsel for the local authority and my rep. I just sat back and let it all happen. I came out of there thousands of pounds better off and the local authority being told to revise their guidance. 
    Sadly they no longer deal with these mundane types of claims - their time is now taken up by the massive volumes of appeals etc for illegal immigrants held in our local detention centres. Not only do we have the quiet beaches where they land as was the case last year in Dymchurch, but also the Channel Tunnel and the docks at Dover.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    You keep saying this on numerous threads. I don’t think it’s helpful or accurate. As I say to certain other individuals who maintain that their lived experience means that if you do what they did you;l be fine, your experience is your exoeeiebve but it’s not necessarily what it looks like for others at all.

    There are some advice deserts but very few compared to what it could have looked like. In many areas advice services are now being refunded as a means to tackle things like UC. Even the delays are surmountable. An MR is hardly onerous for someone to do themselves and, understanding that most will fail, it’s easy enough to book an advance appointment to look at an appeal. Time limits are easily surmountable nowadays. Late MRs are relatively straightforward and you have to be really trying to not get a late appeal admitted. They’re just administrative deadlines. 

    I’ve also commented before on what good advice looks like. It certainly doesn’t look like those who claim 100% success rates but equally it doesn’t look like a pile of law books on a table. It’s an old trick. Nobody needs that for a tribunal. It’s just intimidation. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, quite rightly, you’ll be made to look like the **** you are for trying to pull such a stunt. Glad it worked for you but ph dearie me. 

    Love the illegal immigrants bit. There’s actually no such thing in law. 
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Got my brother in laws assessment report was comparing to his application for pip and drs letters I think he has got someone else’s report nothing coincides with application and drs letter he was going to give up as he can’t handle stress but I’ve found someone to represent him at his appeal just a waiting game now 
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    .

     Time limits are easily surmountable nowadays. Late MRs are relatively straightforward and you have to be really trying to not get a late appeal admitted. They’re just administrative deadlines. 

    Love the illegal immigrants bit. There’s actually no such thing in law. 
     

    Thanks Mike, I just love your optimism as regards having an application accepted out of time.

    They are not all administrative deadlines - there is the overriding 13 month deadline for instance.

    For the ordinary guy in the street I would imagine that popping off a MR application 12 months after the decision letter date would not be acceptable to the DWP. If it is that easy and the DWP play ball up to the 13 month deadline why on earth do people continually press the point that they must get the MR application in within the 30 days? 

    Likewise appeals to the MOJ, so they tell us, must be in within 30 days of the MR decision. Why bother if you really have a 13 month window that you can use?

    In the past and always due to illness/hospital admissions, and having gone beyond the 30 day limit to appeal (pre MR) I have put the files away and had to make a second application. Over the past 18 years I have never always agreed to the decisions made but because of my medical issues I have probably missed appeal time limits three times, one was when I was late in challenging the IIDB decision not to pay the 7 years of arrears. On that occasion I was in hospital with complete organ failure due to a severe acute Pancreatitis attack.

    The advice that you have just given should it not be included in the DWP literature that you get with a decision? Should it not be more widely known? Or once again is it the case that you have to find a Welfare Rights organisation to enlighten you?

    I really do wonder how many Joe's on the street know that you have no need to worry about any seemingly 'official' notification of the 30 day deadlines - you just need to get it in by the 13 month deadline.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s not optimism at all. Legally there’s no such thing as an MR. The phrase doesn’t exist in the legislation. There’s just “in time” applications (effectively the MR) or “any time: reviews. If you can show a ground - ignorance, mistake etc. - then you get a review. The only thing that’s changed is that in 2013 you became obligated to have the MR before the appeal. DWP then tried to kill appeals by arguing that a refusal to MR attracted no right of appeal. That was ended earlier this year by new caselaw which now means that DWP now find themselves with a whole pile of appeals on the back of MRs they previously refused. They’ve now slowly moved back to making MRs meaningful again in order to reduce the number of appeals and so pretty much MR will be given the go ahead.

    Yes the 13th month time limit is absolute but that’s not hard to get round of you asl for an any time revision (as above); get refused but thus get a new decision against which to appeal. 

    Between 1 month and 13 there’s no issue. You used to have to show sodcoal reasims for late appeal. You no longer have to. You just have to show that your appeal has merit (that it’s not hopeless) and that it would be in the interests of justice for it to be admitted. DWP get asked if they would object to it being admitted. I’ve not heard of them doing so in years now unless the appeal truly is hopeless. 

    As I say the issue is not advice deserts. It’s poor information and people being easily discouraged.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s not optimism at all. Legally there’s no such thing as an MR. The phrase doesn’t exist in the legislation. There’s just “in time” applications (effectively the MR) or “any time: reviews. If you can show a ground - ignorance, mistake etc. - then you get a review. The only thing that’s changed is that in 2013 you became obligated to have the MR before the appeal. DWP then tried to kill appeals by arguing that a refusal to MR attracted no right of appeal. That was ended earlier this year by new caselaw which now means that DWP now find themselves with a whole pile of appeals on the back of MRs they previously refused. They’ve now slowly moved back to making MRs meaningful again in order to reduce the number of appeals and so pretty much MR will be given the go ahead.

    Yes the 13th month time limit is absolute but that’s not hard to get round of you asl for an any time revision (as above); get refused but thus get a new decision against which to appeal. 

    Between 1 month and 13 there’s no issue. You used to have to show sodcoal reasims for late appeal. You no longer have to. You just have to show that your appeal has merit (that it’s not hopeless) and that it would be in the interests of justice for it to be admitted. DWP get asked if they would object to it being admitted. I’ve not heard of them doing so in years now unless the appeal truly is hopeless. 

    As I say the issue is not advice deserts. It’s poor information and people being easily discouraged.
    You make this sound very much like them and us - the DWP V the general public.
    Are you saying that a decision made in 2011 that was a revision to a 2004 decision can still be 'made to reopen' if I asked for an any time review - ie to test the validity of the 2011 decision that because no appeal was lodged at the time the 2004 decision was made they cannot make the backpayment for the 7 years?

    If so why did the DWP tell me in 2012 (within the 13 month period) that I could not appeal as it was not an official error that caused the 2004 poor decision - it was my fault because I didn't submit the evidence at the right time errr I was in hospital for months.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m not saying anything other than what I originally said, which is that I think that when someone gets a decision they’re not happy with and don’t feel like they have the fight then when someone like myself suggests that there are people out there who will do the fighting for you then it’s singularly unhelpful to keep coming on threads with negativity. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi everyone, please can people be considerate of others opinions. I know you all want to support each other which is great. If we could be mindful in the future I am sure all members would appreciate that, thanks.
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    Get help to fight it it’s worth it. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • blueboy87blueboy87 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi I remember years ago I had to go for medical or assessment whatever it was in the 90s it was Christmas Eve and the doctor said you have enough with your mental health problems we won’t go into the physical ones wished me a merry Christmas and kept my DLA it wouldn’t happen now 
  • swiftyswifty Member Posts: 8 Connected
    I have requested a copy of the report the nurse sent. I only got 8 points as I am unable to walk any distance. May need to contact citizens advice or a place called advice shop for help should I decide to appear.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m not saying anything other than what I originally said, which is that I think that when someone gets a decision they’re not happy with and don’t feel like they have the fight then when someone like myself suggests that there are people out there who will do the fighting for you then it’s singularly unhelpful to keep coming on threads with negativity. 
    Just to pick you up on this again, In an ideal world where unlimited funds were made available to provide for universal good welfare advice and help, then yes everyone would be getting the help they need no matter where they lived.
    Unfortunately that level of support no longer exists in many place in the UK - the South East in particular is one of those areas.  
    Let me put it this way if there was such a service that would take up the fight for me then I would have not needed to close my PIP claim down.

    The service you suggest exists does not do so everywhere.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    Nope, it does not exist for you in your area. You cannot extrapolate from that the whole of the south east as that’s demonstrably not true and it’s absolutely not true for the UK as a whole. 
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    If you take the South East as an area there are three Scope centres. One in South East Essex, another in South East London and the third in Sussex at Hove near Brighton.
    If you look at the map of Kent and unless you live in Dartford, Bromley maybe or near to Rye then the rest of the area is vast and has no cover.

    It may be just a quirk and I certainly agree that the rest of the UK is probably better served. 


  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,906 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    Lots of charitable and local organisations are springing up in response to demand for help with DWP. Some housing associations am due council now have their own welfare rights or money advice teams. Some volunteer centres offer cab advice. Start with your local Jobcentreplus, council or library and the two should be able to sign post you. The new theres they sites online that can provide advice. There is hope. There is help and there’s can be success. 
    💜🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    I am a fibro warrior !💜♏️
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2018
    Lots of charitable and local organisations are springing up in response to demand for help with DWP. Some housing associations am due council now have their own welfare rights or money advice teams. Some volunteer centres offer cab advice. Start with your local Jobcentreplus, council or library and the two should be able to sign post you. The new theres they sites online that can provide advice. There is hope. There is help and there’s can be success. 

    We don't rent - we own outright, so anything that involves a Housing Assn. is not relevant.
    Our Council, and I should know, have closed down all of the council run advice centres due to reducing costs. We, as a council, refused to provide anymore funding to AgeUK (which caused it to close it's doors although it reopened on a skeleton basis) and reduced the amount given to the CAB for the same reason. 

    However I have not thought of the Jobcentre or the library (we are also in the process of closing that down early next year). The public loos and gardens are still safe for now!

    I have to go to the library next week so will ask and as the JC+ is close by, I will ask there as well.

    Can but try I suppose even if it is to be told that there is nothing available. 
    Advice web sites are good for what they are but it is better to talk a problem through face to face.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    There’s no such thing as an advice web site. Web sites can give information. People give advice. They are profoundly different.
  • YadnadYadnad Member [under moderation] Posts: 2,856 Disability Gamechanger
    There’s no such thing as an advice web site. Web sites can give information. People give advice. They are profoundly different.
    Obviously they are but advice is given through a website of which this is one forum.
    Even if you just look at say the CAB website it offers advice.

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,778 Disability Gamechanger
    I think we’re confusing functions here/
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