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  • FIRST POST
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 22nd Jan 17, 1:56 PM
    • 1,788Posts
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    Prinzessilein
    My time has finally come......
    • #1
    • 22nd Jan 17, 1:56 PM
    My time has finally come...... 22nd Jan 17 at 1:56 PM
    Yesterday I got 'the letter'.....My DLA will be stopped next month, and I am invited to apply for PIPs.

    Tomorrow we will make the phonecall...and then the form will be sent....possibly (probably) a face-to-face (including the usual fight to get the face-to-face done at home).

    I know that I am entitled to PIP. I have been on an 'indefinite' award for DLA for some years (Lower Rate for both components) and am aware that my care needs have increased.

    I have done one of those on-line self-assessments just for interest, and it looks like I should be well into the 'enhanced' section for care and 'standard' for mobility.

    I have been down this road a few times with DLA (and similar path for ESA)...so why am I so nervous?

    Why is it that the government has produced a system that leaves genuine claimants quaking in their shoes and distrustful that they will have a fair hearing?
Page 3
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 21st Apr 17, 1:32 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Just a quick update on the DLA to PiP trannsfer....

    I ws getting a bit antsy about the time it was taking. I had sent my forms off weeks ago - and was on tenterhooks every day waiting for the postman to come.

    (I get really anxious!)

    So, the letter finally came - and s expected, I was called for a face-to-face. ....and they wanted me to travel to an assessment cente. Well, that is just NOT going to happen. My application for explained (in some detail) about my issues with travelling anywhere.

    Mu mum/carer phoned and asked if a home visit was possible - and was told outright no. it is not possible.....she was told that unless I was bed-ridden then there is absolutely no option for a home visit. The person on the phone was REALLY insistent....eventually, they suggested that instead of travelling by bus/train then we could go by taxi and claim back the expenses. (To be exact, PART of the expense)....Mum said this was just not possible, and ended the call.

    THe next day she phoned again - and spoke to someone else...they again said an initial no to the request for a home visit - but Mum was equally insistent. She explained the travel issues and they agreed to reconsider.

    Cue more anxiety from me as we waited for the letter....

    Today it arrived...I have been granted a home-visit!....Another letter will follow with the date - we have been warned that it may be VERY short notice.

    It does seem to show that they ARE prepared to accomodate needs such as home-based assessments...but you HAVE to be insistent (and stay calm!)
    • fenwoman
    • By fenwoman 23rd Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    fenwoman
    Why is it that the government has produced a system that leaves genuine claimants quaking in their shoes and distrustful that they will have a fair hearing?
    Because the Tories need to make savings and disabled people are worthless drains on society. They need to get rid of benefits, in order to let their wealthy chums have their tax breaks.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 8th May 17, 4:47 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Just an update....letter arrived today....face-to-face Home Visit...next Wednesday.

    Another week or so and it will all be over.

    (until I get the decision.....maybe I will need to appeal the decision!!!!)
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 17th May 17, 5:19 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Well....the F2F is over.

    I am rather tired...and a wee bit angry and irritated!

    I really don't see what the point of the meeting was!

    The assessor turned up 30 minutes early - which threw me a bit as I am very strict on routine - and if someone says an appointment is 2pm then that's when I expect them! (Thankfully Mum was with me at the time...and of course she stayed throughout the meeting as previously planned)

    The assessor came in and Mum offered them a seat....."I need to plug this in" they said, indicating a laptp...not 'please may ...I' or 'would it be okay if....'....a little politeness wouldn't go amiss!

    Throughout the assessment the assessor talked down to me...not just my opinion, Mum mentioned it too.

    The assessor only wanted to concentrate on physical issues...and seemed intent on getting yes/no answers which is just not possible as my conditions vary.....when Mum (who answered most of the questions for me) gave statements about my mental health the assessor did not appear to enter these into the laptop.

    The assessment included a Mini-Mental-State exam....can I spell the word 'World?....and do it backwards?...what change would I get from £2 if I spent 75p....Can I subtract 7 from 100....(When I successfully managed one of these tasks the assessor actually said 'Oh well done, what a clever girl!....I am in my 50s and have an honours BSc....talk about patronising!!!)....there were some physical tasks too, but the assessor stopped these when it became apparent I was not going to manage them.

    Finally we got the usual spiel "I don't make the decision, I just send my report to the DWP decision maker" (No, the assessor doesn't make the final decision, but the DWP will base their decision on the assessor's report).

    We will give it a few days and then try asking the DWP for a copy of the report....maybe get a head-start on prepping for Reconsideration followed by an Appeal

    Of course, I could be wrong....maybe I will find the report was thorough and fair...and I will receive a letter giving me a fair award....we shall see!
    • Muttleythefrog
    • By Muttleythefrog 17th May 17, 5:24 PM
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    Muttleythefrog
    Good look with the report... yeah definitely request soon.. maybe even tomorrow since it'll go electronically to DWP I believe. The attitude... well... you'll not be alone... but hopefully the report does have sense in it... we'll see. In the meantime try your best to switch off from the event... I applaud anyone who gets through one of these.. and realistically there is nothing much you can do until at least you see that report and that could be in a week. All the best.
    Last edited by Muttleythefrog; 17-05-2017 at 5:27 PM.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 17th May 17, 6:13 PM
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    teddysmum

    (When I successfully managed one of these tasks the assessor actually said 'Oh well done, what a clever girl!....I am in my 50s and have an honours BSc....talk about patronising!!!).
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein


    Well done on saying nothing ,as I can't help myself...


    Some years ago,at a Job Centre interview (I was only working part time as a college tutor, but needed NI credits), I had to take the new mandatory Basic Skills tests in maths and English.


    Anyone failing had to attend an appropriate course at the local college , so I couldn't help asking that, if I failed, would I have to attend my own class.
    • easy
    • By easy 17th May 17, 6:30 PM
    • 2,252 Posts
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    easy
    (When I successfully managed one of these tasks the assessor actually said 'Oh well done, what a clever girl!....I am in my 50s and have an honours BSc....talk about patronising!!!)
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    Blimey, that's absolutely appalling. If I have to undergo a F-2-F and they address me in that patronising manner, my husband will go ballistic. He hates the way people make the assumption that anyone with a physical disability must have a learning disability too. He refers to it as "talking to you like a budgie!".

    Once you have the decision and everything is settled, in your shoes I would write a letter to DWP to complain about that, and about the rudeness over plugging in the laptop.
    Last edited by easy; 18-05-2017 at 3:02 PM.
    I try not to get too stressed out on the forum. I won't argue, i'll just leave a thread if you don't like what I say.
    • vicki84
    • By vicki84 17th May 17, 6:43 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    vicki84
    Well....the F2F is over.

    I am rather tired...and a wee bit angry and irritated!

    I really don't see what the point of the meeting was!

    The assessor turned up 30 minutes early - which threw me a bit as I am very strict on routine - and if someone says an appointment is 2pm then that's when I expect them! (Thankfully Mum was with me at the time...and of course she stayed throughout the meeting as previously planned)

    The assessor came in and Mum offered them a seat....."I need to plug this in" they said, indicating a laptp...not 'please may ...I' or 'would it be okay if....'....a little politeness wouldn't go amiss!

    Throughout the assessment the assessor talked down to me...not just my opinion, Mum mentioned it too.

    The assessor only wanted to concentrate on physical issues...and seemed intent on getting yes/no answers which is just not possible as my conditions vary.....when Mum (who answered most of the questions for me) gave statements about my mental health the assessor did not appear to enter these into the laptop.

    The assessment included a Mini-Mental-State exam....can I spell the word 'World?....and do it backwards?...what change would I get from £2 if I spent 75p....Can I subtract 7 from 100....(When I successfully managed one of these tasks the assessor actually said 'Oh well done, what a clever girl!....I am in my 50s and have an honours BSc....talk about patronising!!!)....there were some physical tasks too, but the assessor stopped these when it became apparent I was not going to manage them.

    Finally we got the usual spiel "I don't make the decision, I just send my report to the DWP decision maker" (No, the assessor doesn't make the final decision, but the DWP will base their decision on the assessor's report).

    We will give it a few days and then try asking the DWP for a copy of the report....maybe get a head-start on prepping for Reconsideration followed by an Appeal

    Of course, I could be wrong....maybe I will find the report was thorough and fair...and I will receive a letter giving me a fair award....we shall see!
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    Hi

    Can I ask was it atos or capita that did your face to face I have got mine at home on Friday.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 17th May 17, 6:53 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    easy: We are certainly thinking of complaining....but not until AFTER the award is settled.....although it is our word against theirs, and I suspect that nothing will come of a complaint.

    Vicki: My assessment was carried out by ATOS...good luck on Friday.(Remember that you can have someone with you for support, as I did)
    • vicki84
    • By vicki84 17th May 17, 9:06 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    vicki84
    easy: We are certainly thinking of complaining....but not until AFTER the award is settled.....although it is our word against theirs, and I suspect that nothing will come of a complaint.

    Vicki: My assessment was carried out by ATOS...good luck on Friday.(Remember that you can have someone with you for support, as I did)
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    Thanks mine is with Capita hope everything goes well for you 😀
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 17th May 17, 10:19 PM
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    pollyanna 26
    Prinzess . I haven't been online much lately but have popped on to try and catch up .
    I am so sorry to read your post . It sounds as though that woman was totally unfit to be dealing with anyone . Did she tell you exactly her status? We are all aware some seem to have been randomly sent out with no awareness of medical conditions whether physical or mental .
    It is common for assessors to turn up either earlier or later than the time slot originally given . Like you my dd need things to happen to plan if they have to happen at all .
    I think a flaw in the system is there isn't a consistent level of professional and informed people doing the job of assessing claimants .
    As I posted elsewhere my daughter was fortunate to be sent an experienced nurse who introduced herself and spoke of her work in nursing . She kept things calm and lighthearted to the point I began to worry she was laying a trap .
    My dd was eventually able to engage with her which is rare as a stranger in her safe place is a total meltdown situation normally .
    She told us she'd read all the form, the doctors letter in support of the application and quoted from the form , the letter and spoke of all the conditions and medications before she opened her laptop (which was obviously fully charged )
    She didn't expect my daughter to stand up or walk and kept saying I can see you are anxious and in pain . Each thing was checked will the don't do this once it starts to feel a step too far .
    Long story short she treated my daughter in sensitive and caring manner .
    She was probably only a few years older than my daughter and at the end she read everything she'd written down back to us and asked if we felt that a true and fair account .
    She closed her laptop and sat chatting to my daughter about hair and eyebrows as they are both natural redheads . Then told my daughter she should look into modern developments in hearing aids as she had picked up my daughter was reading her lips and very stressed because it meant looking at her face .
    She then revealed her husband is deaf and modern advances have helped him a great deal .
    If only she could be cloned , that is how it should be for everyone .

    I hope by now you and your lovely Mum are asleep . Do get the request in for a copy of the ATOS report . Go through it and if it is not a fair and true summary put in for a MR citing the reasons why .
    You have a lifetime of solid medical evidence to back up any misleading points and hopefully this will be settled without need for appeal .
    Take care both of you
    polly xx
    • pollyanna 26
    • By pollyanna 26 17th May 17, 10:48 PM
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    pollyanna 26
    The op knows the outcome of the account above but for those fearing their forthcoming assessments . I went into detail above to show that there are good experiences as well as bad .
    My dd was originally High Care , Low Mobility on DLA . This transfer to PIP resulted in Enhanced awards in both Care and Mobility which is a true reflection of her complex physical and mental health so I hope it will help to balance the fear a little .
    To be honest the worry continued here until the award letter arrived .
    Good luck to all going through the process .

    Prinzess If you are sending your request by letter which is the best thing to cover all your points , send it Royal Mail first class tracked handing it in at the post office (I have a feeling you may already do this already but it may be useful for others reading this thread )
    You are given a receipt and can track on the Royal Mail site and see the signature of the person who accepted it . I always print off that and keep it in the file with the current paperwork .
    It shouldn't cost too much , the most I've ever been charged is around £3.00 and that was a claim form with a lot of medical evidence and letter form Consultants , GP etc . A few sheets of A4
    shouldn't cost much at all .
    I would advise sending it on Monday . We're heading to the weekend now .
    polly
    • greenorange
    • By greenorange 18th May 17, 6:36 PM
    • 300 Posts
    • 228 Thanks
    greenorange
    Just thought I'd give a positive account, as there doesn't seem to be too many.

    I have been receiving DLA since I was a few years old. Middle rate care, low rate mobility. Dropped to low rate care, low rate mobility when I turned 16. I recently transitioned over to PIP, expected to lose it completely, and was given high rate for both.

    I did have a lifetime award with DLA, compared to 10 years for PIP, however it's more than I expected. The health care assessment was with someone who I felt was quite caring and supportive.

    Not always the case, I know. I had an ESA assessment around the same time, got 0 points, and lost my ESA claim shortly after. Thankfully I started work a few months later.
    • Gypsywoman
    • By Gypsywoman 20th May 17, 11:47 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    Gypsywoman
    I had to go to the Health Centre to see the ATOS assessor. He was respectful and did say 'I am not going to ask you to do any physical movements for the purpose of the assessment. I can see you are in pain'

    I was awarded enhanced on both, but only for 3 years - not sure if this is to do with my age I will be 6 months short of 64 when I have my 3 year assessment, although I know they can do one any time before.

    I had asked for a home visit and been turned down, My CPN rang them to ask why and it was because it said in my MH care plan that I did not like people coming to my home, which did not actually mean invited people. Also a few other things that maybe rang their alarm bells in my risk and relapse plan.

    My CPN comes every fortnight and started those visits 5 years ago. I have bipolar and it is episodic and I have only had low/depressed episodes, but understand they are responsible for their staffs safety. So my CPN took me in her car and all was fine.

    I did ask for the assessors report and was surprised to see that he had put 'I declined the physical' not him saying ' I was in too much pain' but that 'I had declined' I have shown my CPN and she noted this down for she heard what he had said. I must ask her if she will be doing anything about that completely wrong statement.

    I had to do the little mental check of spelling a word backwards and how much change and a subtraction. I have a degree and an honours degree. I have physical disabilities and bipolar, no learning difficulties and yet I did not feel insulted, for I know other people who could not answers those questions and they are friends of mine.

    My main concern are the 3 years running out short of my 64th birthday and if they will attempt to transfer me to AA . Also, the statement that 'I declined the physical'. I do not want that to happen to someone who does not have a witness there and then it be used against them.

    Good-luck Prinzessilien. x
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 20th May 17, 1:20 PM
    • 1,128 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    “ Why is it that the government has produced a system that leaves genuine claimants quaking in their shoes and distrustful that they will have a fair hearing?

    Because the Tories need to make savings and disabled people are worthless drains on society. They need to get rid of benefits, in order to let their wealthy chums have their tax breaks. Posted by Fenwoman
    Labour were still in power when my sister had to attend an 'benefits review' back in the early 2000s.

    She was a talented florist, but she couldn't get a job because her lupus induced total renal failure meant that she had to spend 3 full days of every week in hospital, tied to a dyalisis machine.

    The assessor wanted to know why she couldn't sleep when she was in hospital, so she could get a night shift job stacking supermarket shelves.

    My sister really was ill - she died shortly afterwards.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 21-05-2017 at 1:00 PM.
    • ukmaggie45
    • By ukmaggie45 20th May 17, 6:33 PM
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    ukmaggie45
    I was awarded enhanced on both, but only for 3 years - not sure if this is to do with my age I will be 6 months short of 64 when I have my 3 year assessment, although I know they can do one any time before.
    Originally posted by Gypsywoman
    From what I understand you will be called in a year before your award runs out. So effectively you only have it for 2 years. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but it's probably better to be forewarned.

    My best wishes to you, I'm glad you got a decent award. I just got my date for Tribunal yesterday - I'm 68, so it's my last chance to attempt to get a Motability car back. Lost my car last November.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 30th May 17, 1:19 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    So....

    We phoned and asked for a copy of the report...'no problem, it'll be in the post to you'

    Today we phoned again to ask where it was...and were told that the decision maker is working on my application...fine, but what we want is the ATOS report...only to be told that this is with the decision maker, and they don't make copies...I can't have a copy until AFTER I have the award notification!

    I suspect this may not be quite true....and there will be another phonecall to the tomorrow! Maybe talking to someone different will elicit a different response?

    IF it's true that you cannot have the ATOS HCP report until after the decision letter, then why did the first person promise to send me a copy that day...then there's the question if why they promised me the report and then never sent it....one hand not knowing what the other is doing?

    Eh, but they don't make this easy for us do they!
    • ukmaggie45
    • By ukmaggie45 30th May 17, 7:04 PM
    • 2,720 Posts
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    ukmaggie45
    So....

    We phoned and asked for a copy of the report...'no problem, it'll be in the post to you'

    Today we phoned again to ask where it was...and were told that the decision maker is working on my application...fine, but what we want is the ATOS report...only to be told that this is with the decision maker, and they don't make copies...I can't have a copy until AFTER I have the award notification!

    I suspect this may not be quite true....and there will be another phonecall to the tomorrow! Maybe talking to someone different will elicit a different response?

    IF it's true that you cannot have the ATOS HCP report until after the decision letter, then why did the first person promise to send me a copy that day...then there's the question if why they promised me the report and then never sent it....one hand not knowing what the other is doing?

    Eh, but they don't make this easy for us do they!
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    I believe they lied to you. You are allowed to have a copy of the HCP's report. Suggest you take a look at Benefits and Work forum - you can only post if you're a member, but I think anyone can read. And I assume search - posts there do come up on Google searches.

    I asked for my HCP report just after I'd been for the Face to Face thing. It was so bad I complained to ATOS with a copy to my MP. I heard back from my MP before I got the written reply from ATOS. All of it before I got award notification. I don't believe the rules have changed. But I have heard of other people being told the same as you.

    Good luck! And if you feel able to accept cyber-hugs I'm sending some to you... I really do feel for you. I'm on the (possibly) last leg of the process, Tribunal prob on 12 June... After the previous decision was set aside - it was taken in my absence, neither myself nor my advocate had been informed of the date.

    Best wishes from Liverpool!
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 30th May 17, 7:09 PM
    • 878 Posts
    • 745 Thanks
    poppy12345
    So....

    We phoned and asked for a copy of the report...'no problem, it'll be in the post to you'

    Today we phoned again to ask where it was...and were told that the decision maker is working on my application...fine, but what we want is the ATOS report...only to be told that this is with the decision maker, and they don't make copies...I can't have a copy until AFTER I have the award notification!

    I suspect this may not be quite true....and there will be another phonecall to the tomorrow! Maybe talking to someone different will elicit a different response?

    IF it's true that you cannot have the ATOS HCP report until after the decision letter, then why did the first person promise to send me a copy that day...then there's the question if why they promised me the report and then never sent it....one hand not knowing what the other is doing?

    Eh, but they don't make this easy for us do they!
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    Most will send out copies before a decision is made but some won't send until after a decision has been made.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 8th Jun 17, 2:21 PM
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    Prinzessilein
    Time for another update...

    Out of the blue, the ATOS report came today.

    There are parts of it that seem as if the HCP was examining someone totally different.....From vague 'facts' that they appear to have made up out of thin air (the report says that one diagnosis was made whilst I was still at school in the late 90s...which is really odd as I left school about 20 years before then!!!) to 'observations' that I was seen to read the names of my medications (which I did NOT do!)....to statement s about my family and my medication that are just plain and simple wrong! (number of siblings ...wrong!....doses of medication....wrong!....)....and the report of the Mini-Mental-Health-State exam made interesting reading, I queried a few bits with my Mum/Carer who was in the room with me at all times - and she agrees that some of the stated activities were not part of my assessment!!!!

    There were some rather awesome leaps of logic...I was apparently tearful, rocking constantly, and spent much of the assessment humming to myself...and yet I also showed no visible signs of anxiety!!!! (so if I was observed to rock, hum and weep, why else was I doing this if not because I was anxious!)....I brushed hair from my eyes (unlikely as I have VERY short hair), and also bent to the floor whilst sitting...which apparently showed I have full range of motion inn my arms.

    As expected the assessment concentrates 90% on my physical issues and totally ignores my mental health - and also assumes that if I can do a task once, even if takes me longer than anyone else, then I can do it repeatedly, reliably and consistently...which is most definitely NOT the case!

    On the other hand....the assessor makes clear reference in the report to some of the material I sent as 'supporting evidence'....using this to justify areas where they accept I have additional needs. ...(and also ignoring those parts of my supporting evidence that reference my mental health...and in one place stating that the report I submitted from a psychiatrist states I have difficulties in communication, but also stating that the HCP disputes the finding as they observed no problems in the Face-to-face!...clever of them, as in one short session they supposedly learned more about me than my specialist, with years of training not only in mental health but in ASD, did in the multiple sessions I had with him!!!)

    Having said all this there is some fair stuff in the report.....where the descriptors concentrate on physical issues the HCP has made a reasonable assessment.....looking at the 'Care' points that they recommend it seems I should be pretty much well into the needed points for Enhanced Care....(Even allowing for the zero points they suggest for communication and for reading....(I have a diagnosis of dyslexia which the HCP also openly disputed in the report)...my other care needs seem to combine to put me in the higher bracket....for mobility I WOULD a few months ago have probably been in the Enhanced band for this too, but the 'new' rules that the government brought in on mental health and mobility back in March means that my points are much lower...but the HCP still recommends enough points to get me lower rate.

    So final (with luck!!!) stage is to wait for the official report from the DWP decision maker. ...if they go with the HCP report then although I disagree with the actual descriptor-points it will still give me the award I suggested in my original post that I feel is right.....so I am actual starting to fee ever-so-slightly more hopeful!

    (which is not to say that we are not still considering a letter of complaint about the attitude of the HCP during the home visit!)
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