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  • FIRST POST
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 8th Oct 17, 11:43 AM
    • 41Posts
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    Mandy53
    Personal Independence Payment Question Re When No Face to Face Should Be Required
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:43 AM
    Personal Independence Payment Question Re When No Face to Face Should Be Required 8th Oct 17 at 11:43 AM
    Hi Everyone, firstly i am new to the forum and would like to introduce myself and say hello. I came across an old post on MSE from 2016 while searching for information regarding when no face to face should be required for personal independence payment application and have enclosed the information below. I suffer from severe COPD (combination of Brochieastatis, Eosonophillia, Asthma ,previous Aspergillosis and am prescribed a nebuliser machine by the hospital and nebules by my GP and 3 inhalers,steroids and anti biotics for recurring chest infections on advice from my respiratory consultant. I also have a chronic spinal and joints condition,thrombotic tendency and have had DVT,P.E.. and clot in my arm, urinary problems and problems with my throat/voice :the latter 2 are being investigated by hospital consultants.I get lots of medications including warfarin for life. I applied for PIP as my health has exacerbated and i now have a carer and get direct payments to pay for the carer who was on the council register.I am dependent on my carer as can no longer perform day to day tasks and my mobility is very restricted. I sent reports from my respiratory consultant including the deterioration in my lung capacity/spirometric readings over the years ,letter from my social worker and many other letters confirming my treatments,appointments medications,how my disabilities affect me etc along with the PIP form. I received a phone call on Friday less than 2 weeks since DWP received my PIP form,etc and the woman asked if i could attend a face to face that afternoon and i told her i couldn,t. On the form i stipulated i would need a nebuliser at the face to face as well as other things such as accessible toilet and i was told to contact their customer services after an appointment was made at their assessment centre. I don,t know who it was who phoned as she didn,t say who she was though i think it was the assessment people as got a text from them afterwards?. On phoning their customer service i was told that they have no medical equipment at all in their assessment centres and that someone had made a mistake asking me to attend a centre as my need for a nebulisrer was mentioned in the form backed up by a medical report and that they would get back to me to arrange a home visit. I didn,t think i would need to have a face to face at all as my severe COPD alone is included as a condition which should not normally require a face to face as outlined in the assessment guidelines(below) and just wondered if i can challenge having a face to face and if so how i go about this? I live approximately 60 miles from the assessment centre and would need a taxi to get there and back:i was told that i would be reimbursed the taxi fares but it would take up to 14 days for them to send a cheque as they do not reimburse the costs at the assessment centre however as say, they are arranging a home visit instead. I contacted Welfare Rights to ask about the face to face assessment guidelines but they just said they knew nothing about any "exemptions" and that everyone had to have a face to face? I would be grateful for any advice and include the post/assessment guidelines i found regarding when someone should not require a face to face.
    From the PIP Assessment Guidance

    Cases that should not require a face-to-face consultation
    2.5.10. In certain circumstances it should be possible to provide advice at a
    paper based review. Although each case should be determined
    individually, The following types of cases should not normally require
    a face-to-face consultation:
    • The claimant questionnaire indicates a low level of disability, the
    information is consistent, medically reasonable and there is
    nothing to suggest under-reporting.
    • The health condition(s) is associated with a low level of
    functional impairment, there is nothing to suggest underreporting
    and the claimed level of function is not supported by
    further evidence. For example:
    o Claimant with asthma who uses salbutamol PRN, no
    preventer medication, under GP care only, no hospital
    admissions. Even if they claim a high level of functional
    impairment this is medically improbable. A face-to-face
    consultation would not add much useful additional
    information, bearing in mind that clinical examination is likely
    to be unremarkable.
    30
    • The claimant questionnaire indicates a high level of disability, the
    information is consistent, medically reasonable and there is nothing
    to suggest over-reporting
    • The health condition(s) is severe and associated with a high level of
    functional impairment which is consistently claimed. Examples
    might include:
    o Claimants with cardiorespiratory conditions such as severe
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or those
    awaiting a transplant.
    o Claimants with severe musculoskeletal conditions such as
    poorly controlled rheumatoid arthritis or severe osteoarthritis
    awaiting major joint surgery.
    o Claimants with severe neurological conditions such as motor
    neurone disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, a stroke
    resulting in a significant impact on the claimant’s functional
    ability - for example, those left with lasting neurological
    deficit such as left sided hemi paresis (the inability to move
    the left side of the body), etc.
    • Any case where there is sufficient detailed, consistent and
    medically reasonable information on function.

    So you can see that you do not have to have a face to face before a PIP decision is made.

    You still have the right to appeal.
Page 1
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 8th Oct 17, 11:46 AM
    • 41 Posts
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    Mandy53
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:46 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 11:46 AM
    Sorry my post is so long as i was trying to keep it as brief as i could and didn,t realise i,d written so much
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 8th Oct 17, 12:39 PM
    • 10,905 Posts
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    pmlindyloo
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:39 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 12:39 PM
    Whilst it is true that not all PIP claimants need a face to face assessment it is also true that the majority do.

    Your quoted points are from the PIP Assessment guide and like your welfare adviser I am not aware of any exceptions that are legally binding.

    You have been offered a home assessment so that is good.

    Personally I do not think that you can appeal this.

    The most that you can hope for is that before a home assessment takes place (which is often some time, their not having sufficient numbers of assessors to complete these) someone will look at your claim in detail and decide that it can be done on a paper based basis.

    Having said that it is probably to your advantage that you have a face to face so that they can award you the correct level of PIP which may not happen on a paper based decision.

    Despite your medical evidence this often does not relate to your daily living and mobility needs in detail which is basically what PIP is all about and not about your condition. Plus, it is totally possible that whoever is looking at your application and evidence has no idea of how the condition impacts on your life despite your detailed information.

    The system is seriously flawed but it is what it is and I'm afraid you have to 'go with it'.

    Good luck with it all.
    • w06
    • By w06 8th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    w06
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 3:00 PM
    There is a large range of functional impairment associated with having severe COPD, from walking around with a bit of difficulty to bedbound, although they can award without face to face this is the exception and not the norm.

    If you need a nebuliser at the venue then you would have to provide it, and presumably you'd need it on the journey there too and so likewise would need to provide it.

    Just to forewarn you my assessment was very fair and on the basis of being wheelchair and housebound as a result of COPD I would have only scored standard rate care - a have enhanced rate but the points that got that were for other disabilities as well.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 8th Oct 17, 4:42 PM
    • 12,228 Posts
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    nannytone
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 4:42 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 4:42 PM
    also be aware that it is likely than a large percentage of any PIP daily living award will need to be paid to youe LA in return for the care you receive.

    my LA take 70%
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:26 AM
    Thanks pmlindloo for your input and advice which is much appreciated . It probably would be better for an assessor to see me to see the effects my health conditions have on my mobility and day to day living tasks although i thought it would be a doctor who would examine and interview me rather than an assessor who has no experience or knowledge of my health conditions particularly the Aspergillosis as i know that even some nurses i,ve seen at hospital don,t even know what that illness is nor it,s long term effects and the damage it has left to my lung. My most recent blood test showed my Aspergillus count is raised significantly again and it can come back anytime. I understand the system is flawed and it needs reviewed.
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    I had a financial inspector from the council come out to check my bank account to establish if i needed to make a contribution towards the costs of my care and the direct payments .She checked my bank account balance and i don,.t have to make any contributions as am well,well below their threshold amount for making contributions .She said that someone is allowed to have a limit of £16,000 before they have to contribute to their care costs /direct payments. I am in Scotland so don,t know if it is different for the rest of the UK?
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 9th Oct 17, 10:52 AM
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    GlasweJen
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:52 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:52 AM
    Nurses only spend 3 years at uni and most of that time is on ward placements. Their medical knowledge isn't always great, particularly when it comes to rare illnesses.

    As an example, just last night I visited NHS out of hours GP. Despite being a heart recipient and therefore at huge risk of my infection running rampant and out of control the nurse there left me for 2 hours in a busy waiting room and then proceeded to listen to my chest by placing a stethoscope over the top of my pacemaker. When I said "are you actually hearing anything" she assured me that yes she was before toddling off to get a doctor.

    The doctor was most concerned about this clicking noise that my lungs were apparently making before laughing when I said "well yes but she was listening to a lump of platinum".

    We won't talk about the blatant errors on my DWP medical reports, "the claimant was happy and relaxed" well Valium will do that to you, "the claimaint had normal vision when she closed one eye" yes that's how double vision works dear.

    I'm looking forward to reading the newest one.
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    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    Yes,i am aware that there is a large range of functional impairment with COPD and it can sometime be much worse than other times especially when i have a chest infection which i,m getting every few weeks now and leaves me completely incapacitated. I have a chronic spinal condition, neck,/joint and nerve damage due to spinal surgery and urinary and throat/voice problems. I receive DLA high mobility and low care which was granted for these conditions and DLA was never reviewed for the COPD which is a combination of Brochieatatis ,Eosonophilla ,Aspergillosis and Asthma as well as the DVT, P.E. and clot in my arm which all happened later after i was awarded DLA for the conditions relating to my spine,joints and nerve damage only. If i was even awarded the standard rate for care then that would be more than the low rate care i get just now so i,d be grateful to even get the standard rate care.
    As for the nebuliser machine, i can,t carry it as it is too big and too heavy to carry and can,t even get it to the hospital to be serviced hence i requested one at the centre . The centre is over 60 miles from me ,i don,t drive anymore and would have needed to get a taxi which would cost over £100(each way) and i just don,t have that amount of money upfront and the centre cannot reimburse straight away.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 9th Oct 17, 12:02 PM
    • 16,585 Posts
    • 29,021 Thanks
    Ames
    Yes,i am aware that there is a large range of functional impairment with COPD and it can sometime be much worse than other times especially when i have a chest infection which i,m getting every few weeks now and leaves me completely incapacitated. I have a chronic spinal condition, neck,/joint and nerve damage due to spinal surgery and urinary and throat/voice problems. I receive DLA high mobility and low care which was granted for these conditions and DLA was never reviewed for the COPD which is a combination of Brochieatatis ,Eosonophilla ,Aspergillosis and Asthma as well as the DVT, P.E. and clot in my arm which all happened later after i was awarded DLA for the conditions relating to my spine,joints and nerve damage only. If i was even awarded the standard rate for care then that would be more than the low rate care i get just now so i,d be grateful to even get the standard rate care.
    As for the nebuliser machine, i can,t carry it as it is too big and too heavy to carry and can,t even get it to the hospital to be serviced hence i requested one at the centre . The centre is over 60 miles from me ,i don,t drive anymore and would have needed to get a taxi which would cost over £100(each way) and i just don,t have that amount of money upfront and the centre cannot reimburse straight away.
    Originally posted by Mandy53
    You can ask for the venue to be changed to one near to you. You have to make sure that it's for a time and date you know you can get there as you're only allowed to make one change.

    You do know that PIP replaces DLA, you can't get both? And that PIP is harder to get than DLA. It's not clear from your posts whether your PIP application is the DWP naturally moving you across or if you've put in an application yourself. If it's the latter then you might be better asking for a supercession of your DLA on the grounds that your condition has worsened.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • cantcope
    • By cantcope 9th Oct 17, 12:07 PM
    • 1,668 Posts
    • 1,249 Thanks
    cantcope
    If they've offered a home visit i don't see an issue anymore as you'll have everything you need there and they will see how you condition affects you daily better in your home environment than they'd be able to at a centre.

    Just for information, i was offered a centre miles away but when i called them up to see if it could be changed they moved it to one a mile away. the computer just spits out the next available appointment regardless of whether its close.
    my eyes are like mirrors. They reflect whats going on around me rather than whats inside
    Original debt May 06 £16569,25th Feb 08 DEBT FREE

    Last bet : 26th October 2006
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 12:28 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    I don,t understand why they do not appoint a doctor as an assessor especially as you say, nurses alone have no experience or knowledge of specific illnesses ,especially rare conditions and what you describe re your visit to out of hours shows a lack of basic understanding of a condition. I don,t think that the DWP are even reading applications and supporting medical evidence properly before appointing an assessor so wonder what the point is in sending medical reports,etc to support PIP applications. Do the independent assessors have the PIP form and all the medical reports,etc before they assess someone?
    I also don,t understand why being "relaxed" is even appropriate in assessing the effects on mobility and day to day living problems and obviously side effects of drugs are not even considered. It is my understanding that DWP are meant to check certain medical conditions with a doctor before making their decision and obviously they are not doing this either. They are advised to check NHS choices? for most health conditions which is just a basic explanation of a condition and effects it can have.
    I,ve had nurses write that i have Aspergers when i,ve been admitted to hospital which is not the same as Aspergillosis and would expect that they would at least be experienced enough to know the signs of a learning disability such as Aspergers and not confuse it with something completely different. My neighbour,s son suffers from mental health problems and when he went to the assessment centre the assessor noted that he was" clean and tidy" and made good eye contact? He was refused PIP after already being awarded DLA and it is only due to his mum prompting and encouraging him to wash,etc that he is "clean and tidy":did they expect him to be dirty and unkept?.The medications he takes give him some confidence and without his medications he wouldn,t have any confidence at all.
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 12:41 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    Hi Ames,i did ask for the venue to be changed to somewhere closer but they said that the one they appointed is the closest they have to me and i live in a rural area and they themselves, on checking the medical reports and my application (i think anyway?) ,decided on a home visit.I did ask that they contact my GP or respiratory consultant to confirm a home visit.
    I contacted DWP on the advice of my social worker to ask for a review of my DLA to apply for the middle rate of DLA but they said that i had to apply for PIP as DLA had changed to PIP? so it wasn,t a transition by DWP from DLA to PIP. I didn,t know initially that PIP replaces DLA.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 9th Oct 17, 12:43 PM
    • 6,321 Posts
    • 11,346 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    The whole system is a joke.
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

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    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 9th Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 1,597 Thanks
    poppy12345
    I don,t understand why they do not appoint a doctor as an assessor especially as you say, nurses alone have no experience or knowledge of specific illnesses ,especially rare conditions and what you describe re your visit to out of hours shows a lack of basic understanding of a condition. I don,t think that the DWP are even reading applications and supporting medical evidence properly before appointing an assessor so wonder what the point is in sending medical reports,etc to support PIP applications. Do the independent assessors have the PIP form and all the medical reports,etc before they assess someone?
    I also don,t understand why being "relaxed" is even appropriate in assessing the effects on mobility and day to day living problems and obviously side effects of drugs are not even considered. It is my understanding that DWP are meant to check certain medical conditions with a doctor before making their decision and obviously they are not doing this either. They are advised to check NHS choices? for most health conditions which is just a basic explanation of a condition and effects it can have.
    I,ve had nurses write that i have Aspergers when i,ve been admitted to hospital which is not the same as Aspergillosis and would expect that they would at least be experienced enough to know the signs of a learning disability such as Aspergers and not confuse it with something completely different. My neighbour,s son suffers from mental health problems and when he went to the assessment centre the assessor noted that he was" clean and tidy" and made good eye contact? He was refused PIP after already being awarded DLA and it is only due to his mum prompting and encouraging him to wash,etc that he is "clean and tidy":did they expect him to be dirty and unkept?.The medications he takes give him some confidence and without his medications he wouldn,t have any confidence at all.
    Originally posted by Mandy53
    I'm not sure what gave you that idea but it's not true, that's not what they do. PIP isn't about a diagnosis or the condition/s that a person has. It's HOW those conditions affect you daily and you'll never get 2 people the same. What affects 1 person may not affect another in the same way.

    I totally agree that PIP is flawed in many ways but it is what it is and there's nothing we can do about it.

    DLA and PIP are 2 completely different benefits and you can't really compare them.

    You may need a supporting letter from your GP for a home visit stating the reasons why it's needed. They often refuse without this and i highly doubt that they would contact a GP for reasons theirself.
    • w06
    • By w06 9th Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    w06
    As Poppy says diagnoses and underlying causes are almost irrelevant in PIP assessment. Their only relevance is in corroborating that the picture painted is likely genuine. It's the end result, the impact on everyday life, that the PIP assessment is supposed to assess. It's not perfect but it's the yard stick used to assess us all
    • Mandy53
    • By Mandy53 9th Oct 17, 2:36 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Mandy53
    Re the points outlined relating to DWP checking medical conditions and when to seek advice from a doctor, ,i found this but unfortunately cannot post the link to show you as it says i,m not allowed to on here? : A-Z of Medical Conditions
     In April 2012 the DWP replaced the previous 'Disability Living Allowance Handbook' with guidance to
    help correlate conditions relating to a disability.
     The guide provides signposting to the specific NHS Choices and other DWP webpages for more detail
    about a condition.
    To view a condition, simply type the word into the “Find” or “Search”.
    Source:
    Reviewed: 25 Feb 2013 (E&D Officer)
    I,m not sure if the A-Z conditions to be checked also relate to PIP as they did for DLA and AA but note it was reviewed in 2013? I do understand that a condition can affect people differently and that DLA is not the same as PIP so the guidelines may not be applicable for PIP. I just thought that DWP can make a decision in certain cases if they want to based on all the information that is presented to them and it coincides with everything said on the PIP form. Example being when a doctor or consultant states in their report that a patient cannot walk any more than 10-20 yards on the flat with an aid and a condition limits their day to day living tasks and that coincides with what is said on the form then such would enable DWP to make a decision type thing ?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 9th Oct 17, 2:54 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 1,597 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Re the points outlined relating to DWP checking medical conditions and when to seek advice from a doctor, ,i found this but unfortunately cannot post the link to show you as it says i,m not allowed to on here? : A-Z of Medical Conditions
     In April 2012 the DWP replaced the previous 'Disability Living Allowance Handbook' with guidance to
    help correlate conditions relating to a disability.
     The guide provides signposting to the specific NHS Choices and other DWP webpages for more detail
    about a condition.
    To view a condition, simply type the word into the “Find” or “Search”.
    Source:
    Reviewed: 25 Feb 2013 (E&D Officer)
    I,m not sure if the A-Z conditions to be checked also relate to PIP as they did for DLA and AA but note it was reviewed in 2013? I do understand that a condition can affect people differently and that DLA is not the same as PIP so the guidelines may not be applicable for PIP. I just thought that DWP can make a decision in certain cases if they want to based on all the information that is presented to them and it coincides with everything said on the PIP form. Example being when a doctor or consultant states in their report that a patient cannot walk any more than 10-20 yards on the flat with an aid and a condition limits their day to day living tasks and that coincides with what is said on the form then such would enable DWP to make a decision type thing ?
    Originally posted by Mandy53
    That guide does not relate to PIP as it's for DLA and AA and they're completely different benefits.

    It's very rare to have a paper based decision but it can happen. Most people have an assessment, even for a review.
    Last edited by poppy12345; 09-10-2017 at 3:46 PM.
    • cantcope
    • By cantcope 10th Oct 17, 12:45 PM
    • 1,668 Posts
    • 1,249 Thanks
    cantcope
    Re the points outlined relating to DWP checking medical conditions and when to seek advice from a doctor, ,i found this but unfortunately cannot post the link to show you as it says i,m not allowed to on here? : A-Z of Medical Conditions
     In April 2012 the DWP replaced the previous 'Disability Living Allowance Handbook' with guidance to
    help correlate conditions relating to a disability.
     The guide provides signposting to the specific NHS Choices and other DWP webpages for more detail
    about a condition.
    To view a condition, simply type the word into the “Find” or “Search”.
    Source:
    Reviewed: 25 Feb 2013 (E&D Officer)
    I,m not sure if the A-Z conditions to be checked also relate to PIP as they did for DLA and AA but note it was reviewed in 2013? I do understand that a condition can affect people differently and that DLA is not the same as PIP so the guidelines may not be applicable for PIP. I just thought that DWP can make a decision in certain cases if they want to based on all the information that is presented to them and it coincides with everything said on the PIP form. Example being when a doctor or consultant states in their report that a patient cannot walk any more than 10-20 yards on the flat with an aid and a condition limits their day to day living tasks and that coincides with what is said on the form then such would enable DWP to make a decision type thing ?
    Originally posted by Mandy53
    If only... then i wouldnt have to be appealing mine and waiting for a hearing date (its been 15 weeks so far!).
    DWP decided they know my capabilities better than my MS nurse who had written a report. I was assessed by a paramedic. it sucks but nothing we can do about it. i now have reports from my neuro and gp that i've sent in too.
    DWP did not contact ANYONE to ask about my capabilities
    my eyes are like mirrors. They reflect whats going on around me rather than whats inside
    Original debt May 06 £16569,25th Feb 08 DEBT FREE

    Last bet : 26th October 2006
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