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Pip assessor job advertised and £32.000 SALARY

edited 26 May 2019 at 8:38PM in Disability Money Matters
18 replies 4.1K views
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  • edited 22 June 2019 at 2:47AM
    MuttleythefrogMuttleythefrog Forumite
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    edited 22 June 2019 at 2:47AM
    Talula1993 wrote: »
    The system is far from perfect but the employees are just working by a criteria they are set.
    The problem is that they perhaps are not. They're corner cutting to save time. The first thing that has happened at all 3 F2F assessments I've had is a forced admission of that regarding at very least reading my information in advance as directed by handbook. Exposes have shown that training and application of it can be horribly wrong and certainly away from the criteria and how it is meant to be applied. Institutional targets are a long known concern too which no doubt affect behaviours and I wonder if the same is true of bonuses.

    The quality of reports for PIP and the WCA are regularly very substandard if not bordering on the unbelievable. The DWP's own measures reflect this. One reason is they, as you seem to suggest otherwise, do not properly study evidence. Basic errors such as even failure to document who attended are commonly reported... as well as shocking extrapolations.. deliberately selective and misleading 'facts' recorded.. and physical examination/measurements described that didn't occur or claim that such was refused by claimant when they had no reason to do so. I've given examples from my own case in the past. For example... I don't go shopping.. I do it online. This is stated to assessor. They record shops online - tick. Then later in the report they say 'has no difficulty shopping' - hmm okay... online true at a stretch. Then in justifying a descriptor choice... 'goes shopping' to imply I go out doing that - not true. In another example I spoke about my one friend I would stay in contact with who I used to work with. This is ultimately recorded as 'has many friends'... which is something absolutely contradicted in any reference to issue of social contact and indeed my testimony. This 'finding' was fortunately not used in descriptor selections. That was my WCA 9 years ago.. I await the report from one this week.

    I do expect the workload is heavy.. conveyor belt like... and the customer (patient) not always what you'd choose to face in a job. I wouldn't want to face me as a WCA assessor had to this week and despite his claim the assessment wouldn't take long I suspect after his 'writing up' of the report he'll have gone well beyond the usual parameters in mind for an assessment timescale. So I can buy your claim they often will run overtime when doing the job.

    But there is little getting away from it that this job is regarded as a step down into the basement by many medical professionals... an abandonment of principles.. and often for those too incapable of genuine clinical work... but offering stability of 9-5 hours.

    I certainly can accept your comment regarding physical assault and intimidation. I can't comment on security. There certainly seems to be spare staff ready to assist in crisis.

    One other observation... PIP assessments seem to surround a less hostile approach than for WCA. I would say this might be subtle in many ways... even like procedures for claiming taxi refund.

    On your other post regarding medical training. I question whether in many cases it has any value. So basic is the background of many assessors it may be more damaging than helpful. My PIP assessment 3 years ago as example... the nurse attributed all the identified disabilities to the wrong condition making me worry that if I did take the matter to tribunal the otherwise useful to my case document might be tossed in the bin. Unfortunately I'd also by then picked apart many other errors in the report... and inconsistencies.. such as claim I had difficulties washing my hands in the sink regarding one activity and then not regarding another even though there was no rational explanation for that at face value contradiction. In the end like my WCA report it took me to a good award.. I wasn't challenging or complaining about headline outcome but underlying flaws to get there.

    A now former acquaintance who I assisted in detail recently on WCA appeal... his assessor made some wild claims about his disabilities that contradicted medical reports from the month he was born and the decades since. He visited our house and needed great help up the few steps into it... yet the assessment report claimed he climbed stairs without difficulty. He has never been able to do that in his life due to the condition he was born with... the assessor claimed she saw him climb a set of stairs yet covert recording indicated clearly there had been none involved at the assessment centre. How does this happen? At tribunal.. the judge came out having been with the other panel members looking at the paperwork before calling him in... and apologised for him having to go through this and that he had won his case and that he did not need to endure his tribunal. The judge said to him the report the DWP relied on was not considered as evidence by them as it failed to meet any basic level of credibility.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • edited 22 June 2019 at 9:00PM
    Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    edited 22 June 2019 at 9:00PM
    The quality of reports for PIP and the WCA are regularly very substandard if not bordering on the unbelievable. The DWP's own measures reflect this. One reason is they, as you seem to suggest otherwise, do not properly study evidence. Basic errors such as even failure to document who attended are commonly reported... as well as shocking extrapolations.. deliberately selective and misleading 'facts' recorded.. and physical examination/measurements described that didn't occur or claim that such was refused by claimant when they had no reason to do so. I've given examples from my own case in the past. For example... I don't go shopping.. I do it online. This is stated to assessor. They record shops online - tick. Then later in the report they say 'has no difficulty shopping' - hmm okay... online true at a stretch. Then in justifying a descriptor choice... 'goes shopping' to imply I go out doing that - not true. In another example I spoke about my one friend I would stay in contact with who I used to work with. This is ultimately recorded as 'has many friends'... which is something absolutely contradicted in any reference to issue of social contact and indeed my testimony...

    ... At tribunal.. the judge came out having been with the other panel members looking at the paperwork before calling him in... and apologised for him having to go through this and that he had won his case and that he did not need to endure his tribunal. The judge said to him the report the DWP relied on was not considered as evidence by them as it failed to meet any basic level of credibility.

    Hi Muttley,
    Your post reflects what we see daily in my local Citizens Advice office. I, and a colleague, help clients with (mainly) disability benefit appeals.
    This financial year to date, all my colleague's appeal submissions have been successful at tribunal.
    In total we achieve annual outcomes for clients of c.£650,000.

    Let's go back to the 100% of appeals allowed - that's after the MR process (so two DWP decision makers have looked at the claimants evidence and both refused an award). My colleague and I are rather unsettled by this state of affairs, as it shows just how flawed the DWP processes and the assessments can be.
    The standard of some assessments is truly appalling - our outcomes come about because as you say the tribunal judge determines that many of the reports the DWP rely on cannot be considered as evidence by the tribunal as it fails "to meet any basic level of credibility."
    Just in our town and for those claimants who can get our help, £650,000 worth of decisions overturned at appeal represents a lot of incompetently conducted assessments.

    Best wishes.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • edited 23 June 2019 at 12:02PM
    MuttleythefrogMuttleythefrog Forumite
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    edited 23 June 2019 at 12:02PM
    Alice_Holt wrote: »
    Hi Muttley,
    Your post reflects what we see daily in my local Citizens Advice office. I, and a colleague, help clients with (mainly) disability benefit appeals.....
    You're obviously doing a great job (including here too over the years). Much appreciated by many claimants I am sure! As I said to my GP when I last saw her (as it turned out the very same day a letter inviting me to WCA assessment was produced) the nightmare of the process would be reduced in half if you had confidence in their ability to do their job. I described it as being on a whole different level of fear and anxiety to that of my (now) wife's Visa applications including the first to start our life here together. She said she had many other patients saying similar. (Such a shame she doesn't fill in the ESA113 form better - she perhaps could have saved me and probably others elevated suffering!)

    Actually while I'm here... I don't like advertising and especially regarding my own stuff BUT... if you are bored waiting for dinner to bake...it's relevant but in Discussion Time.. https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6016261
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • iammumtooneiammumtoone Forumite
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    32K is that all they get paid I am gobsmacked!
  • edited 23 June 2019 at 2:44PM
    Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    edited 23 June 2019 at 2:44PM
    32K is that all they get paid I am gobsmacked!

    That's £32k more than the volunteers at my local Citizens Advice who help our disabled and ill clients overturn ATOS's, Capita, Maximus etc inaccurate assessments and flawed DWP decisions at appeal.

    https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2017/atos-maximus-capita-medicals-17-19/
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • edited 24 June 2019 at 6:27AM
    deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
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    edited 24 June 2019 at 6:27AM
    I am afraid I too have to question the value of the £32k salary. My son had a very fair ESA assessment. The assessor accepted what he said and his ESA was continued without a problem (mind you, my son was curled in a ball on his chair quivering for most of the assessment, I had to speak for him).

    But my DLA assessment.., oh dear, apparently I can pick up my GSD and spaniel - spaniel is 18kg, GSD is well over 25kg.., together - I was seen doing this, apparently lol. I can walk perfectly well, shop without problems, I can use the internet so can concentrate so don't go into meltdowns and travel without problems. All very different to what I reported on paper and to the assessor. So many lies in the report, I was amazed. Assessor turned up half an hour early and tried to insist I saw her then, without my support worker being present (probably trying to fit in another assessment that day and get the bonus). Completely put me in a stressy mess. No compassion or understanding whatsoever. Even denied I got upset which I very visibly was at this point (and remember the assessment hadn't even started at this point).

    The report she issued said she was a nurse. I think the job type attracts some unpleasant characters who in another life would be the last people you'd think would have once been in the 'caring' professions.

    Undoubtedly there are some reasonable people doing this job, but if the pressures do exist to turn people down/reduce claims as we are told, the ones who want to do a truthful assessment won't last long, unfortunately.
  • MuttleythefrogMuttleythefrog Forumite
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    The assessor accepted what he said and his ESA was continued without a problem (mind you, my son was curled in a ball on his chair quivering for most of the assessment, I had to speak for him).
    It's a shame he has to go through such - especially knowing there is a good chance report talks about the difficulties of coping with the interview/assessment and yet still the same may be repeated in the future.

    I've a pretty dark sense of humour... I hope nobody finds this inappropriate... but last week I had my ESA face to face. Because I was sat up against the back of the assessor's desk and shaking a lot his keyboard actually was vibrating on the desk causing quite a racket. I'm still waiting for a copy of the assessment report but if it doesn't mention trembling or the equivalent in observations/mental state exam it would be quite something.... I haven't listened to either covert or official recording of the assessment yet but it must've been evident.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • rosie51rosie51 Forumite
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    What the heck do you think this will achieve other than making it more likely you will fail in your request?

    People like you actually make me really angry - you think you deserve everything for minimal effort and seem to despise everyone in 'the system'. Plus, this kind of thing wastes DWP time and holds everyone else up

    Wouldn't it just have been easier and more sensible to sit and type some bullet points and submit those for reconsideration? Instead you deliberately chose to use scrawl... well done you... great self-sabotage.

    I can't wait for your next rant where you have been refused and are moaning about having to go to a tribunal.

    An update on my pip MR, i was a warded it after all. So despite your comments that i sabotaged my reconsideration, i was given a the lower amount for care i am still happy. Writing the letter with so many pages was daft but it worked. The assessor took nothing into account what i was telling her, however water under the bridge.
    Thank you for the comments posted.
    2020 Stash makes/destash 61/150
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