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  • FIRST POST
    • Sarahjane123
    • By Sarahjane123 2nd Jan 19, 11:43 AM
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    Sarahjane123
    PIP Assessment Cancelled
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 19, 11:43 AM
    PIP Assessment Cancelled 2nd Jan 19 at 11:43 AM
    It was due today but the assessment provider cancelled due to illness. The problem is my daughter will be back at school next week and it is unfair to take her out during her GCSE year. Every lesson is important, she is already at a disadvantage. They say some Saturday appointments might become available but can't be sure. What happens if I turn down a school time appointment?
    What happens if we just don't go? At the assessment centre I feel they only tell lies anyway, I feel they are only nice if you have a home visit. Also we asked for the information leaflet to be sent in large format for our daughter which it wasn't.

    On past experience every time we made a DLA claim it ended up going to court and then being awarded without submitting extra evidence. Each time the DWP were unable to decided correctly. It is a stable condition, DWP have much evidence. If we go to the assessment and they lie when it goes to court won't their assessment do more harm than good? I am tired with having to fight everything. Is it worth ringing DWP to check if they don't already have enough evidence? When it ends up going to court will we have to attend?

    I'm not sure we can go through this every year, I am not well myself and the stress is not helping. Also as the appointee, I need to go to the appointment but I work until 3:15 and their last appointment is at 3. It's so frustrating because I had today off, they offered me a morning appointment tomorrow but I can't just take the morning off last minute, I have said I can skip lunch and get there for 2 pm but they don't have an appointment then.

    I am going to phone up tomorrow morning and see if they've had a cancellation for the afternoon, failing that wait for a Saturday. But are we entitled to more notice in case we decide to lawfully record?
    Last edited by Sarahjane123; 02-01-2019 at 12:29 PM.
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 2nd Jan 19, 11:16 PM
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    venison
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 19, 11:16 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 19, 11:16 PM
    You can only change one appointment (not inc ones they change), A home appt would be no different to any other,and you would need a gp's letter explaining why a home visit was needed, not just because it was not convenient.
    If you just don't go then her DLA will end and she will not get PIP, it is not upto the DWP to decide if a f2f is required but upto ATOS or Capita or whoever.
    Yes we read some examples of the truth not be reported by the HCP but the vast majority are honest assessment based on fact.
    I'm sure however inconvenient an appointment maybe not getting the money would be less handy?? Half a day off school won't be the end of the world.

    Sorry if most of that isn't what you want to hear, and I hope she gets the PIP.
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    • Sarahjane123
    • By Sarahjane123 3rd Jan 19, 12:11 PM
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    Sarahjane123
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 19, 12:11 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 19, 12:11 PM
    Thank you.
    I have called them again to see if there had been an afternoon cancellation and they are saying my daughter has an appointment booked for tomorrow am, which they had previously offered and I said I couldn't get to. I didn't know they had booked this appointment. I can't get time off at short notice. They previously said they were going to "work with us" because they were the ones that cancelled the appointment. They also said the appointee doesn't need to be there which completely contradicts my letter. Oh and now saying they don't do Saturdays.
    I thought I read somewhere that you were entitled to five days notice.
    My daughter would need to take at least 2 hours off school with travelling for any school day appointment. I think I would prefer her to lose the money than miss crucial information that could affect her GSCE result. The school would not authorise it anyway.

    I thought the DWP decided if a f2f was required, i.e. If they don't have enough evidence. I wonder at what point to they hand it over to ATOS/Capita then?
    Last edited by Sarahjane123; 03-01-2019 at 12:57 PM.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 3rd Jan 19, 2:45 PM
    • 8,386 Posts
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    kingfisherblue
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 19, 2:45 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 19, 2:45 PM
    I think that the school would have to authorise a face to face assessment as a medical appointment. It's something that is required, not that you choose to do. If school refuse to authorise it, I would make a complaint in writing, and copy it to the governors and the LEA. Medical appointments are allowed, and on most school attendance systems, are noted with the letter M, which indicates authorised medical absence.



    Regarding notice, I believe that you should be given notice, but if you have stated that you will attend a cancellation, they might not be able to give you the same amount of notice. If you have not stated that you will accept a cancellation, then maybe they are just trying to help by giving you an appointment as soon as possible.
    • Sarahjane123
    • By Sarahjane123 3rd Jan 19, 4:25 PM
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    Sarahjane123
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 19, 4:25 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 19, 4:25 PM
    Thank you.
    It's disgraceful having to take her out of school because they won't work past a certain time. She is going to miss two very important lessons. They've already lied about rescheduling her appointment. I should've tried to book an appointment for Februrary half term instead, I don't think they will let me change it again now.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 3rd Jan 19, 5:25 PM
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    poppy12345
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 19, 5:25 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 19, 5:25 PM
    I'm sorry but you can't expect to claim a benefit if you won't attend the assessment. Most people claiming PIP need to attend a face to face assessment, it's rare to have a paper based assessment. I agree that taking your daughter out of school for a short time wouldn't make any difference. As it's an appointment then there should be no problem for the school to authorise the time off.


    As tomorrows appointment is now booked if you cancel this you won't be able to cancel another and if you don't attend an assessment her file will be returned to DWP and she'll most likely be refused PIP for failing to attend.



    As you're her appointee then you must attend the assessment with her.


    Having a home assessment is no different to attending one of their centres. Yes, you hear of bad stories on the internet but not all HCP's are bad. I've never had a bad report for any of my assessments in the past. Remember, you rarely hear the good stories because if someone has an award they're happy with they have no questions to ask, so we don't hear their story.



    It's got nothing to do with DWP who has a face to face assessment or not. Once the form is returned to DWP they then forward the file to the health assessment providers. From there they decide if a f2f assessment is needed. It's got nothing to do with DWP until the assessment report has been returned back to them.


    If you don't attend the assessment her DLA will stop along with the disabled element of child tax credits (if you're claiming this)



    If you want to record the assessment then you must get permission before doing this. I believe they need 24-48 hours notice. If you record the assessment without permission then you risk being caught and her file returned to DWP with her being refused that benefit. You must also use the correct recording devices. This must be 2 CD/tape recorders and you must produce 2 identical copies and hand 1 copy in at the end of the assessment.



    We all find these assessments very stressful but they have to be done.
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 4th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    Talula1993
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 19, 8:33 PM
    Echoing the above..

    Not all assessments are full of lies. I work within the service (not an AHP but know all the ins and outs) and the vast majority are very honest. The way the assessment works is that for everything the claimant claims they are unable or struggling to do there needs to be information to back that up, whether that's medication, medical reports, specialist involvement, how they present etc. Where all these stories of 'lies' comes from is when someone comes in with a condition, say fibromyalgia (not picking on that condition, just random example) say they are unable to do any daily activity, yet they only take paracetamol and have never seen someone other than a GP about it, how can that be justified? It's not personal it's a point scoring system.

    Sorry that wasn't meant to have a go its understandable to be worried about the stories you hear, but if your daughter needs it, she'll probably get it.

    I also think it's worth taking 2 hours out your day for it, if she is entitled the help and support that money could provide your daughter will far outweigh the two hours lost.

    It's also unreasonable to expect the assessment centres to jump through any hoops to cater to you, I know they messed up your appointment but effectively the service is doing you the favour, so I would not count on them making too many adjustments .

    Best of luck anyhow.
    • venison
    • By venison 4th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
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    venison
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
    Thank you.
    It's disgraceful having to take her out of school because they won't work past a certain time. She is going to miss two very important lessons. They've already lied about rescheduling her appointment. I should've tried to book an appointment for Februrary half term instead, I don't think they will let me change it again now.
    Originally posted by Sarahjane123
    They will only allow one change, I'm sorry but I disagree about the 2 hours of missed school, I'm sure the relevant teachers would make sure she was kept updated about a missed lesson, in fact I know they would.
    I do sympathise with the fact that taking time off work is difficult but surely its not impossible?
    Whenever the assessment is done I hope it goes well, but I somehow doubt that you will be back to tell us that...if you see the point others have made.
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    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 4th Jan 19, 11:34 PM
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    poppy12345
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 19, 11:34 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 19, 11:34 PM
    Where all these stories of 'lies' comes from is when someone comes in with a condition, say fibromyalgia (not picking on that condition, just random example) say they are unable to do any daily activity, yet they only take paracetamol and have never seen someone other than a GP about it, how can that be justified? It's not personal it's a point scoring system.
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    Sorry but that's complete rubbish!! I have fibromyalgia and was diagnosed about 7 years ago. For the past 4 years i now only see my GP..... why do i only see my GP? because there's nothing more that can be done, that's why. Fibromyalgia is a condition that can not be treated. Doesn't matter how much pain medication a person takes, it won't help their pain. A lot of people don't take medication because they most likely think what's the point when it doesn't actually work! I've taken enough of medication in the past to sink a ship but it's never worked.


    What has not being able to do daily activity got to do with only taking paracetamol???? Absolute rubbish!!



    Sorry but you clearly have no idea at all about fibromyalgia and how it affects people. Not taking medication makes no difference to a PIP claim what so ever.



    There's an awful lot of lies told in a lot of peoples assessment reports, you can't get away from that fact! I also wouldn't go as far as saying "the vast majority are very honest either" that's certainly not true. I do agree that there's some honest HCP's out there that do write an honest report though.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 12:52 PM
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    Alice Holt
    Not all assessments are full of lies.....Where all these stories of 'lies' comes from is when someone comes in with a condition, say fibromyalgia (not picking on that condition, just random example) say they are unable to do any daily activity, yet they only take paracetamol and have never seen someone other than a GP about it, how can that be justified? It's not personal it's a point scoring system.
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    I come from a different perspective.

    At my local CAB we constantly see truly appalling assessments.

    As an example a male claimant's PIP report on the dressing activity stated he could put a bra on, the report continued to refer to him as 'Mrs' throughout the dressing and undressing section. As someone working within the assessment system, you must surely be aware of the pitfalls of ATOS (rebranded IAS), Capita, etc cut and pasting generic comments.
    The example I have quoted is extreme, but it is common to see claimants difficulties dismissed with stock phrases as "maintained good eye contact; did not rock; well presented; "etc.

    Those claimants with mental health conditions are particularly badly served by the assessments. An assessment by a paramedic using the flawed Mental State Examinations can result in some very poor decisions.
    The impact on claimants of these inaccurate assessments can be devastating for them - pushing them from poor mental health to a mental health crisis; pushing them further away from participation in society; imposing emotional costs on their families; and placing further demands on NHS services.

    I can only hope that the flawed assessments we see represent a small percentage of the total. However, it is extremely disappointing that of the PIP MR's rejected by the DWP some 71% are allowed at appeal by the Tribunal Service. A sad indictment of an assessment system introduced to reduce disability payments by 20%.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22058059
    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2016/march/dr-uk-pip-reform-briefing

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/06/former-watchdog-chief-labels-disabled-benefits-process-a-hostile-environment
    "Andrew McDonald, who chaired Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, described the assessment process undergone by hundreds of thousands of chronically ill and disabled people each year as crude, unprofessional and Kafka-esque in its complexity."
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 2:08 PM
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    Talula1993
    But you have seen specialists in the past to clarify the diagnosis ?

    Therefore have had specialist input for the diagnosis. = validating that you have fibromyalgia which is evidence.

    If you have had a history of medication that has been non affective therefore came off it, Then that is also adequate as that's a reasonable decision to make therefore not held against you.

    That was an overly personal response, one of my closest friends is disabled by fibromyalgia, i see her in tears in pain and barely able to get out of bed some days, so I know the effects. But I also know that people come into the assessments and write diagnosis of conditions such as fibromyalgia or anxiety and say things like "well my GP thinks it could be this but my cousin has it and I think I have the same" , while it could be probable they do struggle day to day, what evidence apart from their word is there ? THIS is what I mean, the vagueness and inconsistencies.

    This was not an attack on the condition, it was to give information to the OP on how assessments can go wrong, e.g insufficient evidence therefore to adequately plan ahead.

    There will always be dis honest people who are a disservice to the role, and unfortunately the result of bad employees in this role has a detrimental effect on those who have been on the receiving end on it, which is very sad. But the jobs training teaches you to be as fair and understanding as possible, just like any job this can go wrong but I do believe most have the best intentions.

    Again this was not an attack on fibromyalgia. It was a comment on the vagueness and lack of history some people disclose and it was just a random choice in condition to give as example.
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 2:16 PM
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    Talula1993
    Yes I agree with that, but I don't think that's the fault of the AHP as such (the bra bit is obviously plain sillines) but given that they generally have 30 minutes to fill in about 15 pages there are some slip of pen errors and some generic phrases churned out for each person, things do obviously go wrong but for the truly important bits they focus more detail and make it person specific. I think the fault is the DWP who expects sometimes for one person to see up to 6 people a day and over books appointments. With 3-4 a day far better quality reports will be produced.
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 2:21 PM
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    Talula1993
    Sorry fairly new and not grasped quoting. Those comments were responses to poppy and Alice!
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 5th Jan 19, 3:30 PM
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    GlasweJen
    Talula you're talking nonsense. I'm a paraplegic and my medical assessment said I walked up a flight of stairs, I can assure you that I didn't! The nurse also said that his wife once fainted and ended up in an ambulance and he was so scared and blah blah blah but somehow I was expected to just get up and get on with life despite having a condition where my blood pressure bottoms out and I lose consciousness several times a week.

    The tribunal, based on the medical evidence that the nurse had also had at his assessment, didn't even sit at a panel, one came out and apologised and they sent me straight home with a fair award which was a world away from the double zero score that the nurse plucked out the air.

    At the second assessment the physiotherapist managed to work out that wheelchair = not a walker (felt like sending her a well done letter) but she managed to miss out the fact I can't stand up so apparently I have a shower every morning and stand in a bath! Can't remember the rest but it was an embarrassment to common sense, mandatory reconsideration sorted that one out but it really makes you think that the good professionals stay in the services and the rubbish ones pimp themselves out to these ATOS (or equivalent) services.
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    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 4:00 PM
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    Talula1993
    Glaswejen I'm not talking nonsense. A handful of bad experiences is not gospel and represenative of everyone's experiences. I work in the auditing of assessments and learning for new starters, so yes I do know what I'm talking about. Jesus some people can be so rude on these forums, completely unnecessary. I merely explained the process of assessments, someone reports a difficulty with a task, the assessors job is to find 2 or 3 pieces of evidence to back that up, whether that's doctors reports, medications, physical assessment etc, if they can't find the evidence the DWP will just throw the report back and say that the claiments restrictions aren't justified. I did not claim that it is perfect system and nothing goes wrong! Things go wrong because the assessors have an obscene case load which I hope will change. What i claimed is that the job tries to give a fair representative and the auditing process is improving so there's progressively less and less mistakes slipping through the net, the majority of people who really need it, get it, but yes there are mistakes made but this is not for the majority of people.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 5th Jan 19, 4:15 PM
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    poppy12345
    You really are talking complete nonsense! PIP isn't about a diagnosis, so i have no idea what you're talking about with that statement.


    Fair and understanding, HCP's? That's quite funny when so many people have so many lies told in their reports. Things that didn't actually happen during the assessment. Being called a female, when you're a male,walking up stairs when it would be physically impossible for the claimant to do such a thing??? come on!



    As Alice pointed out, 71% of those that appear in person win their Tribunal.... need we say anymore about those HCP's...................I think not.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 4:29 PM
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    Alice Holt
    ...but given that they generally have 30 minutes to fill in about 15 pages there are some slip of pen errors and some generic phrases churned out for each person, things do obviously go wrong but for the truly important bits they focus more detail and make it person specific. I think the fault is the DWP who expects sometimes for one person to see up to 6 people a day and over books appointments. With 3-4 a day far better quality reports will be produced...the assessors have an obscene case load ...
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    That's the difficulty with a system brought in to reduce the welfare bill.

    Under DLA the decision was made by a decision maker based on a report from GP's / Consultants / Medical Professional's who were aware of the claimants medical history; together with the claimants written report of how their disability affected in daily life.
    Such a GP's or CPN's report is exactly, "there needs to be information to back that up, whether that's medication, medical reports, specialist involvement, how they present etc.", what you suggested should be in place in your earlier post.

    The prescriptive points-based system now in place relies on a short assessment by a "HCP" who may not be experienced in the claimants medical condition, and who has, by your account, only 2 minutes per page to complete their report.
    It's scarcely surprising mistakes are made, and the costs of such a short sighted regime passed back to the claimant, their family, the NHS, the Tribunal Service (who have c. a 9 month waiting list of pending appeals).
    A colleague has a client with severe mental health issues, for whom she has now submitted 3 consequent successful appeals to the TS.The panel place the claimant in the Support Group, 2 years on the client is reassessed, declared fit for work. We help client with an appeal - client placed in SG - 2 years another reassessment finds the client fit for work - etc,etc. Three times in succession and counting!
    That really doesn't help anyone - unfortunately rushed and incompetent assessments together with very poor DWP decision making seem common.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 05-01-2019 at 4:57 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 4:57 PM
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    Talula1993
    Poppy. You are talking to someone who works in the service, so I can categorically say diagnosis does matter. If someone said "I can't dress myself" but had no explanation as to why, and their response was "just can't" when asked why, no one's going to go "fair enough have this money" but it someone says they can't dress them selves because they have COPD and it makes them too out of breath, then we would think fair enough that is reasonable.

    What is meant by diagnosis doesn't matter is that some conditions cause very few functional impairments, e.g high blood pressure for example. But there has to a realistic probability that the condition someone has would cause some of the difficulties that they are reporting.

    The ones that go to mandatory reconsideration are the ones declined. Where i work last week 80% of claimants were scored and entitled. Mistakes are made, that is life. Everyone will focus on the negatives. 5 people could be assessed, have a fair and accurate assessment and get what they are dersved. Then one person comes along, gets what they perceive as an incorrect score and everyone will just disregard the 5 positive stories and only voice and discuss the one negative then tarnishing the whole service as a disgrace. While I agree no mistakes should be made, unfortunately they do.

    But no one here is doing the OP any favours, she already has doubts about claiming for her daughter and everyone is basically saying "well since I had a bad experience you definitely will to"

    I stand by what I said, if you have any evidence and your daughter and your self can explain reasons why she is struggling with certain aspects of daily living then theres a chance youll be entitled, anyway I wish you the best of luck

    I'm not here to argue. I was offering support to the OP on the process of the service and from MY personal experience seeing mainly fair practice. I'm sorry people have negative experience I really am I hate to see people struggle. But please, I am not talking nonsense I literally go through the scoring criteria everyday. I see the negative and the positive. I'm not disillusioned.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 5:09 PM
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    Alice Holt
    ... I work in the auditing of assessments and learning for new starters, so yes I do know what I'm talking about. .. and the auditing process is improving...
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    I'd be interested to know how successful MR's and tribunal appeals are covered in the audit process.
    - Are these included in the audit?
    - is there any feedback / training for the HCP concerned?

    It would seem sensible that such flawed assessments are reviewed, and lessons learnt. Does this happen, and what is the process?

    Do you have contact / feedback from the TS?
    Especially given these comments:
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/most-dwp-benefits-cases-which-reach-court-are-based-on-bad
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 5th Jan 19, 5:42 PM
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    poppy12345
    Poppy. You are talking to someone who works in the service, so I can categorically say diagnosis does matter. If someone said "I can't dress myself" but had no explanation as to why, and their response was "just can't" when asked why, no one's going to go "fair enough have this money" but it someone says they can't dress them selves because they have COPD and it makes them too out of breath, then we would think fair enough that is reasonable.
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    Naturally, if someone turns around and says this it's no wonder they're refused. Explaining why you have those problems then there's more chance of someone being successful but i still disagree with you that PIP is about a diagnosis because it's not.



    I know someone very close to me that claimed PIP a year ago and had no diagnosis at all. Had lots of problem with daily activities and needs support to even get through the day, every single day of the week. Awarded successfully Enhanced in both parts.



    That's all i have to say on the subject and i wish you a good evening.
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