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    • Sarahjane123
    • By Sarahjane123 2nd Jan 19, 11:43 AM
    • 3Posts
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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 2
    • Talula1993
    • By Talula1993 5th Jan 19, 5:55 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Talula1993
    Sorry Alice I don't really know much about the reconsiderations, once the assessments are sent that's where my knowledge ends. I know the senior management get all the feedback and adjust the criterias and in-house training accordingly under direction from.the DWP. In the last 12 months the In house auditing has gone up dramatically though, a lot of assessments are read through, scrutinised and are given back to the AP to make amendments before they reach the DWP, this reducing silly errors and inconsistencies

    This is where I work though I think a lot of assessment centres are ran differently
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 6:11 PM
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    Alice Holt
    Sorry Alice I don't really know much about the reconsiderations, once the assessments are sent that's where my knowledge ends. I know the senior management get all the feedback and adjust the criterias and in-house training accordingly under direction from.the DWP. In the last 12 months the In house auditing has gone up dramatically though, a lot of assessments are read through, scrutinised and are given back to the AP to make amendments before they reach the DWP, this reducing silly errors and inconsistencies

    This is where I work though I think a lot of assessment centres are ran differently
    Originally posted by Talula1993
    Thanks.

    It's good to know that reports can be subject to in-house audit, and I share your hope that HCP's will be given sufficient time for assessments.

    I'd certainly like to see the DWP identifying claims which have been successfully overturned at tribunal for inclusion in feedback / audit for both DWP decision makers and HCP's.
    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, 6:11 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Talula1993
    "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"

    I agree with this. There are blurred lines in the assessment when it comes to cases like the above

    There are a lot of mystery illnesses out there, where someone can go through all sorts of investigations and not get any diagnosis but a medical professional can see something isn't right, so the diagnosis in your friends case might be unclear, but I would assume in their case they had a list of symptoms, and could discuss all the medical investigations they have and if they appeared in pain or discomfort and had very poor strength or movement in the physical examination in the assessment there was enough evidence to give validity to their claims.

    In their assessment their condition would likely just be called something like "generalised pain disorder" or "neurological symptoms" - basically a made up name but gives some loose form of diagnosis.

    I saw someone who wrote "twitching disorder" once, basically had random uncontrolled sudden jerk movements that meant they couldn't do many activities safely. He could talk in depth about all the Neuro assessments he has had yet all conditions were ruled out. I think his neurologist just referred to it as "non specified neurological disorder" - He scored basic from what I remember.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 5th Jan 19, 6:27 PM
    • 4,202 Posts
    • 4,016 Thanks
    poppy12345
    The person i'm talking about doesn't have any physical disabilities at all, so every condition they have are invisible. To look at her you'd think there was nothing wrong.


    Evidence was sent from various Consultants to support the claim, which stated exactly what her difficulties are and where the support is needed. All pointing to several of the descriptors. The report was also chosen for audit and stayed there for 5 weeks.



    Fast forward 9 months and there's now a diagnosis of learning disability, ASD and social anxiety disorder of childhood.



    As i said previously there are people out there that do have good reports, honest HCP's that really are as nice as they seemed on the day of the assessment. Sadly, this doesn't always happen and far too many people are refused when it's as clear as the nose on your face that they're entitled to it.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 5th Jan 19, 6:57 PM
    • 2,564 Posts
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    NeilCr
    I don't think any one can say bad assessments don't happen. They do. And like anything there are going to be good and bad assessors. As Alice says the fact that so many decisions are overturned at appeal points out a major flaw in the system.

    On the other hand behind that there are, it would seem, a pretty large number of decisions which are most likely correct and we don't hear about them. In general terms people don't go on social media telling everyone that they have got a good award - nor, unfortunately, do they tell the local CAB (well ours anyway) the outcome. We wish they would so we can get a real feel for how it is going and we are doing. We can only assume they are content or have no stomach to take the fight further.

    Contrary to Alice's CAB we don't seem to hear of 'dreadful" assessments that often. Not to say they don't happen and we are a small branch - of course, it might just be the assessors down here are better. I happen to know a couple in my personal life and they are nice, decent people.

    I totally agree with the fact that it is not about the diagnosis but about the impact on the claimant. And, nobody really knows just how bad (or good!) the system is.

    Without doubt there are fundamental flaws - you only have to read the experiences of Glaswejen and other posters here and elsewhere to understand that. But how the "silent majority" of PIP claimants feel nobody really knows. They don't post online and I suspect CABs like where I and Alice work/volunteer only see a minority of folks going through the PIP process.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 8:29 PM
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    Alice Holt
    Contrary to Alice's CAB we don't seem to hear of 'dreadful" assessments that often. Not to say they don't happen and we are a small branch - of course, it might just be the assessors down here are better.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    We are a very busy (as indeed I'm sure your branch is, NeilCr), but thankfully well resourced office covering an area of c. 220,000 people.
    We are lucky to have specialist benefit staff (and a Macmillan funded Benefit Advisor), and also have a contract with the local council for benefit advice / appeals for young adults with learning disabilities / autism, etc.
    Consequently we see a lot of DWP evidence bundles.

    The specialist staff are referred cases from the general service for clients who are vulnerable, or have limited capability.
    Those specialists supporting the general service (slightly less than a full time equivalent), get total annual client outcomes averaging c650k (about 25 times their payroll cost).

    It is very common for clients scoring 0 points on assessment to receive an award on appeal. Frequently, especially with the young adults contract, it's from 0 points to Support Group (or LCWRA) or enhanced PIP.
    Our CAB gets (I would estimate) close to 90% success rates on appeals. Much of this, I'm sorry to say, is down to the poor quality of many assessments.
    I do hope Talula is right and we can expect to see many less flawed assessments and DWP decisions.

    When I first volunteered for the CAB, much of the work was around increasing benefit take up e.g. Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, DLA, etc.
    Now, the work centres around WCA's, assessments, and challenging DWP decisions to help disabled and vulnerable clients retain their benefits.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 05-01-2019 at 8:31 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 5th Jan 19, 9:03 PM
    • 2,564 Posts
    • 3,700 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Envy, envy, envy.

    We are badly under resourced and have no specialist benefit staff (my partner was the benefits adviser until the legal aid changes a while back). As a general service, though, we do do a lot of PIP and ESA applications and I can only say we have had little kickback from clients about the assessments.

    We had one volunteer trained centrally in PIP completion and he then trained others. A lot of our generalist appointments are PIP, ESA applications, MRs and appeals. The advisers who do these are usually pleased to get something a bit different like employment! We don't have the resources or knowledge to go through the whole tribunal process. As I say clients don't often let us know outcomes which is frustrating.

    To be honest Alice, the contrast between branches such as yours and mine is stark - we tend to feel that CitA centrally doesn't really get the constraints of small, underfunded branches and is more geared to the bigger ones. But that's another topic!
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 5th Jan 19, 9:18 PM
    • 2,717 Posts
    • 3,170 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    ... we tend to feel that CitA centrally doesn't really get the constraints of small, underfunded branches and is more geared to the bigger ones. But that's another topic!
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I'd agree, and also tend to think there's too much emphasis on spreadsheets, tick boxes, and audit - as opposed to enabling all offices to get the best outcomes for their clients with the resources they have.
    But as you say - that's another topic!

    Best wishes.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
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