Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • fluke13
    • By fluke13 8th Mar 18, 8:19 AM
    • 104Posts
    • 13Thanks
    fluke13
    PIP assessor
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:19 AM
    PIP assessor 8th Mar 18 at 8:19 AM
    Are you allowed to ask a PIP assessor what qualifications/field they are in. Would this annoy the assessor?
    Just wondering what back ground other peoples assessors are in.
Page 1
    • Dreamnine
    • By Dreamnine 8th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
    • 7,935 Posts
    • 13,420 Thanks
    Dreamnine
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
    I believe a lot of them are ex-nurses or have some background in a medical environment. Asking them would be likely to antagonise them I should imagine and I wouldn't advise it.
    I shot a vein in my neck and coughed up a Quaalude.
    Lou Reed The Last Shot
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 8th Mar 18, 8:49 AM
    • 30,710 Posts
    • 58,176 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:49 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:49 AM
    Do you ask your lawyer or accountant or the person who serves you at Morrisons if they are qualified to do their job?
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 8th Mar 18, 9:10 AM
    • 6,519 Posts
    • 11,770 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:10 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:10 AM
    They write on the PA4 form what they are and their registration number they hold so I take that as a yes, you can ask. I asked and was given an answer both times.
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

    NOT BUYING IT
    (unless it's on offer and can get my loyalty points)
    • fluke13
    • By fluke13 8th Mar 18, 9:11 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    fluke13
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:11 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:11 AM
    Do you ask your lawyer or accountant or the person who serves you at Morrisons if they are qualified to do their job?
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend


    Wow, love how some of you are so helpful.
    I was simply asking what sort of background they are likely to have. An ex paramedic is likely to have a better understanding of medical conditions than a physio.
    And as for my Lawyer or accountant I would already know that they are qualified to do the job because I would be employing them.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 8th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
    • 11,578 Posts
    • 13,479 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
    From benefitsandwork.co.uk

    A Capita spokesperson told us:
    All of Capitas health professionals are qualified to carry out PIP assessments and undergo training according to the Department and Capitas quality standard.
    DWP has provided guidance stating that PIP health professionals, who are made up of occupational therapists, nurses, physiotherapists, paramedics and doctors, are now required to share their specific professional background on the PIP report form.
    Capita has communicated this requirement to its employees and will continue to enforce it.
    So, if your assessor does not reveal their qualification, please contact Capita and we are sure they will be happy to put things right.

    So, absolutely no reason why you shouldn't ask if you want to. Just a 'heads up' though. Whatever their qualification you cannot query whether they are suitable to carry out the assessment as Capita has the standard reply 'they are qualified to carry out PIP assessments and undergo training according to the Department and Capitas quality standard.'

    In certain cases Capita will make the decision that a doctor needs to carry out the assessment but this is quite rare.

    Health Professionals should also have access to doctors for any queries.
    Last edited by pmlindyloo; 08-03-2018 at 9:28 AM.
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 8th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • 2,292 Posts
    • 10,649 Thanks
    Prinzessilein
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    You can certainly ask what their qualifications are...the last assessor I saw (PiP) told me them right at the start of the assessment (nurse).

    An earlier assessor I saw some years ago (DLA not PiP but same company does the assessments...although I do believe the training has been 'tightened-up' since this assessment took place) gave me their medical background when I asked, and also stated that they had some years of specialism in one of my conditions....I was suspicious and checked them out on the internet later - and discovered quite a few embellishments of the truth had been given!

    They are carrying out 'assessments' rather than carrying out a medical examination....so they do not need to be qualified doctors...they WILL generally have some sort of medical background, ad will have completed the training to assess for PiP.
    • w06
    • By w06 8th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    • 630 Posts
    • 925 Thanks
    w06
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    Mine volutneered the that she was a nurse and bit of her background experience. So long as you ask politely and non-confrontationally it's a perfectly legitimate question.
    • wellynever
    • By wellynever 8th Mar 18, 10:22 AM
    • 764 Posts
    • 1,036 Thanks
    wellynever
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 10:22 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 10:22 AM
    Yup ask them, but they will usually tell you at the start mine was a nurse.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 8th Mar 18, 11:46 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    You can certainly ask what their qualifications are...the last assessor I saw (PiP) told me them right at the start of the assessment (nurse).
    I'd agree with this too. There is no reason to ask (rather than challenge) as it gives you some sort of confidence in the process.

    As regards asking a Lawyer if they are qualified, that would be fun too. Anyone making themselves out to be a lawyer and conducting legal services without qualification can be guilty of a criminal act under the Legal Services Act 2007.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 8th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • 2,830 Posts
    • 2,789 Thanks
    poppy12345
    I've always been told be the assessment begins. if you ask, i'm sure they'll tell you.
    • cantcope
    • By cantcope 8th Mar 18, 12:10 PM
    • 1,713 Posts
    • 1,269 Thanks
    cantcope
    Mine told me she was a paramedic when she introduced herself
    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
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 8th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    • 30,710 Posts
    • 58,176 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    Wow, love how some of you are so helpful.
    I was simply asking what sort of background they are likely to have. An ex paramedic is likely to have a better understanding of medical conditions than a physio.
    And as for my Lawyer or accountant I would already know that they are qualified to do the job because I would be employing them.
    Originally posted by fluke13
    I didn't mean to be unhelpful, was just wondering why you would question their qualifications as they will all be trained medical professionals.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 08-03-2018 at 12:51 PM.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 8th Mar 18, 1:01 PM
    • 17,296 Posts
    • 30,465 Thanks
    Ames
    I didn't mean to be unhelpful, was just wondering why you would question their qualifications as they will all be trained medical professionals.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    But they won't be an expert in all medical conditions. If you know that they're not a specialist in your illness then you know not to use specialist jargon.

    For instance, I had a GP appointment where I assumed he knew basic terminology about my illness, so I used that when I described my symptoms. He didn't know the meaning of the words I used and nearly prescribed completely the wrong medication.

    So if, say, someone with mental health problems went for an assessment and it was with a physiotherapist, knowing that at the outset means that they'd explain their symptoms without using lots of technical terms that the assessor might not fully understand and wouldn't have time to clarify.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 8th Mar 18, 1:15 PM
    • 30,710 Posts
    • 58,176 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    I see, you are finding out whether they understand your respective condition, not questioning that they are fully trained.

    In that case I think it would be relevant to ask if they have any experience in that field, which sounds to me somewhat better than questioning whether they have 'passed the exams'.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 8th Mar 18, 1:33 PM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 2,516 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I didn't mean to be unhelpful, was just wondering why you would question their qualifications as they will all be trained medical professionals.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Hmm...

    You are obviously unaware of Judge Mark's comments in this Upper Tribunal ruling:
    http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/view.aspx?id=3830

    "Somewhat remarkably, considering that the claimant!!!8217;s problems were entirely mental ones, the disability analyst in question was, as I have noted, a registered physiotherapist, with no apparent professional expertise in mental health matters beyond what she may have gleaned from whatever training she was provided to become a disability analyst. The entire examination took 15 minutes and as usual the analyst had no access to the claimant!!!8217;s medical records."

    "Where, however, the disability analyst is a physiotherapist and the problems she is dealing with are mental health problems the opinion of the physiotherapist as to the conclusions to be drawn have no probative value whatsoever. This is because the physiotherapist has no professional expertise in mental health matters......"

    Your suggestion that you wouldn't ask a lawyer or accountant about their qualification to undertake a specific piece of work on your behalf is equally ludicrous.
    If you wanted representation in a complex international case, you would be very foolish to instruct your High Street practice which specialises in conveyancing.
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/may/11/how-do-i-decide-what-type-of-lawyer-i-want-to-be-trainee-solicitor

    Equally, accountants have varying specialisations and additional qualifications i.e tax -
    https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/skills/which-tax-qualification-to-pursue
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 08-03-2018 at 2:11 PM.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 8th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • 11,578 Posts
    • 13,479 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    Hmm...

    You are obviously unaware of Judge Mark's comments in this Upper Tribunal ruling:
    http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/view.aspx?id=3830

    "Somewhat remarkably, considering that the claimantís problems were entirely mental ones, the disability analyst in question was, as I have noted, a registered physiotherapist, with no apparent professional expertise in mental health matters beyond what she may have gleaned from whatever training she was provided to become a disability analyst. The entire examination took 15 minutes and as usual the analyst had no access to the claimantís medical records."

    "Where, however, the disability analyst is a physiotherapist and the problems she is dealing with are mental health problems the opinion of the physiotherapist as to the conclusions to be drawn have no probative value whatsoever. This is because the physiotherapist has no professional expertise in mental health matters......"

    Your suggestion that you wouldn't ask a lawyer or accountant about their qualification to undertake a specific piece of work on your behalf is equally ludicrous.
    If you wanted representation in a complex international case, you would be very foolish to trot up to instruct your High Street practice which specialises in conveyancing.
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/may/11/how-do-i-decide-what-type-of-lawyer-i-want-to-be-trainee-solicitor

    Equally, accountants have varying specialisations and additional qualifications i.e tax -
    https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/skills/which-tax-qualification-to-pursue
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    I find the bolded part very interesting particularly the 'as usual'.

    Why is/was that?

    My personal opinion is that medical evidence/information can be the key to a successful assessment.

    The problem is that the application form suggests that you do not need to ask for any medical reports that you don't already have with the assumption that Atos/Capita/Maximus will contact your consultant/GP.

    As often explained on this forum and elsewhere this rarely happens and claimants are urged to get the reports themselves.

    With the percentage of decisions being overturned at tribunal there are suggestions/assumptions that this is due to a doctor being present on the panel? or that further evidence is produced by the claimant or medical records are requested by the tribunal.

    However, for both PIP and ESA it is not the medical diagnosis that is important but how it affects your ability to work (ESA) or in the case of PIP....

    The assessment for PIP looks at an individualís ability to carry out a series of everyday activities. The assessment considers the overall impact of a claimantís health condition or impairment on their functional ability, rather than focusing on a particular diagnosis. PIP is not a compensation payment for ill health / disability; it is to help people with the increased costs of daily living in cases of long term ill health or disability. PIP sits alongside support provided by the NHS and local authorities and is not meant to duplicate that support.

    This why, I believe that many claimants may get the wrong decision from their assessment (I'm ignoring the fact that there are incompetent assessors. )

    How can someone who has little experience of the affects of certain conditions understand how they affect the claimant?

    Doctors often do not address how a condition affects the claimant
    just merely stating the condition itself. Consultants are often better at this detailing how a condition presents itself. Every time a claimant attends an appointment at a hospital they should ask for that report to be copied to them which then can be used as evidence.

    Similarly for mental health problems. We all know the lack of support for these around the country that is why I believe it is necessary to get the doctor to write that the claimant needs such and such although at this time no such treatment is available. The assessors appear to be obsessed that if you do not receive any input for your mental health problems (or indeed input for some physical problems) then they don't exist. Claimant's doctors need to write and say exactly what is happening in respect of your condition - whether treatment is necessary/whether nothing more can be done/whether no services are available at the moment/why certain medications haven't worked/why the claimant is not taking this or that (because of side effects for example).

    Basically this is what a good welfare specialist would do when helping with an application/appeal. They document what descriptor the claimant meets and direct the assessor to the medical evidence for this.

    Of course I have generalised with all of this. However, I do think we need to ask why so many decisions are overturned at tribunal and what is going in wrong. Is it only because there are bad assessors or are claimants not giving themselves the best chance of success by providing what is needed?

    Unfortunately I can find little information on why claimants succeed at tribunal and not at assessment. My own experience is that claimants do not realise the need for evidence. Totally understandable because they know how their condition affects them. Unfortunately most assessors do not.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 8th Mar 18, 2:49 PM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 2,516 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    "The assessors appear to be obsessed that if you do not receive any input for your mental health problems (or indeed input for some physical problems) then they don't exist. Claimant's doctors need to write and say exactly what is happening in respect of your condition - whether treatment is necessary/whether nothing more can be done/whether no services are available at the moment/why certain medications haven't worked/why the claimant is not taking this or that (because of side effects for example)."

    Totally agree, particularly for mental health.
    It seems to be a common refrain from the DWP DM - "Claimant is not under the care of the Mental Health Trust, has not been referred to counselling, and is only on moderate medication therefore......."
    I also feel that the MSE tests are wholly inadequate, and that's before we get to the "Claimant did not rock during the assessment and maintained good eye contact, etc" comments.
    We even had one DWP evidence bundle which stated "Claimant has good rapport with his dog"!!!

    "Basically this is what a good welfare specialist would do when helping with an application/appeal. They document what descriptor the claimant meets and direct the assessor to the medical evidence for this."
    Unfortunately, many forms completed by the claimant themselves fail to explain their condition fully, and the impact on the activities / descriptors. Many claimants also misinterpret the descriptors (and what constitutes an aid for PIP), so often the form does not get to the required points. Making a negative decision by the DWP easier.

    " I do think we need to ask why so many decisions are overturned at tribunal and what is going in wrong."
    Totally agree.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 8th Mar 18, 2:51 PM
    • 2,151 Posts
    • 2,516 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    I believe the usual reason for the decision being changed at Tribunal is more evidence. What the DWP often fail to note is that this additional evidence is usually oral (I'll add a link later if I can find it, about to go and get bits cut off, so can't look now. ). In other words, the Judges just listen to the claimants's own account, which the assessor should have done in the first place.
    Originally posted by Penitent
    Spot on.

    And the tribunal is very thorough, because they have to justify their decision by reference to the law and the evidence before them.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 8th Mar 18, 2:57 PM
    • 30,710 Posts
    • 58,176 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    Hmm...

    You are obviously unaware of Judge Mark's comments in this Upper Tribunal ruling:
    http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/view.aspx?id=3830

    "Somewhat remarkably, considering that the claimant!!!8217;s problems were entirely mental ones, the disability analyst in question was, as I have noted, a registered physiotherapist, with no apparent professional expertise in mental health matters beyond what she may have gleaned from whatever training she was provided to become a disability analyst. The entire examination took 15 minutes and as usual the analyst had no access to the claimant!!!8217;s medical records."

    "Where, however, the disability analyst is a physiotherapist and the problems she is dealing with are mental health problems the opinion of the physiotherapist as to the conclusions to be drawn have no probative value whatsoever. This is because the physiotherapist has no professional expertise in mental health matters......"

    Your suggestion that you wouldn't ask a lawyer or accountant about their qualification to undertake a specific piece of work on your behalf is equally ludicrous.
    If you wanted representation in a complex international case, you would be very foolish to instruct your High Street practice which specialises in conveyancing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/may/11/how-do-i-decide-what-type-of-lawyer-i-want-to-be-trainee-solicitor

    Equally, accountants have varying specialisations and additional qualifications i.e tax -
    https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/skills/which-tax-qualification-to-pursue
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    I misunderstood and thought the OP meant for the assessor to show that they were a medical professional at all , whereas they actually meant to ascertain that they had the relevant expertise.

    A bit like asking my solicitor if he had passed his law exams, not what field he specialised in.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

10Posts Today

4,324Users online

Martin's Twitter