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PIP Assessment - have you gone through this experience too?

jose2jose2 PioneeringPosts: 126Member Pioneering
edited March 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA

I have been called in for an assessment for PIP today in Wakefield ,I was seen by who I think was a nurse,before the interview started I offered her all my illnesses(that are numerous and which are quite unsual) which I had typed and keep to take to hospital appointments also  that there is lots of medications I cannot take which can make my illnesses worse,she did not want to see any of these but more or less insisted I answer her questions as she typed,such as how  one particular illness affects day-to-day living,I kept on telling her with each illness,that they all affected me the same way ,can't breath when I walk and in terrible pain in body, legs .When she asked me to stand and lift my legs or bend or move my legs apart a certain distance (which I laughed as I have osteoporosis grade 4 also diagnosed with cancer 2012 )this was at the end of the interview, "I asked if she was a doctor" !!.I am 67yrs old and have been in receipt of Disability High Rate and the lower rate carers allowance since 2003.Is there anyone out there who  has gone through this experience as myself.

Replies

  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Scope community team Posts: 1,661Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @jose2 Welcome to the group, I haven't undergone an assessment as yet but there are people who can advise you.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering
    Thank you for the welcome!
  • WheelyRachelWheelyRachel Courageous Posts: 67Member Courageous
    Hello, I had my assessment at home thankfully, and the assessor seemed very understanding and througher . She even had a look at all the adaptions and equipment I use on a daily bases. Plus she even looked at my care packing file . 

    However i I do feel that these assessments are very fixed and some of those doing them don't give a dam what you or your careers say. I've many friends that have either been down graded or will be loosing this benifit completely. 
    I will DLA had to appeal and later got the lifetime award. But thankfully with PIP I've been lucky and have been awarded the full amount.

    please do if your unlucky go to the CAB or your local disability advice centre and get them to appeal for you. As these assessor get bonuses for each claimant they can refuse or down grade.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Thank you for your reply WheelyRachel, I too was awarded life-time DLA back in 2003,but because I was not born before april 1948, I born 1949,thus why told to go for this assessment. maybe I'm looking  a bit on the black side that it maybe refused,as one of the question she asked me if I went to appointments on my own ?,my reply yes!,you have to if you don't have no-one.

    I will get help as you suggested if I am turned down,though it is so nice to hear from someone who has been succcesful,so I'll try and think in a more positive light about the whole matter of yesterdays assessment.

    Thank you


  • WheelyRachelWheelyRachel Courageous Posts: 67Member Courageous
    I'm only in my fourties and yes I was very suprised not to have to go to appeal this time around. Good luck with yours, you should hear within to weeks. Please let us know how it goes.
  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @jose2

    Many people have gone through a similar assessment experience to yourself.

    PIP awards are all about how your medical conditions affect you on a daily basis, not about the conditions themselves, i.e. how difficult it is to perform certain daily tasks: cooking, washing, dressing etc and how you 'get around' outdoors.  The exercises I had to do were quite easy and I defy anyone not actually paralysed not to be able to do them at all.  The assessor and DWP decision-maker read too much into my slight ability to do the exercises.

    Upshot was, I went from DLA care highest rate and higher rate mobility to PIP standard rate both elements.  I am awaiting an appeal hearing date, think I have a good case and over 60% of appeals are successful.  Assessor and DWP ignored the 'reliability' criteria when assessing my abilities.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Hello Matilda and WheelyRachel, ,yes Wheely I will let you know how it has gone when I get my report back, and thank you for relying to my post Matilda,its good to chat to some other people who have gone through this assessment,so really glad I found this group,and their experiences.Must say I have it constanly on my mind at the moment,I too could do all the small exercises she asked me to do,but did tell her I can't do anything repetively,and of course opening my legs wider and moving hips outwardly ,also bending down,I refused to do c/o osteoporosis.And after 10mins or so (while she typing) I realised she wasn't interested in all illnesses but on how they affect me day-to-day, each one, my reply cant breath (heart pounding )and cant walk more than 5 steps with -out pain in legs back ,feet etc!!,then have to stop while heart gets back in rhythm (as feel as though going to have another heart attack).

    I will keep reading posts,and try and make sense of appeals and how to go about this procedure.Seems daunting at the moment.

    I do hope your appeal is successful too Matilda,and hope to hear that all went well in your favour at a later date.

    PS:- I went for this assessment yesterday 8th March in Wakefield, and to let anyone who is sent for their assessment at this centre that they have to walk,either up a quite steep incline or walk down a hill if dropped at the other side of the building,I chose to walk down the hill,( I went in a taxi)and I had to stop every 3 to 5 steps ,hope this may help other's who have their assessment at this centre,not a good start for me going to this one I'm afraid to say."Got you",as they say.The 1st Centre I was given was in Bradford at 10am (nearly 45 mile away from where I live),rang them and they changed it to this place in Wakefield.

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    @jose2

    Phone the DWP and ask for a copy of the assessor's report which will take about 10+ days to arrive.  This will give you an idea of what your award decision is likely to be.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering
    Thank you Matilda, will do that tomorrow ! ,as I didn't think to ask the nurse at the end of the assessment  and she never mentioned this.
  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2017
    @jose - the assessment companies don't give or send reports direct to claimants.  They send these to DWP who will in turn send copies to claimants who ask for them.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Hi again Matilda,

    I rang the DWP about 5pm,and they gave me Tel No of PIP ,I spoke to a lady over the phone and asked her if it could be possible for a copy of my assessment with the nurse at the PIP centre when It becomes available to them,she was very obliging and said when the report comes to them(which it's only been 2 days since my assessment)she took all my details and says it is now on record that I would like a copy of my assessment ,which will take about 10 days from them receiving it.

    All these departments ,are totally confusing, think I should have done PHD on how PIP and DWP work. Collecting phone number's  has never been a hobby of mine, numbers are mounting up. Brains more frazzled than normal.

    Thanks again for suggestions.

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    As I recall, somewhere on the letters from DWP there's a phone number to call for PIP enquiries (different to the number you call to make a claim for PIP!).  It's all very bureaucratic!
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Yes all very confusing!  At least now if I do receive a letter x no days time it maybe a precursor of what to expect of how my appointment with PIP and results ,though in the end it will be up to them what they decide.

    Just in passing (thought I'll mention it here)the lady at the assessment asked me what time frame was my life expectancy given by hospital c/o breast cancer ,told her given 5 years and at this time I'm 1 month into 6th year,as know one knows when or how long you have got left.

    Maynot have to worry about all this PIP stuff getting in the way of living for now.

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    I hope that you have a positive outcome to your PIP assessment, @jose2.  It's best to take PIP one step at a time.

    Has all of your cancer been removed?  I had breast cancer 21 years ago and have had no recurrence.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    They removed large lump from breast,though found I had sentinal node and 2 other lymph glands involment,cancer specialist at the time said mine was also in vessels of nodes,which I knew then really not a good sign and also when they removed lump they really wern't sure if they had left 2cm space from normal skin,after a few months saw breast surgeon again on routine visit and told me he really wanted to take all breast at lumpectomy op.So its just a wait and what happens from now on.

    So nice to hear that your a 21 year survivor of this disease,gives me hope!

    As you said in your recent post to me " I'll take it one-step-at-a time".

    Your an inspiration Matilda to me.

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, Jose.

    Sounds as though the cancer isn't active.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering
    Have to see oncologist later this year,so hope all is well.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Hello again Matida, I have received my PIP assessment form back today and I have been given the standard rate daily needs,and the standard rate for mobility needs, where is for years now I have been on lower rate carers and enhanced rate for mobility,have looked at the letter carefully and she the nurse saw no signs of breathlessness,(I didnt show signs of being out of breath as I wasn't walking around in the room I was in with her or up any inclines)infact she was 3/4 hour late before she called me in for the assessment and I had settled down from the small walk to the assessment place c/o breathing.Also I stated to her I had not been to a town where I live for 2+ years because of breathing difficulties and scared of falling on uneven paths,and the last time I had been to town the path dipped at one point and I nearly fell over. 

     For my mobility needs I scored 8 ,in fact scored 8 for each component, Very worried about losing my car.


  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @jose2 ;

    Sorry to hear that assessor only gave you 8 points for mobility.  But most people who were on higher rate DLA mobility are only given standard rate mobility PIP, unfortunately: this happened to me.  Assessors and Decision Makers do this to save the government money, regardless of the true severity of the person's walking difficulties.  It's amazing how so many people who have had severe mobility difficulties for years have suddenly gained improved mobility after PIP assessment!  

    The DWP's own PIP Handbook states that walking should be measured outdoors using pavements and kerbs - so if the assessor didn't do this but only observed walking indoors, then that is grounds for appeal.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519119/personal-independence-payment-handbook.pdf

    The only thing to do is appeal.  The first stage is to ask for a mandatory reconsideration.  Unfortunately, few MR's result in uprating, but you have to ask for an MR before you can formally appeal.  There is an MR tool in the Support and information section of the Scope site.  If your MR makes no change, you need to appeal to a tribunal and there is info about to do this in the Support and information section.  Disability Rights website also give info and advice about appeals.  It's worth appealing because 65% are successful.

    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/pip-tool 

    Re cars, I'd suggest that, if they get their enhanced PIP mobility back, If they can, they buy their own car rather than lease from Motability.  If subsequently after re-assessment their award is reduced to standard rate, at least they won't lose their car.  Although Motability do not promote it, I think they will still allow people with enhanced rate mobility PIP to buy a new or used car.  And some private dealers offer five-year no interest credit deals.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    PS:- also diagnosed with shingles this week,in ear and head ,Dr said because of all immune problems I could have started with this.

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry to hear that, Jose.  Hope shingles get better soon.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering
    Have just looked at her assessment again, and she did not have me walking outside ,to observe breathlessness and how slow I walk without tripping up ,she states I could crouch and bend, I did neither,she didn't even ask me to!, I sat on a chair,in letter states I didnt show signs of breathlessness (I was sat in a chair )and did some very basic movements,she states also that I could bend down and crouch ,again I did neither (she didn't even ask me to crouch or bend down)and If I had have crouched down I wouldn't have been able to stand up again!,she asked me to spread my hips apart and again I refused as due to osteoporosis that movement feels as though hips would break,she said  I can use pots and pans,I told her I have had meals on wheels for years,that delivery driver brings it up into my flat,also I have my shopping delivered and the chap from Asda carries my shopping up to my flat,also states I can travel on buses, (never, they bang my back around as have fracture in spine and I cant lift my left knee up that high onto bus step) I am incredulous with this letter.
  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Assessors are notorious for telling lies in their reports to make people seem less disabled than they really are!  My assessor claimed that she watched me take my bag off over my head and put it down on the floor from where I picked it up at the end of the assessment.  At no time, not even during the exercises, did I take my bag off!  Many people on here have reported multiple, serious, blatant lies in their assessors' reports.

    Tribunals well know by now what pathological liars assessors are.  This is no doubt one reason why so many appeals are successful.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    This is terrible Matilda,that they can and seem as though they are allowed to get away with it, Don't know how after all these years my illnesses have suddenly improved when infact I have more things wrong with me now and getting worse.

    Also the way I'm feeling with this shingles, earache and headaches really bad, I'm getting to the stage should I really bothered about contesting it!!!!! ,finding it very hard to think and take in at the moment !    I'm filling in the form you sent ,thank you for that,,It wont let me type in all my illnesses,do I just put down my main chronic ones?

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    I suggest that you list the rest of your illnesses on a separate piece of paper - with appropriate heading and with name and NI No.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering
    Okay Matilda,thank you
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Hello again Matilda,

    I rang DLA first thing this morn abt my scores with PIP and they have suggested that I speak to the Decision Maker on my scoring rates and the reasons as to why this decision was made! said it would be abt 3 hrs to 24 hrs before someone rang me back ,so will update when I get the call,I also sent the letter stating ,as you suggested about asking for a Mandatary Reconsideration ,and put more detail in the letter about what all illnesses stop me from doing,sent that off yesterday( though have rang them  as the man at the DLA  told me they may not get it for about 3/4 days as it will have to go through all of their systems,so best to ring them anyway) .

    The other things I would like your help with is on the PIP booklet as to how the mobility assessment is carried out,:- is  the assessor  supposed to take you outside and see how you walk on pavements ,on hills or inclines,or just sat in a chair as I was? ,and also she states I showed no signs of breathlessness , of course I didn't, I got to the assessment centre 1/2 before my 11am  appointment,sat down in waiting room and then after the 11am apt time,informed by someone that the assessor had to read my notes etc! so by the time I went into see her it was roughly 11-45am,in all that time I had regained my breathing, I wasn't doing anything that would have exerted me as I was sat all the time,and when I was also in the room with  her, I was then sat on a chair and then for the so-called exercises I was sat on a chair! Got out of there at 12-45pm,I walked through the door and just stood looking to my left and right for abt 3 mins to see which would be the best way to walk either up or down the hill, and ring for a taxi,(I chose the latter)The Assesment Centre is the most wonderful place for disabled people to go to, as it is built, smack bang on the middle of a steep hill !!!!!!!

    Hoping you can clarify about where exercises should be done.

    All thanks

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry, @jose2, I don't know what exercises are supposed to be used.  From what I've read it seems that each assessor chooses the exercises they want from a range available.  Maybe a benefits advisor could tell you more ('Ask a benefits advisor' category).

    Although the DWP's own PIP Handbook states that walking tests should be undertaken outdoors, most assessors don't do this.  My assessor put in her report that she informally observed me walk the 16 metres from waiting area to assessment room without difficulty.  From this, using her undoubted expert opinion as a paramedic, she deduced that I could walk between 20 and 50 metres outdoors, a preposterous assumption.  That I could walk 16 metres indoors on a level, carpeted surface does not indicate how well I could walk outdoors.  My appeal on the mobility element is based on the fact that the assessor did not assess my walking outdoors as the Handbook said she should have.

    And breathlessness isn't the only reason why people cannot walk far outdoors: there's also pain, stiffness and fatigue.

    Many PIP assessment centres, and tribunal appeal courts, are in buildings not very accessible to disabled people!  It's a barking mad system, as is PIP full stop.

    Good luck with the MR.


  • kidzawarekidzaware Listener Posts: 4Member Listener
    I have been to many PIP tribunals due to the lack of education of the decision makers many disabled people are loosing their PIP appeals and are having to wait months to get a hearing as a voluntary organisation based in Wakefield we are always challenging the tribunal team and when we do attend the appeals people are finally getting their PIP reinstated but this does not compensate for the amount of months they are left without PIP and in most situations the effects the waiting as had  on their health not addressed
  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Is their PIP backdated and to when?
  • WheelyRachelWheelyRachel Courageous Posts: 67Member Courageous
    edited March 2017
    Matilda said:
    Is their PIP backdated and to when?
    Yes it will be back dated, to when you first posted your claim.
  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
  • WheelyRachelWheelyRachel Courageous Posts: 67Member Courageous
    Matilda said:
    Thank you
    Your welcome, I've been there.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    Thank you all for your input,much appreciated,I have now spoken to the Decision Maker on my scores at the assesment ,I stated about various points on the letter ,about me sat for abt 2 hrs and that I was never taken outside to see how my walking c/o extreme pain in legs feet and  and breathlessness affect me,and I told him again about sitting and doing nothing in there which exerted me ,and that from her desk I walked abt 2 steps to sit in another chair to do these ludicrous exercises,and that this is not a true reflection of my disabilities.I told him,that she had also  statedalso in the letter,  that I had said I cannot walk and talk at the same time ,this she gathered that I could as while I was walking out of the assessment room (more to myself,rather than her) I saw a clock on the wall outside her room and "I said gosh is that the time", she answered "yes ,seems so",she showed me the door to get out(which she didn't open for me it was a heavy door too),so coming out  from the assessment room I had roughly walked 10/12 walked steps if that!,and on looking back at when I was called in by the assessor when I was taken by her into her room,I walked further, around a corner and down a hallway but on  coming out was a shorter distance of 10/12steps(was I dreaming all this) Anyway the chap I have just spoken to, has taken note of my disagreements about the point scoring, said he will send a letter to me about my grievences and concerns I have made,says "you may lose all your benefits!!!! ",do you wish to still carry out this dispute",(made me aware I could loss my benefits)Told him I do!.

    The other thing I found out this morn is that the assessor gives her findings on  c/o disabilities,then it  is not up to her to award whatever for daily care component or mobilitiy,she gives or sends her report to the Decision Maker who then decides what rate you should be awarded.

    Thank s again to all

  • MatildaMatilda Disability Gamechanger Posts: 2,614Member Disability Gamechanger
    Most decision makers tend to base their award decisions solely on the assessor's report - mine did.

    The threat that you could lose all your benefits at MR stage is emotional blackmail to get you to withdraw your MR!  It is in fact rare for this to happen - though I suppose not impossible.  In practice, most MRs don't change the original award either way.
  • jose2jose2 Pioneering Posts: 126Member Pioneering

    I Agree Matilda, it is a you said in post ,  though was told by someone at Scope ,that they too will make you aware that by them helping me at such a time as I may need their help,appealing PIP decision that it may also not go in my  favour,she said it was one of the criteria that they do have to warn people appealing.Lost argument on that point with her.Ummmmmmmmmmmmm!.and she did say as you! ,that in practice most MRs don't change either way.Told too that this private government department  "Atos " ,this government  target is to get at least 33% of people off all benefits or lower them  from the original numbers DLA gave to people years ago.

    I have been sat most of today mulling this all over , on how they have awarded me Standard(from lower carers "which is very nice and all that")  for Disabiliy needs just by me telling this girl of what happens in my daily life ,I didn't show her! ,she has'nt seen or been to my house to see how I carry out these tasks! and then on the other hand only awarded me the Standard rate( from Enhanced,)for  Mobility, as I was still in the same  room!!! explaining needs about  walking and excrutiating pain ,fatigue,breathing problems on exersion,not just once a week or periodically ,its is 24-7 days a week excrutiation pains ,she never tested my walking ability anywhere other than to say that in her observation of my walking capabilities  "that I did walk very slowly to her room", that was the only time I walked ,she didn't give me anything heavy to carry or ask me to try some exhausting excersises ,like walking outside on an incline,or even just walking ,anywhere ,I sat on a chair for at least 2 hrs,and  in all that time I stood once in the waiting room because of pain in my legs,buttocks  and my feet were killing me ,then once more with her in this room ,I was totally wiped out when I got home. 

    "I must have gone to sleep somewhere in that room at sometime or other" or was my word only good enough for her concerning my every-day needs to be raised in scores to Standard rate ,but then my word and explanation about walking ,breathing ,constant pain and fatigue scored the Standard rate not Enhanced as I have had for years,  "must have suddenly developed or given a get quick fix pill on that part at sometime or other in that room with-out my knowledge".

    Sorry to drivel on,getting it off my chest.

    bye for now and again all thanks. 






  • ozzy19721968ozzy19721968 Connected Posts: 24Member Connected
    I have been diagnosed with cervical spine stenosis and arthritis in neck shoulder lower back and my knees  cant operate on the cervical spine due to it been at the most narrow point in my neck and I have arthritis spores the size of icicles. Also cant walk straight due to the arthritis and my knees give way .applyed for pip got told my appointment was to be at my home address as I said meeting would have to be on lower floor and I have server weakness in my right arm and lots of muscle wastage in my right arm due to the arthritis got told my appointment was on the 16 of August at 10 am received a phone call at 9.15 on the 16th to say the assessor phoned in sick and they had no one to come out and would arrange a new appointment the next available appointment was on the 10th of September my neck is locked looking straight forward cant look up or down or side to side been sent to pain management clinc again got an appointment this time my wife had to drive me 52 miles each way and they didnt turn up no apology when we phoned up got told I had to waite 4 more weeks been on tramadol for 6 months now been put on morphine patches along with antidepressants as I am in constant pain cant sleep laying down have to get as much as I can sleeping sitting up in bed  
  • sue66sue66 Pioneering Posts: 124Member Pioneering
    my wife had to drive me 52 miles each way and they didnt turn up no apology when we phoned up got told I had to waite 4 more weeks been on tramadol for 6 months now been put on morphine patches along with antidepressants as I am in constant pain cant sleep laying down have to get as much as I can sleeping sitting up in bed  

    OMG this is so bad poor you, All that driving for your wife and you having to sit there feeling like you do only to find they never even turned up!   Can you imagine if we did this, probably get our benefits stopped..  Also you get a call at 9.15 telling you your  10.00 appointment for the 16th had been cancelled, well good job you hadn't already left then!  I was originally asked to be at another town at 8.30 in the morning, I rang straight away and said no way can I be there by 8.30 in the morning the way I feel in the mornings. Id already looked it all up and found a place a 10 minute drive away from me so asked why cant I go there. Anyways they agreed to cancel it and sent me another appointment  to be seen locally which was yesterday. My son told me that was part of the assessment to see if I actually did manage to arrive by 8.30 in the morning, if I had id already failed!  

  • ozzy19721968ozzy19721968 Connected Posts: 24Member Connected
    I complained about them cancelling both appointments got a letter today saying the are looking into my complaint and they will get back to me in 20days time with there findings said if that was me that cancelled them I would be refferred back to fill in new forms and start again I can understand staff going sick on the day but to make new appointments and then cancel a second time is not on .I bet I get turned down as I am a new claim but I have read up on the hand book that they go bye so have done some home work 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Disability Gamechanger Posts: 837Member Disability Gamechanger
    it`s all so distressing, dibiitating and downright soul destroying
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