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Pip zero points

spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
edited June 2017 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi this is first time I've posted on the website.
my son suffers from severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder which has basically taken over his life. He is 17
He is currently under care of Camhs he has a direct support worker and having CBT and he is also under the gp for meds he doesn't leave the house without me and struggles on a daily basis with his conditions. 
We applied for pip and he got zero points for both elements I have submitted a mantatory reconsideration approx 4 weeks ago and submitted further medical evidence and argued and pointed out discrepancies in the assessor report as a lot of it was in correct backing up with further evidence. 
I phoned DWP yesterday for an update and I was told the assessor reviewing my case has gone back to the original physiotherapist who assessed my son but the lady wouldn't say why. I felt the physiotherapist that saw my son had provided her report and that was it! what more input could she now have? 

Thanks. 


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Replies

  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @Spart10187 Hello I think I can help explain what is happening. There are 2 different organizations involved in PIP claims. DWP administer the benefit but they are not medically trained so the assessments are done by Private companies contracted by the government. Assessors working for these companies see the claimants face to face and afterwards write a report with suggested scores for all the PIP descriptors. The report is sent to DWP where Decision Makers or Case Workers as they are now called take the scores and send out the Decision. If a claimant disagrees with that decision they send in a Mandatory Reconsideration for the claim to be looked at again as you have done for your son. DWP then send everything back to the assessment company where a different Assessor will go over all the evidence including any further evidence that has been sent with the MR letter and they report back to DWP as to whether any changes should be made to the original award. Whoever told you it was the same assessor it was sent to is wrong. May be DWP told you they'd sent it back to the assessment company and you assumed it would be the same assessor who saw your son who would be looking at it again? Anyhow the 1st assessor's report is a PA4 and the 2nd assessor fills in a PA5 which should be signed by a different person (Health Professional). You can request a copy of the PA5 to check who did this 2nd review. I hope that clarifies what is happening at the moment. 
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    @wildlife thank you so much for clarifying that to me.
    to be honest when you ring DWP if they don't have anything to say they want you off the phone as quick as possible. 
    Surely they could have explained this to me slightly better. It did sound like they were going back to the same assessor for more information, and that's probably why I got my wire crossed and assumed it would be the same physiotherapist that saw my son. I've found the whole process really daunting and spent hours researching as how to to do the mandatory reconsideration as my local citizens advice bureau said it would be better if I did the mandatory reconsideration myself  and if we wanted to take it to an appeal if we were unsuccessful then seek advice from them. 
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 Glad I could help. If your son's MR is kept the same you will be advised to go to Appeal but at the same time while you are waiting for an Appeal date you can still try and change the decision by first making a complaint to the assessment company about the lies and inconsistencies on the assessment report, then by asking for a call back from a Decision Maker at DWP you can tell them you've complained and ask if they'll look at it yet again. You may have to write another letter and/or send in yet more evidence but if you feel by then that they are ignoring the medical evidence you've already sent tell them this. Most people at this stage either give in or just accept they have to go to appeal but I kept going and got a 2nd MR when they did agree to change the award. Good Luck whatever you have to do. The current system is corrupt and designed to turn people down and hope they'll just accept the decision.  
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    @wildlife again thanks for the advice really appreciate this should I look to make the complaint about the assessment company now or should I wait to see what decision is made I guess there's no harm in making a complaint now? What do you think? 
    Sorry just another question would I make a complaint and go through each descriptor they gave my son nil points on or should I just a general complaints letter stating I'm not happy with the report. The comments they made were he didn't need prompting to answer, he did, he went to a mainstream school when he didn't, he was shaking like a leaf, breathing heavily and a lot of other discrepancies which I was really shocked with. I wanted to complain but I read on another forum that it's best not to get personal and call out the assessors saying they are lying so I did a witness statement with everything I disagreed with that happened on the day, I got around by saying what the assessor may not know or have picked up due to the short appointment I didn't go all guns blazing.  I agree with you the process is not for the faint hearted and definitely corrupt in more ways than one. Thanks again 
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 Try and do it now especially as they still have your paperwork with them while they reassess your son's claim.The advice not to get personal is for DWP and not for the assessment company. You have to see the ongoing claim with DWP and the complaint to ATOS/CAPITA separately. About what to put in a letter of complaint I would advise you to concentrate on the written report rather than the assessment itself because they'll reject it if they can't see what you're not happy about in writing. Also only complain about the medical decisions that you have evidence for as anything else, although you know it's wrong, is your word against the assessor's. I have to tell you that you won't get a quick result from your complaint but it's important to do it as it helps DWP to know you disagree with their decision and you're more likely to be successful with the Mandatory Reconsideration. I would mention the school as that's factual and can be proved, and is important in showing your son is disabled and that the assessor got a significant piece of information wrong. Send them evidence of his school, something with the school address and his name on if you can. Good Luck...
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi spart10187,

    I don't have anything to add to wildlife's advice really....If the MR request is not successful, you should definitely consider going to the tribunal, decisions often get overturned there & although it can be daunting you will get a lot of support on here.

    As regards the complaint, I agree that it is worth complaining because whatever the outcome of the MR, the report is still wrong and both it and the assessment itself sound distressing. It's also helpful for both the MR and appeal to show that you disagree with the report so much that you have felt compelled to complain.

    Will


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hi just a quick update I did make a formal complaint to the assessment company which is still ongoing. 
    Regarding the mandatory reconsideration that is also ongoing DWP have requested some information from my sons GP. 
    Checked with the surgery the requested information has been sent off so still waiting to hear back I find the process really frustrating. 
    Do you know what information @wildlife they would have requested from the GP? The secretary said it was a form? Thanks
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 So glad you are getting somewhere with your son's claim. I'm sorry I don't know what information will have been requested. If you're really curious your surgery should be willing to let you have a copy of the form if you ask them. Unless they didn't keep a copy, but I'm sure it will be just what they need to know so things look promising. Remember when you phone DWP you only speak to an advisor who can't tell you a lot except what stage your son's claim is at. But you can ask to have a call back from a Decision Maker for a more in depth conversation about the claim. Especially if they don't make any changes after having more information. You can ask what the problem is and why they're not accepting medical evidence. Hopefully you won't need to do that but it's useful to know you can. Good Luck and keep us posted. Fingers crossed for a better result than you've had so far..  
  • rosie55rosie55 Member Posts: 40 Listener
    Does it basically go on what the assessors at the medical say then .
    I thought atos  just see you but its then down to dwp to decide what points and that you get x
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thanks @wildlife I did quiz the secretary at my sons gp she said it was a form but wouldn't say much more she said I had to make an appointment with the doctor himself for him to tell me what he had said which I thought was a waste of an appointment I will ask when I take my son down next time. Thanks for the info I might ask for the decision maker to contact me however I did call as I had some further evidence from the psychologist and wanted to forward that on to the decision maker I was told as it wasn't forwarded on with the original reconsideration it may not be looked at however as I had put in for the reconsideration in May I advised I had now more evidence, but it seemed they weren't too keen should I just send a copy in? 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @rosie55

    The DWP more or less rubber stamp what the assessor says.  DWP draw heavily on the assessor's report to make their decision.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @spart10187, It's always best to send in evidence with the MR letter but for future reference you don't have to despite what the DWP advisor said. If you didn't have the evidence then you couldn't have sent it. In your case now although you've rung once about the new evidence you didn't get a proper answer as to whether or not it's too late for it to be used so you could send it anyway and then  ask to speak to a decision maker, or just ring first to find out exactly what is happening with your son's claim. If the MR has been sent out then it will be too late. Hopefully they had enough evidence to use but if the MR is still being processed you'll be able to tell them about the new evidence and arrange to send it to them. Sorry if this sounds confusing but it's difficult to suggest what you should do when I don't know what stage the MR is at.
         If the MR has been done maybe they'll tell you over the phone what the result was and you'll be able to tell them about the new evidence and they might agree to look at the claim again. Tell them your son would not cope very well with the stress of having to go to appeal as part of your argument to get them to use the new evidence. Hope you can get this sorted. Good Luck.. 
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thanks @wildlife according to the adviser no decision had been made yet the medical evidence from gp has just been sent to the decision maker. Yes I didn't have that particular evidence when I made the MR I will send it in and see what happens. Thanks again. 
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 OK am a little clearer, yes it's definitely worth sending but you still need clarification as to whether the decision maker is aware there is more evidence on the way and that they need to wait till it arrives. So it still would be worth talking to a Decision Maker, bearing in mind it might not be the actual one who is dealing with the claim. However it will be noted and the message will be passed on. You may be able to discuss the claim at the same time and why it was rejected. I found the decision makers were actually very nice but it's their job just to go with what the assessor recommends, but if they are given obvious information that contradicts the assessor's report they are prepared to be reasonable about looking into it. Hope that happens for you.  
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hello @wildlife, unfortunately my son didn't get enough points he got 4 daily living and 2 for mobility. 
    Atleast more than before as he got zero. 
    I spoke with the decision maker today and the next stage would be tribunal hearing although DM did say they would look at all the evidence again before going to tribunal hearing.
    The DM said that the GP evidence was helpful but did not elaborate on the daily living descriptors which they wouldn't as they only see you for 5 minutes it seems we needed to provide more evidence I provided a letter from his CAMHS my sons support worker however it didn't go into depth about the descriptors.  
    My son is currently having CBT treatment. I provided a detail statement of his daily struggles what he can and can't do and I'm unsure apart from myself who will able to vouch for activities such as not able to cook a meal and dressing and showering it seemed they didn't want to just take my word for it they want someone else to comment. 
    Im slightly lost who to ask to comment on these descriptors I have asked his CAMHS case worker if she can help but not sure what else to do.
    The DM was lovely she did say if we could provide this extra information with the appeal it will be looked at again before the hearing. 
    Does anyone else struggle to gather information regards to mental health and who is the best person to comment or help 
    Thanks in advance 

  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I also explained to the DM that it will be too stressful for my son to attend the assessment, not sure if I should leave it and reapply after a few months as the appeal seems daunting. 
  • ourvoicesourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

    Hi @spart10187. Try not to give up, 67% of tribunals are awarded in favour of the claimants.

    The DMs should take into account all the evidence and not just the evidence of your GP and any other professionals involved with your son's treatment:

    The following excerpt is from the latest review of PIP:

    The Review also found that some forms of evidence, particularly those from carers or family members, were not always given sufficient weight with evidence from health care professionals being considered more objective. The Department should seek to ensure that the evidence of carers and family members is given due weight in the assessment process, while recognising that all sources of evidence should be probed and tested. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/604097/pip-assessment-second-independent-review.pdfI hope this proves useful.
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you @ourvoices it seemed with the conversation with the DM was they needed more evidence but from professionals I feel like I've got all I could I've got evidence from his support worker , gp, plastic surgeon report injury he sustained, as a child, cbt appointment letter but not sure what more I can provide I am thinking possibly going to see a private physiotherapist to get my own evidence. Thanks 
  • knowy0151knowy0151 Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi this is first time I've posted on the website.
    my son suffers from severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder which has basically taken over his life. He is 17
    He is currently under care of Camhs he has a direct support worker and having CBT and he is also under the gp for meds he doesn't leave the house without me and struggles on a daily basis with his conditions. 
    We applied for pip and he got zero points for both elements I have submitted a mantatory reconsideration approx 4 weeks ago and submitted further medical evidence and argued and pointed out discrepancies in the assessor report as a lot of it was in correct backing up with further evidence. 
    I phoned DWP yesterday for an update and I was told the assessor reviewing my case has gone back to the original physiotherapist who assessed my son but the lady wouldn't say why. I felt the physiotherapist that saw my son had provided her report and that was it! what more input could she now have? 

    Thanks. 



    Hi this is first time I've posted on the website.
    my son suffers from severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder which has basically taken over his life. He is 17
    He is currently under care of Camhs he has a direct support worker and having CBT and he is also under the gp for meds he doesn't leave the house without me and struggles on a daily basis with his conditions. 
    We applied for pip and he got zero points for both elements I have submitted a mantatory reconsideration approx 4 weeks ago and submitted further medical evidence and argued and pointed out discrepancies in the assessor report as a lot of it was in correct backing up with further evidence. 
    I phoned DWP yesterday for an update and I was told the assessor reviewing my case has gone back to the original physiotherapist who assessed my son but the lady wouldn't say why. I felt the physiotherapist that saw my son had provided her report and that was it! what more input could she now have? 

    Thanks. 



  • knowy0151knowy0151 Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi this is first time I've posted on the website.
    my son suffers from severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder which has basically taken over his life. He is 17
    He is currently under care of Camhs he has a direct support worker and having CBT and he is also under the gp for meds he doesn't leave the house without me and struggles on a daily basis with his conditions. 
    We applied for pip and he got zero points for both elements I have submitted a mantatory reconsideration approx 4 weeks ago and submitted further medical evidence and argued and pointed out discrepancies in the assessor report as a lot of it was in correct backing up with further evidence. 
    I phoned DWP yesterday for an update and I was told the assessor reviewing my case has gone back to the original physiotherapist who assessed my son but the lady wouldn't say why. I felt the physiotherapist that saw my son had provided her report and that was it! what more input could she now have? 

    Thanks. 


    Hi i had the same done to me,physio reveiwed me and i was stripped of all with No point.
    also he lied made stuff up.I asked for a mandatory decision on the whole form and shocked i got it all back.i only sent them the same letter i did weeks before from my GP.
    some there is hope if not go to Appeal 
    goodluck
    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/profile/spart10187#LCmmsvCy1ToMaCgh.99
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 This really does annoy me as I totally get what you are saying. I too had problems with being believed about food prep. and showering etc. I had a conversation with my GP, actually it was more like her telling me that DWP DM's had been told by the Gov. that they had to believe what claimants were telling them to  cut down on the amount of letters GPs have to write and, as you say,  they don't see you at home anyway. If I were you I would check the PIP descriptors again unless you know them well by now and write another letter reminding DWP about the agreement they've made to look at your son's claim again. Copy the above quote @ourvoices has given you with the link and then describe what help your son needs. Remind them of the complaint you've made about the assessment but don't dwell on it. If this doesn't work to increase the points you can have a paper only Tribunal making it clear why your son can't attend. If you are his official appointee or have power of attorney ask if you can go alone or with an advisor. I'm not sure if this is allowed. I know you can talk for him if you are his representative. So maybe he would go if he knew he didn't have to answer the questions? The appeal panel will look at all the evidence including family especially carers and they know assessors are lying most of the time. Please don't give up. Good Luck..
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you @wildlife I did go through all the descriptors and explain what my son can and cannot do I did this as a witness statement from myself as a carer do you think I should re write and re iterate the points? And say they haven't been considered which they haven't just because no medical professional can back it up @ourvoices the link Doesn't work do you have an alternative 
    thanks for your support guys. 
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    @spart10187

    If you do have to go to tribunal the members will be impartial, go through the applicable descriptor categories again and make up their own minds.

    I know it would be stressful for your son to attend a hearing - but oral hearings stand a much better chance of success than paper hearings.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 I'm sorry if I'm confusing you. There are no exact rules for any extra reviews of a claim in between the MR and Appeal. The reason I suggested writing again was to comply with the Decision Maker's request to supply further information in order to get your son's claim looked at again. As you cannot and with good reason provide any more evidence of the help he needs at home a letter reminding them what they promised on the phone, why they shouldn't need more evidence i.e. the above quote and referring them to your MR letter which they should be using is all you can do. As @Matilda said you have a much better chance of winning at Appeal and it is better to attend in person. The suggestion of a request for a paper hearing was only as a 2nd option if your son won't go. As he still hasn't been offered any PIP you have nothing to lose whatever you do except the few points they've just given him. There are other ways of getting evidence but it may well be ignored or take too long but may help if you have to go to tribunal. I use a Private Physio who my GP referred me to and a report from her has so far been ignored by PIP but was accepted at Tribunal in 2010 for DLA. When your son is 18 he will come under the Adult Care services at your local council and a home assessment may provide more evidence. I did this recently but had to wait 5 months for an assessment. Anyhow hope there's something here that will help.  
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    @wildlife thanks for your help no it's not confusing my son will attend the hearing with me I have spoken to him it is the extra evidence which is difficult because it's things he does at home, I was also thinking of going to see a private physiotherapist to obtain a report as time is against us my son also gets random pains which can be disabling and affects his mobility someone has recommended a rheumatologist but that referral if the GP agree may take months. My son turns 18 in September how do I request a home assessment do I just go straight to my council? 
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @spart10187 Sounds like you're well on track. Tribunal may well be your best bet as it's unlikely the DWP will give him a lot more points before then if at all. But still worth trying to increase the points as you go along. Has your son been to the Doctors about the pain? If so the surgery may have a record of this that could be printed off his online medical records which we all have these days. A Physio report would be a bonus. The more evidence the better. The Tribunal should believe what they are told regarding the help he needs at home. They know you can't provide medical evidence for this.
          You can visit your council or ring them to get your son on the waiting list for a home assessment. Just ask for the Adult Care Team. I would try now to see if they'll accept him before he's 18 as he will be by the time they get around to it if they're anything like our Council.      
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    spart10187,

    I don't have much to add to everyone else's advice, but I do agree that a tribunal is likely to weigh up all the evidence you already have, and listen to what your son says (or cannot say), if he is able to attend an appeal.

    If you can't provide any more evidence at this stage, then I think it is fine to say so and explain why, plus explain what you are doing meanwhile (including asking for an assessment from the council). You could consider a private assessment, but please don't spend too much money because I agree with everyone above that you may not need that additional evidence at tribunal stage.

    The involvement of CAMHS is itself relevant and I think the tribunal will recognise that. But your own evidence of what he can and cannot do is also useful (the DWP don't tend to take this into account but that doesn't mean they are right to do so). 

    There's a case about ESA (a different benefit I know, but also one where evidence helps - the case is [2016] AACR 11) which says that the system places people with mental health conditions at disadvantage and requires the DWP to obtain further evidence themselves. I really feel that this should apply here too and you could mention that to the tribunal. It may also be worth complaining to the DWP about the request for further evidence pointing out that it is much more difficult to get this - it places people with mental health conditions at a massive disadvantage, and arguably the DWP should make adjustments.

    At its worst, if the DWP are asking for evidence which simply doesn't exist and which you could only acquire at an unreasonable expense, it could be unlawful for them to request it. But I'll leave it there for now. Do let us know what happens with your son's case.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • craigtarot66craigtarot66 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    A question, if my pip is successful  do I then inform esa of the outcome.
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    @craigtarot66 I think not as they are two unrelated benefits. You could repost on ask a benefit advisor on a discussion of your own where your question is more likely to be seen.. 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    I would say yes, and inform HB, and Tax Credits if you get them, just in case of any premiums.

    Always best to keep everyone informed!

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,316 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
  • spart10187spart10187 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hi just an update we received our appeal for August 2019 and my son was awarded standard rate care we were pleased with the outcome only took 2 years and 8 months. Thanks for everyone’s help especially @wildlife
  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    That's the same award my friend got after I helped them apply for PIP based on mental ill health. Previously they had been scored 0 twice. We didnt send any evidence as they had none except confirmation they were on the list for mental health assessment, but we answered the form concisely. The person doing the assessment actually said to us he could see they had been declined previously but said "it helps us that you are taking antidepressants now because before we had nothing to go on except a diagnosis". They weren't taking medication in the past BECAUSE of their condition as they need constantly reminding. Without the extra income, they couldn't afford for someone to work less hours to support them. It's frustrating that even with rules in place to say that mental health conditions are covered, there is still very poor understanding.

    Also in your last post you asked if you should inform ESA. Absolutely as your son may be entitled to premiums on top of the ESA, backdated to the start of the claim. You can tell them over the phone. They made our payment the same day. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,358 Scope community team
    Hi just an update we received our appeal for August 2019 and my son was awarded standard rate care we were pleased with the outcome only took 2 years and 8 months. Thanks for everyone’s help especially @wildlife
    That's a long time to be waiting @spart10187, I'm so sorry. But really glad the outcome has been positive and your son has now been awarded. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
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