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PIP assessment by phone - what to expect?

(36 Posts)
itsgettingwierd Mon 15-Feb-21 16:24:23

So ds is transferring from DLA to pip as 16 now.

I'm his appointee and this was agreed when he was turning 16 and he's requested it for PIP too.

Phone assessment is tomorrow and I've been told to allow an hour.

What will they ask?

Obviously the form is pages and pages long and I sent 89 pages of supporting documents! So I'm wondering what else they want to know?

OP’s posts: |
TheLaughingGenome Mon 15-Feb-21 16:43:34

I'm sorry to have to say this, but do not trust them an inch. By them I mean the assessor, contracted to the DWP.

Have you had advice about dealing with this, or had a look at advice websites e.g. Benefits & Work?

I think the best advice is to repeat, repeat, repeat what's in your answers. Do NOT be coerced into putting your DC on the phone, or into going off-script, or agreeing to the existence of alleged 'good days'. Be firm. Say 'no'. Practice it now.

Be really clear that your DC requires supervision and monitoring 24/7 no matter any 'good' moments. In fact don't ever use the word 'good' - say 'less awful than usual'.

I know this is hard and this is your loved child, but you MUST paint a picture, with detailed examples of every day life, of how this impacts upon you as carer and on your DC, every single hour of every single day.

Also it's about your DC's needs not stuff that's necessarily in place. 'My DC needs X, Y, Z ...'

Also drop into into the conversation that you'll ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration and appeal if not given a satisfactory award. (And do so.)

And it'll take more than an hour probably.

Good luck flowers

itsgettingwierd Mon 15-Feb-21 16:57:52

Oh I'll be asking for mandatory reconsideration and will appeal if needs be.

My ds has hereditary spastic paraplegia and autism - he ain't cured because we are switching!

Ds won't really talk anyway even if they put him on - especially if they quick fire like I've heard because he won't be able to process the questions!

I do do everything. Ds can be left at home alone as no LD but that requires me to set up a list of things via google Callander with reminders in advance and at the time and also to actually check he has the device charged in the first place 🤦‍♀️🤣

I have my claim forms out and will refer to those - thanks.

And yes I'll make sure I don't use on a good day. Because he actually only has good days because I set everything up that way. And that's the catch isn't it?!

OP’s posts: |
TheLaughingGenome Mon 15-Feb-21 19:47:10

Yes, it's a rigged system - but knowing that, and knowing the high probability of a tribunal win, definitely helps.

I wish you all the very best. You sound extremely organised.

itsgettingwierd Mon 15-Feb-21 20:00:53

I have to be 🤣🤣 like I say - I set everything up for ds and he forgets to have his phone ring on or even charged so doesn't get the alarms!

He's the only kid I know who still sets an alarm in lockdown because he can't cope waking up at a different time and following his routine "if the clocks wrong" grin

Apparently they ask things like if he can take 25 from 100 how come he can't manage a household budget. Well because a budget isn't simple maths like that!

OP’s posts: |
TheLaughingGenome Tue 16-Feb-21 10:22:04

Good luck today flowers

SabrinaTheMiddleAgedBitch Tue 16-Feb-21 10:27:32

Be prepared for a lengthy phone call. And probably having to appeal. Awful process thanks for you

TheLaughingGenome Tue 16-Feb-21 10:30:35

I think some good advice that I saw last year is to mentally include the tribunal appeal as just part of the process.

Bonus if you don't need it, but just part of the process if you do.

MothralovesGojira Tue 16-Feb-21 11:12:55

In light of my recent experience I recommend:

Record the assessment and DO NOT tell them. If you get refused then you can quote back what was actually said word for word in the mandertory reconsideration/appeal. The assessor does not record it.

When the assessment ends request that a copy of the assessors report is sent directly to you as it will save you time later if you go to man recon. The

If a question sounds off or unclear ask the assessor to repeat it and always ask exactly what they mean by an unclear question

Make it very, very clear if your child is incapable of answering a question and why.

If your child is distressed or upset then make it very clear that this is happening - a lot.

If you are called earlier than your appointment time then you do have the right to request that they call at the correct time and that you are not refusing to take the call but you are entitled to be 'prepared ' at the appointment time. You do not have to hold until you ready. Record this interaction as you can be accused of refusing the call so be clear on how early the call is and that you are not ready. Being called early can put you on the back foot and makes you feel panicky and unprepared but if it's only 5 minutes then let it go if you're ready and waiting.

If you need to deal with something regarding the claimant during the assessment (like getting them a drink or dealing with distress) then request a pause while you deal with an issue and then resume but make sure the assessor repeats the last question.

If you're unsure of anything then ask the assessor to repeat it. It's not your problem if they have another interview. The assessor should tell you who they are and what they are medically qualified for (nurse, doctor, physio etc) at the start of the assessment - if they don't then ask as they should tell you automatically and if they refuse then ask for it to be noted on their report.The

Keep replies factual and relevant and watch out for the assessors questions following no logical order and jumping about as this technique is designed to keep you unfocused and off balance.

Hope this helps. We're currently going to appeal for my DC17 and the assessors report was twisted and out right lies.

MothralovesGojira Tue 16-Feb-21 11:15:56

Sorry I have no idea why my tablet has inserted the word the at the end of paragraphs!

itsgettingwierd Tue 16-Feb-21 11:53:03

Thanks all this is so helpful.

I'm hoping I don't have to go for mandatory reconsideration but Ive heard it's quite common.

Does anyone have timescales on how long this takes? Does dla stop whilst it happens or if you go to appeal does it stop in process?

I'm confident in my replies because there are things ds just can't physically do or manage emotionally and I can evidence it all through just his EHCP leg alone his neuro reports.

It's the things I've heard about them trying to catch you out that concern me.

OP’s posts: |
EventuallyDeleted Tue 16-Feb-21 11:58:43

They do jump about to catch you out. I prepared a script for each question (also doing it for DLA to PIP as appointee for 16yo). I wish I had printed each page separately with the name and number of the question at the top rather than as one document in question number order. We were successful at the first attempt. I did it on speakerphone with DS but he barely spoke even when they asked him things directly, that is part of his problem is not being able to communicate in unfamiliar situations. Good luck.

TheLaughingGenome Tue 16-Feb-21 11:59:33

Practice saying 'No he can't do that' and sticking with that answer.

Don't fill silences. 'No he can't do that' is an answer, although do refer across to reports, doctor's letters etc., and the relentless level of supervision and monitoring required to avoid risk and danger.

itsgettingwierd Tue 16-Feb-21 12:30:52

I've got the descriptions from gov page about what points to award for which to make sure I use the right language.

I'm also appointee for ds and will be using loud speakers for ds to hear and to record but I've told him he only has to answer if he's confident he can explain. He doesn't want to talk and I'm happy to say he isn't comfortable to do so and also point out face to face they'd have even less chance!

OP’s posts: |
itsgettingwierd Tue 16-Feb-21 12:31:35

Didn't think of having EHCP and doctors reports to refer to. Although I can memorise the information from reports that's relevant!

OP’s posts: |
MothralovesGojira Tue 16-Feb-21 12:43:59

If the decision goes against you and they refuse PIP then DLA stops immediately as does Carers Allowance if you get it. We had to wait about 6 weeks for the decision and you have to submit a MR request within a month but as soon as you get a decision then ask for the assessors report if it's not been sent. The Decision Maker does fully outline the reasons for their decision so you can start work on your MR while awaiting the report. Our MR refusal came back in about 3 weeks.

The other thing to remember is that when answering the assessors questions always use the worst days as your examples. Start keeping a daily record/diary of the care you provide and how long things take to do. Be careful of questions asking about better days - if most days are the same then say so. Don't be drawn in to admitting some days are better and just say that you don't understand what they are getting at and ask for clarification.
Don't allow yourself be pressurised into providing quick answers and if you need time to think then say so and pull them up on rapidly changing the questions and insist on time to answer questions to your satisfaction. Also be careful of the personal questions - like " oh, what are you doing later? Are you all going out to enjoy the nice weather? " as this could end up on the report as 'stated that they have no problem going out for walks etc.
It all seems a bit outlandish but this is what we are going through with DD and the assessors report was almost like a text book example of gaslighting us with the DWP as your abuser! My main recommendation is to covertly record the assessment because if you tell them then they will refuse to proceed and record it as you refusing to cooperate. It will also help you to keep it straight in your own head. Even if you get an award then still request the assessor report to make sure that you have the full number of points so that you get the award your child needs and deserves.

itsgettingwierd Tue 16-Feb-21 12:58:48

Yes I don't actually get what they are getting at with good days.

Ds needs constant reminders and support for routines daily. He never wakes up unautistic (is that even a word?!) and able to manage a day without support!

Also his physical condition is degenerative so that'll never be better than it is and only gets more and more bad days.

OP’s posts: |
itsgettingwierd Tue 16-Feb-21 13:00:54

So call in 10 minutes.

Make sure:

Record covertly!
Ask medical qualifications
Ask to clarify questions
Ask them to give me time to answer
Ask for copy of assessors report
Refer to medical documents as evidence

Expect him to be cured by the time the decision comes through hmmgrin

OP’s posts: |
EventuallyDeleted Tue 16-Feb-21 13:02:53

Just keep saying "this applies at all times".

caringcarer Tue 16-Feb-21 13:04:23

I also Know an older person who got very upset because she had form in front of her to refer to when answering questions but assessor did not work through form in a sequential order but jumped to and fro on questions. If this happens do not get flustered. Make the assessor wait whilst you find the page with answer given on. If you have access to a printer/ photocopy it might be good to copy the whole form and then you will have all pages in front of you so won't have to shuffle to and fro through form. Highlight key points you want to make. Make it clear to assessor that every day is a bad day for your child and he needs your constant care to live his life.

2021isgoingtobeasshitas2020 Tue 16-Feb-21 13:10:48

I agree with other posters..
I had one two years ago and she lied about my consultation.

They also make you fill out the forms and do not take the time to read the notes before consultation. I had to explain EVERYTHING again. She pissed me off so much I felt like asking her to leave.

She said I wasn't anxious when I said I had been up all night worrying about it.

She refused to look me in the eyes even during examination
I would advise, recording the consultation but you have to write and ask permission. I think they are crafty buggers.

ChampagneHead Tue 16-Feb-21 13:16:45

No experience of this but it sounds like absolute torture! How can this be what you need to do to receive the assistance your son requires?!

Good luck OP. You sound completely prepared.

MothralovesGojira Tue 16-Feb-21 13:27:10

Good luck! Hope it goes/went ok

bizzey Tue 16-Feb-21 13:28:24

Wow this thread is invaluable !.
I am going to be in the same position in a few weeks time so am going to get prepared now .

Itsgettingwierd thank you for starting this thread .
I clicked it due to the PIP part ..but the when I saw the HSP I was shocked.
My dad had it (he has passed away now ..not cured) and so does my brother.
It is not something that comes up regularly.
Really hope the assesment goes ok.
Stay strong x

CeefBurry Tue 16-Feb-21 13:31:06

Hope all goes well.
In my experience, my pip assessor was absolutely lovely.
I was awarded PIP although it was a lengthy process ( around five
months).

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