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AIBU to be petrified by my upcoming PIP assessment - tips?

(39 Posts)
UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 14:22:09

I've got the medical assessment for transferring from DLA to PIP this week. I'm dreading it - I'm on high rate for care and mobility for DLA, it was an indefinite award. I'm a wheelchair user, have carers coming in and have MH issues.

I've got a home assessment this week and I'm dreading it - does anyone have any tips at all?

unweavedrainbow Sun 11-Dec-16 14:32:53

I volunteer doing PIP forms. My first tip is not to worry too much-statistically, the DLA transfer rate to PIP from HRC is nearly 100%. You will be fine, virtually guaranteed. Don't be alone, get someone else to open the door, don't push yourself to do anything you can't do safely.
My second tip is to send off for the assessment report the day after the assessment. The dwp gets the reports through within 2 days and they come to you much faster than actual decision. Generally the assessment report will reflect the actual decision and it is good have something on paper. Good luck.

IcedVanillaLatte Sun 11-Dec-16 14:37:16

This thread has some useful tips, if you can wade through the horror stories.

NothingIsOK Sun 11-Dec-16 14:46:50

You can prep well by looking up the points criteria for PIP rates and working out for yourself where you should qualify for points.

I wish I had done this for a decent ESA WCA as I'd not have been duped into saying I could lift an empty box when I use two crutches at all times and in fact couldn't because my hands are always full of crutches and bust keeping me upright. I was so distracted by the emptiness of the box and why anyone would want you to move one that I didn't think it through in time to give the answer they needed to hear to give me the points.

Keywords are important, as are any aids or assistance you use. You really must tell them how your worst days are, not your good days. They won't do any thinking or concluding for you, so you must be thorough and specific.

Another eg from my assessment for ESA wasn't that whilst they decided I couldn't sit for more than 30 mins I had fully mobility for the walking and standing points because I could use a manual wheelchair for 200m repeatedly. Utter nonsense and totally contradicted by the points they gave me for sitting difficulties, but I'm now having to go to tribunal to correct it.

ringaling Sun 11-Dec-16 14:49:08

I've had a esa home assesment and wasn't as bad as I thought.
The thread link posted will be very helpful
Good luck

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 14:50:06

Thanks unweavedrainbow Luckily my front door is electrically operated, I just have to press a button to let people in. My CPN is hopefully coming. That's good to hear about the transfer rate, I hadn't read that anywhere else.

I'm in two minds about sending off for the report - I might leave it til after Christmas as if it's negative it might spoil Christmas.

thanks for the thread IcedVanillaLatte - I'm finding it hard not to catastrophise reading other people's horror stories, there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason about decisions. sad

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 14:52:45

Thanks NothingIsOK - I have the benefits and work guides, so I'm going to go back through them.

Thanks ring!

unweavedrainbow Sun 11-Dec-16 15:00:21

Well, the transfer rate for all current DLA claims is currently 76% but when you take out LRC DLA claims that have a very low transfer rate-which, tbh, is to be expected as standard rate PIP is equivalent to MRC DLA-you end up with quickly crunches numbers 98.2%.
Anecdotally, I've done many many DLA-PIP transfer forms and I've never personally had anyone on HRC rejected. PIP was designed to kick off those on low level short term awards.

haystack10 Sun 11-Dec-16 15:06:23

Hi, upondown. Just been through it. Mobility stayed the same at high, care knocked down to low but accepted that because everyone's taking cuts nowadays and from what I'd been reading there's been a lot worse. Assessment wasn't too bad at all so try not to worry. Don't forget to make clear your worst days. Good luck.

unweavedrainbow Sun 11-Dec-16 15:11:02

haystack that's interesting. most people I've been helping have experienced the exact opposite-a reduction in mobility for everyone that isn't a full time wheelchair user but enhanced rate care awarded without any issues, often to people who wouldn't have been awarded HRC under DLA. DMs can be a law unto themselves sometimes...

haystack10 Sun 11-Dec-16 15:22:26

Sorry, care gone down from high dla to standard pip. Yeah, don't really understand the care, have a lot, lot of help but there you go. And mobility has to be high really, can hardly move, walk. Been so scared of losing everything what with all the horror stories, just relieved with what I've got but I suppose that's what they rely on. Put so much into filling out the form, was knocked out for a week afterwards, couldn't push any further. Again, that's what they rely on I suppose, to get their cuts.

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 15:37:37

Thanks all, sounds confusing!

MeadowHay Sun 11-Dec-16 16:11:03

Hi, I had a PIP assessment at home a few years ago and got awarded high rate for care and mobility - at the time I was only receiving low rate care or DLA and that was after winning a tribunal! So I was made up with the PIP decision, finally something that reflected my care needs better and the money was a huge help. My assessor seemed really nice but like you I had read horror stories about some assessors seeming really nice to your face and then writing bollocks on your report, but mine obv was genuine, phew.

Make sure you have someone with you which it sounds like you will do, your CPN, but be aware they will really push you to be the one doing the talking. I always get so anxious to start with I can't speak and DH speaks for me at first but they never like that as undersandably they want to hear from me. If you can get it recorded I would recommend that, but you need to tell them in advance because they need their assessor to agree to it and some of them won't so it can delay your assessment til they find one that will, and you can only record it if you record on a device that makes two simultaneous recordings and give the assessor one at the end of the asessment. And those machines are really expensive, so we couldn't afford one. But DH took minutes of the assessment instead by hand and signed and dated them, and offered the assessor to look at them at the end to verify they were an accurate representation of what was said - she declined, but at least she had the option. That way we would have another written testimony to contest a wrong report. Not as good as a recording but better than nothing. So I would reccomend this if you're not getting it recorded see if someone else can take minutes for you, obviously let the assessor know at the beginning that they will be doing that and offer to let them have a look at them at the end and offer to post a copy if they want it.

Be 100% honest in your replies, make sure your vulnerabilities and difficulties are spelled out. I agree with PP about 'buzz words' - look at the PIP points scoring criteria and make a note of how you think you fit into them and the words they use and try and use the exact same words when you're describing your situation. So nothing vague like "I have difficult doing x and I need help" make sure you match the criteria more explicitly so more like "I cannot reliably do x without someone else doing y to support me in doing it, without someone there to do y for me I would not be able to do x and would therefore ...whatever e.g. would therefore hardly eat because I can't cook for myself or whatever it is." Hope that makes sense.

Good luck and I think it really is pot luck about whether your assessor is a decent human being or not unfortunately. I am waiting for my assessment now - I moved abroad for awhile so obviously had to end my claim but now I'm back I have to start all over again. Just waiting for a letter from Capita as to when my assessment will be.

NothingIsOK Sun 11-Dec-16 16:37:26

Forgot to say, my PIP face to face was fine and resulted in a fair award. The ESA WCA is the one that I've had big trouble with, but they use points based systems in a very similar way. Given my time again I would record it.

alphabettyspaghetty Sun 11-Dec-16 16:48:34

Definitely agree with the buzzwords and give examples. Like the cooking question I have arthritis and basically said we are buying a lot of pre chopped vegetables as I can't hold a knife very well to chop an onion or a carrot as it's painful. I couldn't stand to cook for long and my arthritis in my elbows means my other half has to cut up food sometimes for me. Give examples for everything and use buzzwords

Dawndonnaagain Sun 11-Dec-16 17:08:05

I have mine next week, I started being sick yesterday. I will continue. I'm terrified I'm going to have the person I had last time and she lied. My goodness she lied. Ds is going with me this time though, that will help, at least he can say, look, I have to lift saucepans, open jars, cut vegetables.
Probably get turned down again though.

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 17:14:28

Thanks all!

AwaywiththePixies27 Sun 11-Dec-16 18:11:49

Just to be completely honest with them, no matter how bonkers you sound and describe everything in detail.

I played my issues down at the PIP assessment and scored 0 blush . I had very little medical evidence at the time though. Got swathes of it this year after having a really bad time with my health lately sad but I'm not going to put myself through the stress of that again. I've got my ESA next week and I'm dreading it.

Good luck and hope it goes well. flowers

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 19:39:23

Good luck Dawndonnaagain - mine is Wednesday, I'll send good thoughts your way this week, and hope you get an award.

Oh dear AwaywiththePixies27 sad sad That's what I'm dreading, I hope the ESA assessment goes well!

AwaywiththePixies27 Sun 11-Dec-16 21:24:14

UponDown easier said than done I know but please try not to worry. I'm an 'interesting' case to most medical professions. The effects some of my illnesses and medication can have on me are debilitating but I look normal so it is harder to prove. Just like the MH side of it is too. Mine wasn't at home either it was done in the city.

I recently got rushed back into hospital after a doc mistook a bad chest infection and asthma attack for anxiety - second time it's happened this year! hmm I'm also a single parent so many professionals and dwp staff or assessors mistake 'pushing on through the pain' with 'she can do that fine'. I remember mine saying in the report that I did the school run. Of course I'm going to bloody do it there's no one else to! grin

The general consensus I get the feel of is that home assessments are always better. I think it's something to do with being in your own surroundings and feeling more comfortable in being completely honest with the assessor. You'll have your professionals with you too who will put he/she in their place if needed. I really do think it depends on who you get on the day. Mine mentioned my companion didn't speak much and I did most of the talking confused yet a friend of mine, her DH answered all the questions and made eye contact etc and got awarded the required points.

UpOnDown Sun 11-Dec-16 21:32:27

Poor you away sad

I hope that I do most of the talking, we'll see. Good to hear that about home assessments, I was very surprised I got one.

SeriousSteve Sun 11-Dec-16 22:42:43

Went through this system a year ago, mid-care and higher-mobility DLA awarded at appeal was transitioned to PIP at same rates. No issues.

They recently reviewed to ensure I'm at the correct rates, things staying as they are, but extended to another three years from review date.

In truth, having had house assessments for both DLA and PIP, I found PIP easier to hit criteria on.

Don't forget, it's about your worst days, and being able to do tasks safely, as often as necessary, in a timely manner and reliably. For example, if you can walk, but you suffer dizziness or a propensity to fall, you should receive maximum points for said activity.

I found this guide and the Benefits for Work guides invaluable. Good luck!

SeriousSteve Sun 11-Dec-16 22:51:07

Away I'm an 'interesting' case to most medical professions. The effects some of my illnesses and medication can have on me are debilitating but I look normal so it is harder to prove. Just like the MH side of it is too

I have M.E. Perhaps one of the most vilified illnesses to have, ignored by numerous medical "professionals ". Despite wheelchair when out I'm bedbound, pain, fatigue and confusion rule my life. Yet I look "normal".

I'm so lucky my GP is excellent and wrote a great letter. I do think preparing correctly, for both the form - I recommend typing your own and fuck their shitty form - and assessment are critically important. So is appealing if the fuckers turn you down.

Fi61wales Sun 11-Dec-16 22:55:24

The experience that I've had showed that the assessor was very professional and understanding regarding a chronic illness with no known cure. She guided and was kind. My daughter who was being assessed retained higher rate of mobility component and was granted lower rate of care for which she had previously had nothing.

twitchypalm Sun 11-Dec-16 23:09:41

I hope you have more luck than my dh did. He had a heart attack and a quad bypass. Has been medically retired from work his dr told him to apply for PIP as he mt the criterior we had loads of supporting paperwork for it and got turned down as the assessor admited she knew nothing about cardiac issues she was a physio. When we got the report back all she concentrated on was mental health and how he didnt have any issues with that. The fact he can't walk very far struggles walking upstairs cant carry anything heavy or stand for long didn't matter.

We appealed it when the appeal report came through it contradicted the first report and still turned down. We sent it to tribunal with all evidence of the contradiction and drs report and were still turned down. We found that if you didn't have mental health issues they didnt want to know.

Ive recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and severe osteoporsis of the spine. I can't be bothered to put us all through the stress of PIP again.

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