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To think medical evidence is the key to PIP / ESA

(107 Posts)
LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 18:20:42

Just this really. It seems to be having gone through it all, that if you have good medical letters etc from consultants and things like a care plan and prescription copies, it makes it all so much easier and there is less for them to argue with.

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears Fri 12-May-17 18:22:22

At my ESA I offered my medical letters and they were copied and taken into account. At my PIP they didn't even have a copy of the form you send in and refused to look at the letters I took with me. It can be meaningless and entirely up to the assessor.

sabs22 Fri 12-May-17 18:23:27

I would probably agree however also think this is the way it should be. Evidence and backing from a professional to confirm the support and help a person needs.

LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 18:24:14

Did you get the PIP?

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears Fri 12-May-17 18:40:16

I got support group on ESA last year so expecting another medical soon, and both parts of PIP enhanced. I think in an ideal world the person assessing would look at all the information in order to be 100% informed and impartial but that just isn't the case. The ESA assessment was as good as can be expected for a very stressful and painful experience. The PIP was an utter nightmare with every trick in the book to try and trip me up.

At the end of the day the assessors aren't going in unbiased, impartial and informed. They have very little training and seem to have targets to meet on denying claims. The huge amount of claims that get denied then allowed at appeal and tribunal show that. I was assessed by a physio who started off trying to get me to laugh and joke then turned abruptly serious when I didn't engage. She talked down to me, raised her voice, never once used my name but called me 'lovey' in an oddly patronising way throughout.

It was clear she had little experience of mental health issues, one question was 'what are the physical symptoms of your depression'. When I tried to explain using words like feel, it's like, how it affects me really, she cut me off and asked me if I had symptoms like shortness of breath and sweating.

Having spent a lot of time on forums and seeing what people go through, I think even having 1000 pages of medical evidence means nothing at all when the system calls back children with autism after 6 months in case they improved, people with degenerative conditions which is clearly stated in the paperwork from consultants. Mentioning in the assessment you can do something occasionally leads them to writing you can do it all the time. Bedbound people being assessed as being able to get up and clean as the house is clean- nothing to do with their spouse living there obviously.

The system is a shambles and I feel lucky to be out of the carousel for a moment. Just waiting for that brown envelope to tell me of my ESA reassessment. They don't even give a hint of a timeframe, anything from 6 months to 3 years it seems.

LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 18:42:13

Goldilocks that's what I wondered when you mentioned they weren't keen to see the evidence. It rang alarm bells for me. You have the ESA which is good, if you have to appeal maybe you can include the ESA letter (even though DWP say they don't take it into account as is another benefit Appeals may think differently.

LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 18:43:06

Oh sorry see you got PIP enhanced, that's good. I got the care enhanced. and the ESA support group Also mental health and physical as well.

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears Fri 12-May-17 18:51:04

For some reason they never sent me a letter after my ESA assessment. I was waiting and realised money was going into my account. I ended up asking for a letter to prove I was in receipt of the benefit, for use on things like HB, but it just states that I am in receipt of it and the amount nothing more. It's odd.

I was completely sure I wouldn't be assessed as needing PIP after the medical. Her attitude towards me, like I was wasting her time, complete disinterest and so much putting words into my mouth- every other sentence was 'so you would say...' to which I had to reply no, I wouldn't say I can shower that often, or cook that type of food, etc. The process was more denying her assumptions than proving anything! However after lots and lots of going over it in my mind, I wonder if she realised early on she had to allow my claim based on how I can barely walk or move, how much pain I was in, wearing grotty clothes as I was unable to make my body get changed on the day. And the attitude was her knowing she couldn't deny it so would lose the bonus or target or however they do it.

NotCitrus Fri 12-May-17 18:52:04

I sent in my list of prsecriptions from the GP, and about 5 letters, with the PIP form, as 'additional info'.
Assessor was impressed and said she'd never seen such good paperwork. She hadn't read it, just what I'd said I was enclosing.
And I got what I hoped for, if for odd reasons (I got points for the first zillion questions but not the last few, possibly because they didn't want me to get higher rater. In 2019 I'll push for that...)

GoldilocksAndTheThreePears Fri 12-May-17 18:58:47

I called a couple of days before my PIP assessment to see if they needed to see my prescriptions, my drugs, my letters, like at my ESA. They said no, if it's on the form no need. It sounds insignificant but I struggle with balance and just holding and carrying things so the less the better. Then I got there and apparently she had nothing at all but my name, too much of the time there was trying to remember correct spelling of multiple drugs and dosages. I did however take the letters from my consultants and GP but that was refused to be even looked at. It's a weird system.

MariposaNieve Fri 12-May-17 19:01:41

Because I had enough medical evidence from professions in my application, I didn't even get called for an assessment - so, yes!

However, particularly for people with mental health issues who perhaps haven't got access to therapy yet etc, it can be incredibly hard to get sufficient documentation, and the in-person assessments for mental health are hardly stellar.

MariposaNieve Fri 12-May-17 19:02:58


kali110 Fri 12-May-17 19:03:56

Nope, you can have all the evidence in the world, it doesn't matter!

kali110 Fri 12-May-17 19:05:40

It would also help if the assessors didn't lie.

PlayOnWurtz Fri 12-May-17 19:11:40

The assessor in the room doesn't make the final decision they assess the person in front of them and that report combined with the medical reports is what makes your claim.

AwaywiththePixies27 Fri 12-May-17 19:13:31

Sadly no.

I was in SG of ESA after a bad breakdown (suprisingly haven't got better - health much worse too). Review this year. Placed in WRAG group of ESA. I sent in a wealth of medical evidence - from the counselling team to my neurosurgeon. Just got the news today that the decision remains the same sad I've lost £30 a week which doesn't sound like a lot but as a friend says that adds up to £120 pm. I still need to do all the things I did before as a struggling single parent of 2 - just on lesser money as well as looking after DS who has SNs (and no I dont get money for him either).

PIP assessor didn't even look at the letter I took into the assessment.

It would also help if the assessors didn't lie.

Basically this. X 100

eveteen Fri 12-May-17 19:28:41

The assesors for ESA only have the information provided by the applicant on the Claim form . Gps are contacted for additional info but rarely respond in time so people have to face the assessment when, in some cases, additional info from their own medical records could help in them being assessed on paper and not having to attend. If you do make a claim then chase up your gp.They are not assessing people on their health condition but on how it affects their functionality and their ability to do some kind of work . People respond v differently to the same health condition and I can't see how it can be correct to write people off when they could have so much to offer and contribute.

WayfaringStranger Fri 12-May-17 19:33:17

I don't think evidence does always help. I've written countless reports and - obviously with permission - also send social care assessments which are incredibly in depth. I've seen people get rejected. Ridiculous.

Oswin Fri 12-May-17 19:37:02

Frankly it doesn't matter what you take in. If they feel like telling a few lies in your assessment then your fucked.

kali110 Fri 12-May-17 19:39:30

Frankly it doesn't matter what you take in. If they feel like telling a few lies in your assessment then your fucked.
This. If the assessor lies in their report then your fucked in your apeal too.
Obviously you can take it futher, but it does take time and is stressful which is what they i think they bank on.

eggsandwich Fri 12-May-17 19:42:51

I think it's a bit of a lottery what area you live in and who is handling your case.

My Ds is in receipt of enhanced pip in both sections and the whole process going from dla to pip was pretty painless though the paper work was less so. We sent in letters from his social worker, o.t. and speech therapist which were quite detailed so I'm sure they played a significant part in his evaluation he also scored very high in the scoring system.

As of yesterday he is also in receipt of e.s.a being put in the support category, the assessment phase was very lengthy we waited 8 months we also sent in the same paper work evidence that we sent for his pip application, and were expecting him to go for an interview when we got a letter stating he had got it and they were paying the back pay, but I do think that we were lucky compared to some.

LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 19:48:52

Well...I found on the home visit after having sent in my psychiatrist reports, care plans and surgical letters the assessor was...quite odd. Wary. Told us she wasn't here to catch me out...and seemed to want be to get the award. The report was very supportive. So I do feel it makes a difference. and they tailor the visit accordingly. but maybe it depends on the condition and the assessor.

What I do know is they are not to be trusted.

Toysaurus Fri 12-May-17 20:49:17

Not for Atos. My ex had inches of paperwork for his disability. An awful debilitating disability. Stacks of letters from consultants, specialist doctors, pain clinics. They said no because basically, they were twats.

Months it took to get to appeal with no money for him and they award it to him. He was suicidal waiting for the appeal.

My ex is a total wanker and continues to be one but I supported him through it because what they did to him was appalling and because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD - that wasn't the disability he was claiming for - he couldn't deal with the forms or paperwork alone.

Akire Fri 12-May-17 20:53:57

I don't think it help as they still need to assess you. If it counted then they woulnt need to do 90% of face to face medical because doctor, consultant, Soxial worker, care plans would all show someone else has assessed you. But they still insist on doing their own.
Think it helps to challenge when they make up lies or say you can do
Stuff that you can't.

icclemunchy Fri 12-May-17 21:02:08

It's also not helpful in the case of chronic conditions when there isn't much to be done. Apart from seeing my gp for repeat prescriptions I don't see anyone else because there's nothing else they can do for me! I gor lucky I got pip on my first try. Doesn't stop me feeling sick everytime I get a brown envelope through the door since despite my award being for 3yrs they can call me anytime for a review

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