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PIP assessment, surely they have to offer me an appointment i can actually get to?

(53 Posts)
AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:18:39

So i'm in the process of changing over from DLA to PIP. I am completely reliant on the money, it is currently £307 a month and half my income.

I've just received a letter for a face to face assessment, and it is in Liverpool. I live on the west side of Manchester, google maps is saying 50 minute drive via motorway, as the absolute fastest route, but that is subject to traffic, appointment scheduled for 2pm.

The illness i have means that i am almost completely housebound. When i am able to leave the house it can't be at a planned time because it depends completely on when i actually need the toilet (severe OCD, i havent been able to use a toilet other than in my own home for 10 years, it takes an hour and a half, and i have to shower immediately afterwards which takes another half hour, my bladder has to be full for me to not get UTI symptoms immediately following using the loo which is why i cant go when i don't need it) and i have an unstable bladder. This means i get the sudden urge that im desperate for a wee even when my bladder is virtually empty, i get only a few minutes to get to a toilet, or lie down which makes the urgency go away until i actually need the loo, so i spent 99% of my life lay on my sofa. if i am stood up and the urge comes on, i absolutely cannot hold it. Because of this i cannot go anywhere more than a 15 minute car journey from my house, as getting sat down will reduce the urgency but not make it go away, but gives me just enough time to get home. When i am able to go out of the house i cant stay out much more than half an hour before the urgency inevitably kicks in, so an hour to get there, and an hour to get back, plus the length of the appointment and any possible waiting time, i'd be out for 3 hours, i will 100% get the urgency to go to the loo during that time, probably whilst still on the way travelling to get there.

I don't understand why i wasn't allocated for an assessment in manchester, all my ESA assessments were in manchester, but those were a few years ago since my last one, i don;t know if they still have an assessment centre there. Even if they did i would struggle to go there, but i should just about be able to manage it. They've refused me home assessments in the past so i am not hopeful of them agreeing this time, although my condition has worsened since last time.

I didn't find the letter til an hour ago, i can't phone them til 9am tomorrow, but im having an almighty panic attack right now, that i'm screwed and i'm going to lose money i rely on to live. If i lose the money i'll lose my home and won't be able to afford the bills.

All of this information was given in my actual form i filled out that i would struggle massively to get to an assessment (and that was assuming it was in manchester) and would likely need one at my own home, so why the hell have they allocated me to somewhere effectively an hour away?! I'm scared given their reputation they won't offer me anything else, and that they're trying to force me off the benefit to save themself money. I am completely understanding right now why people commit suicide over these assessments, it's an absolute joke and they're seeing me as a statistic not an actual person.

Surely they must see sense and offer me an appointment somewhere closer that im actually capable of attending?

Dawndonnaagain Thu 06-Jul-17 23:23:19

Get a letter from your GP requesting a home assessment. Call the and explain what you're doing and why. They will then decide whether or not to agree to the request. Usually takes about six weeks for a decision. They will not offer a home assessment without a GP or consultants letter stating that it's essential.
Good luck.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 06-Jul-17 23:26:06

if you go they will use it against you.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:26:35

My GP is on holiday this week, isn't back til next Monday and i'm there for an appointment with her the Wednesday 12th, but the assessment is for the 18th. I specifically gave her details in my form to contact for supporting information as she's been the one supporting me, either they haven't bothered to contact her, or they've already ignored everything she's told them about my situation.

gemtheboats Thu 06-Jul-17 23:27:14

If you phone them and explain they will usually reschedule for closer to home. The offer of an appointment further away is either to get you seen ASAP or a trick to see if you manage it depending on your opinion. You've little chance of a home visit though if you've been attending other medical appointments, including esa assessments. If you really can't do it I'd suggest getting a letter from a healthcare professional confirming thats the case.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:28:17

Susan exactly what im wondering if that is why they've given me an app so far away, so in the miraculous instance i could make it (which isn't going to happen) they could discredit my entire claim. They did it to my cousin, when she just managed to make it to an assessment after breaking her spine.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:29:51

I havent had an ESA since it became ESA, i was moved over from incapacity without an assessment. I can only make it to docs appointments literally 3 streets from my house about 50% of the time.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:34:48

I know obsessing about it won't help, but it's the nature of my disorder. Its caused an off tummy already and i won't be able to sleep tonight, i just don't have any other options. I already live with my dad who gets 200 a month total as my full time carer. He has no savings, is always in his overdraft, and due to his own health problems and a 11 year gap since he was last employed because he's been caring for me, couldn't find employment even if he tried.

Babyroobs Thu 06-Jul-17 23:37:34

As pp says the only way to get a home visit is to get Gp's letter.

HipsterHunter Thu 06-Jul-17 23:40:37

There was a really useful thread on here a few months ago about the PIP assessments. Does anyone remember the name it was posted under?

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:45:44

They have a centre that does ESA assessments 2 miles from my house, which is where i was always sent for my incapacity/ESA assessments, surely they should to the PIP ones too, it makes no sense why i haven't been sent there.
I'll phone my doctors tomorrow after i phone the assessment people, my specific GP isn't in who has dealt with me for the last 7 years though, none of the other GP's have ever met me.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:47:45

If they can see me at the Manchester centre where they do ESA i could probably get there if i severely restrict my fluid intake the 3 days prior to the assessment, but home assessment would be preferential. I have no idea if they can do PIP assessments there though or if Liverpool is actually the closest place, i can't see them travelling an hour to see me even with a GP letter.

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 06-Jul-17 23:55:23

Seems they don't offer PIP assessments at the place in manchester where they do ESa, but there are 2 assessment centres in manchester, both i should be able to get to. Also one in bolton that could be a possibility at a massive push. I can only hope they can move me to one of those, but it might be booked up for weeks, im already looking at losing DLA before this is all sorted.

NotCitrus Thu 06-Jul-17 23:59:48

You can request they pay for a taxi. At which point ATOS tend to suddenly remember their policy that assessments should be within 45 min travel time and will reschedule. Call them.

They tried to make me go to one an hours' train ride away plus a cab ride. I live in London. MrNC and I were happy to have a day out by the seaside at their expense but when we asked for confirmation of cab being covered they tried to say it was 5 min walk, and it took us pointing out that Google Maps said it was 20 min and we'd both grown up in that town and knew it was a steep hill, before they menyioned that I shouldn't have to go so far and found an appt 10 min drive from home. Funny, that.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 07-Jul-17 00:02:41

It's a game you have to play . They are trying to discredit you. Bastards. Talk to your GP.

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 07-Jul-17 00:08:32

Will definitely talk to my GP. I honestly think she'll be horrified as she knows my case very intimately. To her credit she would absolutely do the letter, its just timing, she's away on holiday til the 10th i think, and with the app scheduled for thr 18th i don't know if she would have time to write it up, get it there, them actually read it, before i get the "You missed your assessment" reprimand.
Slightly more calm knowing there are 2, possibly 3 assessment centres i could actually get to, thats 3 chances they can fit me in somewhere else, even if it means a month or two wait and missing a month or two of benefits, thats a damn sight better than losing them completely. (assuming they approve my claim)

CarterUSM Fri 07-Jul-17 00:51:35

Have you tried ringing them to ask for a home assessment - sorry if that's s dumb question it's just that when I had my PIP assessment recently I couldn't attend on the first day they offered and when I rang up to rearrange they offered a home appointment as an alternative without me even asking. I was flabbergasted they offered it after reading loads of horror stories. Might be worth a try if you haven't done so already? I'm in an area covered by Capita not ATOS if that makes any difference.

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Fri 07-Jul-17 01:06:42

@HipsterHunter was it my thread? I posted in April and kept posting through the assessment etc.

OP, a GP's letter is the way to go.

I'm not going to hijack your thread, but to anyone who is watching this who still has the form on them: they HAVE to offer a home visit if there is sufficient evidence of requiring one. In my case, it was because of my sight- I can't follow a familliar journey without my cane. OP, in your case, I'm assuming (I hope you don't mind) that you've ticked the boxes on the Nobility section that explains that followinf an unfamilliar journey would cause you severe psychological trauma? Is there anyone else you can speak to, besides a GP? Psychologist/counsellor? Any other medical professional? They can provide evidence that a home appointment is needed too.

You can actually refuse one appointment before they'll penalize you- useful to know if you need to buy time until your GP gets back.

Is it with ATOS or Capita?

AllRoadsLeadBackToRadley Fri 07-Jul-17 01:08:53

Oh, and WRT being without benefits for a few months: if you're already claiming DLA it'll carry on until- if the worst happens- a month after your claim is turned down.

PM me if I can be of any help.

Tippexy Fri 07-Jul-17 01:14:26

Have you tried some counselling sessions / CBT? Being ruled by OCD is no way to live your life and you can overcome it.

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 07-Jul-17 02:08:18

I'm in the middle of being refered to phsychology so theres nobody but my GP to give medical evience. I used to have a social worker type person come out to my house until november 2015 when i was discharged from their service, i tried to get a letter form them, but as im not currently a patient, they wouldnt. The problem is being able to go out, like i said i cant plan to go out so keeping appointments is virtually impossible, i'm at the mercy of when i actually need to use the toilet, and it going "well" to be able to go out. On bad days it can take me 4 hours from start to finish from going in to the bathroom to have a wee to having to shower til coming out again. I can go months at a time unable to leave the house, so trying to get out to appointments has basically been impossible. I've been referred a few times to psychology and not been able to get to the first app and not known i couldnt go til the day comes around and i have to go to the loo too soon so its too much time between coming out and the app time, or i massively run over how long i've judged and miss the appointment. Typically it takes 45-90 minutes, but i sometimes have REALLY bad days with no warning. Its a juggling act, if i go in too soon, i get finished too soon and its an hour before my appointment time by which point my bladder is getting really uncomfortable so i cant go/stay out. I have to try to work it so i end up coming out of the loo about 15 minutes before the appointment so im not sat waiting about when i get there. It really doesnt go well, i didnt see a doctor for years because its a 50-50 coin toss if i can make it and they are 3 streets away, and i didnt want to anger them or get kicked off their patient list for being a frequent no show, anything serious like ear infections or UTI's i'd phone consult (couldnt do samples because of germ phobias of having a pot of pee leave the bathroom) and my GP who is an incredibly understanding woman (got to know about my condition when she was my mums doctor during her terminal illness) has always been willing to prescribe medication without having to actually go in to the docs. As it goes, miss an app, get cut from psychology services without the ability to explain. Had a few bad experiences with previous psychologists too which hasnt helped.

It really is a shame i wasnt already referred and had my initial assessment, it would have massively helped to have a psychologist, but then when i had ESA and got rejected i was told psychologist letters dont count as case evidence i could lie to the psychologist and they can only write down what i tell them that cant be proven to be the "truth".

Sadly my area is assessed by ATOS, who majorly messed up in 2009 and took my incapacity away, so i already dont trust them.

sobeyondthehills Fri 07-Jul-17 02:25:03


I have had my assessment for ESA and have just had to try and arrange PIP both done by ATOS.

I manged to get both of mine done as home assessment. I would say after the complete faff I had, assume they are run by two different planets.

With ESA I had to get a doctor's note and other things to say I couldn't travel the nearly 50 minutes, with PIIP I just phoned and said I wasn't doing it. They cancelled it and then a few days later I got a letter saying they were going to do a home visit.

AwaywiththePixies27 Fri 07-Jul-17 05:36:57

I don't understand why I wasn't allocated one in Manchester

Because they're sly twats is why. Being able to get to an unusual place ticks the 'can plan/go on unfamiliar journeys unaided' = immediately 10/12 points discarded. Ring them tell them no way is that possible and that you need one either closer to home, or a home visit if possible. One poor fella who lived down south, his first letter was sending him to an assessment in Glasgow! Sorted, obviously, but still ridiculously incompetent of them.

Makes me so cross they're still pulling these stunts. angry

AwaywiththePixies27 Fri 07-Jul-17 05:40:27

I specifically gave her details in my form to contact for supporting information as she's been the one supporting me, either they haven't bothered to contact her, or they've already ignored everything she's told them about my situation.

I was told by my GPs that you have to give them consent first to share your medical info with PIP (its not like ESA where they have to share it). I'm not sure if that's true but it sounds about right given my assessment centre was and still is absolutely clueless. (assessment centre itself is on the third floor hmm ).

AwaywiththePixies27 Fri 07-Jul-17 05:43:56

You've little chance of a home visit though if you've been attending other medical appointments, including esa assessments

This depends on whether you've got an assessment centre near you and how good the staff are. Someone I know of attends all their own medical appointments etc and still somehow managed to pull a home visit. I think a lot of it depends on how good your GPs reports are. If you know. PIP bother to contact them in the first place.

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