My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AMA

I assess disability claims - AMA

407 replies

Galactico · 03/01/2023 20:10

Just as the title says!

I know the public feeling towards assessors isn’t always good. I’ve been doing the job for about 7 years, let me give you some insight into the “other” side.

OP posts:
Report
BrednasBigBux · 04/01/2023 17:29

Thanks for clarifying. It must be incredibly frustrating. I think I keep getting stuck on it because of the word "function" which is at the very heart of my role, but as you say, DWP seems to define and apply it differently.

I used to work in employability with people on ESA who were found fit for work according to DWP definitions. But, in the real world with real employers, they wouldn't stand a chance.

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 17:41

But be prepared to skip lunch, be prepared to work late. That grates on people after a while.

Oh right.
Because that never happens when you have a job on a hospital ward or in a department, or in a GP practice.

Come on, OP. You're surely not trying to say that people give up working for the DWP and go back to hospital work because they sometimes miss their lunch when they work for the DWP? It's preposterous that you say this and expect intelligent people on this thread to believe it.

Report
DarkKarmaIlama · 04/01/2023 17:42

Well my sister never skips lunch I can assure you 😂.

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 17:43

"I used to work in employability with people on ESA who were found fit for work according to DWP definitions. But, in the real world with real employers, they wouldn't stand a chance"

Quite. And in real kitchens, with real implements, they cannot cook satisfactorily, either.

FFS The standards are so low.

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 17:43

DarkKarmaIlama · 04/01/2023 17:42

Well my sister never skips lunch I can assure you 😂.

Now THAT I can really believe, after all you've said about her.
Grin

Report
BrednasBigBux · 04/01/2023 17:53

@TheShellBeach that job changed my outlook forever. I was so naive when I started, I believed we had a functioning system!

Report
itsgettingweird · 04/01/2023 18:02

The way they get around it is that the DWP definition of “functioning” is low.
To you or I, someone with poor hand grip is likely to need help in the kitchen with opening tins or lifting a pot of water. To them, they may have that poor grip but they are still likely to cope. Buy a smaller pot, take longer opening the tin. That’s fine.

This where you have to be very careful how you word things.

My son actually does has poor hand grip. So I have to say "he cannot pick up a saucepan with enough food in it to provide himself with adequate nutrition".

Basically so I am using their descriptors to clarify what he can and can't do.

I was also told to say "he can't do that" (or can't unsupervised) rather than "well he could if....."

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:07

The thing is this: claimants need so much tuition in filling in these forms that it is not surprising that so many claims are disallowed.
Once you understand how to write in a way which means the DWP cannot denigrate you and your problems you are halfway there.

Of course, it's too late after you've sent the form in. That's why I recommend people should get advice from a welfare rights advisor, both with filling in the forms and going to a tribunal.

Report
Mangolist · 04/01/2023 18:17

Runnerduck34 · 03/01/2023 23:34

Hi OP you mentioned up thread you are assessed on 12 areas of function, what are these?
DD 15 has DLA so she will ( hopefully) be transferring to PIP next year. She has autism, anxiety and selective mutism.

Here you are!

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf

Report
Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:18

People should always seem out welfare rights advisors, Citizens Advice or similar before filling in the form. That’s probably hard to do at the moment though, with an increase in claims overall. Those appointments will be scarce.

OP posts:
Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:22

Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:18

People should always seem out welfare rights advisors, Citizens Advice or similar before filling in the form. That’s probably hard to do at the moment though, with an increase in claims overall. Those appointments will be scarce.

It wouldn't be necessary if the DWP were transparent about their intentions.

Report
PrayingandHoping · 04/01/2023 18:32

@Galactico you should have to have tutoring to fill out a form! Can you not see that is totally ridiculous?

I did a 2 hour seminar with a charity for my second, successful claim. Time and money I should not need to spend.

Report
Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:44

PrayingandHoping · 04/01/2023 18:32

@Galactico you should have to have tutoring to fill out a form! Can you not see that is totally ridiculous?

I did a 2 hour seminar with a charity for my second, successful claim. Time and money I should not need to spend.

Of course I can. How are you getting the idea that I think it’s fine? I haven’t said or alluded to anything of the sort.

OP posts:
Report
PrayingandHoping · 04/01/2023 18:46

Because you said "people should seek out" help etc

Certainly sounds like you think that's reasonable. There's nothing in it that sounds like you don't

Report
Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:49

@PrayingandHoping So my recognising that the form is a nightmare of almost 40 pages up thread, that the government are callous and probably see people on benefits as expendable…that doesn’t indicate what I think about it?

The advice to seek out CAB/welfare rights help is practical only.

OP posts:
Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:50

Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:44

Of course I can. How are you getting the idea that I think it’s fine? I haven’t said or alluded to anything of the sort.

But you said that you recommended that people try to access a welfare rights officer before filling in the PIP forms.

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:52

I got help from a welfare rights advisor and also paid for a subscription to Benefits And Work, which was also money well-spent.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

Report
PrayingandHoping · 04/01/2023 18:53

@Galactico not really. Just look at the post that I quoted. Sounds like you think that's totally reasonable.

You sound like you're in a total bubble. You admit a few faults but in reality you are completely deluded about what it's like on the other side and what it does to people

Report
Bluebellbike · 04/01/2023 18:53

@Galactico thank you for this thread and your patience. I am sorry you are receiving such harsh comments from some posters.
I wonder if you could give me an idea of how long the assessment of the claim forms are currently taking please? My claim form is being assessed by "Independent Assessment Services" who sent me a text on 16th November 2022 to tell me they were dealing with it.
Thanks

Report
saraclara · 04/01/2023 18:57

TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:50

But you said that you recommended that people try to access a welfare rights officer before filling in the PIP forms.

That doesn't indicate that she's fine about it at all. She's giving pragmatic advice to help people navigate a system that she's criticised MANY times on this thread.
If I was having to negotiate this system now (my involvement is mercifully in the past) I'd be very grateful for her advice.

Report
TheShellBeach · 04/01/2023 18:57

@Galactico If your intentions are good, why don't you start a thread on AIBU, saying you work for the DWP and disapprove strongly of them and all their works?

Everyone will agree with you and you'll get a completely different response.

Report
Galactico · 04/01/2023 18:57

Bluebellbike · 04/01/2023 18:53

@Galactico thank you for this thread and your patience. I am sorry you are receiving such harsh comments from some posters.
I wonder if you could give me an idea of how long the assessment of the claim forms are currently taking please? My claim form is being assessed by "Independent Assessment Services" who sent me a text on 16th November 2022 to tell me they were dealing with it.
Thanks

No problem. If you’re at the stage of having sent your form in, the wait can be several months. You’ll most likely be contacted to invite you to an assessment. Once you’ve had that, it’s about 6 weeks to get a decision.

Christmas & NY obviously comes with several bank holidays, on which no paperwork will have been processed. It’s a long wait, sadly, but if you get an award this will be calculated from the date of your application.

Hope all goes well!

OP posts:
Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Galactico · 04/01/2023 19:00

@saraclara I get the impression that a couple of posters above would find fault in whatever I say. 😂 It’s clear to me that the suggestion I made was a practical, logical step for people who find the benefits system very difficult.

They’re being deliberately obtuse, I think. Not sure if it’s to provoke a reaction or to air their grievances but it’s absolutely fine either way. 😌

OP posts:
Report
PrayingandHoping · 04/01/2023 19:05

Not being deliberately obtuse at all.

You have some advise, good advise at that

But frankly as people who constantly battle with dwp and those that work for it when you see advise put out like that, like we should expect to do it, it grates. Really grates

Dwp lack empathy and understanding, we are used to it so seeing someone who works for them post comments like that it's all too familiar!!!!



That topic is especially sensitive to me as when I did that seminar I was also sat in hospital with my daughter who was admitted and on oxygen. We don't have TIME for unnecessary stuff like this but have to do it to fight for the help we need and deserve

People who work for dwp need training about a day in the life of the people on the other side.

Report
saraclara · 04/01/2023 19:10

Galactico · 04/01/2023 19:00

@saraclara I get the impression that a couple of posters above would find fault in whatever I say. 😂 It’s clear to me that the suggestion I made was a practical, logical step for people who find the benefits system very difficult.

They’re being deliberately obtuse, I think. Not sure if it’s to provoke a reaction or to air their grievances but it’s absolutely fine either way. 😌

I used to think that traffic wardens had the most unpopular job. It seems I'm wrong!
Congratulations on keeping your cool throughout this thread, OP.

I realise that I've been fortunate with the two applicants in my family. One I've already mentioned, and the other application was when my late DH had terminal cancer. Macmillan did the application for us and it was fast tracked, which I'm sure was a huge advantage.

It breaks my heart to read some people's experiences. But posting as if you are personally responsible for their experience is unfair.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.