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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:
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springerspanielpuppy · 05/01/2023 09:11

Oh and to the poster who said CAB knew the assessor was harsh. This has always been the case for decades, we would look at the assessors name and know there would be no award. Tribunals used to see the same names pop up on the assessments time and time again and overturn the decision, never any consequences to the assessor.

The names are now blacked out on the reports, it only states their occupation eg, OT, Physio, Nurse

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Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 09:26

OP, do the same people do the assessments for Attendance Allowance? My mobility isn’t always good, I have a problem with my knee which sometimes necessitates using a stick. Its painful, been ongoing for months, but no definite diagnosis as yet. Like a lot of older people, I just put it down to ageing. I don’t need ‘care’ and AA seems to focus on that.

Neither DH or I have ever claimed DLA or PIP, although long after DH had major heart surgery years ago, he was told he should have claimed after his heart attack when he was severely ill. We were naive, because I was working and he got statutory sick pay, it never occurred to us he’d be entitled.

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sashh · 05/01/2023 11:53

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 22:49

I know plenty of people who work and claim PIP. I have a colleague currently who claims PIP for bipolar yet manages to adequately support clients with complex mental health problems and addictions. I don't understand how people claim it when they can clearly function adequately the majority of the time. She does not have any extra support or anything at work.

It's often the things you don't see.

Someone being too tired to cook or as someone earlier said chop veg. Prepared veg have a premium price and VAT on top.

I've had a lot more take aways as my body won't always behave to cook.

Kepping the home warm.

Employing a cleaner.

Not being able to 'pop to the shop' so you have options of just eat / deliveroo or drive to the corner shop.

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Runnerduck34 · 05/01/2023 11:55

@Mangolist - thank you!

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 12:27

Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 09:26

OP, do the same people do the assessments for Attendance Allowance? My mobility isn’t always good, I have a problem with my knee which sometimes necessitates using a stick. Its painful, been ongoing for months, but no definite diagnosis as yet. Like a lot of older people, I just put it down to ageing. I don’t need ‘care’ and AA seems to focus on that.

Neither DH or I have ever claimed DLA or PIP, although long after DH had major heart surgery years ago, he was told he should have claimed after his heart attack when he was severely ill. We were naive, because I was working and he got statutory sick pay, it never occurred to us he’d be entitled.

There is no mobility component with Attendance Allowance.
The DWP reckon that most elderly people have some kind of mobility problem.

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 13:35

I haven’t come across anyone saying they think someone is lying about their disability or doesn’t deserve to get disability benefits.

There are three or four on this thread alone.

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Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 15:23

@TheShellBeach Thanks for that info. Does that then mean, if I understand correctly, that my friend, who at a year pre retirement, got the mobility element of DLA, for a similar issue, will continue to get the benefit and won't go on to attendance allowance?

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mummymayhem18 · 05/01/2023 15:31

@Galactico thanks for replying to my post as I've only just noticed you had.
I do struggle with walking as I'm very stiff getting up whether it be from sat eating dinner,sofa,bed etc. My joints really hurt particularly back, knees and ,hips and ankles. I suspect I have it elsewhere but have only had the scan in hip and knee so far only about 5 months ago when diagnosed. I haven't really been back to the doctor about it since which I know I need to. I also have to go up the stairs one at a time as find them really painful. I can no longer bend down either to the floor. If I do I need something to hold to take some of the weight as I bend if that makes sense. I should say I'm 47 if that makes any difference. I'm very overweight so I know I need to try and lose weight to ease some pressure off my joints but I do really struggle. I just wondered because I don't work because of this and bowel and bladder conditions if it was worth me applying. I'm pretty much a recluse and get very anxious if I do go out to get shopping etc. I don't wear any pads at home re continence and I hardly leave the house. I'm currently living off savings and don't claim any benefits. All I get as income is child benefit and a small child maintenance a month. Thanks so much.

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 16:02

Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 15:23

@TheShellBeach Thanks for that info. Does that then mean, if I understand correctly, that my friend, who at a year pre retirement, got the mobility element of DLA, for a similar issue, will continue to get the benefit and won't go on to attendance allowance?

Yes. If PIP has been awarded prior to retirement age, the claimant continues to receive it.

DH has had PIP for many years and he is now retired. He still gets it.

Same for me. I got it five years ago and started to get my state pension a few months ago. I still get PIP.

In fact, DH and I are also now entitled to Pension Credit as a result of this.

When your friend retires, she should see if she's entitled to Pension Credit. It gives DH and me over a hundred pounds a week more.

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 16:06

mummymayhem18 · 05/01/2023 15:31

@Galactico thanks for replying to my post as I've only just noticed you had.
I do struggle with walking as I'm very stiff getting up whether it be from sat eating dinner,sofa,bed etc. My joints really hurt particularly back, knees and ,hips and ankles. I suspect I have it elsewhere but have only had the scan in hip and knee so far only about 5 months ago when diagnosed. I haven't really been back to the doctor about it since which I know I need to. I also have to go up the stairs one at a time as find them really painful. I can no longer bend down either to the floor. If I do I need something to hold to take some of the weight as I bend if that makes sense. I should say I'm 47 if that makes any difference. I'm very overweight so I know I need to try and lose weight to ease some pressure off my joints but I do really struggle. I just wondered because I don't work because of this and bowel and bladder conditions if it was worth me applying. I'm pretty much a recluse and get very anxious if I do go out to get shopping etc. I don't wear any pads at home re continence and I hardly leave the house. I'm currently living off savings and don't claim any benefits. All I get as income is child benefit and a small child maintenance a month. Thanks so much.

I know you put the question to the OP but I strongly encourage you to claim.

From what you've said, you're almost certainly entitled to PIP. If you go to this website you can get more information.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

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Kayjay2018 · 05/01/2023 16:18

@TheShellBeach my husband had a stroke last summer leaving him missing 50% sight in each eye. From reading I have done on stroke and visual impacts it seems a lot of people do not apply for assistance when they may be entitled to it. Do you see many people with partial sight loss making applications? Is this number increasing at all in your experience?

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Galactico · 05/01/2023 16:45

mummymayhem18 · 05/01/2023 15:31

@Galactico thanks for replying to my post as I've only just noticed you had.
I do struggle with walking as I'm very stiff getting up whether it be from sat eating dinner,sofa,bed etc. My joints really hurt particularly back, knees and ,hips and ankles. I suspect I have it elsewhere but have only had the scan in hip and knee so far only about 5 months ago when diagnosed. I haven't really been back to the doctor about it since which I know I need to. I also have to go up the stairs one at a time as find them really painful. I can no longer bend down either to the floor. If I do I need something to hold to take some of the weight as I bend if that makes sense. I should say I'm 47 if that makes any difference. I'm very overweight so I know I need to try and lose weight to ease some pressure off my joints but I do really struggle. I just wondered because I don't work because of this and bowel and bladder conditions if it was worth me applying. I'm pretty much a recluse and get very anxious if I do go out to get shopping etc. I don't wear any pads at home re continence and I hardly leave the house. I'm currently living off savings and don't claim any benefits. All I get as income is child benefit and a small child maintenance a month. Thanks so much.

Definitely claim.

From the info you’ve provided, I would immediately be looking at the following areas for you: preparing food, washing, toileting, dressing, engaging with others and moving around.

Difficulty using stairs is not considered in relation to PIP (which is absurd because they’re everywhere!). They just look at walking on flat ground.

You’re just the type of person that the system should be helping, contact them for a claim form and take the pressure off those savings of yours.

The contact number for a form is 0800 917 2222.

OP posts:
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Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 17:00

TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 16:02

Yes. If PIP has been awarded prior to retirement age, the claimant continues to receive it.

DH has had PIP for many years and he is now retired. He still gets it.

Same for me. I got it five years ago and started to get my state pension a few months ago. I still get PIP.

In fact, DH and I are also now entitled to Pension Credit as a result of this.

When your friend retires, she should see if she's entitled to Pension Credit. It gives DH and me over a hundred pounds a week more.

That’s helpful too, I’ll tell her.

However, it seems a bit discriminatory that two people of the same age have similar health issues, but one is penalised due to the age they were when their condition occurred?

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 17:39

Seymour5 · 05/01/2023 17:00

That’s helpful too, I’ll tell her.

However, it seems a bit discriminatory that two people of the same age have similar health issues, but one is penalised due to the age they were when their condition occurred?

I suppose the DWP has to have a cut-off point.
To be fair, elderly people are more likely to have health problems.

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 17:42

Kayjay2018 · 05/01/2023 16:18

@TheShellBeach my husband had a stroke last summer leaving him missing 50% sight in each eye. From reading I have done on stroke and visual impacts it seems a lot of people do not apply for assistance when they may be entitled to it. Do you see many people with partial sight loss making applications? Is this number increasing at all in your experience?

I am not the OP.
@Galactico - can you answer this?

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sneakyrussian · 05/01/2023 17:45

Hey Op

I'm a bit battle warn having been very depressed for the last 5 years (off work supported by partner) but the last 2 years my anxiety has gone through the roof resulting in a suicide attempt followed a month later by a severe crisis and the crisis team attended at home for about 2 weeks until my Dr could sort out my prescription etc. I've put a claim in for PIP for the second time, first time I couldn't face the interview. My problem is I don't have much paperwork apart from the crisis forms to show as at the time of applying it's all I had at home and I had help of course but il concerned it's not enough evidence. I also really struggle to leave my home to even go to the garden at the moment so the Dr (new surgery as we moved 3 years ago) said due to my anxiety he would wait until I was more stable. So he hasn't seen me either to provide any documentation. Sorry it's such a mess and a reflection I guess on my mental state. I'm sore the crisis report won't be enough as although it's a fairly good reflection they have got things wrong like saying I was on 20g rather than 200mg of medication etc. cheers

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Galactico · 05/01/2023 17:57

TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 17:42

I am not the OP.
@Galactico - can you answer this?

I’m not sure I’d say that the number of applicants with sight loss is increasing. It’s probably quite steady, in my experience.

Are you able to say a bit more on his sight? I gather it affects both eyes - does he always have the partial loss or does it come and go?
How does he describe his vision?
Any aids, or input from specialists?

OP posts:
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mummymayhem18 · 05/01/2023 18:05

@Galactico . Thanks very much for your help. Can I just double check which is it I should try to see if I'm eligible. I don't want to ask for the wrong thing. Is it just PIP or is there another one you think I should try?. Thanks again. 😊

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SomeCommonThing · 05/01/2023 18:39

Hi, hope it's okay to jump on.
I'm thinking of trying to apply for pip for a lifelong moderate hearing loss in one ear, I wear an aid in that ear.
I'm considering it as it was pointed out how much I avoid due to not being able to hear stuff and a recent feeling like it's getting worse, or has worsened recently.
I've had some very helpful responses on here on another thread that had advised it may be unlikely to be awarded it based on the points system.

What do assessors take into account when considering how many points to award?

There is a lot of communication that my DH does on my behalf, especially in loud or crowded spaces. I will drive anywhere to avoid trains as I can't hear the tannoy announcements. I only shower when he's home as I wouldn't hear the smoke alarm etc which is probably daft. I really struggle with phonecalls, and at work I have to leave the office to take a call in a room I can be alone in otherwise I struggle to hear. Are these the sort of things that would be taken into consideration?

Thank you so much

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jackstini · 05/01/2023 19:05

Is it ever worth Re-appealing after you have been through it once and given up?

Are you even allowed to?!

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TheShellBeach · 05/01/2023 19:10

jackstini · 05/01/2023 19:05

Is it ever worth Re-appealing after you have been through it once and given up?

Are you even allowed to?!

You cannot re-appeal but you can reapply.

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Kayjay2018 · 05/01/2023 19:13

@Galactico my DH has right side homonymous hemianopia following occipital lobe stroke. We have just had to sell his car and send his driving licence back as it's very unlikely he will regain the lost vision. He has lost that freedom and will have to rely on my driving or public transport to get around. Everything else has to be done slowly (a great source of his frustration as he was always on the go) or he risks falling or knocking into things or people as he just doesn't see them on his right. He can no longer do a food shop or other shopping unless with me as there is too much risk and the sight loss has impacted his ability to search and locate things. Just waiting ophthalmologist to to complete the form for him to be registered partially sighted which will access return to work and hopefully a bus pass

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clairelip · 05/01/2023 20:14

Can someone let me know what happens if you have a long wait to be assessed and in that time you have improved. I was sectioned last year after taking 170 paracetamol in an attempt on my life, I spent three months in a psychiatric unit after I came out of intensive care. My partner applied for pip for me in early October, I've had a text to say they have received it but nothing else. I am slowly getting back to my old self but am still feeling dreadful. Basically me being okay is just me pretending to be okay and I've done this all my life. I'm currently waiting for the results of an autism assessment but think it will come back as negative as it was over teams and I'm extremely good at masking. At the end of the assessment it was committed that dispute what I said I was making eye contact, I said that they couldn't tell that over teams as the lady was wearing glasses and all I could see was the reflection of her pc in her spectacles. She didn't make note of this. My concern is that by the time my claim gets to the top I will have no choice but to have got a job as I simply can't cope with no money and will have to go back to masking all the time to cope with working. I was promised lots of help when I was taken off section as I was put on a 117 aftercare package but that has proved to be a joke. As I was working full time before this I am now in debt as I couldn't stop paying for my contracted bills ( sky ect and my car) now I've had to sell my car as can't afford to insure something that I can't use( still waiting DVLA go ahead to drive) thankfully sky is coming to end of contract so I can cancel but will I get any back dated money or will I just have to pay off my overdraft that I've never dipped in before in the last 30 years of working

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Elmo230885 · 05/01/2023 21:18

Galactico · 04/01/2023 15:15

I saw the 9% statistic. That’s after mandatory reconsiderations are done. 65% of claims are awarded right away, and 23% of the 35% that are declined go to MR (with 5% overturned) before the 9% statistic occurs.

In relation to the difficulties, you’ll have seen the form you fill in. I think it’s 36 pages. There’s the first hurdle. How many people are intimidated by that form? Lots, I bet.

The waiting times are atrocious from submission of the application to interview (I regularly see forms filled in around late 2021).

I think it’s purposely designed to be difficult to claim because they don’t want to you bother. We have a Conservative government who have no interest in people whom they think are taking from the system but not contributing anything (via income tax and so on).

I might sound like a bit of a conspiracy theorist but I have long thought that their aim is to gently and quietly eradicate as many sick, injured and disabled people as possible. They’re callous and I wish someone would comment who works for Capita or another private provider. I’d be keen to know if they are paid an incentive to refuse claims.

You said you’re in Scotland - do you think the eventual change to ADP will be better for you?

I can confirm that Capita offer no incentives nor are there any targets related to reducing successful claims or turning people down.

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Pottyaboutplants · 05/01/2023 21:32

Galactico · 04/01/2023 08:56

Yeah. Each section of the report has choices that we select. Can do it independently, needs an aid, needs prompted etc. Each choice corresponds with a number of points which are then added to decide whether someone meets the minimum criteria.

They’ll ask us to change these. They may feel that even though we’ve recommended someone needs help, they don’t.

Unfortunately we have no contact with these people and there’s no way to plead our side of things. It does make you wonder at times why they don’t just do the assessments themselves.

In this case OP do you just make a recommendation and send it to someone else to make the decision?

Who then does the appeal go to? Is it a third person?

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