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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:
Name99 · 11/01/2023 18:54

TheShellBeach · 11/01/2023 18:48

I completely agree with you. I don't know why they do that to you. It sounds really frustrating.

It is v frustrating and very stressful, I end up needing extra anxiety medication from my GP leading upto the assessment.
Anxiety and stress actually flares up my symptoms and makes me really ill
It just doesn't make sense why there's one rule for some claimants and one for others

Tiani4 · 12/01/2023 19:00

I've really loved following this AMA thread and want to thank you @Galactico for being brave enough to post this thread.

And you've been so patient and informative.

I'm a disability social worker. I'm also disabled myself and considered at my worst a year ago and also 5 years ago both times when I was walking 5-10 m only with a 4 wheeled Zimmer frame (young and blinded up my zimmer!!) , applying for PIP myself when I was applying for direct payments care support from my own department to help me wash and dress so I could work . As it was, I had informal family help and managed to find equipment that made such a difference,

I probably now just about tip into element - before that I was scoring standard rate Care and standard rate mobility element in PIP but I was so hopeful I'd improve with physio (as I was referred to a wonderful physio) that I'd get better soon, pain meds would start working if only if only...

(not that the sock help equipment works! I still go without even in snow with slip on shoes and elasticated clothes/ skirts I can wiggle into in the bed and never go out for walks as even with hearing aids I can't hear the traffic or a car reversing out of drive into pavement!!)

Disability Social workers ( like GPs who are the worst for taking their own health advice!) are often also the worst for listening to advice that we give others to claim disability benefits that may help 🤣!

I just wanted to say that this thread has been so helpful and it's really lovely to hear about an NHS nurse who is dedicated to completing good PIP assessments. Like many services PIp assessors get bad press and I hand no doubt (& have experience at work) of some awful pip assessment experiences, in a way that attendance applications (disability benefit for older adults instead of PIP) do not,

Tiani4 · 12/01/2023 19:06

*blinged up (it is as modernised by my DD!) sorry that was an autocorrect
And I considered applying for PIp but didn't

The field I work on - my local authority clients will usually have easy evidence of meeting PIP criteria as we have put care packages in for care and mobility needs and send out reports evidencing disability needs . That really helps i. Pip application (physical Disability and older adults social workers send out our assessments under The Care Act 2014) and that can easily be used by the person or their client Rep to provide evidence for disability needs

I think it's much harder for those that don't have assessments under the care act 2014 to evidence that disability need and this thread has shown that.

Tiani4 · 12/01/2023 19:09
  • attendance allowance (AA)
Jam291 · 22/02/2023 18:28

@Galactico hi! 😁 I don’t suppose I can ask a cheeky question , albeit a bit late.

I’m currently doing my sons renewal and I’m trying to work out;
should I re-send all the evidence I sent last time i.e the copies of doctors letters, etc.
or will that all be on his record with the DWP?

Thanks, reading through this thread has been more helpful than you would ever think!

🌸

Galactico · 22/02/2023 18:37

Jam291 · 22/02/2023 18:28

@Galactico hi! 😁 I don’t suppose I can ask a cheeky question , albeit a bit late.

I’m currently doing my sons renewal and I’m trying to work out;
should I re-send all the evidence I sent last time i.e the copies of doctors letters, etc.
or will that all be on his record with the DWP?

Thanks, reading through this thread has been more helpful than you would ever think!

🌸

Hi!

They will have it on file but I would send it again with the renewal. Each item you send gets scanned into a big list of files with the date it was received, so sending it again will bump your evidence to the top. Definitely no harm in doing it.

Hope all goes well!😊

OP posts:
Jam291 · 22/02/2023 18:42

@Galactico thankyou for that super quick response. I always find the time when the renewal comes quite emotionally difficult as it just highlights all his difficulties, when I always try and think positive.
Thanks again xx

sneakyrussian · 25/02/2023 04:13

@Galactico Just wanted to let you know how painless my application and award was and it's given me a boost to get help. I hear horror stories but I was awarded very quickly with minimum but professional evidence and a paper based assessment. Also thank you so much for your words and the efforts you've made to speak to people whilst dodging the bullets. Take care x

Isthisabitweird · 05/03/2023 10:03

Hi I’m hoping you are still lurking!

My daughter who receives PIP for her ADD, ASD and social communication difficulties wants to go to university.

She wants to stay in halls part of the week and come home part of the week.

Do I Need to let the DWP know? I work but spend most time it feels prompting her to do things. So in the case of her need reminding for things that will still be happening.

her brother also attends the uni and will be keeping an eye on her. Thanks x

kittenkipping · 15/03/2023 23:05

Odd to update when I'm not the op- but I'd like to reassure anyone going through the process, my tribunal was held last week and after 5 minutes of chatting and under three minutes deliberation they ruled in my favour. Nigh on two years of stress and worry, (and I can't say my health hasn't taken a hit as a result of that) for another two years of dla for my daughter (on her sixteenth birthday that'll stop and a new fight begins I assume)
There is hope and on the day for me they were SO understanding and reasonable.

XenoBitch · 16/03/2023 23:51

What are your thoughts on what was announced in the Budget - the abolition of the WCA?

Babyroobs · 16/03/2023 23:55

kittenkipping · 15/03/2023 23:05

Odd to update when I'm not the op- but I'd like to reassure anyone going through the process, my tribunal was held last week and after 5 minutes of chatting and under three minutes deliberation they ruled in my favour. Nigh on two years of stress and worry, (and I can't say my health hasn't taken a hit as a result of that) for another two years of dla for my daughter (on her sixteenth birthday that'll stop and a new fight begins I assume)
There is hope and on the day for me they were SO understanding and reasonable.

I accompanied someone to a tribunal last week and it was a full hour and a half of questioning with no change from what the DWP had offered !

KittyKatMcNairn · 20/04/2023 16:10

Hello! I’m wondering what chance I have for ADP. I suffer from severe physical anxiety and have been for 10+ years.

I heavily rely on husband to work out all my finances and bills which my parents did before I met my husband. He also cooks every meal and has to remind me to eat and drink otherwise I can only use a microwave or I go to bed so I don’t have to think about eating.
He needs to monitor my medications as I can’t keep on top and forget to take it. 

It is almost like I’m incapable of doing it otherwise I have an anxiety attack or makes me exhausted and tired.

socialising with other people or go to family social gatherings makes me very anxious and ends up in my husband having to talk me through things several times. I am now on beta blockers for the first time to help.

At work I need colleagues to do phone work as I am just too anxious.

I can’t take routes I’m unfamiliar with, I don’t do it unless someone I trust is there for me to go on a familiar journey.

My condition has affected me for many years and continues to do so after trying different medications this has only been antidepressants from my GP. I have spoken with my GP recently and have been given a different medication (beta blocker) as well as being referred for talking therapy but this seems to be online for now. I have had counselling face to face through my workplace but as it’s through work they cannot submit any evidence.

I leave the house only with my husband or out with my 3 month old baby. I cannot drive as the thought of driving makes my anxiety sky high and I cannot follow a map or read timetables. I can follow routes if the destination in my phone is read out by the technology voice.

I have diarrhoea or my skin goes blotchy and red almost like hives.

AustisticandAnxious · 01/05/2023 21:17

Galactico · 03/01/2023 21:00

We look at the whole picture for conditions where there’s a spectrum of how they may affect you.

Is the person working? Do they have children whom they look after? Are they a carer? Do they play football three times a week?

We try to build a picture of the person and their life. Ultimately, if someone is holding down a full-time job, looking after a toddler, has hobbies etc, it’s likely they’re functioning adequately.

If they’re unable to work (or have an adapted role), can’t drive anymore, have their Mum taking the kids to school, zero hobbies, prescribed painkillers etc, they’re clearly restricted.

This is why we ask SO many questions.

Does this mean that if someone was awarded PIP and had a baby in between getting that award and having a review they would be seen as fine even if their condition hasn’t changed??

Annonymousse22 · 01/05/2023 21:21

Why is the process so difficult? I got a 2 year award for autism and anxiety and all the related symptoms, issues and support I need. I’ve recently had to fill out the review form which I found so stressful and was considerably worse than I already am for a few weeks as I filled it out and afterwards. I still feel anxious about it now as it will probably be months before I hear anything back and I just want to know 😰 It’s hard enough living like this 😢

Inbredyokel · 12/07/2023 09:41

I'm a Paramedic, I attended an "assessment" led by a nurse.
As such I foolishly believed that a fellow HCP would be reasonable and honest.
Long story short, the nurse fabricated the report, it took 18 months of fighting to remove her lies and reinstate my wife's benefits.
A quick look into this reveals a common trend suggestive that HCP's should bias their "assessments" in favour of the removal of benefits of clearly very ill people.
HCP's who have previously worked for ATOS etc certainly state this.
Frankly, any HCP guilty of this should be struck off.

Inbredyokel · 12/07/2023 09:45

I don't understand why as an evidence-led clinician, with the weight of horrific evidence in the public forum, why anyone would ever consider working as an assessor for ATOS (now IAS) or any other horror company.
Completely goes against the mantra of "Do No Harm".

springerspanielpuppy · 12/07/2023 10:37

Galactico · 03/01/2023 21:00

We look at the whole picture for conditions where there’s a spectrum of how they may affect you.

Is the person working? Do they have children whom they look after? Are they a carer? Do they play football three times a week?

We try to build a picture of the person and their life. Ultimately, if someone is holding down a full-time job, looking after a toddler, has hobbies etc, it’s likely they’re functioning adequately.

If they’re unable to work (or have an adapted role), can’t drive anymore, have their Mum taking the kids to school, zero hobbies, prescribed painkillers etc, they’re clearly restricted.

This is why we ask SO many questions.

@Galactico If this is your mindset, and you believe that you’re one of the good ones, it just shows how little assessors care or know the law.

That person holding down a job, looking after a toddler and engaging in a hobby may only be able to do that because they have a high level of care.

How many mothers are going to admit they struggle to look after their children when they fear that admission would lead to social services involvement?

springerspanielpuppy · 12/07/2023 10:41

Inbredyokel · 12/07/2023 09:45

I don't understand why as an evidence-led clinician, with the weight of horrific evidence in the public forum, why anyone would ever consider working as an assessor for ATOS (now IAS) or any other horror company.
Completely goes against the mantra of "Do No Harm".

The money.

I know nurses who keep applying for this as they can earn more working from home 9 till 5.

No shift work and no exhaustion working on the wards.

Inbredyokel · 13/07/2023 12:44

The money?
If as a nurse your motivation is solely money, go work in the UAE or Oz for a bit .
If as an HCP of any kind, and you’re pretty ok working in an organisation which intentionally harms the vulnerable (highly evidenced and cannot be denied) I honestly believe that you should struck off.
I am wholly contemptuous of anyone who would work for the DWP, given the highly documented public record showing a consistent malicious and cruel mantra not remotely connected to healthcare.

Inbredyokel · 13/07/2023 12:59

The money?
If as a nurse your motivation is solely money, go work in the UAE or Oz for a bit .
If as an HCP of any kind, and you’re pretty ok working in an organisation which intentionally harms the vulnerable (highly evidenced and cannot be denied) I honestly believe that you should struck off.
I am wholly contemptuous of anyone who would work for the DWP, given the highly documented public record showing a consistent malicious and cruel mantra not remotely connected to healthcare.

springerspanielpuppy · 13/07/2023 13:20

I think the nurses I am talking about are all for an easier life not the upheaval of immigration. Not everyone has that option many have families and want the work life balance.

I also suspect that not all realise the truth of it until they are in the system, they may think they can be the one to make a change. I know one nurse I spoke to said the only downside was that they didn’t have a day off during the week so they couldn’t play on their PS5 all day while their DP was at work.

x2boys · 13/07/2023 22:34

My oldest son who.is 16

Has recently been diagnosed with type 3c diabetes he's treated as type 1 and he's insulin dependent and has a dexcom,funded by the NHS, but its a rare form.caused by pancreas damage he basically collapsed in February with DKA and was in intensive care for three weeks and then a further week on a general ward his pancreas was inflamed and necrotic
I have a younger son who gets full rate DLA both care and mobility because the has severe mental impairment so i
Realise PIP.is different I'm thinking he probably won't qualify ?
Because pip.is n about what you can't do is it worth putting in a form or am I wasting my time ?

Seymour5 · 14/07/2023 07:30

I helped a friend complete the application for Attendance Allowance (new claimants over state pension age din’t get PIP or DLA). She couldn’t get help from CAB or Age UK, who have long waiting lists. However Age UK sent a guide to filling in the form which was helpful. The form is quite daunting when completing it for the first time.

In her late 70s, she worked until her mid sixties and was always active until a couple of years ago. She has become far less mobile, and struggles to climb into the bath, and on stairs. Whoever assessed her claim, thank you for the positive outcome. She expected to be called for interview, but she wasn’t, and the award was made in little over a month.

Babyroobs · 14/07/2023 19:09

Seymour5 · 14/07/2023 07:30

I helped a friend complete the application for Attendance Allowance (new claimants over state pension age din’t get PIP or DLA). She couldn’t get help from CAB or Age UK, who have long waiting lists. However Age UK sent a guide to filling in the form which was helpful. The form is quite daunting when completing it for the first time.

In her late 70s, she worked until her mid sixties and was always active until a couple of years ago. She has become far less mobile, and struggles to climb into the bath, and on stairs. Whoever assessed her claim, thank you for the positive outcome. She expected to be called for interview, but she wasn’t, and the award was made in little over a month.

I've helped over 300 older people to claim AA in the last year and never known one of them have an assessment ! In my opinion it's a very easy benefit to get with a few medical letters sent in with the form. I've probably had a bout 6 of those 300 turned down. Our team joke that we have so many people applying that surely our county must have reached saturation point by now and surely there can't be many more pensioners not on it ! Having said that my own 86 year old dad got turned down !

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