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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:
TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 22:59

I can’t overstate how disorientating it is to be gaslit by someone who is supposed to be a professional. She awarded me no points.

Mine also gave me no points but the tribunal disagreed. The DWP also didn't bother sending a representative to mine.

springerspanielpuppy · 03/01/2023 23:01

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.

Oh dear @Babyroobs you sound like a PIP assessor there

@Tessisme I completely agree with you about the MH assessors and training

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:02

saraclara · 03/01/2023 22:59

Too many people on here are displacing their anger at other assessors on to you, OP.

I'd just like to say that my only experience of accompanying someone (with a mental health issue) to his assessment, was very good. The assessor (not you, unless you're a man) treated him with calm, sensitive consideration, and without patronising him either. I was enormously grateful to him. At the end, as I led the applicant (who exhibited clear but silent distress at times) out of the door, I turned and mouthed a silent but heartfelt 'thank you' to the assessor, who I genuinely felt had done all he could to make the necessary, bearable.

So yes, I believe that you're genuine, because I know that there's at least one other person doing their best out there.

The application was successful by the way.

The last few assessments I have supported people with the assessors were kind and compassionate listening carefully to everything that was said and giving the clients time to speak. One was still awarded zero points but that was because she didn't meet the criteria. The last one I sat in on a few weeks ago was mainly for mental health and he did have reports etc from mental health unit so I'm hoping for a positive outcome for that.

Thekormachameleon · 03/01/2023 23:02

I applied with 5 years of medical notes, mri reports showing severe damage to the bones in my spine, x rays and scans showing severe deformation of my joints from an aggresive arthritis, a prescription list as long as my arm including morphine, tramadol etc

My report stated I could walk without pain and unaided, and basically was awarded nothing

Why do assessors feel they can make a decision or assumption and that this trumps actual medical evidence??

FYI, I went to tribunal and was awarded enhanced mobility in about 3 minutes

FedUpSoDone · 03/01/2023 23:03

I get standard mobility pip, but I can only walk a very, very short distance and housebound without a car. I find the qualifying criteria for the mobility element very confusing as it's not actually about my mobility. My mobility is poor, I use a stick and bordering on now needing a wheelchair so why do I not get higher rate? A motability car would transform my life. I have No social life as leaving the house without a car hinders that totally.

Streamside · 03/01/2023 23:04

My brother has type 1 diabetes and is very unstable but has never applied for pip as he's convinced he wouldn't get it. His every day life is affected in so many ways that I really think he should, is it common to apply due to diabetes.

Iwantcollarbones · 03/01/2023 23:04

How you describe your job is nothing like me and many people people have experienced when dealing with PIP applications. My son was denied PIP when moved from DLA. His autism and how it affects him has not changed. My housebound DM has just won her appeal after 14 months. Her initial report was appalling; “you told us you can not walk for 200 yards. We have decided you can” because obviously the wheelchair she uses is just for shits and giggles. The first thing DWP said at the tribunal was that they accept that the aids she uses and the help she gets to perform basic activities of daily living means that she should be entitled to PIP. Nothing had changed from the first application. I assume that you and the rest of the soulless ‘assessors’ hold, at best, an unconscious bias against claimants.

What happens to the assessors once they’ve refused a claim that is won on appeal? Do they get told? Reduction in bonus? Retaining?

I don’t know how you sleep at night. You should be ashamed to admit that’s what you do for a living.

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:09

FedUpSoDone · 03/01/2023 23:03

I get standard mobility pip, but I can only walk a very, very short distance and housebound without a car. I find the qualifying criteria for the mobility element very confusing as it's not actually about my mobility. My mobility is poor, I use a stick and bordering on now needing a wheelchair so why do I not get higher rate? A motability car would transform my life. I have No social life as leaving the house without a car hinders that totally.

Did you have the decision on your award recently - because if so you can ask them to look at it again if you think you should have enhanced mobility. If your condition has deteriorated you can ask them to look at it again but they will look at the whole award again. As others have said if you can get really good medical evidence that you cannot safely, reliably walk 20m then you would stand a good chance of being awarded enhanced mobility which you could then use for a car.

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:10

Iwantcollarbones · 03/01/2023 23:04

How you describe your job is nothing like me and many people people have experienced when dealing with PIP applications. My son was denied PIP when moved from DLA. His autism and how it affects him has not changed. My housebound DM has just won her appeal after 14 months. Her initial report was appalling; “you told us you can not walk for 200 yards. We have decided you can” because obviously the wheelchair she uses is just for shits and giggles. The first thing DWP said at the tribunal was that they accept that the aids she uses and the help she gets to perform basic activities of daily living means that she should be entitled to PIP. Nothing had changed from the first application. I assume that you and the rest of the soulless ‘assessors’ hold, at best, an unconscious bias against claimants.

What happens to the assessors once they’ve refused a claim that is won on appeal? Do they get told? Reduction in bonus? Retaining?

I don’t know how you sleep at night. You should be ashamed to admit that’s what you do for a living.

I actually thought that assessors don't actually make the decision- they write the report then it goes to a decision maker. Someone please feel free to correct me if this is wrong ?

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:10

I assume that you and the rest of the soulless ‘assessors’ hold, at best, an unconscious bias against claimants

I do not think it's unconscious bias. I think it's absolutely deliberate.

I was also told that I could walk 200 yards. How TF did the assessor work that out? She didn't watch me try.
Honestly, I recommend anyone wondering about PIP and thinking about claiming to go to this website first for advice and support:

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

disabilityama · 03/01/2023 23:11

It sounds like OP is maybe a HCP at appeal or tribunal, if they work for the NHS, rather than one of the initial Capita etc assessors. I think that could have been made clearer in the OP if that's the case, as we all thought they meant the assessor that does the phone/ in person assessment.
I'd still like my question on page 2 re: what happens for undiagnosed conditions answered, though

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:12

disabilityama · 03/01/2023 23:11

It sounds like OP is maybe a HCP at appeal or tribunal, if they work for the NHS, rather than one of the initial Capita etc assessors. I think that could have been made clearer in the OP if that's the case, as we all thought they meant the assessor that does the phone/ in person assessment.
I'd still like my question on page 2 re: what happens for undiagnosed conditions answered, though

Agree it doesn't make sense. Maybe she can clarify ?

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:12

OP I am also unclear about your precise role.

How does the NHS fit into PIP assessments? Do you just go to tribunals?
Or do you do the initial assessments which are all gaslighting and lies?

Biglumpycustard · 03/01/2023 23:13

Could I claim, I suffer from dystonia, which is a neurological movement disorder in my left foot. I have to wear a afo so I don’t fall when walking.

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:18

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:10

I actually thought that assessors don't actually make the decision- they write the report then it goes to a decision maker. Someone please feel free to correct me if this is wrong ?

That is the case.
Decision makers look at the lies the assessors write and then decide accordingly.

Eventually, a few people get as far as a tribunal.

I've just checked. It's 9%.

9% of claimants take the DWP to a tribunal appeal. That means that 91% of claimants who get a 0 points award do not appeal.

Just over nine out of ten people do not bother to appeal - but 80% of the appeals which are made are overturned in the claimant's favour.

I strongly urge people on this thread not to give up. The DWP wants you to give up.

springerspanielpuppy · 03/01/2023 23:19

The OP said the case manager makes the decision. I don’t understand her role either if she is NHS but it’s not as a member of the appeal panel, not by what has been written so far.

thepatronsaintofbubblewrap · 03/01/2023 23:20

@kittenkipping dear God that sounds horrendous. I really hope they listen to you. What is this country?????????

Unforgettablefire · 03/01/2023 23:20

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 22:26

Looks like OP has scarpered.
These threads always end like this.
Every so often a DWP assessor starts an AMA.
It's outrageous.

Yes I remember the last one went the same way. People just get riled and rightly so.

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:20

Biglumpycustard · 03/01/2023 23:13

Could I claim, I suffer from dystonia, which is a neurological movement disorder in my left foot. I have to wear a afo so I don’t fall when walking.

Anyone can claim - you do not claim for specific conditions but answer questions on how your disability affects your ability to do various things (cooking, walking, dressing, washing, going to the lavatory etc. etc.)

Go to this website and get advice: http//www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

TheHopefulMum · 03/01/2023 23:21

Having recently helped my DM with countless forms for PIP including several appeals, all to no avail I have to ask how does anyone actually successfully recieve PIP and the fact that you state approximately 80% of appeals are successful shocks me.

My DM has had 2 strokes and struggles with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing etc, however she is not entitled to PIP, who decides on the categories and scores for each and how do these work in an appeals process when someone has medical information to say they cannot do x y and z but the assessor has scored you low stating that you can, albeit with help?

I know of several people claiming PIP and various other benefits for conditions not nearly as limiting as DM.

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:21

Sorry - that should be www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:21

TheShellBeach · 03/01/2023 23:18

That is the case.
Decision makers look at the lies the assessors write and then decide accordingly.

Eventually, a few people get as far as a tribunal.

I've just checked. It's 9%.

9% of claimants take the DWP to a tribunal appeal. That means that 91% of claimants who get a 0 points award do not appeal.

Just over nine out of ten people do not bother to appeal - but 80% of the appeals which are made are overturned in the claimant's favour.

I strongly urge people on this thread not to give up. The DWP wants you to give up.

Gosh I honestly thought it would be a lot higher than that. Most of the clients I help who get turned down will take it to appeal but I guess that's because we encourage them to and support them with an MR etc but I'm shocked at how many give up. I guess some people do just decide to re-apply again perhaps with better medical evidence. I have some clients on my books who by the time they come to us for help with the form have already been turned down a couple of times.

Unforgettablefire · 03/01/2023 23:21

Op the nhs don't do assessments for the dwp.

Babyroobs · 03/01/2023 23:23

TheHopefulMum · 03/01/2023 23:21

Having recently helped my DM with countless forms for PIP including several appeals, all to no avail I have to ask how does anyone actually successfully recieve PIP and the fact that you state approximately 80% of appeals are successful shocks me.

My DM has had 2 strokes and struggles with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing etc, however she is not entitled to PIP, who decides on the categories and scores for each and how do these work in an appeals process when someone has medical information to say they cannot do x y and z but the assessor has scored you low stating that you can, albeit with help?

I know of several people claiming PIP and various other benefits for conditions not nearly as limiting as DM.

Did your dm get help with the MR or appeal from an organization like CAB from someone who knows the process ?

winterpastasalad · 03/01/2023 23:23

To come from a different angle - I am my ds' appointee and the assessor (over the telephone) was really helpful and prompted me continuously to expand on answers. Eg, I'd say "once a week he goes to a pet shop (to look at the animals)" and he said things like "yes he must need time to recover, what help would he need? Lots of prompting to get out of car, maybe reassurance once home etc?". He brought up many things that I wouldn't have even thought of. DS has ongoing award of enhanced care.

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