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To think I'll fail PIP assessment

59 replies

recoveryishard · 24/10/2018 14:48

So I have my PIP assessment coming up on the 9th November and I'm really worried about going after hearing that they lie (this was from my own gp), ignore what you say and don't take mental health seriously.

I am claiming for bipolar 2, depression and anxiety. I have been told by my doctor and mental health nurse that I shouldn't be going back to work as the stress of that, being a single mum and managing my condition is too much. Stress is a major trigger for manic episodes, then I say inappropriate things/behave in a manic way and this usually end with me being fired 🙄

If I don't get fired I end up off sick for up to a month while I recover from the depression side then the cycle just repeats itself.

When I'm in the depression I don't eat, go out, get up and generally rely on family and friends to look after me, get kids to school, remind me to take meds etc.

I also had a breakdown in the summer where I self harmed and was suicidal.

The problem is at the moment, Altho I'm not completely stable,from the outside i appear ok. I can go out now, am not crying all day, wash, look after kids etc. Last week however I was drinking every day, staying in all day and an anxious mess. If I appear 'normal' at my assessment they will probably give me no points, I'll have to go back to work, have an episode and end up going through all the hurt and depression again. I can't do that to my family again, especially my kids. My daughter has already told someone at school I cry all the time at home 😢

Has anyone got any advice on how to handle this? Both my parents are coming with me to help and apart from taking loads of Diazepam I don't know what to do?!

OP posts:
dangermouseisace · 24/10/2018 15:01

It’s horrible but I’d recommend not taking the diazepam and going there in your stressed out state.

I was worried about my ESA assessment but I was naturally in such a pickle about it it went ‘ok’ as in I got the benefit, but psychologically it wasn’t good.

goose1964 · 24/10/2018 15:05

I'd agree with dangermouse you need to show you're bad so don't worry about showing signs of your illness.

If the worst comes to the worst remember that a vast number of appeals succeed.

Thingsdogetbetter · 24/10/2018 15:12

Definitely go at your worst so no drugs! Check beforehand if ypur parents are allowed in the interview room, but i doubt it. If you present as capable/calm they will say you are capable of working, regardless of you being off your tits on drugs. Take the diazepam to take when you leave. Do not minimise anything or be ambiguous. Be prepared for them to be unempathic and ask insensitive questions.

Record everything. They don't allow digital recordings (ie phones) Only allow tape recording. And you have to do two. Dictaphones are allowed. I presume this is a sneaky way of making sure as few people record as possible. You can get dictaphones and tapes on Amazon.

Good luck.

MrsRubyMonday · 24/10/2018 15:12

Answer every question as if you're thinking about your worst day. Don't be afraid to refuse to do something they ask, just explain why you can't do it. For example, they asked me to fetch a document as evidence, my wife fetched it and I explained I couldn't walk that far. Remember what you wrote in your application, in future take a copy if you didn't this time so you can refresh your memory. Be aware of questions that may have double meanings, for example asking if you have a pet may sound like small talk, but could be used to show you can walk a dog if you live alone.. etc. And remember:

It is not sufficient to be able to complete these activities once, or occasionally; PIP assesses your ability to undertake tasks “reliably”.
Reliability has four components each of which must be satisfied in order for an activity to be undertaken ‘reliably’. The four components are:


To an acceptable standard


In a reasonable time

So don't be afraid to refer back to this, if they ask if you can do something don't say yes, but not reliably. Just say not reliably. They stop listening sometimes after you say yes.

Try not to worry too much. I was so stressed but my woman was lovely and I got accepted.

SinkGirl · 24/10/2018 15:15

You need to try not to mask or compensate in the way disabled people usually do to get through life. It absolutely sucks that this isn’t taken into account. Hope things go well for you.

Fairylea · 24/10/2018 15:22

Good luck.

It’s worth keeping in mind that lots of people do claim pip successfully without any difficulties, it’s just we tend to hear about the ones that have problems.

My mum claimed pip and heard back within 6 weeks that she had been given the highest rate- without any medical assessment at all. She has copd, Crohn’s disease and severe arthritis. My son receives the highest rate of dla for autism and learning disabilities and we had no difficulties claiming for him either (I know it’s not quite the same as pip). But what I’m saying is don’t assume the worst- it may just be absolutely fine.

MaryBoBary · 24/10/2018 15:25

I agree with everything here. I had to stop work due to mental health problems, my employer agreed and gave me a payment to go. But because I arrived at my PIP assessment alone they decided I was well enough to work. It’s terrible but you really must make them understand how hard day to day life is for you. I didn’t push it enough (due to anxiety) and so I missed out. I could have appealed but I wasn’t in the right mental state for a fight (funnily enough) so I ended up with nothing.

longwayoff · 24/10/2018 15:29

If they permit it take someone with you and ask them to take notes. Do recording also.

Tinty · 24/10/2018 15:58

OP Can you get your parents to be there with you and ask them to take a picture of what the PIP assessor writes on their form? Not sneakily, get your parents to take a copy to keep records. Then if they have written anything incorrect on the form you can challenge them.

I say this because a PP on a different thread said that an assessor wrote the wrong date on the form so they didn't get their money and also wrote that the PP could walk. They had been unable to walk and in a wheelchair for many years! The assessment department even admitted they had deliberately written the wrong date! But it still took a while to get the forms filled in correctly and for them to get their money.

Get evidence of what they are writing down.

recoveryishard · 24/10/2018 17:29

I just know on the day I'll be ok! I do have good days but in general it's a pretty ugly sight! I was told I can take someone with me by the Dr and the assessment Center?! I was going to ask for it to be recorded so they can't say I didn't say something and vice verse, also They might actually do the assessment properly. Why isn't a letter from my GP, who has been treating me for years, one from my psychiatrist and one from my mental health nurse enough? It just seems insane that someone who doesn't know me will decide if I'm fit for work in an hour meeting?!

OP posts:
Thingsdogetbetter · 24/10/2018 19:04

My friend was told they won't record, but she could as long as it wasn't digital and there were two recordings made. She also had to give prior notice to have someone with her.

Yes it's insane that a non-medical untrained person with a tick list can made a judgement on someone!! It's insane that the money spent trying to refuse payments is far larger than the money actually saved. Insane that the vast majority of refusals are overturned on appeal. It's insane, insulting and hopefully unsustainable in the long term. Rally your friends and family to vote in the next election.

Also don't talk about your good days! They will latch onto anytime you say you could do something... even if it's once a year!! Their job is to find ways and means to refuse, not to support you.

Capretta · 24/10/2018 19:11

I have Borderline. I didn't take my meds and made myself look like complete crap. I also took issue with them asking about my education and said "why cos if I did my GCSEs then I can't be mental enough, is that it!?" And she dropped the question... My report said "no rapport built, under-nourished (I am a size 12!!), Doesn't look well" etc.

You have to answer as if it is your worst day.

She kept asking "how many days out of a week do you feel like X?" And I said "it's not a matter of how many days in a week, it's how many hours in a day, and I can't tell you as it varies"

I took a family member with me. If you go there without support it will go against you.

MrsReacher1 · 24/10/2018 19:17

PIP is for the extra costs of managing a disability not instead of work - that is ESA. Maybe you work or maybe you get that - I wasn't sure from your post.

recoveryishard · 24/10/2018 19:22

ESA isn't a benefit here as I'm on universal credit and if I claim new style it is just taken off what I get so what's the point?! Sever mental health issues are disabling, I am going to make sure it is recorded and take family and letters with me. It is also difficult as there are two parts to my illness (well three of you count when is stable), mania and depression with a sprinkle of mild- sever anxiety! It's just maddening that I have to go through this, it makes things worse for me. Even my Dr said I'd fail and have to appeal!

OP posts:
recoveryishard · 24/10/2018 19:25

Shouldn't have said if I'm fit for work, that's other assessment for UC- so any assessments!!

OP posts:
sossages · 24/10/2018 19:28

If you can't record, get one of your parents to take notes. I'm told that having someone sit there with a notebook and pen is a helpful reminder to the assessor that they can't just make stuff up.

Puzzledandpissedoff · 24/10/2018 19:49

Why isn't a letter from my GP, who has been treating me for years, one from my psychiatrist and one from my mental health nurse enough?

IME of supporting someone else to claim it often is ... and if it doesn't work first time it will almost certainly be enough for a successful appeal

Despite all the horror stories my own experience has been positive, but then I've always advocated for the process to be recorded. If there was any intention to lie, it may be that the assessors realised there was no point

Lightlover2018 · 24/10/2018 20:10

My son was getting DLA but because he turned 16 recently we had to reapply for PIP. He had his assessment yesterday. We were dreading it but the woman who interviewed us was lovely, very kind and understanding. Of course we haven't seen the report and won't know outcome for a few weeks. There was a poster up that said all interviewers had a medical background - either nurses, paramedics or physios. Hopefully it won't be as bad as you think.

Amyerda · 24/10/2018 21:01

Can you access the complete guide to pip by benefits and work website? Costs 20 pounds for a years membership. Gives a great deal of in depth info on the interview and the questions they will ask and how to answer. I use it for work and my clients have found thus extremely helpful. Good luck. And you will be allowed a supporter in the room with you

blackistheneworange · 24/10/2018 21:05

You can ask for a copy of the Assessment report from the pip helplines so don't worry about taking a copy of anything the assessor writes. That wouldn't go down well.

Get your Dr to write a letter outlining what you've said in relation to your condition and send that directly to PIP - even if you give the assessor a copy, make sure you put your National Insurance number on anything you send in.

MH is taken into account.

Babyroobs · 24/10/2018 21:15

Pip is not really about whether you can work or not - many people claim PIP and work. I think the key is to submit a lot of medical evidence/ reports etc. I have accompanied people to a number of assessments for PIP and the outcomes have all been very fair.

Lightlover2018 · 25/10/2018 07:47

The questions were about daily life - eating, cooking, washing, dressing, walking around, socialising, managing money etc.


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recoveryishard · 01/11/2018 16:56

I've just had a letter from universal credit about my capability for work assessment and I no longer have to go! Apparently they have all the evidence they need that shows I am not fit for work- such a relief- will this then help with my PIP assessment?

OP posts:
Armchairanarchist · 01/11/2018 17:00

@recoveryishard it makes no difference whatsoever. Many on PIP work, the two are not related.

Puggles123 · 01/11/2018 17:15

If you are under the care of a mental health professional, they can write and confirm that you are unable to attend the face to face (if this is related to your diagnosis). I agree that you should show how you are and potentially not take your medication, but please don’t put yourself through any more than distress etc than you need to. 2 people I know extremely well had their MH taken into consideration fairly for PIP.

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