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  1. #1
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    Default PIP assesment help

    Hi,

    My husband has been on DLA medium care and high mobility since suffering a stroke. He now has to move on to PIP and has been sent a letter saying he needs to attend a Face to Face ( He did not have to attend one with DLA)

    The first issue is that the centre for his appointment is 30 miles away. Atos has a PIP consultation centre 1.5 miles from us.

    The second issue is that with my husbands conditions we never know how he is going to be on that day until he gets up.

    He sufferes from lack of mobility on his right side with a lot of spaticity on his arm. He needs a walking stick to help him walk and he has drop-foot after the stroke.

    He also suffers from COPD , IBS and HSP (the later one is a condition that affects his joints mainly his ankles and knees making them swell up and sometimes causing bruise like stain on his legs.

    He battles very day with chronic fatigue and he also suffers from depression.
    Many mornings he starts the day with hot flashes and stomach crumps. If fatigue is bad he can barely keep his eyes open.

    All this was on explained on the forms and we were surprised when he received a face to face considering a stroke is one of the conditions listed as one of the conditions that dont necessarily require a face to face.

    I am asking for help on how to deal with this.
    I have also already read so much in here about people loosing their benefit or their motability after having attended this assessment my husband is feeling very anxious about this I we have a car I drive and it is independency for us all as a family. we have 2 young kids.

    Can someone give us some advice ?

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Hi and welcome,
    They will try and fit you in nearer to home if you ask them and it is possible, just ring them.
    Not knowing how your husband will be on the day, is that for the travelling or the assessment you think will be a problem?
    The assessment will mainly be looking at all you have put on the form ties in with how your hubby is. Please remember it is not the condition that is being assessed but how the condition affects his daily life. This should be related as to how he is at his worst and also any aids he uses like the walking stick, or anyhting else he uses no matter how irrelevant you think it is.
    Here is a link to information given by the CAB https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/be...ill-in-form/on how to fill in the form, as you have already done this maybe a good idea to read through see what you put on your form and how you may wish to add on your interview.
    Hope this helps and good luck and truly things are getting better with this and it will not be as bad as you fear.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you enaid for your post. Our concerns are both. Bringing the assessment closer and if he is going to be fit enough for both to travel and to deal with the assessment. I will be with him though so I guess I can help him with answering if he struggles?
    I have heard about doing them at home? is this possible?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Yes you can request a home assessment, I would ring them asap and ask, they may want a note from your Drs or specialist but not always.
    Just explain that travelling may not be possible on the day due to how you hubby is and see what they say.


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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you again. we will try that. Do you know at all what the assessment entitles? he has not had one before and he is anxious about talking to people as he has problems coming up with the words he needs and explaining himself. will there be a physical examination? will he be require to do things there. The more he knows about what is expected of him the more will help with his anxiety.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    You are going to be with him and you may speak on his behalf if he finds it difficult.
    This is a bit of info as to what goes on, only a guide as every case is different, the assessor may do a few tests like raising you arms or bending, nothing major or intrusive.

    What happens at the assessment?
    Although the DWP claim that PIP medicals are not at all like the work capability assessments for employment and support allowance (ESA), they do seem to be remarkably similar, including the fact that they are computer led.

    The medical consists of several parts.
    First, the health professional should read any documents relating to your case.
    Next, they ask you a series of questions about your condition and about your everyday life. As with ESA, they use drop down lists, multiple choice answers and text boxes to record information on a computer as they go.
    Then they may carry out a brief physical examination, checking things like your eyesight, your blood pressure and the range of movement in your limbs, if any of these are relevant to your condition.
    Whilst all this is going on they will be making informal observations about the way you look and behave.
    Finally, after you have gone, they will list which descriptors (points) they consider apply to you and justify their conclusions.


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you once more. We have managed to bring assessment closer to home. will be on the 11th so lets hope it all goes well on the day. will post back.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you and good luck, hopefully all your fears will be squashed and a fair and satisfactory result also.
    Merry Christmas xx


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Merry Xmas and a great new year to you too!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Hi. My husband attended his assessment today. First of all the lady looked at the clock making us uncomfortable as she was rushing. We felt the whole time that we were not allowed to give a real picture about the situation and we noticed she was not writing everything which is making my husband feel very anxious. There were lots of questions and my husband felt overwhelmed by them all and towards the end he also felt frustrated which he apologised for. The last question was about how far he could walk and asked to tell her in minutes which through us off. We said they maybe a minute but that two days were not the same as sometime he could walk only 10 meters and sometime 10 steps and that his walking deteriorated during the day.
    But she was obsessed with the 1 minute figure and again we don't know if she wrote everything we said. Now my husband is very anxious he will score low and his allowance will go down and also loose the car on motability which basically without it he is at home every day. Based on his answers, is he worrying about nothing? We have been told to wait for 4-6 weeks or maybe a bit more. Thank you in advance.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Hi, glad it wasn't as bad as you first feared although it still doesn't look like it was a good experience, but then again these things never are.
    The assessor is supposed to try and confirm what you put on your claim form is actually correct and how you answer the questions helps in that respect.
    I have just had a look about and it is not uncommon for them to put walking distance into minutes, although to me seems daft as not sure how you would time it, mind you I have no idea on distance either to be honest.
    You do require enhanced PIP mobility to keep the car but Motability are very good and have a support scheme if the worst should happen info on that HERE
    Only putting that info there in case you do need it but please don't worry about that until you have your decision, just letting you know it is not a case of just sending the car back the next day.x
    As for you thinking she wasn't writing everything down, well they too work on a tick box system and if one of the points you made was enough to satisfy one of the boxes then only that info need be written down, hope you understand that lol
    They do sometimes text the decisions through and this is quicker and cheaper for them but if they have not taken your phone details etc then you will just have to wait for the brown envelope and I do hope it is quicker than they have stated, good luck keep us informed and don't worry. xx


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  12. #12
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you for your quick answer! Because we have only joined the motability in 2014 we are not entitle to the support package
    The reason why we are anxious is because is she has somewhere writtten that one minute is more than the 20 meters they ask about then she will tick 0. But if she did listen properly to the whole answer the. She should tick no he cannot walk 20 meters without stopping and repeatedly etc which he cannot. So yes I guess we will have to wait and keep our fingers crossed. I just felt they were asking the same questions we have already answered in the form but this time you was not able to give the full picture. Not please tell at all. My argument is also how can they ask in minutes? Some people might be able to walk longer distances depending on the pace , how slow they walk . It just does not make sense? Hope the wait is not too long. Isn't it horrible when the level of quality of life depend on someone else?
    Thank you again!! Will keep you informed.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    @enaid

    We have finally received the award and I can tell you that it has not come our way.
    My husband was awarded enhance rate for living which we were expecting, but standard rate for mobility.
    He was scored 10 points for being able to stand or walk more than 20m but less than 50. This is not correct as we did say he could maybe walk for a minute, maybe take 10 steps or sometime nothing at all. We also said that his walking deteriorated throughout the day.

    For being able to plan a follow a route he was score 0 as they said he could do this. Now here is were our biggest problem was because the nurse that interviewed my husband asked him if he could do this to familiar places like the shops round the corner. we said yes but he could not do it on his own as it is not safe for him to go on his own and sudden noises make him anxious.. we also said that he could not do it to unfamiliar places. So how does this score him 0?

    this is from the PIP:
    "MOBILITY ACTIVITIES

    1. Planning and following journeys.
    a. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. 0 points. yes but cannot do it safely and repetitively on his own without soemeone there
    b. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 4 points.
    c. Cannot plan the route of a journey. 8 points.
    d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10 points. He cannot do this as he is not able to retain information for too long and things get mumbled up and he gets tired and frustreted and angry plus he needs someone with him to be safe
    e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10 points.
    f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12 points."


    it also says he was able to walk 25 meters in the consultation room with his walking stick and unsteady. He had to stop twice!!

    what is our next step? I can tell you we are both suffering from extreme anxiety right now

  14. #14
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Hi, am sorry you were let down with the decision and the only way to sort it is to appeal.
    I can also tell you more than half of appeals are overturned so imo that is pretty good odds.
    The first step is to write to the DWP within one month of the date of the award letter.
    Explain as best you can why you think the decision is wrong, let them know how you felt at the interview, you were being rushed and the fact you were asked how far he could walk in minutes as opposed to distance and this really confused you.
    If the decision is still the same and they may not rush with their response you will have to go to the second stage appeal to a tribunal.
    I put a link on here about the car and Mobility, I think I am right in saying DWP will not pay into the scheme while the appeal is going on, I think you have 4 weeks and then a further 3 so you may well have to return the car sadly.
    You may not get a change of decision with your letter but that's the way to set the ball rolling and if not it will be the tribunal.
    Also any medical evidence you have or can get to back up your appeal would help too. Send copies with your letter and keep them safe if you need to go to tribunal.
    I am sorry, but can tell you that there a re thousands in the same boat and I wish you good luck.
    Enaid x


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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you @enaid do you know if there are any organisations that can help me put this together? We have not slept a wink last night and I woke up several time with anxiety in my stomach. This is awful. We need this tu be changed. Not only my husband suffers without the car but our life as a family too. I'm feeling sick in my stomach just thinking about it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    You could try your local CAB, I found this template if it helps at all, you just need to fill in the reasons
    .
    [Your name]
    [Address]
    [Telephone number]
    [Reference number i.e. National Insurance Number]

    [Date – if not within one month of decision letter from DWP see bullet point 2]

    Dear Sir or Madam
    I am writing to you to request a mandatory reconsideration following your decision letter dated [insert date here] for my Personal Independence Payment claim.
    I disagree with this decision for the following reasons:


    It would be helpful for you to contact the health professionals in this letter to gather further evidence to assist you in the reconsideration, as they will be able to provide you with an up to date and accurate picture of my current circumstances:
    · [Name of professional, address and phone number – put in here what they can advise on.]
    I have advised these professionals that I am requesting reconsideration and that you will be in touch with them regarding the collection of evidence.

    I would be most grateful if you could inform me of progress in this matter and advise me whether I need to take any more steps to deal with this as soon as possible.

    Yours faithfully


    [Insert your name here]


    ·


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  17. #17
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you so much @enaid

  18. #18
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    @enaid
    I have been working very hard on this letter and was wondering if I could have some feedback?


    name
    adddress

    National Insurance Number:
    6/02/2017

    Dear Sir or Madam
    I am writing to you to request a mandatory reconsideration following your decision letter dated 23/01/2017 for my husband’s Personal Independence Payment claim.
    We believe my husband was not able to give a full and accurate account of how his disabilities affect him most days as unfortunately at the beginning of the assessment we were instructed to be brief and therefore we feel you did not have all the necessary information in order to make a fair decision.

    Conditions/ disabilities: Stroke, COPD, Asthma, IBS, Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP)

    We are asking you to reconsider the following activities:
    Mixing with other people.
    Since suffering a stroke my husband does not socialise and he not only needs encouraging and prompting to engage with other people specially those he does not know but he also needs the physical and emotional support form a family member or a close friend. When going to the GP or other appointments he needs a family member to go with him. This is because he struggles to get his words out and he also finds it very difficult to process information. He gets more fatigued and his memory is therefore affected and because of his poor concentration and won’t be able to retain the information given to him. This makes him feel extremely anxious and distress so much so that he gets very sweaty and restless. This happened to him during the assessment and he asked for the door to be opened to let some air in. Sadly, the HCP refused as she felt that by doing so the private nature of the assessment would be compromised.
    Also under the pressure of having to quickly respond to all the questions, unable to have enough time to process all the information and feeling by that time terribly fatigued anxious and agitated my husband scratched himself to bleed. Kindly the HCP offered him tissues to dry his blood.
    My husband was awarded 0 points for this activity and we believe he should be awarded 4 point (needs social support to be able to engage with other people)

    Making budgeting decisions.
    After the stroke my husband finds it extremely difficult to process and retaining information, so he most days forget to do things he has been asked to do.
    In respect to this activity, my husband has a bank account where his DLA gets paid into and I help him set up a direct debit for his phones payments to come out so he does not forget to make payments in time as he has done in the past. An example is one to do with school dinners. MY husband forgot to make several payments for my son’s school dinners and I only found out when the school administrator told me we owed over £92. When I asked my husband about it he had no answers as he simply had forgotten he forgot to make these payments. I therefore take car all budgeting decisions.
    My husband has been awarded 0 points for this activity when we believe he should be awarded 6 points (cannot make any budgeting decisions at all)


    Planning and following a journey
    Because of the stroke and the COPD my husband suffers from extreme fatigue from the moment he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. This happens most days if not every day. This has an enormous impact on his mood, level of alertness and concentration and therefore affects his ability to complete or perform most activities reliably; safely, repeatedly, in a timely manner and to an appropriate standard.
    When going out my husband suffers from severe anxiety and distress. Sudden loud noises like car horns, car doors slamming, sudden shouting etc. frighten him making him to grow more anxious and loose his balance, coordination and concentration.
    Because of the stroke my husband suffers from a very unsteady gait and dropped foot. This make his walking to be very poor and he stumbles a lot. He has had several falls and when this happens he is unable to help himself up making him feel extremely vulnerable and very afraid. Recently his GP asked him to consider the possibility of getting an assistance dog as she believes this would be extremely beneficial for both is metal and physical health and wellbeing. It is because of all these reasons my husband is not able to follow any route familiar or unfamiliar on his own safely, repeatedly and to an appropriate standard.
    My husband award for this activity was 0 points. We believe the award given to him should be 12 points (Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid)

    Moving around.
    Because of the stroke, my husband walks at a very slow pace, with a very unsteady gait and need the use of a walking stick. He also suffers from COPD and asthma which makes him breathless after taking only a few steps. Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a rare condition in which blood vessels become inflamed resulting in a rash and joint and stomach pain. Particularly, the ankles and knees get swollen and a brushing-like rush appear and walking becomes extremely painful. All these conditions affect my husband most days if not daily and he is therefore unable to walk more than 20 metres, sometime even less without having to constantly stop due to breathlessness and severe pain. Most days he needs to take very long breaks between very short walks as pushing himself to do more will mean he needs to take at least a couple of days rest for the inflammation and rush to calm down.
    On the day of the assessment, we parked the car on the side road of the building and walk the distance to the entrance. During this short walk my husband had to stop several times due to breathlessness and pain in his legs. Inside the centre my husband walked a distance of no more than 15 metres to the assessment room also having to stop at least twice to catch his breath and rest.
    Whist my husband is not able to walk more than 20 metres reliably; safely, repeatedly, to an appropriate standard and in a timely manner, he has been awarded 10 points.
    We strongly believe he should be awarded 12 points (Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided)




    We have also enclosed a letter from a health professional (GP) supporting our claim to further assist you in the reconsideration.

    I would be most grateful if you could inform us of progress in this matter and advise me whether I need to take any more steps to deal with this as soon as possible.

    Yours faithfully


    [Insert your name here]

  19. #19
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    I don't think you can be more explicit than that about how your husbands conditions affect him on a daily basis.
    I will ask @des8 to take a look for at least a second opinion, you may add too that you were unable to speak for your husband at the assessment as you felt it was not acceptable, but would have made things a lot clearer for the assessor,
    Good Luck xx


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  20. #20
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Thank you @enaid I also forgot to mention his depression. Can you believe on the report they said he was on standard medication for depression as in not too bad...honestly!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    IMO a well constructed request for reconsideration.

    Do send it "signed for"...... DWPhave a record of not receiving appeals!

    However as enaid mentioned earlier,don't raise your expectations but be prepared to go to tribunal.

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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    OK so as expected the MR has not changed anything. We have to return the car in two weeks. Needless to say the heartache, anxiety and distress this is all causing the whole family as we are all affected by this. So we have to appeal and go to Tribunal. I have read that the Courts will send a copy to the DWP and ask them for a response? what does this mean? IS this a chance for them to reconsider the award again? Does this happen?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Hi sorry about that but I think it was expected.
    You have one month from the date of the letter to appeal as long as it states in the letter you can appeal it should also tell you how to go about it.


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  24. #24
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    Quote Originally Posted by enaid View Post
    Hi sorry about that but I think it was expected.
    You have one month from the date of the letter to appeal as long as it states in the letter you can appeal it should also tell you how to go about it.
    @enaid can they say I cannot appeal? on what grounds? does this happen often?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: PIP assesment help

    In your letter you should have 2 copies of the decision and info on how to appeal.
    You need to fill in form SSCS1 download from HERE and send off with 1 copy of the decision.
    The Tribunal is independant and whatever happens you will be kept informed.


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