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  • #128447
    PIP assessments – share your experience

    The Personal Independence Payments (PIP) benefit is being discussed in the House of Lords tomorrow afternoon.

    Have you had a face-to-face assessment for Personal Independence Payments? (PIP) We would love to hear from you about your experiences – both good and bad.

    Were you asked whether you could complete activities “safely, reliably, repeatedly, and in a timely manner”?

    Was your mobility assessed indoors or were you assessed both indoors and outdoors?

    Please share your experiences below.

    JoelR JoelR
    Participant
    Posts: 0
    Joined: 01/12/2015
    #128448
    Reply To: PIP assessments – share your experience

    Indoors only & at our home as we told them we couldn’t travel to be assessed 24.5 miles away.

    Having read through the assessors report it is, for the most part, fictional.

    The assessor describes somebody & their abilities that we did not recognise. From the moment they walked through the front door they were observing & making mental notes that we weren’t privy to until we read their report.

    The only thing the assessor did apart from ask questions was to ask to squeeze the hands. We volunteered an inspection of our modified bedroom & bathroom to which they declined.

    We’re due in court for the lower tier tribunal that had previously been postponed due to the DWP requesting some information supplied to the court was not disclosed to us. Quite rightly this was rejected by the court but, whilst we waited for the DWP to resupply this document minus the sensitive information (the name of the decision maker) the court postponed the hearing.

    During the mandatory reconsideration process & when applying to the courts we requested to be reassesed & have the assessment recorded both visually & verbally. The DWP & ATOS refused. They said we could have asked to do so at the original assessment but, only if we could supply a copy of the media to take away with them immediately which isn’t possible without making them wait whilst it’s copied to a format they specified.

    The assessor was an ex-paramedic who openly admitted they were not familiar with the condition & I don’t think a squeeze of the hands constitutes a comprehensive assessment exploring the variables of the condition on any given day. Do you?

    Whilst the assessor was very polite & tried to engage in social conversation it’s not until we read their report their agenda becomes clear. They made note of whether our hair was brushed, we were unkempt or smelt & how we were dressed. They also made reference to the size of a cup in the living room from which one of us had been drinking tea prior to their arrival.

    Whilst the DWP may feel they can gleam some insight into our abilities by making general observations of us & our home they have no idea that we got up at 7am to bathe each other before the assessors arrival so we looked presentable to a visiting guest. In addition my mum had helped us with tidying up, vacuuming & dusting for the same reason, to give the impression we live in a nice & tidy home. Being poor doesn’t mean we have to live in squalor.

    So, sue us for having some pride.

    I was deeply suspicious before the assessment. I don’t trust & fear the DWP even more so now as a result of it.

    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self

    I, Disabled Bloke
    Participant
    Posts: 540
    Joined: 29/10/2010
    #128455
    Reply To: PIP assessments – share your experience

    Hi Wonder Woman,

    My name is Joel and I work in the Muscular Dystrophy UK advocacy team. Preparing for the lower tribunal is something we may be able to help with? Please do call our helpline on 0800 652 6352 for further support.

    I am really sorry to hear about your experiences, were you encouraged at all to explain whether you could do things safely, reliably, repeatedly, and in a timely manner?

    JoelR JoelR
    Participant
    Posts: 0
    Joined: 01/12/2015
    #128460
    Reply To: PIP assessments – share your experience

    Those specific words were never used by the assessor.

    However, I have referred to those words stating what can & can’t be done when composing our submission to the courts for the lower tier tribunal. It categorically is not physically possible to walk 20 metres. It’s not possible to move multiples of metres!

    Thanks for the offer of assistance but, after Citizens Advice abandoned us I’ve ploughed on researching for myself. Contacting the EU directly has been of invaluable assistance in advising me on where to find copies of government legislation & decision makers guides.

    They’ve also been at pains to point out where this government implements it’s own rules overriding EU rules, which are not legally binding.

    For instance, the DWP & this governemnt refer to the daily living component of PIP as a cash sickness benefit. It is not. It is a special non-contributary benefit. PIP isn’t based on National Insurance contributions, isn’t means-tested & the Welfare Reform Act 2012 does not explicitly allow for a reduction of PIP based on a claimant’s income.

    Special non-contributory cash benefits which are paid as solely specific protection for the disabled closely linked to the person’s social environment in the Member State concerned, shall be provided exclusively in the Member State in which the persons concerned reside, in accordance with it’s legislation. Such benefits shall be provided by & at the expense of the institution of the place of residence & are paid out of general taxation (please refer to Chapter 9, Article 70 of Regulation 883/2004).

    The UK has notified the European Commission that, for the purposes of Regulation 883/2004, Personal Independence Payment (daily living component) constitutes a sickness benefit & Personal Independence Payment (mobility component) constitutes a special non-contributory benefit.

    However, such a declaration is not legally binding, since only regulations, directives & decisions are legally binding pursuant to Article 288 TFEU.

    This gives you some idea of the subterfuge employed by the DWP & this government in order to deny people. We would be blissfully unaware of this until we discovered it effects us directly & as a consequence I’ve been forced into finding out about it.

    I feel as the representative of two disabled people (my wife & I), we’re being excluded from due process. They wanted us to attend an assessment in a town we can’t reach, despite our well documented physical limitations & they further asked us to attend a court hearing to decide our welfare in a different town we can’t reach for the same reasons.

    And because of the Conservative-led Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), legal aid funding became unavailable for welfare cases at lower tier tribunal as of April 2013 which means we can’t afford to be represented either.

    These are the reasons why we have requested numerous times for our claim to be reassessed so it could be resolved without us having to go through this farcical process when it is not necessary. We are struggling to live on considerably less now between us than I was as a single person living alone.

    I use a power chair outside of the home (on the bad days indoors too) & my wife uses a mobility scooter. Public transport will not allow a mobility scooter on board as it is not crash tested & there’s no guarantee that I am able to secure a place on public transport as the law states it’s at a parents discretion whether they move their buggy/pram or not out of the allocated wheelchair space provided (please refer to here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-30376446). This means we’re both bound by the range of my power chair & the distance from my bathroom. We would have to outlay significant expense to hire a private vehicle capable of accommodating us both, our mobility equipment & members of our family to assist me. Money which we don’t have.

    This is why we don’t leave our home town. We’re not trying to be difficult, we can’t travel out of town for the reasons stated in addition to my particular bathroom requirements but, our constant appeals for clemency fall on deaf ears.

    I have read about the disadvantages of submitting an appeal on papers but, we had no choice.

    Anyway, the last date for submitting evidence was two weeks ago & I timed it so to arrive on the last day via a tracked/signed for service purposely so the DWP didn’t have a chance to respond to it.

    I am certain though, if we manage to overturn their initial award, they will challenge the courts decision & we will end up in court again possibly at a higher level & yet again without being able to attend or be represented.

    This has been going on since October 2014 with no end in sight. I deeply resent people that are not disabled & are not familiar with the condition of either my wife or I are making decisions on our welfare that have consequences regarding our existence.

    I have to shut up now, I’ve said far too much that could identify us.

    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self

    I, Disabled Bloke
    Participant
    Posts: 540
    Joined: 29/10/2010
    #128509
    Reply To: PIP assessments – share your experience

    it took me 3 applications before i finally got an assessment. the assessor was lovely and understood the mobility issues i had and related to them as she was disabled herself. however apart from showing how i got in and out of a chair no physical assessment of my mobility was ever carried out and i feel that this is why i have ended up only receiving the lower end of the mobility component of PIP.

    waynelenson
    Participant
    Posts: 0
    Joined: 17/03/2016
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