DLA to PIP assesment

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DLA to PIP assesment

Postby diane1 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:55 pm

Hi everyone
I've not been on here for a long time for various reasons including moving to a new house and having a downstairs bedroom and wet room built.
I've had fibro for 28 years and DLA for about 8 the rate increasing over the years. I've now got my PIP examination on Wednesday and I'm stressing so much it's making me ill. I'd thought of asking for a home visit but just want it over .
My husband is taking me but I'll be in my wheelchair and can't remember what was put on the form as my daughter my carer filled it in with me. My last DLA examination was at home and the Dr was lovely and even did memory tests . My experience of medicals in surgeries etc aren't good my last being for ESA.
Does anyone have any advice for me what have your experiences been ?
Many thanks
Does an elephant with fibro fog ever forget ?
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Re: DLA to PIP assesment

Postby Northernlass » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:55 pm

Hi Diane1, I really hope the assessment goes your way and that you get what you are entitled to. Make sure that you don't hold anything, not a handbag and not even your letter and identification documents. Let your husband do that. Be on your guard every second. You have to put your positive experience of getting DLA out of your head because trying to get PIP due to the new point system is more than challenging. I am more sure that is is actually easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is to get PIP, at the assessment stage. I don't mean to be so negative, but it's just the sad reality. It might be easier for you because you're already in receipt of disability, rather than being a new clam as I was, but it is likely that you could lose money. Don't be fooled by a nice friendly smile from your assessor, they might appear to be nice and friendly, but the people working for Atos and Capita are as cold hearted as robots and are wolfish and as sly as foxes, in my opinion. Their primary goal is take away your points and not to give you them. They ignore your condition, your diagnosis and your medical letters completely and they ignore how your condition really affects you. They don't care. And they will try to trip you up with every question they ask. They will rush you, won't give you time to answer and they won't let your husband speak on your behalf either. They conveniently don't hear you and they leave off information that would score you points. You must get to the point quickly. And you really do need to know what your daughter wrote on your claim form to be prepared for what they might ask you.

I tried to claim PIP in June. I tried to get a home visit but was refused. I told them that I can't go to unfamiliar places, so they sent me an appointment in Durham, when I live in Newcastle and don't know Durham. I got my mother to change my appointment to Newcastle, just five minutes away. We got a taxi because I hobble and can't walk far. I was so stressed that I thought I was going to have a seizure. The assessor watched me get up, I was as stiff as rigor Mortis, my muscles were like jelly, my balance was off, I swerved, banged against the wall, was hunched over, practically bent over double, my legs could hardly keep me up, the pain written all over my face and she just described that I walked slow and that was consistent with my condition in the decision letter and that I didn't seem to be in any pain at any time, even though I had to decline the physical examination because I was in so much pain and can't bare to be touched. I filled out every section of my claim form and went in to great detail how my condition effects me without lying. During the assessment, I was so ill, in so much pain and could hardly understand her questions. She was so quick, I couldn't get my words out. I had to look to my mother for prompting but she wouldn't let my Mam answer for me. I was vague on some questions because I couldn't think. I shouted at the assessor at one point for not allowing me to explain because it takes me longer to answer. She didn't like that, but had the cheek to say she could not detect any anxiety and that I communicated well, when I clearly didn't. When I got the decision back, I scored no points on the care side, even though my mother makes my meals, takes me to the doctors, cuts up my food, helps me to put on my coat and wash my hair etc... We had our bathroom refitted from a bath to a double walk in shower with grab rails and have a raised toilet seat, but that counted for nothing and scored me no points. I scored only four points on the mobility side, so not enough to even get the standard rate of mobility. They accept that I am housebound but because that is consistent with my condition it is acceptable and they don't think I need financial help to get the power steered wheelchair I need. They said that I can walk over 20 metres, even though I told the assessor three times that I could not. At the assessment centre, on camera, they did not see me walk more than 20 metres and the assessor could see how I struggled to hobble no more five metres to her office. She had to give me some points of course, because other people witnessed how badly I walked, people even moved their seat, so I could sit down. I wrote to the DWP requesting mandatory reconsideration. I sent 14 pages of information and proof, but the decision came back the same. In their opinion, I am able bodied, not disabled, have normal dexterity, perfect cognition and memory, even though I failed the tests. The fact that I have a chronic incurable illness that affects every part of my being and has ruined my life is nothing, because to them it's just a little bit of pain that medication can cure! Even though I told them the medication doesn't eradicate my pain or my symptoms at all. I am now faced with going to an appeal tribunal and I just think how can these people sleep at nights.

If you can talk, they argue, you show normal communication skills and cognition. Brain fog is nothing but fiction to them. If you can use a computer you are fine, dextourous, and have no memory problems. If you fail the memory tests, they ignore them too and say they are irrelevant. If you can hold a sheet of paper, you have normal dexterity. They disregard the aids you use, even though they scored points on the form, and they also ignore the fortune spent on refitting a bathroom to accommodate for disability. And if you can put bread in the toaster, you can make a meal, even though you can't open the bloody tin of beans or reach up to get it out of the cupboard. They ignore forgetfulness that is a real safety issue in the kitchen! They even ignore the care you are given by your carer. They're not bothered, if you get depressed or are suicidal and taking psychotic drugs. And basically, if you can stand, they will argue the toss that you can walk more than 20 metres. I told them that I can't do things reliably, repeatedly, safely and it takes me a long time, but it just fell on deaf ears. But what I resented the most is people who don't know me or how I suffer, telling me what I can do, when I can't. The assessor and the DWP made me feel like a liar. They don't understand yet that if someone has a medical diagnosis that they aren't liars and playing the system. I only hope that the justice system is more just and compassionate.

Despite saying what I have said, everyone is different and outcomes can be different and I sincerely hope you don't lose out and that you get PIP without the stress of having to appeal. But whatever happens, don't give up. And good luck and best wishes.
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Re: DLA to PIP assesment

Postby diane1 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:13 pm

Well had my results and been reduced to standard mobility and standard care from higher rate DLA of both.
They said I managed to walk around the centre with a stick. Now that's strange as I was wheeled in by my husband and didn't walk anywhere.
I was asked to tell them how much change I would get in a shop. I didn't answer but apparently I did and got it right. The list goes on as usual so an appeal is going in.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Does an elephant with fibro fog ever forget ?
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diane1
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