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TOPIC: mandatory reconsideration-mental health disregard

assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 2 weeks 10 hours ago #235444

Alex

It's difficult for us to critique these letters when members post them as we have no knowledge of your conditions but one thing that stands out to me is the importance you place on your problems with your hands.

I had to read considerably further through your post to actually understand the relevance and I suspect that a DM will also be wondering why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has any effect on your ability to walk.

Also, having cleared up the above I still have no idea how far you can actually reliably walk other than it is no more than 20m. It's likely that a DM will consider someone who is limited to 10m or less more likely to meet the criteria than someone who says that they can walk 20m, even though both strictly meet the letter of the law.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 2 weeks 10 hours ago #235445

Hi Alex,

I've just read your MR post and it looks ok to me. You've done more or less the same as I did I year ago. It worked for me.

I just pointed out which descriptors were wrong, why and what I believed the correct descriptors and points should be.

Just keep it to the point and fingers and toes crossed, you will be ok.

I wish you the best of luck.

Phrank.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alex

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assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 1 week 4 days ago #235564

Hi Gordon,

I am so grateful that you had your question about Carpal Tunnel - it made me think that I have to explain in my letter what I assume is obvious but of course not so for others. I was not thinking about it. HP pointed in his report that I had a Good GRIP on my crutches and managed to turn pages (I had a copy of my claim with me to help me answering his questions. Me memory is weak when I'm under stress and fatigued). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome makes my palm and fingers numb and weak. There is obvious muscle lost in my palm. That's WHY Carpal Tunnel is also affects my walking - I can't hold crutches safely with numb hands. Numbness appears when I have to hold something or do something with my hands. That's also why I cannot use a knife safely preparing food, had bad cuts. When I walk I have to stop and when numbness get easier I can continue walking, then stop again. This is apart from my major physical condition of severe osteoarthritis.
Many thanks, Alex

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assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 1 week 1 day ago #235713

I am a bit nervous and uncertain whether I write too much in each section for Mandatory Reconsideration. I appreciate if somebody could read and say if it is OK. as Gordon pointed out about Carpal Tunnel syndrome - I add now description how it affects my walking as I cannot safely hold to my crutches when my wrists getting weak, I am wasting muscles in both palms and my fingers get numb. I need rest and then continue. Please have a look at my next section:

11. PLANNING AND FOLLOWING JOURNEY
I have been awarded 0 points for this activity: ‘you can plan and follow a route of a journey unaided’ (DM’s letter, page 5)
I disagree with this decision as it based on HP’s assumption that I do not have mental health problems. He was a physiotherapist. His incompetent opinion in mental health affected my scores on this activity and every activity where my mental health should have been taken into account. I believe that HP’s opinion regarding mental health should not be trusted, as HP has not had professional expertise in mental health. I believe that medical doctor’s professional opinion who observe and treat me for two decades should be taken into account. Mental health practitioner also could be contacted. Please see PIP2, p.8.
I was diagnosed with depression with anxiety, panic attacks since 2000/2001 (please see PIP2, p.9). I had suicidal thoughts and attempts and have been referred and assessed by a psychiatric practitioner at XXXXXX Hospital. I am receiving medications from medical doctors since those years. I have been having different supportive mental health therapies on doctor’s referral. Currently I have ongoing sessions with mental health practitioner (details in PIP2, p.8). Please see their documents enclosed. I am with the same GP surgery for over 25 years. GP’s letter of 03.04.2019 clearly stated that I have ‘depression with anxiety and receive medication for it’.
My serious physical health problems partially have been recognised by HP in descriptions 1, 4, 5, 6 and 12. Therefore he should recognise its disability effect on my whole wellbeing including mental health. Only in one place HP noted that his ‘MSE shows look tired’ (p.13).I was very tired during the entire interview. My medications have such side effects on me as dizziness, anxiety, weakness, sleepiness, extreme fatigue and others. Please refer to PIP2 (p.10)
When I suffer from pain in my joints, spine, hands I feel depressed, anxious and weak. I am afraid to collapse; in the past I had several fractures. I am unable to do many daily tasks that a normal person does with is. I feel depressed and anxious that I need help with washing and toileting – this is understandable, as any normal person would feel embarrassed! Any reasonable person acknowledges that my serious physical condition as Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and CTS with pain most likely affecting my mental health as well.
I came to the assessment with my cousin because I could not possibly come on my own. Most of the time I feel so fatigued that I cannot plan my journey, I cannot leave home without another person who gives me physical assistance as well as helping to deal with overwhelming psychological stress. I can become very suddenly overwhelmingly fatigued when walking outdoors. I told the HP this.
The HP has looked solely at what he considering without taking into account the degree to which my whole wellbeing disabled by my condition. This is not in keeping with the training the HP should have received.”
I believe that Decision Maker was misled by the inaccurate Report and would like to ask to look at this section again. I believe I should have been awarded descriptors 11d or 11e or 11f (10 or 12 points) for this activity.

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assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 1 week 1 day ago #235722

Alex

Two things;

Whilst your criticism of the assessor may be reasonable and accurate it won't resonate well with the DM who's starting point will be that the assessor has been trained and certified to carry out mental health assessments in regard to PIP.

So, rather than saying that they are incompetent refer the DM back to your evidence and challenge them to prefer the assessor who has seen you once and only for an hour or so over the opinion of the professionals who see you on a regular basis.

Secondly, your description of your problems is muddled and fails to address the requirements of the Descriptors that you are hoping to score against, sorry!

First, you need to decide which Descriptors you are hoping to score against. Descriptors (e) and (f) (and (d) by implication) are considered to be mutually exclusive, in other words; if you can't go out then you cannot be considered in regard to following a route, and by definition if you cannot follow a route, you must be able to leave your house.

So, you need to decide whether you are aiming for (e) because you cannot undertake a journey or (d)/(f) because you can leave your house but cannot follow a route to a destination.

You cannot score for physical problems, at least directly, in the Going Out activity and you do not mention any sensory or cognitive so you will need to show for whichever Descriptor you decide to go for that you are unable to complete the Descriptor due to "overwhelming psychological distress". You mention this towards the end of your post but do not describe the effect that this has on you, why does it prevent you from going out or from following a route?

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

assessment report & mandatory reconsideration 1 week 10 hours ago #235757

Thank you, Gordon
I very much appreciate your commends - it is true that I am rather confused in my writing, this is a huge work... I will continue
Alex

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