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Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264098

Hi

I've this morning received a text 'reminder' saying my PIP Assessment is in 2 days' time.

1. It's the first I've even heard about an Assessment.

2. I specifically requested on my PIP form to have a video or phone-based assessment - if one is needed at all, even.

3. The only way they've offered of contacting them (Independent Assessment Services) is by phone, which I find beyond distressing atm. And given I've just finished a 90 minute video Assessment with the CMHT Psychiatrist, during which I was a gibbering wreck (and he was nice), I honestly don't feel capable of calling anyone, let alone now fighting my corner with Atos.

4. There's no time to even book an advocate which I said on my form that I would need, they haven't even mentioned the recording, which I also asked for in my PIP application.

What should I say, and/or do, please?

Thanks, Raph
Awarded UC-LCWRA, and PIP all via paper-based Assessment.

Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264104

Hi Raph

Do you have no one who can contact them on your behalf? Two days notice is outside their guidelines and it shouldn't take place. Also, you can put in an appeal saying that you cannot take part in a telephone assessment and they are now supposed to look at the decision. If they refuse to change it, you can put in for a second appeal - this would give you more time to try and get them to change their minds. However, if you don't contact them then there is a danger of them saying you did not take part in the assessment and them cancelling your claim altogether.

Hopefully, you will have someone who can ring for you - perhaps someone from your local CMHT if you don't have a relative.

If you have no one - I implore you to try. I get that it is terribly distressing, but you don't want to lose your money.

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: Raph
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264110

Hello Bis, and thank you for your kind response...

I'm aware my reply is quite long, so I've numbered my points below, and highlighted key bits in bold in case it's easier to pick out bits for any reply.

1. I have completed a self-referral form for The Advocacy People today, but I've no idea how far ahead they book people for evaluation and/or support sessions. There may be quite the waiting list to be processed to be taken on by TAP.

2. And yes, the lady I spoke to from Atos IAS said that if I didn't attend the appt on Wed without re-booking another appt there and then, that I would have my claim cancelled.

3. I said I couldn't re-book another appt without knowing if I can have someone there to support me or not. Their ghastly inflexible system says you can only rebook it once, and after that you can't change it, for any reason.

4. How do I appeal, and to whom specifically, Bis? The only contact details are a phone number - surely I don't appeal over the phone?

5. I have a Enablement Worker appt tomorrow and I know she would call them for me if I asked her to, but the problem remains that unless I rebook a specific appt by Wednesday 2pm, offering a specific alternative date, that they will close my claim.

6. Atos will have written to me through the post, but - had they even read my form - they would know that I'm already so severely unwell that I can't even open my post (I mentioned it twice on my PIP form under 'managing money' and 'starting and finishing tasks'), but they refuse to communicate about my appt with me via email even when I asked them to as a reasonable adjustment today.

7. The CHDA emailed me several times, and I even had a named person helping me submit my UC50 LCWRA form and docs online. It seems a fairly small thing to me, to request that an appt letter be emailed - you'd think I was asking to receive it via sedan chair on a velvet ceremonial cushion, the reaction I got.

8. When I asked how I'm meant to know when the appt is - if they send me a rescheduled date through the post if I can't even open it - she said they will also text me, but I only received a text reminder 2 days before this week's appt, no initial text confirming my appt, so that's no notice at all again.

9. I'm also awaiting a fresh set of updated Clinical and Social Care plans - CMHT Psychiatrist's report including his request for (i) OT Assessment to assess ways to meet my needs, (ii) psychological trauma therapy, (iii) medication recommendations to my GP; and then a separate Care Plan from my Social Worker.

10. I doubt very much these documents will be forthcoming in a matter of days - I've already been waiting since February for these things to kick in - but I'm not sure how to explain this in light of the "You must rebook by Wed" rule, even though I mentioned it today on the phone.

11. The Atos IAS lady also said that more written information from my GP or the new Psychiatrist won't necessarily help anyway as they don't know much about my day-to-day difficulties.

12. Conversely she said IAS "didn't have enough information to make a decision" on paper, but when I asked what else they did need, she was unable to answer me. She just repeated that it was how I'm affected day-to-day. Seriously, I've given so much written descriptions of how I'm specifically affected day-to-day on the form, it's ridiculous, how can they possibly need more?!

13. You're right, I certainly don't want to lose my money. I've been waiting since February for my PIP assessment, so it's been a long time already, and it's a lot of money to lose my entitlement to.

Thank you very much for your advice and support.

Raph
Awarded UC-LCWRA, and PIP all via paper-based Assessment.

Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264137

Hi Raph

How to appeal against an assessment decision.

a) Read how to do this on page 101 of guide for new forms or page 88 or the guide to old forms. (Both have identical information) www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/pip

You will see from the information - they should immediately pause your claim while they look at your request for a paper-based decision. Hopefully, this is set up in your area.

The details of how to do this are in place - but you would need to phone unless they have accepted that your assessment is not taking place tomorrow.

I see one potential problem in you asking for this. You have already mentioned it, in that they are saying you are not providing enough details about your difficulties. Don't be mad, but - I need to ask the question. Have you been through our guide when you filled it in, putting in as much information as possible? If you think there's a chance you haven't provided as much as you could, see if they will allow you to submit more and emphasise that your mental health has made this particularly difficult. Not saying this would work - just what I would try.

Anyway, the most important thing is to emphasise that you did not receive any notice of your assessment - so you are asking for a new date because they did not give you the required notice and you reserve the right to change it - without being penalised. You need to tell them this, and then confirm the conversation in writing.

it's a lot I know when you're under extreme stress, but as you noted you don't want to be left without money. You have to get confirmation that they will not be trying to assess you tomorrow

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: Raph
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264169

Hi BIS

a) Read how to do this on page 101 of guide for new forms or page 88 or the guide to old forms. (Both have identical information) www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/pip

Will do!

You will see from the information - they should immediately pause your claim while they look at your request for a paper-based decision. Hopefully, this is set up in your area.

I'm in SE England, so am hoping so.. .

The details of how to do this are in place - but you would need to phone unless they have accepted that your assessment is not taking place tomorrow.

Slight complication is that I asked my SS Enablement Worker to call them for me first thing this morning, to ask if we did re-book another date, what date they are currently booking to...

She texted me five minutes later that she'd rebooked me a telephone review for two weeks' time, which is, er not what I asked for... Urk. She said she had to push for it to even be a telephone assessment - so much for reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act....

So yes, they have moved the appt from F-F to Telephone, and to two weeks' time, but if I am to pivot to a paper review, I'm still not clear how I can contact them to make this request for a Change of Assessment Review.

You mention appealing it in writing – are you saying that I have to get this appeal in the post?

I was able to email CHDA 'customer services' with updates about my LCWRA application - I cannot leave the house to post anything ofc - I've hunted and hunted on the IAS website for a similar route to CHDA, but unsurprisingly, they direct everything back to their call centre. I am not appealing over the phone, as they don't seem to even know what their own policies are.

I've now read on WinVisible that the DWP are supposed to allow submissions via email if you request it early on, but they have repeatedly denied me this route, despite me asking about it from the very beginning.

Bizarre for the DWP to cite reasons of security, when really it seems more about making it as difficult as possible to make a claim. Also, CHDA seemed fine to accept both my UC50, and all my medical evidence that way, so there's a lack of consistency here.

I see one potential problem in you asking for this. You have already mentioned it, in that they are saying you are not providing enough details about your difficulties. Don't be mad, but - I need to ask the question. Have you been through our guide when you filled it in, putting in as much information as possible? If you think there's a chance you haven't provided as much as you could, see if they will allow you to submit more and emphasise that your mental health has made this particularly difficult. Not saying this would work - just what I would try.


Ha! Am not mad, don't fret - my form was groaning with clear, related examples throughout as mentioned in Point 12 below.. In fact I typed all my entries and stapled them to the form to get more examples in...

They didn't say that I am 'not providing enough details about my difficulties' just that they need more information, but they seem unable to tell me about what - and they haven't said if they need more information from me, or more medical evidence...

I had a lot of help from CA in completing the form from someone who is expressly employed by CA full-time to help people complete the forms – and I read the B&W guides ofc -– to make sure I was clearly matching the descriptors and providing real-life examples, also mentioning frequency, acceptable standard etc. If anything, I was concerned in case I'd put too much info in my form.

Anyway, the most important thing is to emphasise that you did not receive any notice of your assessment - so you are asking for a new date because they did not give you the required notice and you reserve the right to change it - without being penalised. You need to tell them this, and then confirm the conversation in writing.

Unfortunately, as you'll have already read, a new appt has been made for me, without my realising it. Though I suppose it does give me another two weeks to do all the things you've mentioned.

As an aside, I've since discovered, that I was lied to when I was told yesterday that you can only change your appt once. I honestly believe they say this to frighten people. You can only rebook once if the re-booking does not relate to your disability. If it relates to your disability, you absolutely are allowed to rebook it more than once. Toads...

Can I ask your opinion on my points 9-11 below? Is it worth waiting for these new reports, plans, and additional assessments to be completed, so as I can submit them for the paper-based review?


it's a lot I know when you're under extreme stress, but as you noted you don't want to be left without money. You have to get confirmation that they will not be trying to assess you tomorrow.

BIS


I'm doing my very best, BIS... Thanks for all your help!
Awarded UC-LCWRA, and PIP all via paper-based Assessment.

Received text saying PIP assessment is in 2 days 2 months 1 week ago #264191

Hi Raph

Okay, you have two weeks, which is definitely an improvement. You could still ask your SS enablement Worker to appeal and still ask for a paper-based review - but I have no idea whether that would be successful.

Should you wait for new paperwork? Honestly, you haven't had them since February, are you really likely to get them in a matter of days? I highly doubt it. I think you have 3 choices.

1) You can emphasise that you have been waiting for my up-to-date plans and say that the service is overrun and are in the process of sending them or

2) You can ring the medical professionals and social workers and tell them you need the information urgently and the difficulties you have without this information. (I know you're not comfortable ringing - so this may need to be someone else)

3) You can just go with what you have and see whether they raise the issue of you not having absolutely up-to-date information at the assessment. Some assessors ask - some never do.

Do reports from professionals make a difference? Yes, they do but only up to a certain point. Most professionals can't comment on the specific questions in the PIP criteria, because they aren't witnessing it . The best reports are those that have a lot of detail where it is at least implied and the claimant can say - I have difficulties with X because of Y as noted in the letter from Dr Z.
However, I have helped people get an award for PIP and they had two lines from a GP that confirmed the diagnosis of their condition and nothing else.

It is awful to say it, but it comes down to a combination of things to get awarded PIP and one is an element of luck which is wrong, but unfortunately true. It is also one of the things that a claimant has absolutely no control over.

So I can't tell you exactly what you should do, you just have to go with what seems right for you and what is possible with the information you have and the people to support you.

If you're having a phone assessment - make sure that you ask for it to be recorded.

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: Raph
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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