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TOPIC: Received Assesors report query re 11 and 12

Received Assesors report query re 11 and 12 3 weeks 6 days ago #221332

I have the benefit of the assessors report today. Whilst I have read and reread many things I would welcome any comments on a couple of Mobility. Despite the fact I have about 8 medical conditions for which specialist reports were sent they seem to focus on just the ME throughout their reasoning
Question 11 confusing me the most.
I do not go out at all other than to local GP and Hospital and Dentist appointment and then in a taxi. The only other time I ever go any further is to for hospital visits in larger cities and then I have to use Patient Transport because I cannot cope with physically using public transport - ie the walking and getting to a bus and standing and waiting for them and walking between stops etc etc. The sheer effort to attend such appointments I find totally draining and bewildering but being taken from A – B I just about do it with plenty of payback exhaustion wise. Any other journey visits to family once a month max about 25 miles away are accompanied because I do not drive I had to give it up because of all the pain I am in going and how being so tired and exhausted and worn out by pain by cognitive powers are poor so I am not safe driving and had to give it up. I made that decision. Visits to family last no longer than 2 hours due to sheer exhaustion from the journey and the visit due mainly to ME/CFS but also the combination of all the problems I had listed.
The response is that Physical Health does not come under the scope of this activity. MSE unremarkable - there is no mental health diagnosis or medication and there is no condition reported to support a cognitive impairment.
I would argue that you don’t have to be mentally diagnosed to have great difficulty in this area purely down to relentless pain – exhaustion or am I wrong? Is there anything is my simplified version above that would suggest I should earn points in this section.

Question 12
I have stated that I can stand and then move not more than 200 metres and also added that is the max and on other days I cannot even do 50 metres. I gave clear verbal evidence on this
The response is - she walked unaided at normal pace with no discomfort apparent. And a repeat of the MSO does not indicate significant restrictions - has only mild pain relief and doe not have significant input for her arthritis or CFS. They then say functional history reports she would be able to walk around a supermarket with a trolley evidence she can walk more than 200m.
As I only took about 8 steps from the front door to sit down then that is not a clear demo on my walking ability. The fact I showed no signs of discomfort is ridiculous ...however
Of course there is no NHS significant input for CFS - I will send them the evidence of the fact that I have had it in the past. I do not go out shopping at all. I told them everything is bought on line and when assessor brought the supermarket trolley question up I told her quite clearly that to walk around a supermarket with a trolley you would also have to get there and back and I don’t do that and cannot do it because of all the medical problems I clearly outlined to her. Supermarket trolley is clearly a standard trick question they use but how come if I can I cannot walk even 50 metres on some days and anything any walking is with great pain and cannot be done repeatedly and has payback all outlined in more detail. Just wondered thoughts on them using this supermarket line?

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Received Assesors report query re 11 and 12 3 weeks 6 days ago #221362

  • Gordon
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Amber

11. The Going Out activity looks at three things.

Planning a route - this is primarily a cognitive or sensory (e.g. blindness) activity. You are being asked about the problems you would have with working out how to get from one place to another, you do not need to be able to follow the route that you are planning.

Undertaking a Journey - this is to do with mental health issues such as agoraphobia and social anxiety and is concerned with you leaving the house to go somewhere, they will be interested in the things that stop you doing this. You need to show that you would suffer "overwhelming psychological distress" to meet the criteria.

Following a route - This activity about the problems you would have navigating a route. So are there problems; cognitive, sensory or mental health issues that would prevent you from doing this? This is different from undertaking a journey, in fact, if you cannot undertake a journey then you will not score points for following one and vice versa.

I'm afraid the Descriptor makes no reference to using Public Transport and we regularly see DMs ignoring this as a requirement.

DMs and assessors are dismissive of cognitive problems caused by pain, tiredness and medication an appeal panel will have a more open mind to this but you will need to show problems outside of your going out to be successful.

Lastly, you need to resolve what Descriptor you are aiming for testimony for being unable to undertake a journey will undermine any problems you have with following a route and vice versa.

12. This is very much about the distance you can walk, whilst this needs to be done reliably on the majority of days I think it likely that they have focussed on the 200m and not your more restricted distances. Did you explain on your form how far you can walk for each level of restriction that you have and how many days that you can do this?

Gordon
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Received Assesors report query re 11 and 12 3 weeks 6 days ago #221396

Thanks for the concise reply. 11. What you have written helps me untangle the way to respond to that question and I am assuming that I am best to concentrate on the 'Undertaking a Journey' because that is what I don't do. In explaining to them it is hard not to explain to them that you no longer do it because of the difficulty following a route though because of lack of cognitive powers through endless pain for xxx condition.
12. When you ask - Did you explain on our form how far you walk for each level of restriction - I assume you mean for each condition? I didn't specify what condition on original form but I did say it is 24/7 and varies within in each day I have a problem and I have pain from step 1 and that it varies and that some days I cannot do it at all and that I have to stop and rest. I also gave other extra details. I am still puzzled that if in Q11 testimony for having difficulty in following a route will undermine 'Undertaking a Journey then surely it is wrong for them to say that I would be able to go around a supermarket with a trolley IF i do not do it? I guess I am assuming I must refute this point they make?

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Received Assesors report query re 11 and 12 3 weeks 5 days ago #221428

  • Gordon
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Amber

I'm afraid I have confused you further.

11. So undertaking a journey is at about why you cannot leave your house, it is not about the problems that you would when out, it only looks at the things that would prevent you stepping through your front door, as would happen with a condition such as Agoraphobia.

To follow a route you must be able to go out and it is then concerned with the things that prevent you getting to a destination, they will not consider physical disabilities unless you can show that they lead to your suffering "overwhelming psychological distress".

You need to be unable to undertake a journey or unable to follow a route on the majority of days to score.

12. No, I was not talking about your conditions. Your post suggests that the distance that you can walk is variable. If this is the case then you need to explain how it is variable and how often you each level of disability affects you. So you might say; at my worst (2 days a week) I am limited to 20m or less, most of the time (4 days a week) I cannot walk more than 50 and at best (1 day a week) I can walk up to 75m.

Gordon
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