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TOPIC: Proving cognitive dysfunction

Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232243

I’ve undergone two PIP assessments now. Thankfully my physical problems do at last appear to be accepted. However, both health professionals have refuted my problems caused by cognitive dysfunction. I have severe M.E. & fibromyalgia plus other skeletal health issues.
Throughout their reports they repeatedly state that I have no diagnosed cognitive health condition. Cognitive dysfunction is an inherent part of both M.E. & fibromyalgia and, for me, has caused a massive loss of my independence. My brain often goes into ‘stand-by mode’, thoughts become frustratingly muddled, words disappear, unbelievable forgetfulness, short term memory is appalling and my brain only functions correctly intermittently. I even forget how to carry out everyday tasks etc. Sequencing has become very difficult.
I think this is a problem where the health professionals are ‘generalists’ and not ‘specialists’. They do not appreciate the impact this has on my life at all. I have sent M.E. educational information and a letter from my psychologist explaining my problems. How else can I possibly prove this? Thank you.
The following user(s) said Thank You: cuthbert

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Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232246

Hi Debs424

I don't know from what you have written whether you are appealing against a decision. As far as the assessor is concerned they are interested in how your medical conditions affect your ability to do the things set out in the questions (rather than the condition itself). It's not enough to say you suffer from cognitive dysfunction you have to show in detail how it impacts. So for instance, if you were preparing food (and you may not do it at all) - would you sometimes have problems reading the labels, remembering to check whether the food was still in date, remembering to turn off gas and electricity etc, does it affect your ability to keep yourself safe - and if not - give examples and how often?

Now you might have broken it down in detail for each question when you submitted your report, and you may have been unlucky in your assessor and decision maker. All you can do is go through your report stating where you disagree and go for a mandatory reconsideration if that's what you want.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/pip

BIS

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

Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232277

Sorry Bis, I should have been clearer.

I’ve applied for PIP twice and this time I have been reasonably successful on the physical problems. I have listed my problems, caused by cognitive dysfunction, under applicable descriptors, and also discussed those problems with them at my face to face medicals, including giving examples.
My problem is that the HP medical report states ‘she reports problems undertaking ......., however, she has no diagnosed cognitive health condition.

I went for an MR last time and they did increase some of the award, but none of the descriptors where my cognitive dysfunction causes problems. I was going to appeal but was just too ill.

This time I was disappointed to read exactly the same phrases throughout my medical report. I can’t think how else I can ‘prove’ how my cognitive problems make such a negative impact on my ability to undertake various activities.

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Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232279

Hi Debs24

Unfortunately, there's a difference between having a recognised cognitive health condition and experiencing cognitive dysfunction due to other illnesses.

I understand the impact because I have one of the conditions you have listed, but I know from what other people have said in a similar position that assessors and decision makers rightly or wrongly want proof that it causes frequent distress or danger eg if you forget to turn off the gas because of cognitive dysfunction, and your pan has caught on fire, how many times have you had to call out the fire brigade? I know of three people who have sent in photographs of the damage to back up what they are saying. Now not everyone can do that, but it is clear proof they have a problem.

There is no easy way to get around this and a lot depends on your evidence, the way you describe it and the 'proof' that you can offer and then the people who read it. If you are not going to appeal you will have no choice but to live with their opinions even though you disagree.

BIS

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Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232280

Thank you BIS,
I do appreciate your reply. As I am at home with my husband, my carer, every day, it’s extremely rare he’d let me do anything that may cause me/us harm! He keeps me safe and checks on me.
Maybe I will just have to accept what they say as I really just don’t think I have the stamina to cope with the stress of an appeal.

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Proving cognitive dysfunction 4 months 1 day ago #232285

Debs

I'm taking your post as is.

You can only score for activities that you cannot do so be careful of how you describe your husband's assistance as it comes across that these are things that you do not do.

Gordon

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