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TOPIC: Depression & Informal Observations!

Depression & Informal Observations! 6 months 3 weeks ago #239879

Hi - throughout my brother's Assessment Form from the DWP, in each of the descriptors, it states ' the I/O showed good eye contact and rapport suggesting he would not need prompting to cook or eat/needing prompting to take medication etc.

Yet he is on medication for depression, he has been under the Crisis Team, and even during the assessment, the Assessor asked about his suicidal thoughts, and we stopped the assessment so he could complete a form, so the Assessor could contact his GP. (Consent Form)

What is the case law for this? Because my brother made eye contact through out the assessment, seems to have dismissed his medical diagnosis of depression...
I'm preparing a MR as we speak. Any advice please on this?
Thank you

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Depression & Informal Observations! 6 months 3 weeks ago #239896


Assessors assume that a person with mental health issues would struggle to maintain eye contact, so if the claimant can then it is reasonable to assume that they are not severely affected, they will also look for the claimant "rocking" on the chair.

Whilst these are symptoms that some claimants with a mental illness will suffer from, it most certainly does not affect all claimants in this way but it is a generalisation that resonates well with Decision Makers who have no medical training.

Go back to scratch, you don't have to resubmit information you have already sent, you can refer to it but go back through your explanation of why he has difficulties completing the PIP activities and how this is supported by the evidence that you have provided.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Zara Jeffries

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