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TOPIC: As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :(

As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :( 2 weeks 2 days ago #248008

Hi all, hope you're all doing ok.

I need some help making sure i'm taking the next steps after my (quite frankly) horrendous assessment. For our mutual benefit, I feel the need to share my experience here. Feel free to skip to the end for my Q's!

--

I got to note before I go into this that I started this application in OCTOBER 2019 and just got the decision letter. Theoretically, given all the documentation I have read here, I should be getting at least 19 points on the daily living and 10 (although not certain) on the mobility side. To be awarded 0 is... confusing and infuriating.

I had a phone appointment last month and recently got my decision letter through. The wording of the text is quite confusing to read, and is literally just a wall of text. It also makes (quite frankly) insane leaps of logic to mitigate my claims.

In essence, it seems that assessor (CAPITA) has denied my claims because I am:

- University educated
- In a full-time job
- and live by myself.

Not even considering that my ADHD, Asperger's, Depression (oh the list goes on) has made all of these things a living nightmare, which is why I was pushed to apply!

I sent in around 70~ pages of evidence with my PIP application, but the entire judgment just seems to be made on the phone assessment. I'd like to thank the team here at this point for providing how to answer questions properly in the guide!

Now the call itself. Good god that was absolutely horrible and upsetting. I knew it'd be bad, but basically talking about how inept you are is so dehumanising. I had taken my meds at the wrong times, so I was awake for 26+ hours and not "on the ball". But even still, it was bad. Key points to note:

- I was told it would take 45 minutes. This turned into 1hr 15.
- The assessor was incredibly confusing and at times, had no idea what they were asking. I felt like at times they were trying to get me to say things in their favour by accident.
- When I went on to explain examples of how "bad" my health conditions are, they either kept telling me to stick to the point (in essence) or that they would get to that later but never seemed to? It was not structured at all.
- The assessor more so telling me what to say. At one point she said: "You eat your snacks daily right? (referring to cereal bars etc as I struggle to cook)" After I talked about my difficulties preparing a simple meal. This was noted down that I could feed myself A-OK in my report, which contradicts their own guidelines.
- The assessor also said, multiple times "I am just looking to know if you can physically carry out this task". This seems to indicate that they just ignored the mental health aspect of things.
- In the report, they misinterpreted key facts about my medication and health conditions. Stating they were at a "low level" (?!?!?!???!!?!!)
- Additionally, it seems that because I stated that my medication does help my health conditions, that this was interpreted as "your medication has cured you, therefore, no PIP".


And the absolute worse bit about all of this.

- The assessor talked about my depression. A *lot*, even though I gave all the details I could in the application. Again, really really confusing questions. However, she talked at one point about my self harming. She asked details about when I tried to commit suicide and also when the last time I self-harmed was. But, she went onto say "So what did you use to cut yourself?" which I find is completely and utterly humiliating.

All in all, crap experience. 0/10, would not recommend.

--

So now, of course, I want to get an MC. I have new evidence to send them (which, infuriatingly, comes from the DWP THEMSELVES via access to work) outlining their own assessment about my difficulties at work and at home. My mental health officer at work (again, DWP) is incredibly supportive and can also provide a statement.

Before I do anything though, I just want to make sure this is the correct order I do things in:

1) Call DWP to get a copy of my medical assessment.
2) Write to them asking for one, with proof of postage, with new evidence to consider.
3) Wait for results.
4) Go to appeal if needed.


Is there anything else I should add when requesting an MC or just keep it short and sweet unless it goes to appeal?

I do actually have the recording of the phone call (accidentally believe it or not), but I really do not want to listen to it again because I honestly think I will cry. I do not mind passing it on to the staff of this forum (if that is allowed) with a write up (verbatim) of the decision letter if they want a read through.

Thanks again for everyone's help here. You all rock.

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As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :( 2 weeks 2 days ago #248009

Hi INTD

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. (I didn't skip to the questions - I read every word)

You are right about ringing for a copy of the assessment report and saying that you are going to put in for an MR. Then put the request for an MR in writing.

I think there are two different issues here - one you are clearly going to deal with and the other you may not want to think about.

The MR. It will be easier to know more about the decision when you see the report. The important thing is to focus on the areas where you didn't get points and feel that you should have done and counteract might have been assumed.

Also try and look at what you submitted with an objective eye. It's not always easy to do this. I know you sent in lots of evidence, but it's not the amount that counts. Sometimes the link between the evidence and the PIP criteria isn't always as strong as it should be. I'm not saying that's the case, but you need to be able to put your anger and frustration and distress aside to consider it.

The second area is if you want to put in an official complaint. People don't always have the energy to or think it's a waste of time. It's up to you, but issues like asking about your self harming by a complete stranger over the phone when you are vulnerable seems a dangerous precedent and I would complain about it. They may have training in basic mental health, but unless they are a specialist psychiatric nurse I believe this was well outside their remit. I say it's up to you, but you may want to argue you were not given a chance to give an account of yourself through hostile questioning. (Just my view). You can complain to the DWP.


BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: INTD

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

As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :( 2 weeks 2 days ago #248011

Hi BIS,

Thank you for reaching out. It's good to know that I'm on the right path.

I completely understand that at this point I'm a bit all over the place and kinda want to vent a little, so apologies if I was rambly. I will call them tomorrow if I wake up on the good side of the bed to get this over and done with as soon as I can.

In terms of evidence and things, I spent a very long time with help from others who've had to do the same to try and get it as ship-shape as possible. I completely understand and appreciate though that having an overwhelming amount of things to go through it can be tough to make conclusions. One of the few "benefits" of having ASD is that I am incredibly diligent with my research. Thing is though, It's tough for me to give info to someone who is neurotypical as I literally cannot comprehend how they'd read through it.

I believe that I did enough to cover everything linking specifically to the criteria. But at this point, we will have to see what happens. This has been a problem before in my life when I've given a lot of evidence to show something, only for it to be just "glossed over", so, unfortunately, I'm kinda used to it. If it does get to the appeal stage, I can very easily match up definitions to the evidence stated, so I have that going for me (even though that is the last thing I want).

I'm hoping with what my ATW advisor gives will help to clear things up!

In terms of making a complaint... this is something I honestly had not even considered. I thought that was just a normal procedure to ask that question which was why I was so upset. I struggle to look at things (as you said) objectively but knowing that is out of the norm I think I may have too.

How should I go about making one, and when do you think would be the best time to do this?

All the best, and thank you so much for reading every word :)

INTD

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As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :( 2 weeks 1 day ago #248017

Hi INTD

You ask when is the best time to make a complaint? The best time to complain is when you yourself are ready to put your complaint in words, and that you fully understand what you are complaining about. We have some useful guides on making complaints.

You can make a complaint to the Assessment Provider

Complaining to the PIP Assessment Providers

You might also want to involve your MP

Contacting your MP

Gary

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

As predicted - Nil Pois. MC time! :( 2 weeks 1 day ago #248029

INTD
I am really upset with the way you have been treated. Providing 70 pages of additional information which i am sure were relevant and to score 0 is unacceptable. I read on this site for years horrendous experiences people have and quite frankly yours is not the only example. Obviously first stage is to go for MR then appeal but a formal complain is justified at a time of your choice. Wishing you all the best.
Patel

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