This topic contains 94 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Rico 6 days, 21 hours ago.
September 16, 2019 at 4:56 pm #87692
Had letter in post today my DLA finishes October I’ve had motability car for 20 years phoned them up and put a claim in today for PIP said I would get form in 2 weeks gave them my local doctor hospital doctor etc
September 17, 2019 at 12:32 pm #87780
Just make sure you have as much info as you can for them to copy from, it just makes the whole job easier and quicker.September 17, 2019 at 7:14 pm #87839
Going back to the thread title, I was turned down going from DLA to PIP. I went from the higher rate of DLA mobility to 2 points on PIP, funnily though I was one point short on the care component having never had any care component on DLA. The mandatory reconciliation was a waste of time, so I went to appeal.
The RAF Benevolent Fund allocated me an advocate for the appeal so she did all the work for me and came along to the appeal. The appeal was successful but it took around 8 months to take place. The advocate got me the lower care component so in the end it all worked out for the best. I did lose my car but got the £2000 transition payment which became the deposit for my current car, luckily I was due a large pension increase so knew I could afford payments on a nearly new car, always hoping that I would be successful at appeal. Now I’m waiting for the letter to drop through the door again and I dread having to go through the process again.
Believe it or not it’s the second time this happened to me. The first time was a standard DLA review. This was back when ATOS first took over, if you remember some of the stories back then of assessors driving up to houses, taking pictures to show they were there, then driving off without seeing the claimant to write up a false assessment at home. Anyway the doctor actually came to the house, I greeted him at the door, shook his hand with my LEFT hand and escorted him into the living room. A brief 10 minute chat took place and he left. A week or so later I got a call from the DWP asking if I’d been for an operation or some treatment at the hospital recently, I said no but before I could ask why the other end of the phone went dead. The next day I got a letter from Motability saying I had to return my two month old car. I called the DWP on the Monday morning to be told I was losing my DLA so I started the MR. When I got a copy of the assessment it stated in two boxes that I “could sit, STAND and CLIMB on the sofa” ????? The assessor also wrote I was left handed, that’s because I had to shake hands with my left hand as my right hand was in my crutch. Other things were mentioned including I must do a lot of walking because of the callous’ on my feet. The doctor did ask me to take my slippers off during the “assessment” but at no time did my socks come off to see any callous, nor did I have any anyway. In the end the MR was successful I even got a written apology from ATOS and an acknowledgement that the doctor was reprimanded. I did find out later that he had a number of complaints against him.September 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm #87840
Hi Mike, glad I was able to put your mind at ease a little bit. The main thing to remember is you have support here ( and it’s available from the sites that have been mentioned already ) so you are not alone. 🙂
As Joss suggested, ( glad to have saved you some typing Joss 🙂 ) you can type out your answers, just number the pages and then in the box on the form, write see page 6 of enclosed notes, or whatever number page the relevant information is on. Remember to put your name and national insurance number on the top of each page. You can start doing that now, then you will have a head start when your form arrives.
Let’s look at the preparing food question I posted yesterday.
1 a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0 points
1 b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2 points
1 c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. 2 points
1 d. Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2 points
1 e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4 points.
1 f. Cannot prepare and cook food. 8 points.
You said in one of your posts that you can’t move your fingers to write. So let’s think about how that will affect your ability to prepare food.
They assume you have all the ingredients out ready to hand and this is about cooking on the top of your oven only, not roast dinners, more your common or garden pan of stew.
So if you can’t move your fingers to write, you are going to have difficulty holding a knife properly to peel and chop your vegetables.
So no, you are not able to prepare food unaided. Would a simple aid help you to that, possibly, you might need something that will hold your veg still while you peel? Does that solve the problem of you being able to grip a knife properly? Have you cut yourself trying to peel veg, if so tell them about it.
Think about the reliability criteria.
Can you manage to eventually peel your veg but it takes you a very long time? Maybe you have to stop several times to rest your hands, in which case you can’t prepare your meal in a timely manner.
Do you struggle to peel a potato properly so that half of it still has it’s skin on it? If so, that could possibly be construed as not being able to prepare your veg to an acceptable standard.
Is it difficult to such a degree that preparing veg is an impossibility and so someone else has to do it for you, or do you have to use frozen ready prepared veg?
( These are just rhetorical questions by the way, i’m not trying to pry into your health problems, just trying to advise how to think about the questions and your answers to them. )
So, ok you’ve somehow managed to get your potatoes in the pan. Due to not being able to grip properly you are not able to lift a pan to drain it, so would have to use a draining spoon at the very least. However, even gripping the spoon is very difficult so that the potatoes fall off the spoon and onto the floor. This could again be construed as not being able to reliably transfer food to plate.
If you also have problems with fatigue for instance, you can also say that due to the fatigue, the exhaustion from cooking a meal of this sort leaves you unable to do it again more than twice a week. Don’t forget, your difficulties have to be present on the majority of days, so if you can’t cook more than twice a week, then you are unable to prepare a meal as often as needed.
A word of caution.
At your face to face, the health professional :/ might ask you something along the lines of, if you can’t grip a knife to peel veg, how can you use a gear lever in a car in order to drive? So you would need to explain how you manage to drive. Just be aware that they can and do throw curveballs, so remember to cross reference how a problem in one area, leads to the same thing being a problem in another area and how you overcome that problem or not, in each scenario.
For instance, if you can’t grip a knife to chop and peel veg, how do you manage to use cutlery to eat. Does someone have to cut your food for you? Or how do you hold a bar of soap to get washed with.
I would recommend, if you haven’t already done so, doing the self test I linked to yesterday. That will give you a good idea of where you are likely to score, then you can think about how to start answering the questions.
Hi Macca and Tomas, will reply to your posts in a little while 🙂
Apparently it helps if you log in to post something :/ silly zelda! 🙁 lolSeptember 17, 2019 at 7:25 pm #87843
Thankyou so much ZeldaSeptember 17, 2019 at 7:26 pm #87844
Cani ask on the form the way to the knackers yard ? LolSeptember 17, 2019 at 7:34 pm #87845September 17, 2019 at 7:51 pm #87847
Zelda using the @ is useful if wanting to direct a comment to someone in particular as it sends an email notification to that person I.E @zelda
great info from everyone, well done guys and galls.September 17, 2019 at 9:06 pm #87856
Hi @macca 🙂
Yes I had fairly much the same attitude as you – nothing to lose by applying, they can only say no. I was convinced i’d have to go to appeal but thankfully, I ended up with what I thought was a fair award after mandatory reconsideration, though I would have gone to appeal if was necessary.
Fingers crossed for you at your face to face next week.
Whilst I am not advising you to, just for the sake of it, make several stops on the way from the entrance door to reception and on to the waiting room and then to the assessment room, to get your breath, steady yourself, etc. and to take your time getting there because we claimants play fair, if you feel that you need to make 2 or 3 stops or more, do so. Do not let the assessor rush you. And the same leaving the room and getting outside. Do not try to be brave and walk it all in one go if you have difficulty doing so. Using my crutches wears me out after a few steps, as does the pain from the wiring on my knee cap, so I had to stop several times, though the assessor said I managed the walk ok which was just ridiculous and physically impossible but assessors will be assessors :/
It shouldn’t be the case but many assessors leave an awful lot to be desired!
If the assessor asks you to do movements that you know will be painful for you to do, you can refuse to do them but tell the assessor that due to the pain you are unable to do the exercise, make it abundantly clear the pain is too much for you.
When I had my assessment, the assessor pointed me to a chair with no arms, if you need a chair with arms to help you push yourself up to a standing position ask for one, or ask that she/he puts the chair near enough to her desk that you can use that. As it happened with my assessment, I was accompanied and the two chairs were next to each other, the chair my helper was in had armrests and I had to use those but on my assessment report, the assessor wrote that I had managed to get up from the chair without arm rests with no trouble. So you live and learn, of course in my mandatory reconsideration letter I pointed out about having to use the arm rests on the other chair but I wish thinking back i’d asked for the chairs to be swapped, just to make the point really.
Be aware, they might ask you if you have pets and if so, they will ask you how you manage to look after them, how do you manage to walk the dog, bend to put the food down, or clean the litter tray, etc.
Anyway, fingers crossed for you, hopefully you will get a better assessor than I did, there are some very good ones out there i’m sure, just my luck to get one that wasn’t fair/honest.
If you have given DWP a mobile phone number, a couple of days after your assessment you might get a text saying they have all the info they need to make a decision. At this point you can ring the DWP and ask for a copy of the assessment report, that will give you an idea how you’ve scored. If you didn’t give them a mobile number, just phone them anyway after a few days and ask for a copy to be sent out.
Anyway Macca, good luck. I hope I haven’t worried you mentioning about the things my assessor didn’t report fairly/accurately about here but I thought it best to make you aware that this sort of thing happens.September 17, 2019 at 9:23 pm #87860
Very welcome words Zelda. There will be no heroics on the day for sure. Just as it is, plain and simple. Gotta admit it does feel very odd going through the process myself given that we’ve spent a lot of years managing my wife’s journeys through the DLA and PIP processes.September 17, 2019 at 9:31 pm #87861
Hi Tomas, best of luck to you on Thursday, fingers crossed that everything goes well for you. Just remember to take your time with your answers to questions. Don’t just say yes you can do something if you have trouble doing it.
For example, if she/he asks can you peel a potato and you can only do so with an aid, don’t just say yes I can with an aid, all they will hear is the word yes.
Say something like, I am unable to do that unless I use a potato holder. Leave no room for doubt.
Anyhoo good luck! 🙂
@saintsman Hi, it sounds like your assessor went to the same training commune that mine did 🙁
I really don’t know how some of them sleep at night!
According to mine, i’m quite capable of putting my coat and shoes on and heading into town to meet friends for coffee! :/ Nothing could be further from the truth and what is this thing with coffee, I never drink the stuff!
I hope that next time you go through the process you get a decent assessor and that you don’t have any trouble getting a fair award.
@mike It seems like we’re all heading that way sadly, if only I was still able to conga my there 😀 lol
@js hi, well what a great function that is. I’ve used forums where a thread can be marked to send replies to the thread but not the individual contributors to the thread. So that’s a really good function to have 🙂September 17, 2019 at 10:05 pm #87867
@macca Yes, it’s a big thing to change from being the carer to becoming the cared for, it’s a shock to the system without a doubt. Sadly, the process of claiming PIP doesn’t do anyone any favours, especially when there are assessors who aren’t as fair as they should be but when you know you have just cause for applying, at least knowing the appeal system seems to be working well is a help, though for those that need a more immediate award making so that they can take care of their transport concerns, it’s rather harsh if they have to wait up to a year for an appeal.
Hopefully though, you will fly through your face to face and have no trouble whatsoever getting the right award. Take someone with you if you can and if poss, get them to drive you there and drop you at the door, you don’t want to make yourself ill with pain before you even get through the door.September 17, 2019 at 10:08 pm #87868
Many thanks @JS it would probably be from when I tried to post it not realising I wasn’t logged in, silly Zelda! 🙁 😀September 22, 2019 at 1:00 am #88175
Without doubt the single most unedifying experience of my life. I was a emotional mess before during and after it, I didn’t sleep for weeks.
try and take someone with you if possible and please please do not fill the forms in alone. If you have a specialist who deals with pip forms locally contact them, citizens advice etc. Also lots of great advice here re: doctors historic records. 100% get copies and highlighted them. Make sure there is no conflicting comments or anything that suggests you are healthy, recovering or “ not as your condition reflects”.
ill say a prayer for you, and best of luck, keep in touch and let us know how it goes.September 22, 2019 at 11:03 am #88191
Some great advice above. Couple of observations and advice given that I have recently gone through this process.
September 23, 2019 at 9:01 am #88230
- Seek advice
- When asked if they would like to make the decision based on information they currently have on you. If you are in receipt of PIP and nothing has changed this maybe acceptable. However, if you are currently in receipt of DLA. I suggest you consider declining and complete a new full application. As stated by others DLA differs from PIP in that it is based on how it affects your daily life not the actual illness(es).
- During the call make a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) for all information that the DWP hold on you. There will be information which you can use to inform answers to some of the questions and add as supporting evidence in your claim. Historic medical evidence etc. This is free. They should provide the information within the prescribed time limit for DSAR requests. If they do not provide the information ask for an extension on the time limit to submit the form due to the information not yet being provided.
- Finally seek support and advice!
Friday I called in my doctors surgery as I was going by saw receptionist she said doctor will lookatform when you get itSeptember 23, 2019 at 9:48 am #88234
Mike, I doubt you’ll doctor will even be sent a form. Despite being assured by ATOS that they would send appropriate forms to all concerned, neither consultants or doctor ever received a form. That’s why its so important to get all your medical reports yourself.
Good luckSeptember 23, 2019 at 11:36 am #88242
No receptionist asked me to take form in for my local doctor to see ! I’ve got letters to photo copy etc when get form in a weeks time will take to CAB for them to fill in for me will it take 2 hours to fill in or longer ?September 23, 2019 at 1:23 pm #88253
Because I’m disabled but not ill or sick in anyway it means I never see my doctor but when my case went to the MR stage I approach my doctor for help and he was just flabbergasted at the DWP decision because he said “they only have to look at me to see I’m disabled” but its not the DWP who look at you, it’s only what they like to call “a health professional” ha, ha, that look at you however my doctor would not intervene unless it went to tribunal and when it did he did write a very nice letter putting my case.
We all like to think we are better at getting by in our daily disabled lives than we really are and my big mistake when asked how far or how fast I could walk 20 metres I simply said “I don’t know” and then was put under pressure to give an answer while putting it to me “is 3, 4 or 5 minutes to walk the 20” to get passed that question I said “I might managed 20 in 5 minutes, sometimes”.
That was a big mistake and by the time I went to tribunal I had learned to say “I can’t walk, full stop, but I can trip and stumble for a few metres using a walking stick”.
Just to add, My wife who is also my full time carer was at the interview with me and because I miss hear things would speak on my behalf or if I’m misunderstanding a question and she was told in no uncertain terms to “shut up” and he must get all the information needed from myself.
If you are unfortunate to have to go to the MR stage keep the correspondence going with the DWP about the errors of there ways and challenged their decisions and more so if it goes to tribunal because every word you make in your defence also goes to the tribunal judge to read along with the real medical professional doctor who can see who is being sincere from those who maybe try it on so before you even get to court the judge and doctor already know why you think you’ve been misjudged.
Hope you just sail through this Mike but like others here, I’ve had those sleepless nights of getting up a 3 in the morning in mid Winter to write letters but hope with all the cases the DWP have lost in court that they actually take notice of what you write and not just put it in a filing cabinet.
All the best and remember, your not alone.September 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm #88282
I am in the same boat as you ChrisK. Polio left me disabled when I was 6-months old so I don’t actually see my doctor very often because I’m not “sick” or “ill”. I have been waiting for the dreaded DLA-to-PIP form to drop through my letterbox for more months than I care to remember now. Thinking about it, I don’t really know what use my doctor would be when it comes to helping my claim when it drops through the door? Other than pain relief tablets – what can he say or do?
I know there is a lot of help out there online as regards filling in the bulky form for PIP… but I still dread the day I have to do so & honestly feel that the DWP will refuse my claim before I’ve even sent it off!!!
I guess time will tell…September 23, 2019 at 8:10 pm #88287
It would be advisable to make appointments with your doctor/s just so you have some recent evidence.
you could also ask your council to be assessed or reassessed by an OT for any aids around the hone to help you.
chances are in your interview you get someone that knows nothing about your condition, so it’s best to provide something in black and white from a medical expert.
from that you can say how your mobility and daily living are effected.
I had our local council carers association fill mine with me present, it took the best part of 3 hours to fill in. But no way could I have filled it out so comprehensively as they did.
with there help I got full award for 10 years on my first attempt.September 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm #88290
Thanks for the heads up Phil.
I do, as it happens, have an appointment next month with a specialist to see if I can have a built-up wedge fitted into lightweight trainers (the right foot), so perhaps that’s a good starting point. When I was a kid I had a 3″ solid wood one fitted into my Startrite shoes & it weighed a ton lol. I believe things have moved on these days with modern. lightweight composite materials 😉
I must say Kudos to each & every one of you who have been through the DWP PIP fiasco. Those of us yet to undertake the challenge have learnt a lot from the many stories – so thanks in advance for all the help & guidance. :thumbs:September 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm #88291
Something which can potentially be VERY important is how you answer the questions.
Always answer in a bad to good format, not a good to bad. The assessors and decision-makers are somewhat notorious for reading the first part, making a note and ignoring the second part.
This DOES NOT mean you have to lie, just be mindful of how you answer something.
To give an example which might clarify this a little, let’s assume you can walk 100 metres, on a good day but on a bad day you struggle with anything over a few steps, you should phrase your answer as “Not very far at all, only a few metres although I can, on good days, walk substantially further”. Either way is telling the same story but if the person reading it takes the shortcut I referred to before, the difference is between them recording “I can walk 100 metres” and “I can only walk a few metres”.
If you have to go to a face-to-face assessment (probably will unless your condition is particularly bad and well documented) be sure to answer any questions there the same way, bad to good.
Again I am NOT suggesting lying or being dishonest in any way, shape or form, just be aware of how things can be misinterpreted if you aren’t careful.
I can’t 100% state that it was a deciding factor or not, but when I first applied for PIP I answered the questions in a good-to-bad style, I was turned down flat, fought it, and after the year-long appeal process ended up on Low care and High mobility. I have since had to re-apply and this time I did the bad-to-good and got the same Low/High combo without having to go through any appeal process. My condition had not deteriorated (or improved) in any notable way between the two applications although they WERE almost 3 years apart so it may well be down to a change in practices at the DWP.September 24, 2019 at 12:30 am #88292
Cheers Colin. All your points noted for when the form drops through the letterbox.September 24, 2019 at 7:54 am #88293
Did you still get DLA while the year long appeal was going on Colin ?September 24, 2019 at 8:16 am #88296
I wasn’t on DLA, my disability is relatively new as a result of MS diagnosed when it kicked in about 4 years ago