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UNLAWFUL AND HUMILIATING PIP TELEPHONE ASSESSMENTS
We’ve looked at almost 400 responses given between June and November in our ongoing PIP telephone assessment survey.
The horror stories are, if anything, even worse than they were in May of this year.
Some problems have improved, some have got worse.
But it’s the breaches of confidentiality, the hectoring and the weaselly questions that have left a real impression.
There was a trainee listening in and she had two people walk through the room sniggering at bowel and bladder questions
Was asked to make noises like I make while in pain, felt humiliated and degraded
I heard sniggering and muffled laughter and a mobile phone ring which was answered and not by interviewer
Still trying to work out why assessor asked ‘How often do you change your underwear’!
. . . after having to give humiliating answers about myself and my disabilities/illnesses, I heard a man’s voice and then shortly after I heard a small excitable child’s voice!
The form asks if you can make a simple meal. When I replied that I could not, he asked “So can you boil an egg then?”
My son has many mental health problems. Has ME and is autistic. But he [the assessor] made silly jokes and seemed to be making fun out of things written in his autism report.
But they wanted to know, if my husband got the ready meal out of the fridge and gave it to me, if I sat next to the microwave, could I put it in the microwave.
The assessor was relentless and the more I cried and became distressed he would just repeat “I have to do this, I have to ask these questions”.
If you are a Benefits and Work subscriber we would strongly encourage you to consult the PIP claims guide well before your telephone assessment.
It includes warnings of 10 problems to be ready for if you have a PIP telephone assessment, as well as details of the type of questions that are likely to be asked, assumptions that may be made and much more.
But we are urging all claimants to ask to have their assessment recorded and to strongly consider covertly recording it themselves, just in case the official record somehow gets mislaid.