Disabled people claiming PIP are being forced to go through two assessments

PIP pic

Benefits and Work have reported that a number of their members in recent weeks have been been made to go through a second Personal Independent Payment (PIP) assessment before a decision is made on their award, because there was a problem with the first assessment report.

One member faced a two hour assessment on Christmas Eve. In January they were contacted by Capita and told that the assessment was “incomplete” and that someone was to be “sent round to finish it.”

Capita have refused to say what information was missing and would not provide a copy of the report until it was complete.

One member told Benefits and Work:

“This has left me feeling very anxious. All they would say is that they needed further information as the last assessment was incomplete. I’m confused. I feel that they want to trip me up even though I was completely truthful about my conditions in the last assessment.”

I co-run an online group to support people going through PIP and Employment and Support Allowance claims, assessments, mandatory review and appeals. Our members are also reporting that this is happening to them, too.

One person told me: “After suffering two heart attacks and a quadruple bypass plus a brain tumour and a previous devastating head injury , which will never be “cured” he was told to apply for PIP.

“Three months later and the lady sent from a brain injury charity, to help him , phoned up the Department for Work and Pensions regarding his assessment and they denied having any knowledge of said assessment and said it will have to be done again.

“The stress is unbearable for my partner.

“Horrendous.”

Another person said: “I had my assessment in November. I rang to see why I wasn’t told a decision just before Christmas and was told I would need another assessment as the one I’d had didn’t give enough evidence to make the decision.

“I collapsed at the assessment in the examination because I was told to stand up from my wheel chair and I can’t. What more evidence do they need? I have rheumatoid arthritis and a severe spine injury, they have medical evidence from my doctor? I can’t face it all again. The stress is making me very poorly.”

Another member had almost completed their assessment when it was suddenly stopped and they were told they would have to return for a new, full assessment. The only reason they were given was that the assessment should have been done by a physiotherapist instead of a nurse.

One Benefits and Work member took her son for a PIP assessment which lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. However, this person was then told that the assessor had not filed the report so they would have to return for a new assessment.

The new assessor took 1 hour and 30 minutes. The assessor claimed that she had the original report on screen and would take information from that, but she did not actually do so. As a result our member did not give some of the information that had been covered in the first report.

The member said:

“I was too worried at the time to complain but I did contact my MP.”

Another member was contacted after their assessment in December and told that she would have to attend a second assessment in February before a decision on her claim could be made. When they asked why:

“I was told it was to do a more robust assessment and that if I didn’t attend they would refuse my claim.”

The person concerned is understandably very anxious about the repeat assessment:

“I am in total meltdown mode and if the first one is anything to go by I’m dreading the next one. I was so stressed and anxious I could barely control myself but did manage to answer all the questions they asked.”

One member’s 16 year old child is about to be moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP. They had an assessment in December but have now been asked to attend a second one before a decision is made.

The member commented:

“So I guess we just go to the 2nd assessment and do it all again then? Just what a overly anxious child wants eh!!”

Another member had their PIP assessment in December as part of the process of moving from an indefinite DLA award. However, in January they were contacted by Capita who said that the DWP had requested further information and they would have to have a further assessment. Capita have not said what further information is needed or why it can’t be collected by phone.

The member said:

“I am sick with worry I was already suffering with even more anxiety than usual due to going through this process.”

The PIP assessment process is enormously stressful for many people. To have to go through it twice with no adequate explanation as to why seems unfair and unreasonable. At the very least, people should receive a letter of apology and an explanation of why a telephone conversation would not be sufficient to put matters right.

Please consider complaining to your MP if this happens to you.

Benefits and Work are interested in hearing from anyone else who has been forced to attend two assessments.  Please click on the link and leave your comment here.

You can also leave a comment on this article, as I will be sending this information to government and shadow ministers.

 


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35 thoughts on “Disabled people claiming PIP are being forced to go through two assessments

  1. I have just had a PIP assessment stupid person asked me like 10 times can i walk to the bus stop, kept telling her cant walk out of this building without help and that took a day to recover afterwards. I have peripheral nephropathy Anxiety really bad bipolar depression COPD Asthma. Asked me can i use my hands came out of there really badly stressed if it wasn’t for my carer who knows please don’t ask me to come back for a second interview .

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    1. Just to let everyone know just got an email from my local MP he will be taking up my case so fingers crossed he can totally embarrass the Tory’s and DWP as Clive Lewis is very outspoken. As for the PIP saying I don’t need the mobility part lol spent today getting over going to a hospital appointment yesterday has left me in agony today.

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      1. I’m very glad Clive took this up. I had rather less luck with my own MP, Kevan Jones. Good luck, and rest after your hospital visit. I know I wouldn’t be able to get to mine i it wasn’t for the fact I can usually get a lit there and back. X

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amazing news! You are so lucky to have someone like Clive as your MP, he will do the best for you I’m sure. I wish we all had such caring MP’s in our constituency. I know the feeling about being totally worn out after appointments, I always am too and can sleep for days ….in fact I’ve spent all of today in bed in agony and unable to sleep, mind racing and that wasn’t even because of that …I had a rheumatology appointment I’ve been waiting for for ages that was yesterday cancelled and rescheduled for May! I don’t cope with change very well and that on top of everything else at the moment just threw me. Good Luck! xxx

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      3. Finally got a text message from DWP today saying they are going to having another look at my claim to have the mobility part reinstated only took almost 3 weeks to reply.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Finally got an answer back from DWP Pip I was not in pain at the assessment according to the woman interviewing me, even though i had taken max dose of Tramadol so I could actually stand and walk also 3,200mg Gabapentin 200mg Sertraline 400mg Lamotrigine I also looked relaxed Da so would anyone after taking all those meds. But that is what is required to get out the door also hate interacting with other people, even though now knowing me better than my mother (pip woman) Lol. I interact with other people fine even though the last time I entered a supermarket 10 years ago I had a massive panic attack ened up in A&E. Don’t you love these assessors she earned her commission that month will be now going for an appeal against these bastards.

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  2. I haven’t had this (yet!) but it does seem like another one of those things that seem to be aimed at upsetting us even more than the process already does. I have had differing problems ….for example, with this current PIP award, the DWP lost my MR twice (they received it but did not put it on the system ,first when they initially received it and then when I phoned up to find out what was happening over a month later they again ‘forgot’ to put it on the system!). They finally did the MR in a rush (and did not change anything) when I phoned again a month after that and they finally admitted what had happened both times.

    Not the end of my problems – I then waited almost a year for a tribunal date. The tribunal was hard,very hard (and not my first or even my second as I won before a few years ago after having two adjourned) but I won. They did not decide on the day as it was 3.45pm and they were finished for the day (and it was almost Christmas I guess …the staff there definitely seemed to be winding down to say the least!) and I got my letter on Xmas eve.

    I waited about 5 weeks when someone online said I should ring them as it was usual for them to contact you to check your details before they can sort it all out. I don’t have my own phone so used my parents…they said that their self imposed deadline was 6 weeks and it would be paid then. I phoned up again to check something and they said the same…then phoned yet again when the 6 weeks was up and nothing had happened.

    The guy on the phone didn’t know why I hadn’t heard anything but there was nothing he could do and just to be patient.
    I left this a couple of days, getting more and more worried so emailed my MP on the offchance…..they phoned their special DWP hotline and instantly found out that there was a problem ….the tribunal decision letter had one tiny date error on it, so that apparently meant that they couldn’t pay me until it had gone back to the courts service to be changed (and then back to the DWP and back in the queue) which could take months depending on how busy they were!
    I would NOT have known this if the MP’s office had not have got involved ….they lied to me on the phone more than once when they knew what was happening and further to that should really have picked up on this earlier.
    Now I have to wait until the judge gets a moment to change the mistake and then wait again…it has almost been 20 months that I have been living on the breadline. This whole process has made me so so ill. I mean I’m ill anyway, very ill but the added of all of this and the constant mistakes and errors and not knowing what’s going on and waiting is on the verge of sending me into crisis again. I have started self harming more regularly, my psychiatrist has put my medication up yet again and I don’t think I can cope with this anymore.
    There will be no respite either even when /if this gets sorted out as I have just had my ESA renewal forms through this week …which is what sent me into crisis last time…plus I will have to apply for PIP again at the end of this year presumably as most of the backdated will then be gone. I’m so fed up, this can’t be right living like this..why do they hate us so much?

    (sorry for going on …I just had to get it out somehow!)

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    1. This level of hardship caused by the DWP being dishonest and incompetent is absolutely unacceptable, I’m glad you involved your MP. But you are still left waiting and without the money that the courts have ruled you are entitled too. This is simply atrocious. Do you mind if I write about this, using your post? I will keep it anonymous, so I don’t have to put your name on it. But people need to know how ill and disabled people are being treated by the state

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      1. Yes thank you, that would be great…a few friends have suggested that I should try and tell people about this / go to the papers, as it’s so disgusting. Do you need anymore information? I am seeing the MP’s aide again next week to follow it up. He has been very helpful but he said that there isn’t much they can do beyond that (they are tory though 😦 ..I didn’t have a choice there unfortunately).
        I’m just so petrified that they will find some excuse not to give this to me now altogether and then that the ESA will fail and I;ll be left with nothing .. the timing is atrocious (but not surprising).

        I’m an intelligent person who used to have a very good job before I became too ill to cope (something they have repeatedly used against me) but I have bipolar with severe depression, chronic anxiety, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (a genetic connective tissue disorder which causes constant pain, fatigue and frequent dislocations, with it’s concurrent POTS, MCAS and IBS), scoliosis, kyphosis, 3 burst discs and Trigeminal Neuralgia. I’m just about to be investigated for dyspraxia as well. It’s ridiculous, these are things that aren’t just going to go away. I have already been ‘not well’ for 20 years now (but I gave up work in 2009) yet the judge only gave me three years, as it is, because they thought I could ‘improve’, which is laughable.

        Sorry I’ll shut up now! I waffle a lot.

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      2. No, this isn’t waffling, it’s very important. You have been appallingly mistreated, and the DWP and government minsters need to act to put this right. I will start writing this later, if I need any more info, I will ask. Who is your MP?

        I agree you should go to the press, often the mainstream media use independent sites like mine to garner stories,but that raises the wider public’s awareness that things need to change drastically. I’ll start to write this tomorrow at the latest, but most likely will get much of it done tonight x

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      3. My MP is Wendy Morton – Aldridge / Brownhills. I haven’t met her just one of her assistants, who as I say has been helpful but not much he can do beyond ringing the general customer helpline to find out what stage it is at (there isn’t a specific hotline to the HMCTS for MP’s apparently like there is for other departments so that makes it more difficult for them).
        I will think about the press thing – I would need to be anonymous so that worries me, I would hate to be laughed at and for old friends to see my life now. How would I go about it?

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      4. Just ask to remain unnamed. I won’t name you in my article either.

        Wendy Morton is ghastly – she said of labour’s concerns about universal credit last year “It is this government who are helping people, which is why I am disappointed to have sat through a lot of this debate and heard scaremongering stories from Opposition Members.”

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      5. Of course she would say that ..I think she’s a whip of some sort now and her voting record also reflects that …I don’t hold out much hope for help from them then 😦 I hope that contacting them hasn’t made my situation worse! That’s going to worry me now. I only did as my parents are members of that party (and also generally have the same views, although they have realised through all this how terrible I;ve been treated and even they are disgusted by the system that is in place). They plan to write a letter of complaint when it has all been sorted out.

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      6. Hi again, I’ve had an update from the MP’s aide ..apparently the courts are STILL waiting for my file to be sent from an ‘offsite storage facility’ and have not even got to the judge yet to sign! They have known about this since the 25th January (the DWP took over a month to realise the mistake)! You’d think sending a file would not take that long…..

        They refuse to give timescales….and obviously after the judge deigns to change it, it then has to go back to the DWP to sort out (and go to the back of their queue again). I can’t believe this, I need this money to live on. I SHOULD have had it every month since July 2017! I’m at the end of my tether and don’t think I can cope with much more. I still can’t get hold of my welfare advisor at the local council to help me with my ESA50 either ….I emailed him on the 12th and have left phone messages!

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  3. I also have peripheral neuropathy ,was getting PIP until recently for personal care.Have now got to go through a tribunal as I have been turned down.This is causing me great anxiety and making my condition worse.

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  4. Well that’s the answer from PIP i’m now going to getting over £100.00 pound less because even though i could not even walk to the bloody door they have decided i’m not in pain which is a dam lie and i can get out and about another lie. I am currently waiting for an MRI for my lower back as i can’t stand for more than a few mins without being in absolute agony, they said i could sit pain free which is bullshit can’t feel my feet i’m on 1400mg Gabapentin per day which is being increased. And i just read these people who do the assessments are now being offered intensives just as free private healthcare right now as 4 times in the past i’v drank antifreeze right now jus want to die.

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    1. Please talk to someone about how you are feeling. The Samaritans can be reached on this number any time, it’s free – 116 123. You can also look online for your local branch.

      Failing that, you can always talk here. If you post a comment asking for help, I can contact you and the comment won’t appear on here, it would be confidential x

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      1. Sorry to hear this, Sasha. Can you give me an email or Facebook address I can contact you on? Or even a phone number, none of which I will publish on this site. I can delete the comment once I have a way o contacting you x

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    2. Just to update you all now i’m £100.00 less per month just had to cancel 2 hospital appointments because of the expense of travel also 1 doctors appointment I feel so low right now thank you DWP making me extra angry that Mr Grayling just blew millions of £’s of government money on stupid mates projects.

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  5. I had two assessments. The first was undertaken but stopped when the assessor said she wasn’t qualified to assess my condition sonI had to return and wade through all that history and trauma again. Pip was denied and it took almost two years to get to the appeal. I won.

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    1. Hi, yes it had gone into the spam folder – it happens occasionally but don’t know why. There was also a backlog of comments that I hadn’t been notified of, for some reason. Will read your comment now

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  6. I had a PIP home assessment on December 31st. The assessor turned up late and left before she’d completed the assessment. I had a letter from the courts and tribunals which said the report wasn’t sent in yet. Next the assessor phoned me and asked me questions to finish the report. Then a week or two later I was sent a letter about a consultation in Worcester for two days later…. I cancelled as it was too little notice. I learned that the consultation was actually a second assessment. I re arranged the appointment for 14.25 pm today at Worcester. I turned up and Capita didn’t. They did not tell me they weren’t turning up or that my assessment was cancelled. I’m not very impressed as I’m on zero income, and I’m going into hospital tomorrow too.

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    1. That’s atrocious treatment, I’m sorry you’re going through this, Andrew. It seems to be a tactic, cancelling appointments and not communicating this to people.

      Good luck with your hospital stay.

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