Can't cope with thought of PIP home visit

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I received a letter regarding a medical assessment with Atos next week. I suffer with severe anxiety and depression. No way can I attend as I don't leave the house as I also have a severe skin condition and I am too ashamed of the way I look. I contacted Atos and cancelled the appointment as my doctor and counsellor have written a letter explaining that I am unable to attend as it will cause extreme anxiety. Atoms have now said that they will request a home visit instead. I got too upset on the phone and had to hang up as I couldn't breathe. My question is, if I refuse a home visit because of my anxiety then will I get my claim closed? My anxiety us so bad and I cannot deal with meeting new people. I rarely see anyone and I don't let friends or family into the house. I just don't know what to do as I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. I feel pretty desperate and don't know how I will live without any money. Has anyone else been in a situation like this? I explained on my form that I avoid people at all costs. I can't bare the thought of them coming to my house. I really would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    I was refused an home visit despite my dr writing me a letter with the reasons. If I don't attend I've been told my claim will be closed 😞

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  • Posted

    Hi sorry to hear you are so bad.but if you cancel or refuse the home visit your pip application will be cancelled.is there anyone that can be there with you.i had a atos home visit and they were very proffesional and came over careing.
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  • Posted

    Speak to a close member of your family or make an appointment with the Citizens advice Bureau. They are so, so friendly caring people and they really look after you and understand your problems. Don't try and do it all by yourself.

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  • Posted

    Toby55.  I'm really sorry but if you don't attend the assessment or allow the home visit, they will close your claim and your DLA will stop.  They only allow you to cancel an appointment once and if you cancel a subsequent appointment without a cast iron reason your benefit will stop.  There really is no way to avoid an assessment but I would argue that a home assessment is less stressful that one held in an assessment centre.  Not everyone has a horror story to tell about these assessments, and I have first hand experience of several people in my disability support group who have had home assessments, and say that the examiner was easy to talk to and put them at their ease, so that they could better discuss their problems and how  they are affected. Contact CAB - that's good advice.  There is also an online advocacy agency called Fightback, who may be able to help.  I wouldn't advise anyone to undergo something like this alone, but your disability is a tricky one because you avoid people.   Would it not be possible for you to ask a close family member to be present when the assessor arrives ?  

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your help and advice, I really appreciate it. I don't have anyone that can be here for the visit although I might ask my counsellor. I have telephone counselling and I have never met her. This is so difficult when all I want to do is shut myself away.

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    • Posted

      Im not trying to pry but hasnt your doctor ever regered you to the adult mental health team .with what you are going through they could have assinged you a CPN who would have come with you to support you.

      A home visit is better as its in familier surroundings .you can stop and take a break from the assesment at any time.its not a barrage of questions they will.do the assesment at your pace hopefully your assesor will be a mental health nurse .good luck

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    • Posted

      Toby if I lived by you I would offer you my support. Ask you local council for a social worker or support worker if you can.  Do you trust any neighbours to support you? I really do hope that you can get the support you obviously require. Where in the country are you?
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    • Posted

      I have telephone counselling as I can't deal with anything face to face. Thank you for your advice.

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  • Posted

    They were unsympathetic when I felt unable to attend and was basically told if I was able to cope with seeing my doctor and hospital appointments then an interview with Atos was no different. If you refuse your claim will be cancelled.
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  • Posted

    Toby, what a dilema for you. Do you have a trusted friend or relative who can sit in the meeting with you? I'm afraid you can't be fully assessed without them seeing you. If you try to think that the outcome of the actualy seeing and speaking with you can result in you getting what you deserve.  I can't even imagine the stress you feel but I can see from afar that the meeting can only help you, please think about asking someone to support you in the meeting. A member from your local religious organisation church for example could help or the Citizens Advice Bureau.  I wish you courage, support and the very best of luck with your application.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your messages. I don't even let my family in the house so I can't imagine having a stranger in my home. I don't think that I have the strength to get through this. I do appreciate everyone's comments because I don't feel like I'm dealing with this by myself.

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    • Posted

      Toby, do you have hospital or GP visits to attend? If so, I think you need to try and think of the Atos interview as being like one of those, they are trying to help you, not judge, even though I know how worrying it is thinking about it. If they visit you at home they will have a real understanding of how you are. I had my assessment two weeks ago, still awaiting a decision, and I just told myself it was the same as seeing other medical professionals and that did help me cope better with the anxiety.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your help. I have avoided appointments for months and have telephone consultations with my GP and councillor. I will try and bare in mind what you have said. I just received a letter from Atos saying that they will be in touch regarding a home visit appointment and I was so sick. What am I going to be like if they come here? I feel ashamed that I am getting so ill over this but I can't control it. I hope that all works out for you.

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    • Posted

      Toby, the worry you feel at the moment will probably not get better until the meeting is over. Maybe if you think about the time one hour after the meeting and plan to do something after that. Maybe think about watching a TV show or listening to a radio programme or find a good book to read. If you look forward to doing that after the meeting you will have something positive and good to look forward to. I really wish you the very best of luck. What is the worst that can happen? you might feel embarrassed and anxious but the time will pass. God bless
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