Does it really matter what you tell the assessor?

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This morning my next door neighbour knocked on my front door visibly shaking. Un-be-known to me she had made a claim for PIP. Presumably she had filled in the PIP2 some weeks ago and had now received a 'demand' that she attend an assessment.

To put it mildly - she is totally unable to express herself. How she managed to fill the forms in I don't know - but her going to be 'grilled' will certainly not work in her favour.

Knowing this and that she has no family and is a bit of a recluse, I gave her some options.

Cancel her claim

Try to get someone to go with her 

If she did go on her own does it really really matter what she says or does at the assessment as it seems that they make it up as they go along in any event?  

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Most people have to attend for assessment.  I can't see how it will work against her coz if she is unable to express herself then they should pick this up.  She needs to tell the truth as far as she can.   She isn't responsible for what others do but only what she does. 

    Can you go with her?  Does she have a CPN or social worker to go with her?  x

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    • Posted

      As mentioned above, I don't particularly want to get involved.

      She has never mentioned a Social Worker so presume she hasn't got one - in any event she is not the type of person to start looking for help (apart from me that is - she sees me as her 'handyman' mending fuses etc.

       

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  • Posted

    Has she tried asking for a home visit? It would sound like a good idea with old Les only next door.
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    • Posted

      Hey, not so much of the old!

      To be truthful, I don't particularly want to get involved. I don't mind sorting out matters that affect the community but do draw the line at trying to help where the DWP are concerned. - there is a lot of history with them and me over the years! I have enough problems in my own life without taking on board someone else's. I would end up being blamed if it all ended up in tears.

      I will suggest that she telephones them to ask.

       

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    • Posted

      TBH Les I fully understand your reluctance. If things go wrong then people have a habit of blaming everyone else rather than themselves.0
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  • Posted

    I was only really asking if it really did matter what she said or did at the assessment. Knowing her she would tell them that she is as fit as a flea.

    The assessors do seem to have a habit of making things up so to my way of thinking it really dosn't matter what she says - she might well tell them that she is in the GB Hockey team!!

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  • Posted

    Of course it matters what she says to the assessor! She's asking for a benefit for money. DWP don't just look at her application and automatically put money into her bank. If it was that easy, every person in the country would be claiming.

    There is help available for people unable to complete the application form themselves, which she may have used.

    Is she classed as a vunerable adult who has capacity? I would imagine so as she is fully aware that she's entitled to receive benefit.

    Would you be able to accompany her seeing as you say she is unable to express herself?

    She could contact CAB and ask about their advocacy services. These  are volunteers who would go to the assessment with her and act on her behalf, or explain the questions for her, as a friend or relative would

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    • Posted

      CAB can vary widely by branch in the services they offer due to funding.

       Some paid benefit specialists will accompany claimants to Tribunal hearings but having volunteered in a few I have never come across a branch where a volunteer will attend an assessment with a claimant.

      I think the point Les was making is even if she could explain her situation would the assessor take any notice or simply report their 'opinion' of her condition and how it affects her?

      It is a fair question as a lot of posters have had problems with assessment and the reports they prepare. This seems mainly to do with the consistency of the evidence. Of course those who are ill and vulnerable are going to be disadvantaged.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Anthony, yes that is what I was driving at. It does seem on more than few occasions that the assessor reports as though the claimant had said nothing. Hence asking if it really is that important to get all stressed about the assessment. Why not work on the basis that the opinion will be a total fabrication.

      Then to look at the MR - very few are ever changed so maybe that is the general rule. 

      To me where it is certainly important to provide evidence and have good representation is at a Tribunal hearing. There your claim will be looked at with eyes not fixated on refusal as being the starting position. In the chain, they are the only ones that are truly independent and are there to ensure that you get what the law says you are entitled to with no regard as to the overall cost to the economy. The DWP, no matter what they say, is certainly not independent and nor is their agents - CAPITA/ATOS. - they all work to the same agenda - to allow only the most compelling of claims and the rest are refused based entirely on instructions from the Treasury. -  the window into that opened just a little when IDS resigned and his comments subsequently. 

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