DWP expecting claimants to hold digital copies of X-rays, CT & MRI scans???

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I came across this point posed on another forum. 

I have to laugh that they think we would have copies of xrays, scans, hospital reports etc. I'm 52 years old and been disabled all my life I've never received any of these, the only people who are likely to have anything like these are those having private treatment or some sort legal claim. My son in his 17 years of severe disability inc trachy, peg fed etc and he has never been sent a copy of any reports.

And if dwp dont bother to contact anyone most people will have very little 'evidence'

It is so true, despite what the DWP say as 'evidence that you have to hand' that you could/should have the above reports. For a start how do you read and print out digital copies of the actual scans?

The answer that came back from another poster stated that:

It's expected nowadays that we source our own evidence, xrays and scans have to be paid for.

Has anybody ever managed to get copies of their scans or X-rays on maybe a CD and what did they do with them when applying for ESA or PIP?

 

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  • Posted

    A lady from my disability support group got write ups on recent X rays and scans from her consultant in support of her PIP application on migration from DLA.  As soon as she received her letter asking her to ring DWP to start the PiP claim, she made an appointment with her consultant and advised him of the activities and descriptors for PiP.  He wrote a report and provided MRI and X Ray results – granted there were some areas on which he couldn’t comment (Health professionals won’t offer an opinion on whether you can carry out an activity unless they have had an opportunity to observe or have the clinical findings to support such a statement) and although some of it was free of charge, she did have to pay a fee for his report.  She received a partial refund for this from our local support group.

    It’s difficult, it’s not cheap and it’s by no means common, but it CAN be done – a lot depends on how supportive your particular healthcare professional is too.  A lot – especially GP’s won’t cooperate unless they are contacted by PIP assessors directly.  And to be fair, it’s not the DWP who make the decision on whether or not to gather evidence from contacts on the claimants’ application form – that’s down to the assessment provider, although DWP do provide guidance. I do think the DWP need to be much clearer in their advice as to when further evidence needs to be gathered directly because at the moment they are advising claimants not to pay for evidence, and to only send what they have.  But as you rightly point out – if they haven’t got the evidence to hand, and the assessment providers don’t request it, there’s very little to support the claim except for the claimant’s application form and the assessment report itself.  If you have a disability support group or a social/support worker  they may be able to help in gathering/paying for the evidence.  Don’t forget the simple things too – prescription lists are evidence, and reports can be obtained from any support workers you have.  Statements from friends and family who may act as your carers, or know your condition well, are also useful.

    The government seem to think that if you are disabled you are ill and will be in constant contact with relevant medical people, when the actual truth is that most disabled people with stable and largely unchanging conditions may not have seen even their GP for a long time.  This is what comes of changing the social model of disability, as used by the DLA assessment, to the medical model, which is how PiP entitlement is assessed.  The social model focused more on how disabled people faced barriers created by society itself, whereas the medical model assesses every aspect of the disability itself to assess those who face the biggest barriers.  The medical model taken at face value, appears to have been favoured because it has the most potential to save money by removing benefit from those previously assessed using the more subjective social model. 

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    • Posted

      Pam, I have to agree with you entirely and thanks for such a well written explanation.

      It never dawned on me before but the more I thought about it, the notes to the PIP2 state that and the way it is phrased, it should be common to have copies of scans & X-rays to hand.

      Likemost people and as you point out from a medical point of view, those that have chronic conditions are unlikely to have any recent contact with the medical profession. Maybe the DWP are suggesting that we all should be seeing the GP at least on a regular basis to update our conditions? What a waste of everyone's time that is.

      In my own case the medical professionals have given me two options for some of my problems - live with it or face a 12hr operation with a 50/50 chance of survival. For others I have no choice but to live with the disabilities.

      I agree that a prescription list is good evidence. However how well can it be relied on? There is nothing stopping anyone from regularly ordering the medication simply to 'window dress' their health problem. It is quite common amongst some claimants to actually do this because they know that the assessor/DWP will take the list at face value. 

      Maybe you should contribute to the current gathering of evidence for the next PIP review. I understand that the question of gathering evidence is one part of that review that is being closely examined.

      Anyhow thanks again - your knowledge and opinions are appreciated

       

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    • Posted

      No problem Les.  I'm well versed in replying to consultations and have already replied to the most recent one on PIP, regarding the gathering of evidence.  I've replied individually, as part of my support group and as part of the WeAreSpartacus campaign group - of which I was part of the editorial committee.  I have been involved with PIP from the start and although it's not    perfect I am prepared to admit that we could not have carried on with the system of DLA as it was.  However I think rather than wholesale redesigning of the benefit into what is now PIP, all that was needed was a tightening of the DLA rules - but that would not have achieved the saving this government was looking for - and make no mistake, PIP is about saving, not support.

      I agree that a lot of people keep up the prescriptions for window dressing (love that phrase and might steal it for another blog !!) but this is just another example of how much pressure is being applied to people whose lives are already difficult. GPs and a whole host of other healthcare services are going to be overloaded with frightened people trying to 'prove' their disabilities.  In the 21st century is this really how we should be treating disabled people who have genuine support needs ?

      I sympathise with your own predicament too. I myself have Spina Bifida and have been on DLA in one form or another all my life.  I can walk a few paces with crutches and rely most of the time on a wheelchair.  I have a motability car equipped with a wheelchair lift, cannot go out alone and I really don't know how I would manage without the car - yet because I can walk a few steps I stand to lose my independence.  I have a degenerative spinal condition called tethered cord syndrome. The surgery carries massive risk because the spine is already deformed due to the disability - It will not make things any better.  At best it will slow the degeneration, but it could make things worse in terms of pain and mobility - so, although it is not life threatening, I do know a little of the dilemma you face.

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