Fybro & other ailments

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I completed my husband's PIP form and returned it to DWP by 25 August.  Received letter last night with appointment to attend Atos on 23 August.  I was shocked to get this so soon and I thought Atos had withdrawn their services or had been sacked.  My huubby is 57 (hasn't worked since he was 44) has fibro, cervical spondylosis, nerve damage down his right arm into his hand from his shoulder, degenerative disc disease lumber area, arthritis in his knees (although this does not prevent him from walking, although in pain), hiatus hurnia tinitus with impaired hearing (although he does not wear a hearing aid), concentration and memory problems (early onset dementia has been rules out by phsychiatrist)  and to make it worse, he is in denial - thinking one day he is going to get better and get back to work (he had his own barber shop but had to give that up).  I found it quite hard to complete the form as I am not the one with the illness.   I am now worried about this assessment as although they say that he will not be physically examined the assessment lasts 60 minutres - what on earth do they do for 60 minutes!   I am going to go through the form with him nearer the time of the assessment, but with his memory problems I can't see him remembering what has been put on the form.   I am now regretting submitting the form as I'm afraid this might trigger him being reassessed for ESA support group - I had to fight by going to the tribunal to get him into the support group for two years which expired in April 2014.  I know these are two separate benefits but I'm sure the departments must speak to each other, can't stop worrying neither can hubby.

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  • Posted

    No ATOS are alive and kicking for PIP. They are far the largest assessor for PIP. Unfortunately their poor record when they were in charge of ESA has carried on with PIP.

    No one can tell you what will happen at the assessment. He will be asked questions and they will draw conclusions. His body language will be watched by, it seems, the receptionist, the tea lady, the cleaner as well as the assessor.

    Then if you are lucky the assessor will write a report based on all of that. Many reports unfortunately are dreamt up by ATOS it appears.

    Then the DWP will see how they can refuse the claim.

    ATOS will not normally gather any evidence to support the claim.

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    • Posted

      Great, can't wait - they rejected WRAG support group until we went to tribunal so not holding out much hope here then.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynn

    I found they did more typing than anything else all they do is ask you some questions really and just make observations on how you are looking pale , tired for example if you are in pain,  if you are its best to show that you are.

    you can go with him and help if he cant manage by himself

    hope it all goes well

     

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    • Posted

      This reminds me of a case that featured on Rightsnet a while back.

      Mum brought 19 yr old son in for his PIP assessment. Son is so mentally ill that most of the time he doesn't know where he is, what he is doing and why. He can if he feels threatened or nervous start shouting and go into a corner and curl up or might instigate a physical assault.

      Mum was so fed up with the previous poor report that he had for his first PIP assessment 2 years earlier that this time he ushered her son into the assessors office and walked out of the building into the car park. Minutes later the assessor came after her and demanded that she return to be with her son as he could not control him. She pointed out that it was him that is being assessed so you will see first hand what his problems are.

      Result was an 'until further notice' award giving him enhanced for both components.

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    • Posted

      I know what you mean, when we attended the tribunal for ESA I had all the papers ready in front of me expedting to have a fight on my hands as I was just about to butt in on my husband's behalf to fight his corner, was told not to speak.  However by the time they finished questioning my hubby, they realised that he was not capable of holding down a job and they put on the form that he was not fit for work due to regulation 52? (I think), something to do with getting a job would be detrimental to his health, so sometimes it pays off to say nothing in these cases, as actions speak louder than words.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynn

    It would be prudent at the start of the assessment to point out your husband’s difficulties and request as his main carer would it be possible for you to answer the questions for him. I've been on assessments where this has happened, although it would be down to the assessor’s discretion.

    The assessor will first go through your husband’s medical history asking questions about when he was diagnosed, what treatment and medication he is taking.

    The assessor will then turn to the PIP form which is the main body of evidence. What the assessor is looking for is examples of daily care provided by you which can be matched to the descriptors of cooking, washing/bathing, dressing/undressing, monitoring his health conditions, social interaction, communication, budgeting and mobility.

    The answers have to be concise and linked to your husband’s medical condition e.g. he can’t prepare a meal because of the pain in his hands.

    The assessor will be watching your husband’s body language and if he talks they will note if he understands the process and can communicate.

    Best of luck the worst part is waiting for the assessment, the actual assessment is not as bad as some say but of course I’m talking from my frame of reference.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Anthony much appreciated, I'm beginning more and more to get the picture and feel a bit braver about this.  If they ask hubby about dates of diagnosis etc he will stumble but this is backed up  by some of the medical evidence so I'll just leave him to answer these questions but will prompt when necessary.  On the form I have said that I prepare fresh veg etc because he can't use his hand or failing that food is prepared from packets/frozen food etc and is prepared by me as I am at work all day, but I think mentioning me being out at work all day was maybe a mistake, do you think they will pick up on this as a negative?

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    • Posted

      Quick note on meal preparation it is accepted that once a day the Claimant (your husband) should eat a meal which is prepared with fresh produce such as veg. An inability to cut, chop and serve would be enough to score at least 4 points maybe more so remember push that point rather than drag frozen vegetables into the equation as that is not really relevant.

      Working all day is only a problem if it leaves a discrepancy in any care you claim to provide. Meals shouldn’t be a problem as you can serve breakfast before leaving and cook dinner when you come home. Lunch can be a sandwich prepared in the morning before you leave.

      If for example you claim to help your husband dress but he doesn’t get up until lunchtime then the assessor might wonder how you do this when at work?

      Personal care doesn’t only happen between 9-5pm it can in most circumstances be provided to fit in with that and of course you are available on your days off. Your explanation to the assessor just needs to be concise and consistent.

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