PIP paper based assessment, opinions?

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Hello all smile

First, I know that nobody can provide me with a definitive answer, opinions are fine.

Background - I have been on low rate care and mobility DLA for 7 years for severe and enduring mental illness. I have an NHS psychotherapist who I have been seeing for 13 years who always writes letters for me to support benefit claims. I was placed in support group 7 years ago following a home vsit due to agoraphobia. I was reassessed for DLA on paper in 2014, no change. I was reassessed for ESA without a f2f in 2015.

I applied for PIP when invited and after a fight and game playing by ATOS, help from a benefits advisor and another letter from my therapist, I was refused a home visit, but allowed a paper only assessment. On 11th Aug I got the text and this morning I got the 'sorry it's taking longer' letter.

I have read that 98% of awards are made only with a f2f and that there are only 2 reasons for a paper only, that you are terminal or that you have not provided enough evidence. Obviously I am now extremely worried that I am going to be refused PIP. Is this true that I am highly likely to be refused or is this a myth? I filled in the PIP for very thoroughly, wrote 6 extra pages and sent a supporting letter from my therapist. Will this be enough? Opinions and personal experiences of paper assessments very welcome, thank you.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I have discussed this with a lady who works at a day centre for people with mental health problems and she has a lot of experience of supporting people through their claims.  She told me that very few of claims she has been involved with have required a face to face assessment.  The majority have received awards based on the application form and evidence sent with it with no further evidence requested.  I was very surprised when she told me this.  Nothing is guaranteed but you shouldn't worry too much about it until you receive your result.  Provided that you've shown that you meet the criteria and you have a letter of support they would surely find it harder to justify ignoring that if they haven't actually met you so this might go in your favour.

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  • Posted

    Thanks Sally. Just to be clear, ATOS did try to make me go to an assessment centre. They refused me a home visit 3 times and just kept sending me new appointment letters, despite promising my advisor they would look at the evidence gain - I had sent a letter from my therapist outlining the risks to me of making me attend. I was not refusing to be assessed, just trying to get a home visit. They tried so hard to harass me into it, I guess I can't believe they have now backed down and allowed me a paper award I think why did they spend so much time trying to break me down to give up now? I think I am e pecking them to refuse me as part of the attempt to bully me into dropping my claim. Good to hear others have got awards paper only but do you know if they were ever offered a f2f to begin with? I feel like a soft target as I have declared suicidal ideation, backed by my therapists evidence - feel like they are not done with me yet...

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    • Posted

      Most of them got paper assessments straight off.  There were some that were offered face to face first and then it was changed to paper after contact from the gp or psychiatrist.  I don't think any of them had as much of a battle as you with home visits being refused.  Having said that I don't think they were ever considering a home visit as an alternative for these clients, they were requesting a paper based assessment because any type of face to face assessment wouldn't have been suitable.  I hope you get a good result soon.

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  • Posted

    Bloody autocorrect. Scally, not Sally. Expecting, not e pecking, wtf...
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  • Posted

    Hi i had a paer based assesment due to mental illness and was awarded enhansed faily but nothing for mobility.good luck
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  • Posted

    I think my reasoning goes something like this: I became a bloody thorn in their side by refusing to be bullied into attending an assessment

    centre, had my advisor phone them 3 times and finally sent another letter from my therapist. They are thinking, well sod her then, we'll refuse her claim on paper, then refuse an MR, then she'll have to go to a tribunal. If she can't go to an assessment, she'll never go to a tribunal, job doe, claim stopped, money saved.

    I hate the way this process is reaffirming my misanthropy and making me more agoraphobic. Everyone is hateful, everyone is out to get me, everyone with a camera or who looks at me is a spy. Every car following me is a spy, even my neighbours had a bag on their windowsill and I think it's a camera. It's wrecking all the therapy I've had for 13 years!! I know parts of are crazy and the DWP is feeding them and making them stronger...

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    • Posted

      For the past 20 + years when claiming various sickness and disability benefits I fought tooth and nail to ensure that all concerned (assessors & DWP) followed the law and not their own version of it.

      Unfortunately I made a rod for my own back. I have always had DLA - HRM & MRC for 20 years and all were either 'for life' or 'indefinite'. That didn't stop them demanding that I be re-assessed every 18/24 months and always having a face to face which always resulted in the complete loss of DLA. Following appeals, they backed down every time days before the Tribunal hearing date and re-awarded what I had before AND it being 'for life/indefinite'.

      Add that to the difficulties I encountered with ESA in a similar way as well as IIDB, it is pretty clear to me that I have upset them big time.

      I've come to the conclusion that unless you abide by their version of what the law says (both the assessors & DWP) you are only going to make life difficult for yourself.

      I feel as you do, they are watching me day and night - ridiculous I know but when you believe that they have singled you out for special attention the mind does work overtime.

       

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  • Posted

    There is a 3rd option when no face to face is carried out - that you have submitted a fully completed PIP2 from and have submitted evidence that justifies an award - in other words there is no point in looking for more evidence etc as it will not give anymore information to base the report on.
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  • Posted

    Thanks Jackie. I'm not expecting mob either, I read they don't give that for MI anymore.

    I can't use public transport, I can't use taxis and I can't walk out from my home around people, but hey! Apparently I'm not allowed to keep my car... I'd love a cleaner to help me with the housework, but all my care money and some of my ESA has to go towards paying for the car, without it I would be completely housebound!

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    • Posted

      Thankfully I sent my motability car back early when it became clear my HRM would cease under PIP. and bought my own in 2013. I used the HRM to pay for it. I lost the DLA early this year in the transfer to PIP.

      In my case with the loss of the DLA and the failure to get any award under PIP our household income went down overnight by £300 a week! So glad I did what I did with the car.

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  • Posted

    Hi Mags

    My two pennies worth

    I have just been awarded PIP enhanced mobility and enhanced care i also recieve maximum ESA for a single oerson without a carer

    I am registerd blind with mental health issues also

    I did not have to attend a face to face .... As they deemed i provided enough evidence

    So dont be disheartend , you do not always need a face to face

    Contrary to some comments and experiences by others with former DLA staff , my experiences for the most part have been positive when dealing with them on the phone

    Don't get me wrong it hasn't always been this way when my eyes and mental health got a lot worse a number of years ago, i had to fight for every penny even in the midst of loosing everything i had in a house fire

    So trust me on this i know how bad it can get

    Talking actually helps :-)

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    • Posted

       you do not always need a face to face.......

      Over 20 years and 18 assessments/re-assessments of claiming both sickness and disability related benefits I have always had a face to face assessment - ESA, DLA & IIDB.

      Each one of those re-assessments resulted in the removal of the entire award. Each failure to re-award was reversed only days before the Tribunal hearing date. Each reversal resulted in an award equal to what I had before and each one was made on a 'for life/indefinite' basis. Each 'for life/indefinite' award was re-assessed every 18/24 months.

       

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