MS & PIP: response to me from MP & Esther McVey

Juat got this email in response to one of those email letters I sent to my MP about MS & PIP:

Date: 27 February 2013

RE: MS and PIP

Further to enquiries I have made on your behalf regarding Multiple Sclerosis and PIP, I have received the enclosed response.

Esther McVey has provided you with a full and comprehensive response which I hope you will find informative.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have outlined that they realise that assessing conditions of a fluctuating nature is extremely complex but that it is vital that it is done right. On this basis, information will be gathered from the claimant and from health professionals over the course of a year in order to gain a full understanding of the condition.

The assessment will also take into account whether an individual can complete tasks safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period. On top of this, the way in which the task is completed will be taken into account. Equally, a descriptor will only apply to an individual if it applies at any point on a given day on the majority of days. The DWP do not feel that this will be difficult to determine. Claimants will be helped through the process in a number of ways and the assessment providers have been issued with guidance on fluctuating conditions, how to record details of them and how to carry out all aspects of the assessment.

In relation to your concerns regarding symptoms or side-effects, they will be a key factor when considering the manner in which people complete activities.

With regards to ‘Moving Around’, it has always been policy that individuals who are unable to walk more than 50 metres should be entitled to some rate of the mobility component. There is a desire for the enhanced rate to be focused on those with the most serious mobility problems with others receiving the standard rate.

On the subject of face to face consultations, the DWP feel that this will be an important aspect of the assessment in most cases as it will give claimants the opportunity to explain how their health conditions affect them. Despite this, there is an understanding that it will not be appropriate in some cases and guidance has been issued to assessors in relation to paper-based assessments.

The length of awards will be decided on a case by case basis. PIP is designed to assess people individually and award lengths will be based on the claimants needs. They will be reviewed periodically to ensure individuals receive the correct amount.

Finally, the DWP have provided a link where their assessment guidance with the PIP Implementation Stakeholder Forum is available.

Thank you for contacting me about this very important matter. Please do not hesitate to get in touch again if there is anything further I can do as your Parliamentary representative.

Kind regards,

Lynne Featherstone MP

Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green

There’s something I find totally terrifying about the wording of this.

Pat x

it sounds to me that they want my motability car back!

not going to swear, not going to swear, not going to swear, not going to swear, not going to swear

b**"£ c&*( $&**!

carole x

It probably went completely over his head, but I told my (Tory) MP not to bother having his secretary/PA send me a party-line reply and asked him to spend the 30 seconds he would normally use to scan and sign it instead reading a copy of pog’s post from the old website. Do you remember it? I kept a copy because it was so good at explaining how much this bloody disease steals from some of us :frowning:

Karen x

Thank you for posting this Pat. I am sorry that you got this letter which is full of it. I wanted to throw something at the television when ‘I’m alright Jack’ McVey was talking. Where the hell has empathy gone? Where the hell has common sense gone? And who the hell are these people sending Assessors out? Do they know more than our Neurologists and MS Nurses? I think NOT!!! I could go on but I’m about to burst into tears. Sam x

I might be well wrong…but I saw Esther McVey on tv the other night and I swear blind that I remember her from some consumer rights programme a while back. Didn’t she used to present on something like Watchdog or similar? Bit ironic, if I’m right.

I know exactly what you mean, she looked really familiar. She was up herself back then too!! Sam x

Ooh, just a thought… Going back to the Room 101 thread recently, can I put Esther McVey in there?

That’s a great idea Karen. I think next time I’ll tell her just to come onto this forum and read the posts!

Pat x

Recognised her too… but can’t place her.

Pat x

i know exactly wat id love to do to these shmucks n it isnt legal either, mind you if i end up in prison atleast id get a warm place to sleep, 3 meals a day, regular trips to the dr, NO FACE TO FACE ASSESSMENTS

Maybe wrong but I think Esther Mcvey used to co-present GMTV with Eammon Holmes many years ago but she left as there were reports that he couldn’t stand her!!!

Yes, Esther McVey was a TV presenter - starting in children’s television - and was quite the little activist before getting into parliament.
The Wikipedia article on her makes interesting reading.


FYI there’s a PIP test on the good old Benefits and Work website I recommend everyone does it.

They stress that an ATOS assessor may come to different answers?

I would think I’m about EDSS 7.5 but with all honesty could only make 8 points on the care component so will get the lower rate only.

I’m not going to bang my head against a brick wall; I’m just so pleased a few bankers are making shed loads of money and the bullion boys are helping them.