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PIP assessment incoming....and I'm terrified!

Hi all, wondered if I could plumb your collective knowledge for some tips! I’ve now - finally - got my appointment for PIP assessment from ATOS in 14 days and I’m utterly terrified at not knowing what to expect. Plus I’ve heard a lot of horror stories and ways in which they try to “catch you out”. I’ve got poor mobility, and need help in the house on a daily basis (which my partner provides) but I’m worried that the ATOS people might try and trip me up.

I kept a diary of all my symptoms for 2 months, and I’ve a letter of evidence from my MS nurse (which I didnt have when I submitted the form), but my SPMS has worsened significantly since I submitted the form 7 months ago…

Can anyone advise as to what I’m likely to expect? :slight_smile:

hi

i haven’t been summoned yet but i understand how scared you must be feeling.

get advice from CAB and take someone with you to provide moral support and help you remember all the things you want to say.

if they refuse you, take it straight to appeal because most appeals end up with the decision being over ruled.

it is totally depressing though, having to talk about your worse times.

most of us keep positive through the pain but positive isnt good when you are seeing ATOS.

good luck and don’t let it take over your life for the next 2 weeks.

it amuses me to call them ATOSSERS!

carole x

Hi

just to clarify Carole’s reply, if you are not happy with the award you must ask for a reconsideration by the DWP before you can appeal to HM Tribunal services.

as a new benefit no figures are available on the success rate at appeals although with DLA there is a good success rate.

all the best

neil

Thanks Carole - I’m really unnerved, probably because I’ve never claimed any kind of benefit in my life, even when I’ve been entitled. I’m worried also because over the last few months my MS has gotten significantly worse than when I described it on the form. For example, I now have to use my wheelchair on most journeys out of the house. I keep thinking these people won’t understand what it’s like having this condition and are just out to get you! Maybe I’m just being paranoid…

I had mine on the 22nd Dec and got my decision through on the 8th January. I had waited 10mths for my assessment though!

The ATOS lady I saw was very nice and had been a nurse for 25yrs I felt she showed me respect and empathy. The meeting lasted under half an hour! When I went in I took notes but she said it’ll be easier if you could simply answer my questions. It was over so fast and abruptly I was taken by surprise but she did say it’s over now is there anything you’d like to add. I said no but afterwards thought of loads of things I could have added.

I got basic for both mobility and basic living. I have asked for a reconsideration for mobility as was 2 points off enhanced. I was told that I could plan and go on an unfamiliar journey without the need of another person which I can’t I did take my husband with me to the assessment. They also claim I can walk further than what I can. I too am SPMS and have worsened severely with my mobility since I originally filled the form in.

I was told someone would call me back to discuss my reconsideration within 5 working days, those 5 working days have come and gone and NO phonecall. My issues now seem to be with the decision maker at the DWP and have not been with the ATOS assessor.

Good Luck!

Dont worry I am sure all be all right.

Don

Hi i had my assessment in Aberdeen today and it was very easy, the lady that did it was very nice and totally understood how the MS was affecting me.

first of all she asked me how long i have had MS and how long ago i was diagnosed, then she asked what medication i was on and if i thought it was helping me and what were my symptoms, then it was about my home life and things i could and could not do like cooking and taking care of myself, then it was a physical examination but mostly whilst i was sitting down she just asked me to try and touch my toes(could not even get close) and then she checked how weak i was by doing some push and pull tests with my arms and legs and at the end she could see how sore and fatigued i was and she said sorry to me for getting me like that.

I must be one of the lucky ones as i only applied for PIP at the start of December so it has only taken about 5 weeks

Billy

Thanks for the reassurance everyone! I hope it’ll be ok and I’ll try to be as calm as possible in the run up - worried that if I freak out too much my epilepsy will kick off too! Does anyone know if they’ll look at evidence from my MS nurse? I’ve also kept a diary for a couple of months of my daily symptoms, so will that be useful?

Tim

I would not go alone and read these tips.

http://fightback.boards.net/thread/406/attending-pip-assessment

Hi hun, there are lots of GOOD positive stuff coming out about PIP assessments too, i have read many.

They are there to do a job. When i went for DLA I was told of all kinds of horror stories and nearly didnt bother going for the award.

I had a DLA doctor come to my house and she was amazing. At the time i wasnt even diagnosed with MS. She told me if i was her patient she would have diagnosed me with MS lol…she was so nice, and caring. 2 hours she stayed with me. I never once felt she was trying to trip me up. I could do that quite well myself lol.

Just be yourself, take a deep breath. You are diagnosed with MS they know how it impacts people lives. Regardless of what people say. You can tell them it has gotten worse, you have evidence as well from your MS nurse etc.

What will be will be, and I am sure you will be fine honestly. Dont listen to all the horror stories out there. They are not all doom and gloom. One of my friends nearly didnt go because of it all but she got awarded her PIP and she said it was nothing like people made it out to be, the same as me and my DLA. I think the worse part is filling in all the forms lol.

Good luck. Deep breath, chill you will be fine. xxxx

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Hi i have just had a phone call from a really nice lady from DWP asking about my claim form for PIP she was going through my form and she basically said i missed out a few things and she was trying to see if i could get the advanced rate, the thing is she did not have to phone me she could have just left it and i would have got less points.

So it seems some of them are really trying to help us after all,

Billy

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Bliley, that’s a good effort on her part - with a bit of luck you’ll get it!

I also spoke to a lovely lady at the DWP today about my reconsideration request. She said she was not the one to over turn the decision but thinks I should have got enhanced and understood about MS because her grandmother has it, she said my decision of basic was ‘harsh’.

Shocked and surprised there appears to be a lovely lady somewhere in a Leeds office that is on our side!!! Lets hope this lovely lady can talk some sense into all her colleagues.

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I had my PIP assessment late last year. Like you I had also heard horror stories etc. I was nervous and my symptoms flared which happens when I’m stressed. The lady was disabled herself and she just asked me questions and asked me to do a couple of physical tasks such as touch my toes which I can’t and I told her I was worried I would fall which was fine. She did say at the end she watched the whole time as well as asking the questions. I had my mother here with me and I strongly advise you take someone with you. Hope it goes well xx

hi have received my award letter and for my basic living i received the enhanced rate thanks to the lovely lady who phoned me because i missed out one of the answers, for mobility i was awarded the basic rate because i could still plan a journey but i think that is a bit daft, so if you are going for an assessment just walk go in and say you were nearly late because you have big problems planning a journey and your off to a good start,

Billy

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Well, all over now, so just got to wait. Took my partner with me, parents gave me a lift over - hopefully the fact I was having a bad day and was in my wheelchair will count for me, plus the fact I had to let the folks plan the journey!

Assessment itself was in-depth, a little over an hour, and covered in full everything I’d put on the form - but I did stress my condition had deteriorated significantly since filling it in. I was incredibly nervous and having trouble speaking or finding the rights words - kept stuttering and talking gibberish! Thanks goodness I took a notebook with details of symptoms, aids, and short diary, and having the other half there helped no end. Looks like they’d got a load of info from my consultants, though somehow managed to miss the fact I have full grand mal seizures - despite me listing it on the original form!

Asked the lady about her background, turns out she was a former psychiatrist, so at least there was a modicum of medical knowledge there. She was nice, but I wasn’t about to let my guard down and stayed as focussed as I could. Ultimately, she advised she thinks I’ll be successful (in her experience) - but I’ll not count my chickens until I get the dreaded brown envelope!

lt’s worth joining Benefits and Work.org - they will give important tips to help you fill in forms and show you how to get what you are entitled to. Do look at their site.

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Indeed - I checked Benefits and Work out prior to the assessment, gave a lot of useful info.

Could do a reconsideration on the mobility component, that question is a mental health one if you was in a chair why didn’t you get the points for cannot walk 20 meters?