During my recent PIP face to face assessment the health professional asked if I had brought any of my medication. My Husband picked up my bag and placed my tablets and injection device onto the table, her response was " you look like a druggie" I was wondering what I could do about her unprofessional and insensitive comment.
It does show their less than understanding attitude. Even in their eyes if it was seen as ‘a joke’ it’s certainly not to us. If that had happened to me I’d have ended up in tears( I’m almost at that just now reading about it)and throwing the bag at them. I’m so sorry you had to experience that.
Oh dear, I’m sorry you had this awful experience. Here is the pip complaint number-08081788114. I’m still waiting for the letter to plop through my letter box!
I think as I was obviously feeling a bit stressed as well as being in the worst relapse I have ever had I just felt numb, I was just happy my Husband didn’t loose it!! Then received my decision I didnt score 1 point. I have just phoned for a mandatory reconsideration as lots of the report are unreliable so looks like a fight ahead.
I suppose you could always contact the assessment company directly and make a formal complaint or the DWP , I know the comment was probably only meant in jest but perhaps they should be made aware that those kind of remarks are not acceptable in any situation let alone a very stressful one .
Good luck with things and try not too get upset about a thoughtless comment.
It was a very silly, insensitive comment to make. In such a situation, jokes like that are totally unacceptable!
And the powers that be ought to be told and these assessors` training sessions, should include such training.
It isnt good enough, it really isnt.
So yes, go ahead with a complaint and I hope your next result is positive one.
You are right to go for a reconsideration. I don’t know how far you’d get with a complaint, though you may get an apology worded something like ‘the assessor has assured me that no insensitivity or adverse inference was intended and s/he apologises if you felt otherwise’! This will of course do you no good whatsoever and probably cause you to turn purple with indignation.
Instead, I suggest that you put your energies into attempting to right the wrong decision. If you have the assistance of a welfare benefits advisor, use their knowledge to help with the reconsideration form. If you do not, I recommend joining http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ Their guides are accurate and extremely useful. It will cost you about £20 to join (if you haven’t already), but it’s worth it. Alternatively, look at the CABs guidance: Personal Independence Payment - Citizens Advice
Another extremely useful document is the CAB PIP points table: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf it gives you the information you need for each section of the PIP assessment. You score points for whatever the highest descriptor that you meet the criteria for. You need 8 points for the standard rate of both Daily Living and Mobility components and 12 points for the enhanced rate for both.
The last thing I would suggest you do is accumulate evidence of everything that you state which attracts points for each activity. So if you have letters from your neurologist, physiotherapist, MS nurse, GP, continence nurse, any other health professional, gather them together and attach copies (also make clear in your application which letters back up which statement). If you don’t already have any evidence, start trying to get some to send with your reconsideration.
Good luck with it. It’s hell whilst you are going through all the stages required to get your entitlement, but hopefully you can lead the reconsideration decision maker to rectify the bad decision.
Sorry to hear about how u were treated and about the decision.
Ive got my PIP form but not filled it in yet and know nothing yet about the process of appeals etc. But from what I know about employment tribunals, and concepts of natural justice etc do tend to carry across between areas of law, then I think that u maybe do need to include what the assessor said to u when you ask for a mandatory reconsideration and in any subsequent appeal.
This is because it was an indication of bias against u even before the the assessment was under way and suggests that he may have prejudged your case. OK he might have been joking but the joke might also have arisen from 1. a belief that you were taking prescribed drugs that you didnt really need to take i.e. you were a hypochondriac or pretending to be more ill than you are or 2. you were taking non-prescribed drugs i.e. you were of dubious character.
In addition, his failure to understand that MS can entail a lot of drugs to deal with the potentially large and diverse number of symptoms might suggest that he knows little about MS.
Anyway, these are just thoughts. I might be completely wrong. But I would mention what happened in the assessmnt.
I am dreading the envelope when it drops through our door. Get on to them and battle on with the appeal. Don
I’m already getting prepared for the mandatory reconsideration, have only just sent the PIP form back last week & have not had a reply yet (except for a text msg telling me they have received it). This is how it’s got us all worrying, already looking on the black side just in case. Tracey
It’s bloody horrible the whole process and it sits there in the back of your mind like an evil little demon saying “they’ll turn you down, they’ll take away your car, you’ll have to appeal, etc, etc!”
I hated having that beast in my head for so long, just dreading postie everyday for months and months, waiting for the form. Then the horrible process of actually doing it. Which makes you feel even weaker and weedier than you already are, just the process of writing it down.
Then the bastard wait. For the Decision.
I feel for you all. I’m still utterly incensed by the whole process (as you can maybe tell) even though I’m now OK. Almost makes me want to bring back the lion.
The wait for someone to decide our fate is horrible. I do get some comfort though, from hearing good stories of people being successful. Dreading the face to face now, bloody invisible illness, listening to Jeremy Vine on BBC2, a journalist has had radical treatment to hopefully stop it’s progression, has cost her 60 grand mind, bit much for most of us really, but if these assessors only knew half & walk in our shoes. The puss cat is very cute though Sue Tracey
He thinks he’s a lion. X
One thing I learnt from mine is if they ask you can you plan a route and you can`t drive tell them no because you have to get a taxi and they will plan the route. I did get the basic on both parts.