First things first Christine. Is this report the decision on your claim or your copy of the report that ATOS has sent to the DWP for the DWP to make their decision?
If it is the ATOS report, go through the results they give for each of the descriptors as that will tell you what points you should get for each when DWP make their decision. DWP aren’t obliged to follow what ATOS say but, in reality, they will.
So, leave aside what you disagree with in their report and count up the points that you will eventually get. You may be surprised and the final total results in you getting the result you feel is fair. If it does then you can still make a complaint about the assessor but you might simply want to let it lie - both are equally valid and we can all see why someone in that position might take either route. Just remember, though, that it COULD be possible for ATOS to find that the assessment was so flawed that it has to be done again.
If it doesn’t tally with what you believe you are entitled to then you can:
a)challenge it with ATOS - who could declare it fatally flawed and re do it
b) use the time between seeing the report and getting the DWP decision to get all your evidence and arguments together to start the process of mandatory reconsideration and appeal.
When you are disagreeing/disputing what the assessor said you need EVIDENCE not OPINION. Simply saying the assessor was nasty and underhand and you disagree with him/her isn’t enough you need to be able to “the assessor is incorrect in her finding X because of A,B and C which are referred to in the report from Dr E which was provided by me with my initial application”.
Everyone applying for PIP should remember to submit as many medical reports as they can with their original application - although the form looks as if the DWP will contact your specialist etc there is no guarantee that they will or that a report would have been forthcoming. Lots of doctors won’t complete requests for reports and they are under no obligation to do so.
The other dangerous thing to do is to assume that the assessor will know what something you mention in your application or at your assessment actually means. You need to explain. At length. And then explain again if necessary. If you answer the question “Can you walk to the corner shop?” simply “Yes” then it is not going to get the same score as an answer “Yes I can but I can’t do it safely or normally because I cannot walk 10 steps without stopping to re-align myself. I use 2 crutches to walk. I cannot walk in a consistent straight line causing me to, frequently, bump into pedestrians or street furniture unless I am being supervised, assisted by a 3rd party. I frequently stumble and sometimes I cannot prevent myself from falling. My walking rate is very slow, it has been measured by my neurophysiotherapist (see attached report) as being an arage speed of X. I have been assessed on the standard test for extent of disability for MS patients as 6.5 (see attached consultant’s report and link to explanation of scale) etc etc etc”
My application for PIP was thick enough to choke a pig!
I was also fortunate in that my assessor was clued up and, although I didn’t agree with everything in her report, she understood my situation. She wasn’t a doctor or nurse, she was an Occupational Therapist by proffession which, when you think of it, is probably a better qualification for someone doing these assessments.
Anyway, Christine, have a good sweary rant today and tomorrow start planning how you are going to stick it to the powers that be.
BTW the message board on Benefits and Work is very good as well as their guides. It is not a discussion forum like here, it is a place where you can ask questions and the moderators give you very helpful and detailed answers.