Good evening everyone,

It has been a very long time since I posted on here, but hope you are all doing as well as you can. I am in the process of applying for PIP after being on DLA for almost 14 years. I was due to have my face to face at home this morning, but due to the behaviour of the assessor, this didn’t take place. I am in the process of putting in a formal complaint to DWP and to Independent Assessment Services ( formerly Atos) and I have an appointment to see my MP tomorrow evening.

There were a few reasons why the assessor decided she couldn’t stay which I won’t go into at the moment, but one of them was the fact that I insisted on having the interview recorded. Having taken into account IAS’s appalling reputation, I was not prepared to be at the mercy of an incompetent and untrustworthy company. I had informed them of the fact I wanted to record the interview a week before and was told I needed to produce two copies of a cassette or CD.

I just wanted to know if anyone on here who has had a PIP assessment has recorded their interview and if so what equipment you used. When I phoned IAS immediately after the assessor left ( without a by your leave or any mention that she wouldn’t be coming back) to complain about her behaviour, and to challenge them about the DWP policy of using certain recording equipment, the individual I was talking to, blythely told me it could be picked up in Tesco or Asda. Hmmm.

I have done a lot of research over the day and don’t intend to let this rest, but I’d be interested to know what experience others have. I will keep you informed of my progress and if anything crops up that I think will be of use to others in their own claims. It is bad enough having to deal with this Sword of Damocles without having to deal with DWP nonsense.

Best wishes to everyone


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Hi Alison, I recorded my interview I used 2 small recorders that I bought with a 90 minute tape in each one.When the girl came out I told her I was recording it she said she had not been told .The assessor went and phoned her boss she had to read out a statement and I had to agree to it on the tape. I know of one person who had phoned up and told them she wanted to record the assessment and was told that was alright.When she went for her assessment she was told by the assessors that it was the wrong kind of equipment she was using and would not allow her to record it. Seemly they are not passing on to the assessor that you want to record it. The recorders were like an old fashioned transistor radio and they were not expensive . Hope this helps. Jenny

Do they have any right at all to tell you what equipment you can use, and if so WHY? What is the law regarding this?

All I know you can tape the assessment and you must tell them at least 2 days before hand but I don’t think they are passing it onto the assessors that you going to record it.

I just found this…

Thanks Jenny, that’s interesting. I have to say it didn’t occur to me to use 2 separate recorders! I think the point is that the assessors get very uptight when we tell them we want to record the interview. I wonder why that would be?! I have now sent letters of complaint to DWP, Independent Assessment Services ( formerly Atos) and to my MP who I also met with last week. The whole PIP assessment process is disgraceful is far too many cases and needs addressing. Thanks so much for your comments. It certainly was helpful. Take care Alison

Thanks Florence, that is extremely interesting, but all the comments that follow the article do not surprise me at all. I’m afraid that DWPs attitude to the disabled is appalling and they need to be challenged at every opportunity, which I have done with the help of my MP. I haven’t even had my assessment yet as the woman who came round disappeared in a puff of smoke less than ten minutes after arriving, despite being told I intended to record the assessment. What the Assessment services hadn’t stipulated was what equipment I could use. Typical underhand and dubious tactics by DWP I’m afraid. Thanks for your input, it’s really appreciated. Stay well Alison x

I only looked into this more when I saw an outright lie in the ATOS report (I requested a copy when I was rejected!), my understanding was that you had to inform them/get agreement before the appointment if you want to record. I had to request a mandatory reconsideration etc. but they took on board what I told them and eventually they sought medical advice too.

My best advice would be to simply have someone attend with you if you cab’t reach agreement on recording, I did this when my review came up and it all went smoothly enough and my husband was able to help me out when I struggled to remember/explain.

Sonia x

oh blinking heck

my blood has started boiling again!

all i can say is that you must fight for your rightful benefit.

i thought i could manage on my own but my claim was rejected.

put in a request for mandatory reconsideration and got a wonderful lady from welfare rights to help me.

she was brilliant at questioning my wording, as just a tweak made a lot of difference.

for example if you say that you can walk 20 metres make sure that this is repeatedly and safely.

i never mentioned my falls because i’ve always been clumsy but falling addresses the safely bit,

then my second application was also rejected.

so i pursued it and was told that it would have to go to tribunal.

it’s impossible to explain the stress levels that come from all this fannying about with the system.

i was nearly sick with worry about the tribunal and at the last minute i phoned the welfare rights lady and told her that i couldn’t go through with it.

she asked me if she could have permission to request that my case could be dealt with on paper, of course i agreed.

the tribunal looked very carefully at all the paperwork i had filled in and made the decision to uphold my claim.

my relief was accompanied by disbelief that the same paperwork that had been rejected twice was finally accepted by the tribunal.

the moral of my story is that you need help to complete the form and never give up!