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  • #16
    Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

    Good Luck with the phone recording Bill but I expect they will refuse it as they insist on there own 2 disc recording device there is a link on the pages I gave you on recording assessments worth checking it out

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    • #17
      Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

      I'm not a good speed-reader, PF, but I thought I read that they insisted that the claimant carted in their own 2-disc recorder if they wanted a recording. If they insist on using their own recorder, I'm fine with that - as long as I get our own un-edited copy immediately. I'm also considering asking for the assessor's full name and qualifications at the outset, because they have a 40-page form and a diary with all of our private problems in intimate detail in front of them - and I think we're entitled to know who is getting to see this stuff. We have psychological as well as physical disabilities in this claim - and if all we are getting is a disability nurse trained in weight-lifting, then I want to know that.

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      • #18
        Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

        Best of luck to you and your good lady today Bill.
        Let us know how you get on x

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        • #19
          Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

          That is true Bill, as according to an FOI they only have 10 of these machines themselves hardly enough to go around all assessment centres, as for there name could never understand why they don't have name badges on

          Good Luck Today Bill and Mrs K

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

            Cheers again, guys. I'll let you know how it went - but of course the real result is the final DWP decision.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

              Apols for lateness, guys - I took Mrs-K for a bit of (moderate !) retail therapy and a visit to our daughter's after her Atos ordeal, as she was dreading it and was tempted to cancel the PIP claim - but she went through with it. It was carried out at a nearby physiotherapy centre by a physiotherapist with a 1992 Manchester Uni BSc (Hons) in Physio, followed by 10 years in the NHS (while waiting, I noted his certificates in the waiting room !!!) Pleasant guy, who explained how it all works, etc., and happily answered my questions after we had been shown into the consultation/assessment room. Mrs-K showed her ID (I wasn't asked for mine, although I introduced myself as Mr-K), and I said that we were aware that this was an important assessment, and asked if it was possible to record it - as we were aware that many Atos assessments had been challenged, so we wanted to be prepared for that ourselves. He explained that they don't like us to do that, as they have no control over what we do with our copy, but it is possible to get permission by arranging it beforehand. I said that I would have done so, had I known - but there was no mention of this in the DWP letter, so I was not made aware of this. He explained that he creates a report from the assessment, based on his own impressions from the personal meeting, which he then sends to a DWP Claims Manager who then makes the actual claim assessment, and we can request a copy of the report. I nearly said "You're danged right we will, boi !!!" - but decided to simply let him read my positive body language at that point. Having already noted his professional qualification I asked him - as he is a physiotherapist - who makes the psychological assessment. His reply was that they are trained to make the assessment, based on a simple group of pre-set questions, to which the answers were simple yes/no's, and he agreed with my suggestion that it was simple 'box-ticking.' By this time the computer had found Mrs-K's files, so we got the show on the road. First thing was he asked for a list of current meds, and I produced the 'diary' that we had kept (as suggested by DWP) which listed them - so he punched away at the keyboard for a while (it's a long list - LOL). At no point did I see him referring to our original PIP2 applic. form, and neither did he ask to see the 'diary,' which I had left under his nose after we explained the list of meds. He then returned it to me unread, and proceeded to ask questions which seemed identical to the PIP2 ones - but he was reading these from the computer.

              Mrs-K answered the questions honestly, and although I prompted her - I tried to appear supportive, rather than overbearing. The assessment carried on with various questions clearly designed to gauge the frequency and effect of the symptoms on daily life. Then there were some simple physical tests carried out, which appeared to be directly related to Mrs-K's disabilities (as opposed to generic tests). We went on to the psychological aspects, and Mrs-K spoke of her mental ups & downs over the years - followed by an assessment of her basic mental abilities which consisted of a few simple questions, such as:-
              Listen to 3 objects being read out (Pen, Ball & summat else) - then repeat them;
              What time do you think it is now ?
              What day is it ?
              What is the date ?
              Spell your surname backwards;
              How much change from £1 if I spend 75p ?
              Repeat the earlier 3 objects.

              I think that's about it. There was no stress or confrontational convo, although I tried to let him know we were at least a little 'clued up' on all this. He did make a point of explaining that PIP can be a difficult benefit to claim, and the DWP have strict criteria on who qualifies. Originally, the DWP would send quite a few reports back for re-assessment, but this now hardly happens. I think his point there was in relation to my earler implication that he may not be qualified to make a psychological assessment, but it may well be that the 'evolution' there was in the DWP's favour, and not the claimants !!! This wasn't exactly clear. We were done after about an hour, and he said the DWP would probably give their decision in about 6 weeks time. We picked up our travel claim form & Atos leaflet, and left with handshakes.

              It was not as stressful as we thought it might be - but as I have said - it may become stressful later. I'm now expecting us to be offered the lower level of PIP at best, but we must simply sit tight and await the DWP decision. Meanwhile, I guess I should start gathering info for a possible appeal. We already have a comprehensive 'diary' that the DWP recommended - but which was ignored by Atos. We also have the PIP2 copy, which I think we may have to compare with the assessor's report. Wherever the PIP2 claim 'score' has been reduced by the assessor, I think this may need scrutiny later. We've been given some great advice and general help from you guys already, so although we've lowered our sights a little after today, I'm sure we have a much better chance of a fair outcome than so many people I have heard about - simply because we have each other here. Thank you all for your help and encouragement.

              Oh - when we got home - I realised that my mobile had been accidentally recording audio. Stupidly - I probably forgot to switch it off when I was experimenting with it earlier. I haven't listened to it properly yet, but it appears to have recorded the assessment. As I understand, this in itself is not unlawful - but its publication may be. I do believe it could be used as the basis for a written transcript - and also that a judge may rely upon it privately to support a formally submitted written transcript, even if the recording cannot itself be used in open court.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                Hi Bill, I'm glad to hear that it wasn't as arduous as expected, though as you say you can't interpret that until you get the outcome. It's terrible fiddling with modern technology, you never know what you are doing
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                • #23
                  Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                  Indeed so, Cymru - and thank you for your sympathetic thoughts. Let's be realistic - the poor critters that are having to jump through the hoops to claim PIP are not expected to be 'top of the range' 747 pilots, are they ? So, as you say, we must be allowed some 'leeway' here when wrestling with such things as 'Trim-Phones' and offshore distress beacons. Atos & DWP of course will know this, though, as they are the true professionals. We know nothing...

                  ...except each other.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                    I'm glad you survived the ordeal without too much trauma. Letting the assessor know how savvy you are upfront was a wise move. I presume you can SAR for a copy of what notes he typed into his computer if needs be.

                    I must say those questions reminded me of my 11+ exam. I failed that so I assume I'd fail an ATOS assessment of my mental faculties too. I would have been able to answer them all (except spell my name backwards) but I would have cheated and deliberately said I thought it was 4 o'clock in the morning on Christmas Day
                    I don't give advice, I share wisdom. Whenever the chips are down there's always a Plan B

                    I'm a fully qualified mother which is the hardest exam I've ever sat. I have other more formal qualifications which are less important


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                    • #25
                      Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                      Well Done Bill thus far but just to add if you have too appeal the decision that will now be made by DWP with the help of ATOS you will first have to request a mandatory reconsideration to DWP this will be undertaken by a different decision maker to the one who made the original decision and they have the power to over rule it either way

                      There is no time scale as to how long they have to make this mandatory reconsideration, indeed I know of some who are still waiting 6 months on but all I can say is as it will be back dated stick with it.

                      If you are still not happy with the decision of the mandatory reconsideration you can then appeal to the tribunal via direct lodgement by that I mean you make your appeal direct to HMCTS and NOT DWP

                      It all stinks and is purely designed to frighten people off from appealing and it does to many as they are vulnerable people, my advise is to stick with it and fight for that justice all the way and not them win via there easy routes

                      Not sure if you are aware but the UN is investigating this Govts treatment of the ill and disabled and I certainly hope they are held to account.

                      https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...69/m-20-13.pdf

                      Regards

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                        PlanB

                        It is physiological abuse as none of that relates to or has any bearing on someone's mental health condition indeed it is very flimsy to say the least

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                        • #27
                          Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                          I do hope they treat your wife fairly Bill. Be prepared for a fight if they don't!
                          Their assessment tools are not fit for purpose. If my frail 100 year old mother-in-law did a PIP or ESA assessment she'd probably fail!
                          Fingers crossed for you xx

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                          • #28
                            Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                            I hope your wife gets the allowance too Bill, I have my fingers crossed
                            "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                              Originally posted by PlanB View Post
                              I'm glad you survived the ordeal without too much trauma. Letting the assessor know how savvy you are upfront was a wise move. I presume you can SAR for a copy of what notes he typed into his computer if needs be.
                              I tried to keep it all 'low-key,' without any swaggering or table-thumping, but diplomacy is not one of my few fortés, PB. Hopefully, it was all taken on board, and he knows he can't take some of the awful 'short-cuts' that I have heard that some Atossers have done. We may perhaps be lucky, in that - up here in the Scottish Borders - life is still lived at a more relaxed pace than it is in the big cities down South (cue banjo music...) - so perhaps we don't have to deal with the psychological 'thuggery' that so many other poor souls are subjected to.
                              I must say those questions reminded me of my 11+ exam. I failed that so I assume I'd fail an ATOS assessment of my mental faculties too. I would have been able to answer them all (except spell my name backwards) but I would have cheated and deliberately said I thought it was 4 o'clock in the morning on Christmas Day
                              TBH, I would have liked dear Mrs-K to have done exactly that - but we decided to try and 'keep a straight bat,' as we are expecting a battle ahead - and there will be plenty of trip-wires already set by Atos & the DWP. I don't want to give them that advantage - but I do agree that we have to try and 'think on our feet' with this !!!
                              Originally posted by pompeyfaith View Post
                              Well Done Bill thus far but just to add if you have too appeal the decision that will now be made by DWP with the help of ATOS you will first have to request a mandatory reconsideration to DWP this will be undertaken by a different decision maker to the one who made the original decision and they have the power to over rule it either way

                              There is no time scale as to how long they have to make this mandatory reconsideration, indeed I know of some who are still waiting 6 months on but all I can say is as it will be back dated stick with it.
                              This procedural stuff is gold-dust PF - and I'm really grateful to you for your help with this. It sounds similar to previous appeal processes I have gone through with the DHSS in years gone by, and I'm bracing myself again for that. Back then, I was poring through volumes of 'CANS' in the local reference library, and quoting DHSS regs to DHSS 'officers' who had no b100dy idea at all. It made me quite sick that these jerks were able to push peeps around, simply because they knew that most peeps had no idea what to do or where to go. The term 'Civil Servant' came into our convo's quite often...
                              If you are still not happy with the decision of the mandatory reconsideration you can then appeal to the tribunal via direct lodgement by that I mean you make your appeal direct to HMCTS and NOT DWP
                              No problemo - and I appreciate the pointer, PF. I've done a coupla DHSS tribunals, and got an overturn on the first one - so I'm all up for taking the DWP on if need be. Our weak spot here is if I'm excluded from any hearings, as Mrs-K doesn't have such experience.
                              It all stinks and is purely designed to frighten people off from appealing and it does to many as they are vulnerable people, my advise is to stick with it and fight for that justice all the way and not them win via there easy routes
                              The husband of an old friend of mine had to go through an Atos assessment, and they were both terrified. I became quite aware that they had no idea of what a bunch of thugs Atos were known as - and what a similar bunch the DWP seemed to have become under our dear IDS's 'steerage.' So I agree 100% that it stinks to Hell, and they rely upon most peeps with disabilities being unable to access any help at all. I have always supported these self-help forums as best I can, and shared what little I know, because it is a 2-way street, and 'Knowledge is Power.' My friend's hubby got to keep his DLA - but so many others are cast aside to die, it seems.
                              Not sure if you are aware but the UN is investigating this Govts treatment of the ill and disabled and I certainly hope they are held to account.
                              I read this recently, PF (perhaps via one of ur FB links) - and UN involvement is certainly something I would be interested to see. For the UK to be investigated by the UN is surely something to be noted in our history books...
                              https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...69/m-20-13.pdf

                              Regards
                              Originally posted by pompeyfaith View Post
                              PlanB

                              It is physiological abuse as none of that relates to or has any bearing on someone's mental health condition indeed it is very flimsy to say the least
                              Can you expand on that at all, as I'm not sure what this relates to - and we might need this later.
                              Originally posted by Undercover Elsa View Post
                              I do hope they treat your wife fairly Bill. Be prepared for a fight if they don't!
                              We're getting 'tooled up' now - thanks to you guys.
                              Their assessment tools are not fit for purpose. If my frail 100 year old mother-in-law did a PIP or ESA assessment she'd probably fail!
                              Fingers crossed for you xx
                              Indeedy, Elsa, and thank you - the peeps who really need help with this stuff are not catered for at all. It reminds me of a quote from that old Bond movie 'Goldfinger,' where Bond is about to be lasered in half and he says "Do you expect me to talk?"
                              Goldfinger's response is, "No, Mr Bond...I expect you to die."
                              Originally posted by IF View Post
                              I hope your wife gets the allowance too Bill, I have my fingers crossed
                              Thank you, IF. It would make a big difference to our quality of life, as we slowly back out of the limelight, so to speak.
                              ...

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Claiming PIP & expecting ATOS will Force us to Appeal

                                Our weak spot here is if I'm excluded from any hearings, as Mrs-K doesn't have such experience.

                                No problem there with you going and all judges encourage it and will no doubt have a few questions for you as they did my Wife when she accompanied me.

                                Can you expand on that at all, as I'm not sure what this relates to - and we might need this later.

                                It is all a tick box exercise and has no bearing at all on the state of ones mind or indeed health and is all geared to the Biopsychosocial Model

                                One link but you may find others

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopsychosocial_model

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