Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessments

What is a PIP assessment?

Under normal circumstances a  PIP assessment is an opportunity for you to talk about how your condition affects you – it’s not a diagnosis of your condition or a medical examination.

The DWP will use evidence from the assessment to help them decide if they need PIP.

Therefore it is best to make your own report and detail everything about your illness and how you manage your daily activities.

An in-depth report is evidence that can be used against the DWP if your claim is denied. Having a phone call you cannot record the conversation.

Concluding the call you should ask for a copy of the recording which you are entitled to have by law.

People have the right to request copies of the data that is held by an organization, the ability to search and copy recorded calls will be necessary. Requests of this type must be responded to within one month. GDPR and Legitimate Interest. https://www.compliancejunction.com/gdpr-rules-recording-calls/

A health professional will carry out your assessment, write a report and send it to the DWP.

Talking about how your condition affects you

A helpful guide on the Citizens Advice website says that you should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you even if you have already detailed it on your PIP claim form.

This can be hard to do, but it will really help if you can talk about:

  • the kind of things you have difficulty with, or can’t do at all – for example, walking up steps without help or remembering to go to appointments
  • how your condition affects you from day to day
  • what a bad day is like for you – for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk at all because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed I can’t concentrate on anything

It is a good idea to have your own copy of your PIP claim form with you for telephone assessment, that way you can refer back to it.

I strongly suggest on headed paper write a concise report detailing your illness without leaving out a single thing.

Discrimination

A disabled lawyer launched a ground-breaking legal case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over his claim that it deliberately discriminated against him in rejecting his claim for disability benefits. Daniel Donaldson founder of the Scottish social enterprise law firm Legal Spark, believed DWP chose to discriminate against him and other people with mental health conditions in the way it has dealt with their personal independence payment (PIP) claims.

This is very worrying if the DWP has discriminated against a lawyer. Although the article about Donal Donaldson was published in 2018 it is very worrying how the government is playing God with people’s lives who genuinely need help.

Daniel ended up taking the DWP to Glasgow Sheriff Court and was seeking nearly £5,000 in damages, to cover bank charges, the removal of his bus pass, and £4,000 in compensation for the discrimination.

Donaldson sued the DWP Equality Act against the Scottish government because it failed to take on responsibility for PIP from DWP when it had the powers to do so in 2016.

A Scottish government spokesman said:

“We have repeatedly called on the UK government to halt the roll-out of PIP in Scotland, most recently following the report of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which called for a review of PIP due to the damage it is causing people”.

Donaldson said the “UK government had created “a hostile and degrading environment for disabled people” by “using public policy to strip people of their statutory entitlement to benefits”, including PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA)”.

You can read the full story here: Disabled solicitor launches ground-breaking legal case over PIP discrimination – Disability News Service

Useful Links

Discrimination: your rights: What you can do – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

My Concerns about the up-and-coming assessment for my daughter

Circus Monkey!

Assistant Editor

My concern is my daughter who has Multiple Sclerosis and is also the assistant editor of ‘Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Journal’, according to the MS Society, the DWP is making it even more difficult to claim. PIP fails | MS Society

It is soul-destroying having to justify you have an illness. People should not have to be made to perform like circus monkeys to prove they are ill. The assessment is on the 5th of January 2023. I will be listening to the call.

My daughter has already expressed anxiety and stress and is worried about taking the call.

PIP Email Address

I have advised my daughter to write a letter and attach it to an email prior to the assessment call, this adds extra weight to your claim and creates a carbon footprint of evidence.

PIP say they do not have an email address even though they do😂 : contactus@capita-pip.co.uk

Medical evidence should suffice. A primary neurologist consultant is far more qualified than any PIP assessor”.

An Assessors Qualifications

According to Capita’s, website to be an assessor you may be a nurse, occupational therapist, paramedic, physiotherapist, pharmacist, speech and language therapist, or clinical psychologist who is looking for a change, for new opportunities.

As a Disability Assessor, you’ll:

  • be a fully qualified healthcare professional 
  • have a minimum of one year’s post-full registration experience
  • be fully registered with a relevant UK regulatory body (NMC/HCPC/GPhC or other), without restriction or conditions and with a valid PIN
  • live and be based in the UK 
  • have sound written communication skills
  • be able to manage conversations and ask questions effectively
  • be confident with computers 

Who we’re looking for | Capita PIP Careers (capitapipjobs.co.uk)

This proves that they do not have to have to be specialists in any disorder. A nurse has general knowledge of how the body works but is not specialized in any field other than nursing.

According to the Royal College of Nursing:

All registered nurses must choose from one of four specialisms as part of their nursing degree – adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, or learning disability nursing. It’s possible to change after graduating, but this doesn’t mean your career is decided. 

Adult nursing

Adult nurses work with patients over 18. They can work in hospitals or in community settings such as people’s homes, health centers or nursing homes.  Once qualified, they can take extra courses to specialize in areas such as cancer care, women’s health, accident and emergency, critical care, practice nursing, health visiting or school nursing.

Children’s nursing

Children’s nurses work with children and young people up to 19 years old and can work in a variety of settings, from specialist baby care units to adolescent units. Children react to illness in a very different way from adults, and children’s nurses are specially trained to understand their needs. Children’s nurses also support, advise and educate parents and carers. Once qualified, they can specialize in areas such as health visiting, school nursing, intensive care, child safeguarding, and cancer care.

You cannot confuse a nurse with a doctor or specialist. A nurse will not have the same qualifications as a doctor, neurologist, consultant, or psychiatrist.

What is Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative condition for which there is currently no cure.

In MS, the body’s immune system attacks myelin, the protective cover around nerve fibers. Damage, which can occur anywhere in the central nervous system, interferes with messages traveling from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. Symptoms are many and varied but unique to each person. They can include problems with balance, vision, the bladder, bowel, speech, memory, fatigue, and painful muscle spasms, among many other things. MS affects over 100,000 people in the UK, many of whom experience their first symptoms during the peak of their working lives, in their 20s and 30s. MS is both a fluctuating and progressive condition. While the progression and symptoms of MS vary from individual to individual, primary progressive MS affects around 10 to 15% of people with MS. This is progressive from the very first symptoms. The remaining 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing forms of MS, where people have distinct attacks of symptoms with the underlying damage building up over time.

Many people with MS will go on to develop secondary progressive MS within 15 years of being diagnosed.

“Having MS is debilitating – it shouldn’t be made harder by a welfare system that is humiliating, degrading, and adds more stress which can lead to relapses. Stressing an individual out to the point that they relapse could consequently make that person lose their mobility and become bedridden”.

If a person with Multiple Sclerosis relapses because of the stress they endure fighting for something that should help them, then the government should be made accountable.

Relationship between stress and relapse in multiple sclerosis: Part I. Important features – PubMed (nih.gov)

From a personal perspective, my daughter did actually relapse after being frustrated with her laptop not booting up consequently hurling it across the room. So stress is definitely a factor, that should not be ignored.

PIP-2018-2021-update-MS-SOCIETY

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