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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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PIP Assessment ggrrrr

I had my PIP assessment week last Thursday. Fibro. Spinal stenosis sciatica. Paresethica Meralgia. Migraines. Anxiety. Self harm. Knee arthritis bakers cyst. It's taken me this long to digest it all. I currently get standard rates. He told me his last assessment had over run so hopefully could make up time with mine. My hubby was with me and he told him that I was the main attraction and that he'd listen to me. He didn't though I tried to explain stuff and he'd tell me that it was ' irrelevant'. My husband tried too but got the same response. I got so flustered as he said at one point that I'd contradicted myself and he couldn't carry on if if wasn't corrected. My hubby told me to calm down but I was nearly crying with anger. I said to the Assessor that he was talking to me as if I were a victim that I wasn't anyone's victim and though it may be hard for him to tick boxes it was bloody hard answering his stupid questions and I was P....d off with trying to be my old self... I said everything I do has a pay back. He said what do you try and do then out of the ordinary? Oh my gosh..... he asked when my depression kicked in and I said when my Son was killed. He initially said we wouldn't go there as it was too upsetting.... he flippantly said oh was that 15 yrs ago... I said no 10 yrs but for me its still yesterday!

My hubby told me afterwards 'not to hold my breath' and that he thought the assessor was a 'bully'.

What to do? If I complain then that may affect the decision and if I have it taken away and then I complain then I guess they'll see it as just sour grapes. You can't win can you?! X

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Good Afternoon Calliejx,

What an awful assessor, no compassion whatsoever. I’m sorry to hear that you are suffering and for the loss of your son. They don’t understand or really care. It’s so wrong.

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I know thank you for replying and listening Fibro/86 xx

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Aw, you’re not alone. X

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What an awful experience for you.

The assessor made mistakes. He should never have told you as he had overrun on previous assessment he would make up time on yours. That is not treating people equally and fairly. You are entitled to 100% attention and the time it takes for your assessment.

Commenting on the death of your son was a personal judgement on his part. As you and I know 10 years ( 12 years soon since my OH died in an accident) is the same as yesterday. The pain and loss is the same. He had no right to judge you on this.

If the assessor described you as “the main attraction” I find that demeaning.

Is there any way a third party can make a complaint on your behalf? I feel someone needs to describe the effects his attitude have had on you.

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Hi Hollyberry x Thank you for listening God bless your other half too. X I was just emotionally exhausted by it all. Yes I think you're right mh hubby suggested that too. Thank you xx

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I feel it’s time for you to appeal with a representative ( maybe legal?) The way you were treated was abusing your civil rights especially since you’re disabled. Someone must deal in this type of assistance, maybe MP like FReedman suggests below

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Thank you x

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I would write a letter to my MP, requesting he contacted me immediately, on receipt of my letter, and explain to him/her exactly what you have just told us. We are not a commodity on a conveyor belt for them to treat as you were. It is DISGUSTING

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Thank you FREEDMAN for your advice - good idea I'll get one off to my MP see what happens then refer to it if I have to appeal.

He said thank you for your empathy when I said about difficult to tick boxes! Totally ignored the fact I felt ignored! Thank you so much xx

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Hi sorry to hear this has to stop if you do have the energy do try complain only way stop this. The complaint regardless of decision will not effect the decision do phone up for the report the now dwp will send it to you .hope it works out for you with a decision

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Thank you Ajay - part of me is scared that they may recall me and I'd have to face it again - the questions are just so ridiculous - pain is pain - he kept saying you said pain was here (showing me an imagine scale) and now your saying it's here.... OMG x I will log a letter in to my MP. X thank you so much x

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I agree with you ajay575 they get away with this all the time cause they know that vulnerable people are to scared to complain shame that this was not recorded would have said to take this to the press and get them to send a copy to amber Rudd I will certainly be doing that at my review if they try to get clever with me the more this sort of behaviour comes into the light the more chance we have of stopping this I would also contact mp frank fields he is the chair man of parliamentary committee that deals with DWP and there is just actions

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Yeh it is a shame I'm sure this assessor would be sacked maybe .it looks as if there is just as many bad assessors as good .good idea to email those 2 mps .

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I know exactly what you are saying, a lot of the assessors don't know what they are talking about, one who came out to me asked me what treatment I had had at the hospital, I told her the consultant at the pain management clinic had given me a lignocaine infusion, she asked me what that was, saying that it sounded like a cup of tea. I explained to her that it was a cocktail of very powerful pain killing drugs designed to give pain relief for at least 6 months, that are given through a syringe driver and that there has to be a nurse with you whilst it is given to you as they had to monitor my blood pressure constantly (every 3 minutes) during the hour that it took for it to go through the syringe driver, it also had to be done in the anti room nest to the theatre in case of problems, which there was and the nurse ran into the theatre where the consultant was doing another procedure on another patient, they both came running out of the theatre to me very concerned. her response to this was, they wouldn't take your blood pressure every 3 minutes, well they did and it will be in my patient records, she then said so it was an injection, I said NO it wasn't, but she didn't listen. I told her that the consultant had told me that it may help with the pain, it might not do anything at all or that it may make it worse, she said that NO consultant would ever say that to a patient, he did. she then asked me how far I could walk before the pain was really bad, I said I may be able to get to the end of the cul-de-sac, she said so that is about 4 bus lengths, actually you would struggle to get even 1 bus in the cul-de-sac, let alone 4, again she would not listen, yet she had walked to my house and there is nowhere to park, so she knew that it was NOT 4 bus lengths.

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No way 4 bus lengths - I had that procedure too how ignorant of her not to listen but sum it up as just an injection. A real cheek - I've had that procedure too. So angry - what gets me is I saw the ESA Doctor only a matter of weeks before and she confirmed I wasn't fit to work so it really makes my blood boil that these people (cowboys sometimes) have this power to not listen and then virtually ask you stupidly insulting questions and stop this payment. It's ridiculous x

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Thank you so much I definitely will send a copy to Frank Fields too. Thank you Jamie1965 x

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I would of asked him to terminate the interview and to leave my property but not so nicely as saying please leave!!!!! I would then of called DWP and capita or asos and complained.

They really are about as much use as a ashtray on a motorbike !!!!!!

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Lol x and they get paid for it too I think we at least deserved to be listened to. X

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Hi

You have been treated appallingly. If you have another assessment you could record it!! I think you have to tell them you are recording it. Also, my friend warned me that they will ask a question and then further down will ask you the same question a different way round to see if I give the same answer!! They did this to me but cos I'd been warned I got it right!! Love and hugs Lynne xxxx

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Callie I am so sorry to hear of those bullying Atos and Capita they are a disgrace!

I have set up a petition on Change.Org.uk

To abolish these assessments.

As they are not fit for purpose and they lie in their reports and we are set upto fail!! 😠

Please can you sign this and share it with me family and friends and social media we are almost at 200

Here is th link

chng.it/v76rwLSH

We the people will fight back and not put up with this appalling treatment of the sick and disabled!!

Sending a gentle hug

Keep strong like brexit

The people will stand upto them!!

Surviour girl

Xx

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Oh my thank you I will x

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The assessment is meant to be like that, they are told not too show emotions so don’t worry about that, appeal if u don’t get, don’t give up there 👌💯

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Thank you Leemma31 x

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Hiya love, from now on I'm asking for any assessments to be recorded. As I had my ESA assessment done that way last after 3yrs of not going to One.

I found that the asseser was more professional and reading the notes given not saying or remarking on anything personal.

I still broke down as it makes me feel like they don't care and I find it degrading to be put through these assessments. It affects my anxiety levels, emotionally, mentally and physically. I start shaking, getting hot, eyes burning and it takes nearly a week to get back to myself. As I worry about the results until their letter drops the front door letter box.

Bringing up personal information and saying he was hoping to make up time ur appointment was wrong.

I hope and with everything crossed you get ur pip. Good Luck ❤️

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Rees 50 Thank you. To be fair they sent me a letter asking if I wanted it videoed but at the time I thought it was just too much for me - like pushing me over the edge anxiety wise but in hindsight I agree with you. X

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The assessments are awful aren't they? Ok had mine a couple of weeks ago, and while she was pleasant enough I feel she rushed through it. I called DWP for a copy of assessment report, and she completely ignored my mental health with her opinions on what descriptors I meet, but mentioned it in the beginning section. She recommended I drop from enhanced to standard for daily living which isn't right at all. You should call for yours while you're waiting for decision, it will help you write a complaint letter, and will also help you if you need to do Mandatory Reconsideration. Take care of yourself xx

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Oh Bertie I've just had a text to say they've sent my report off to Decision maker. They say no contact needed if nothing has changed. I didn't realise we can have a copy of the assessment report at this stage!? Thank you for this information. X

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You're welcome! You can call DWP on Monday and ask them for a copy, mine only took two days to get to me xx

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I rang them week last Monday and still nothing received. I'm really hoping it comes today x

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Hmm, you should have got it by now. Maybe ring and double check they actually sent it, and ask them to send again anyway xx

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You can ask for copy of assessor report and DWP as I got both and they both contradicted each other and DWP lied! Luckily I have CCTV and said I'd use it in tribunal to show the truth, my pip was put back up to enhanced b4 it went to tribunal x

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Please remember PIP is not about you disability, illness or amounts of medication you are prescribed, but about your abilities to preform do the PIP descriptors in a safe, timely manner and repeatability.

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Thanks for reminding us...

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I realise that my issue was he didn't listen about my daily struggles. X

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I think I would have hit him. I lost my daughter aged 19, 11yrs ago and to me it's forever ago & yesterday all in one, unless you have lost a child you don't know what it's like, and it is something you can't properly explain, since she died I feel I am just going through the motions of living boxing time till I can join her. They say fibro can be triggered after a sudden emotional trauma, try telling assessors that and they think you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. So to all assessors out there even if we look ok the pain IS real the depression IS real and sometimes we can't explain it adequately to ourselves let alone others, just thank God you are sat on your side of the table and not ours because believe me we would love to change places with you

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Thank you Lizzie - spot on. Huge hugs and God bless your Daughter. X

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You must complain he is a bully and needs to be stopped you showed him he can’t bully you now it’s payback for that bully complain and tell them evRything

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Thank you xx

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So sorry you had a terrible ordeal by the sounds of it. You have every right to complain, this man sounds like an absolute pig!! After my 1 to 1 assessment was completed and the decision sent to me, I was gobsmacked. The assessor had lied so many times, "walked 50m" "normal gait " to name a few....I was in a wheelchair!! I phoned PIP and was told that I needed a mandatory reconsideration(serves no purpose as it's just another person making a decision on the notes from previous assessor) if I didn't agree with the decision. What they failed to tell me, was, that I could have, and should have made a complaint about the assessor. If we don't, they just get away with it. I wish you well x

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Thank you so much Jojo xx

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Absolutely dreadful behaviour but sadly not the exception. Had mainly bullying assessors & the rule is - dont engage - get the transcript of the assessment & complain to everyone concerned including your MP & even Minister of DWP - Amber Rudd at the moment but its a revolving doors department for ministers.

The assessors name is on the transcript so Atos etc know exactly who is responsible plus you have witness

Assessors are benefit fraud investigators & we are all treated as if we are guilty. Its disgusting to treat the sick & disabled this way but if we dont draw attention to it they will get away with it.

Good luck & dont give up You are telling the truth & they are the liars

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Thank you so very much xx

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What a horrible thing to do, these assessors are terrible people who try to wrong foot you at every turn.

I had a really bad one who lied through her teeth but going to tribuneral I walked it.

Its easy for me to say but just make sure that the DWP know what the bully said. The government are trying to get the sessions videoed because there have been so many complains about Capita and justly so. I was told that the assessors get no reward for failing people, so WHY do they treat disabled people like this. LITTLE MAN/WOMAN syndrome. There are not good enough to be doctors, this is the next best thing. And a little power goes to there heads.

Doctors don't work for Capita as they have singed the hypocritic oath and Capita are really insurance disclaimers.

Chin up you got through it so keep going till you win..

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That certainly explains such a lot. Thank you so much x

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OMG!, That sounds like an horrendous interview. I am so sorry for your loss, he was so out of order on that one. The trouble is the people they use are not actual doctors like they used to be with DLA assessments. My disabled husband has one coming up soon and we are dreading it. My doctor keeps telling me to put in for pip but I just couldn't take the extra stress, I'd rather go without things. Good luck, I hope you get the result you need. X

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I can totally understand but please don't let them bully you out of money you so deserve lovely xx

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Dont let them bully you. You are eligible for that extra money. Its to help with extra costs. Get some help & go for it. We are all with you. Good luck & dont give up

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Thank you for the support Vivalaviv, but just thinking about it makes my anxiety levels hit an all new high. Maybe it will be better once my husband has got through his.

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I would report him x

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My MP is keeping my complaint on file and was eager to learn more. C

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Disgusting disgusting disgusting.. I am appalled at the way the assessor treated you and I would be putting all that in writing and complain, what an unfair assessment. Sending big hugs hope you feel a little calmer now after your ordeal. xxx

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Just about calmed down at last! I will write xx

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Ring them hun its easier and they took complaint over phone and were really nice about it, but then follow up with more details. Good luck

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Thank you so much x

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If there was an emoji for w*nker I'd use it to sum your assessor up!😡

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Love it - made me laugh!! X

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i would suggest that if you can bear to, speak to someone with experience of making PIP claims, and appeals, theres a group online called benefits and work and they give some excellent advice, its a membership for about 20 a year, but well worth it if you dont h ave a useful local service, unsure what their casework support is like, but their materials are good. I had a local agency support me with my PIP catastrophe, they make me fell more ill than usual, like yours, mine was a stupid farce and the crap she put in her report was so off the mark it was funny., but it upset me so much I took ages to decide not to battle it further, as Id just lost my dad, was recovering from being in a wheelchair, and frankly, I pick my battles these days, BUT, I have promised myself that when I get called for my next assessment, I will ask to have the caseworker from our local organisation alongside me. I used to work in the Courts, and frankly, not much used to scare me. but I dont trust them further than I can spit. You have my heartfelt sympathy for your horrible situation, If you do nothing else, it might be worth telling your local MP about your experience. I blame the government for their decision to outsource assessments to outfits like Capita and the other one (name escapes me). I fully understand that the challenge of taking it to mandatory consideration, then appeal, and perhaps tribunal can be threatening, but please, do try and get support. You have suffered enough not to be put through the mill by them any more, take care, hugs.

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Thank you so very much bless you. I will first step is ringing and getting the report then letter to MP.... it shouldn't be an ordeal should it really grinds me down. X

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I second the advice to use Benefits and Work. Invaluable.

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I am so sorry to hear this and so many have the same experience, I didn’t.. well not yet anyway....I found my assessor to be very understanding but not ott.... she was kind in her words and ways....she didn’t agree or disagree with anything and must say respectful... I wonder if somehow it depends on the area or the profession of the person doing it....I was awarded standard rate and lowest mobility... hope you get this sorted soon xxxx

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Thank you so very much xx

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I’m so sorry to hear of firstly the loss of your son and all your health issues. Life can be very hard at times and it’s sad you didn’t have a more sympathetic assessor.

Might I suggest the following :

Call the dwp and request a copy if his report for your “records”

(this arms you ready incase you need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration )

Did he look at the paper records you had ready for him ?

Did he ask you to do walking tests etc ?

When you receive a copy of the report and the decision then you know if you need to appeal it

If he hasn’t taken any note of what you said or he’s put factually incorrect information down and / or he’s given you a bad report then you need to take him to task on it and complain

I do hope he has not but with the dwp record of very bad cases with the reviews you need to be ready

Also get a letter from your Gp to support you (again I’d get this ready) your Gp I’m sure will be ready to support you Getting what you are entitled to

Best of luck xx

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Thank you - he had read my stuff including a letter from my Doctor. He opened up the Assessment saying something like - looks like you've had a trying time with PIP. I didn't understand this as I had been awarded lower rates previously... then I thought back to my first assessment when I did appeal and still got nim points so maybe he was referring back to that... I'm requesting the Report today xx 💖

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Complain definitely..Absolute disgraceful

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Hi this makes me so upset & angry for you as exactly 18 months ago I was in the same position...I will explain more another day but these assessors aren't even qualified or have any experience of our conditions!! I felt like a number!! And the last 2 assessors tried to back track on what I said grrr...why did they bother wen I ended my fight in court last year...will explain more but keep fighting hun I promise you will get the right result 👍x

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Thank you so much xx

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Report to mp

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I have done and he 2as very interested! X

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Absolute bastards playing god with their jobs! How dare they! It’s so wrong, once you get the report if he’s lied or you think it’s wrong then complain! I am stressing even thinking about having to re do my claim. I got so stressed it put me in hospital last time. X

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please ask to be re assessed and take your complaint to cab also get your GP to write a letter but explain to your GP that you felt intimmidated by the assessor we did this and got our decission over turned stand your ground with these bullies good luck

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Complain straight away as it won't affect assessment. If u dont he will put a load of lies x

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Hi calliejx

Please please raise a complaint about this assessor. Your claim will be reviewed by a different decision maker. Ask the CAB to help - they put me in touch with a lady who was familiar with the process and knew how to word my answers. She didn't change what I told her, she used to be a DWP decision maker herself, she just put a different slant on the informationand my claim went through no further problems.

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Thank you x I've just written to my MP and ran DWP for copy of Capita Report x

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Thats certainly a good start.Don't give up - remember these assessors are just civil servants with no medical expertise. He/she could be working anywhere in the civil service next week. Soglad you haveyour husband to help but it must be hard for him too. You'll get there in the end but it does wear you out at times. I'll be thinking of you. Good Luck.

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Thank you so very much jillybean88 xx

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The assessors are physiotherapists, paramedics, nurses and occupational therapists. They do have medical expertise. The problem is that they often don't have any expertise about your particular disability.

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Thank you Waylay x

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I think she referred to the DWP decision makers.

The assessor gives them the bullets but they fire the gun

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I do agree with some of what you've said but I've read a senior Welfare Rights officer's post on another site who stated that they are NOT medically trained.

I'm told that they are trained to assess your abilities but I have zero idea how they can do that when a lot of people have invisible illnesses, for example, the assessor that assessed me in April is claiming I don't have MH problems anymore which is was my initial awarded was more or less based on apart from 8 points in moving around, this assessor has told a lot of porkies and even contradicted himself in the report, the report itself is very lazy and a lot of the info is copy and pasted. He decided that I don't have problems 50% of the time by doing his MSE.. bearing in mind he was looking at the laptop for about 80% of the assessment, he claimed my shaking was "leg bouncing", he didn't noticed I was sweating (I was drenched after), he said I spoke to him fine, I was stuttering and forgetting things and my Son was having to help, both my Mum who was here just before the assessment and my Son could see I was distressed but this person couldn't.. he's gone against the evidence, what both myself and Son told him and what the previous assessor had stated in her report, dropped both mobility and daily from 18 to 8. Personally I think the assessor didn't have a clue about MH problems and this is why he has tried to make it about my physical health problems.

Oh and the assessment was recorded so it's all on tape.

PS - Your name rings a bell, are you on another forum? :)

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Oh my what a palarva - it's so ridiculous we should be submitted to this treatment.

I don't think I'm on another Forum lovely xx

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Yeah it is ridiculous.

oh no I was asking waylay :) their name looks familiar.

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Hi, I did not get a fair assessment at all. First of all all she did was talk about her country, Africa, then she had a private phone call and asked for a cup of coffee because her mouth was dry! When I failed and read the reasons I was shocked of all the lies she had put on it. She said I had walked around the house and up our stairs when all she had asked me to do was stand up, which I did with great difficulty. My husband lodged a complaint against her with Capita, they said she had left, but they still should have done something, they promised to look into it, nothing was done about it, they said they had lost my complaint file, I gave up in the end after numerous phone calls and letters.

I really sympathise with you and I think getting in touch with your MP is your best bet, I hope he takes them to the cleaners after the way you were treated. I wish you the best of luck. 👍

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Oh my goodness - no words! 😡 x

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If I was you, I’d speak to citizens advice as they really do know the ins and outs of the benefits system.

I know plenty of people who have had problems with pip assessments, I have myself and I’ve found that the citizens advice has helped me a lot and kind of took away some of the stress away. I hope everything works out for you, it’s the last thing anyone needs. Good luck

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