Headway
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F***ing pip

This is where I’m at with pip , to say I’m pissed off is a understatement. I was reading a few posts on here and there was one about faking it . That’s how those cxxxs make you feel , I remember going to my assessment. I prepared my self mentally for it, And felt it went well at the time .

Now here is my issue. Should I have faked it . Because that would have be easy. I was confident and well prepared that didn’t work . My advice to anyone going for a pip assessment.

Fake it .

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Hi there my husband had serious head injury 10 years ago. He was left with a lot of cognitive issues. He was a paramedic for nearly 30 years with commendations, who had come off a shift fell backwards down stairs in our house. Had to finish work forced as complaints in re what he was saying not paid off forced 😡 went to assessment with him couldn’t believe he scored 0. Liars I was there and heard his answers! Took to appeal still no award. Did it a second time last year as he can’t hold a job down 12 now ! same reason (saying things) same 0 then appeal got points one less to get award. I was furious cheek to say although sympathetic that he has cognitive issues didn’t fit criteria. If you can walk talk and dress yourself then you don’t fit criteria.

I have heard though that it’s changing and will be your own GP who will have a say. I am at present in touch with local MP to clarify this. Hope you appeal and get award go scruffy as came back my husband was well groomed and nicely dressed so went against him.

Flipping disgraceful system horrendous to go through for not only my husband but me too so emotional as I had to say it as it is in my house and outside with my husband.

Good luck

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Fake it . It’s what they understand, be a wreck be emotional cry give them what they want.

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They can come and live with him for a day then they would see how he is I offered that to them but didn’t take me up on it 😂

Serious though after talking to my MP I will be going down that road again as another job gone just last month. He will be going in joggers and old t shirt and unshaven!

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Give them what they want. That’s my way of thinking now because doing it right does not work .

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I actually had 0 points from esa, 2 years ago. They said it was because I didn't show any emotions. So I guess crying might work. Now my problem is I not only had PIP assessment last week, I have ESA on 11th October, but since that one 2 years ago, I haven't cried once over anything, I just feel numb. 3 years ago I nearly died & I haven't cried. Dont know if it's medication or the brain injury, but one thing is I sure as hell can't fake it

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You see, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of BI. If that part of your brain is injured, you don't have any emotion. It is disconnected. It doesn't work. It doesn't inform you. It doesn't report back. It also doesn't work with memories. Until I physically went to the location of my teenage and childhood years, I was numb, walking dead to myself and family, I was a shell of my world. The innerds were gone. I was a function, falling around the place, jerking, shaking. I pity the people that have no compassion for another's journey into the world of BI and out the other side. We are warriors through the battle of healing and the battle of being understood.

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The idea of emphasising your difficulties and placing them in the context of you trying to do day to day life, rather than saying all the things you are able to do can become a fuzzy line between the 'truth' and a faking it.

To be clear it's about giving a true insight, faking it seems to be drifting in to the area of fraud, which is obviously not a good idea.

The points based system and how they are applied would seem bizarre to most people as many people with significant barriers to work shouldn't be awarded the points.

So it will need MPs to question the usefulness of the current activities and descriptors being used before legislation will occur.

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I lost my orientation, balance and focus for many months after Meningitis but my claim was refused. After being asked if were able to get 'out & about' and answering I could manage short trips accompanied, my comment was cynically translated into "Goes on shopping trips with daughter". Oh, and I was "Sufficiently aware to be well groomed" so, as Tia suggested, go scruffy. We shouldn't have to go to these depths to prove the truth, but when up against a policy of lies and disregard what other course is there ?

Fake it !! 🤬xx

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I'm struggling with this as obviously it's connected with my professional role but from what you say you weren't being totally true about your ability to get out & about.

So don't fake it.

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I suggest to anyone who cares to listen.

Lie fake over exaggerate everything you can do to get the help you need.

Because from my experience telling the truth does not work.

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of course cat was being totally true about getting out and about you moron. its not great not being able to leave the house on your own and having to rely on people to support you to go places, maybe thats a situation youve never been in, but for those of us who are, its not something we feel happy about.

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I most certainly was/am telling the truth ; just another typical reaction from those with no knowledge of a particular illness or its devastating effects....……….

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Being honest and telling the truth are two quite separate things.

I'm probably failing to convey the subtleties around the concept of truth, in this context.

People may think I'm defending the system but I could write a dissertation about the systemic failures.

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The people who do the assements are liars.thy only write down what they need .and ask questions in certain ways and your answer is not wat they want they just change it.i understand how people feel when faking it is mentioned.but its disgusting that you get nothing for honesty.and as for cat .i will always be grateful fr the honesty and help shes given us on ere.

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I totally agree with you . Who cares whether you are committing fraud , it’s life you are trying to get sorted and they don’t help you in these difficult situations. I haven’t tried for myself but my daughter has tried three times and because she can walk and dress herself that’s it oh and and she can move an EMPTY box from one place to another . She suffers from M.E which is so debilitating. It’s totally disheartening.

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I tried 4 times after having DLA stopped. It seemed as if all refusals letters were the same, except for the last one where I was awarded 2 points for my deafness. I think that was because he wore a hearing aid himself. Prior to this I had 3 haemorrhages, epilepsy, deafness 2 TIAs , heart disease, and neuropathy. I live alone so all I do I have to do alone. However, it seemed as if only the judge at the tribunal believed me and was extremely angry about the whole thing. Although I don't believe in lying the replies should be as strong as possible. As I said in my previous posts on this subject, a tribunal is the best way to go. Dave

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Having represented a number of client's accused of fraud I know it's not a place you'd want to go.

Purely on the practical side most people are not able to present a seamless narrative if they aren't being truthful it will be picked up by a experienced adviser and a Tribunal if it goes that far and then there can be questions about how credible you are as a witness.

I've no idea about a 'Health Professional's ability during the medical assessment but obviously there could be a danger of the above.

The best thing someone can do is give ALL the relevant facts in the ESA 50, completion by a adviser should ensure pertinent details are there. You often see form which have all sorts of detail that is irrelevant to ESA descriptors. For a TBI you'll need to add further info , given the size of the boxes, this could be between 1 - 4 pages of A4 size.

Obviously many people will need help to do that but the initial ESA 50 can make or brake a case, I've certainly seen potentially valid claims fail due to the wording on the form.

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A experienced advisor will pick up if you are not being truthful.

And when you are being truthful they can’t see it .

The whole f***ing thing is a joke .

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Sorry. Your statement contains an assumption which is incorrect. "completion by a adviser should ensure pertinent details are there". A BI can in some cases prevent association with feeling, awareness and basic planning thoughts you take for granted. How to read, how to recognise numbers, how to write with a pen, how to cut with a knife. All these things you take for granted. Imagine none of those actions are available to you, all in one day, and still you have to breathe, eat, sleep, wash and 'go and get a job'... please. This is the state selecting who they wish to live and who they are willing to leave to fend for themselves. To have to list what is wrong when you are 'impaired' was not possible for me. The idiocy is found in statements such as this.

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I didn't say it would be easy but it's helpful to list the difficulties you have doing the prescribed activities. The issues you rightly raise also apply to other disabilities and they also need another person to help complete the ESA50.

If that person understand what facets of your difficulties may attract points then you will have a greater chance of success. You say your disability would be a barrier for an adviser, however other mental health conditions are very common, so they will have experience of picking apart all those threads to identify the strand which is can attract the point(s).

So you shouldn't feel that we TBIs are at the top of this is cr@p pyramid and don't shoot the messenger if they don't arrive with the magic pill.

If you're an experienced adviser you will have experienced abuse from client's due to similar frustration to yours, however you will find on most occasions that even the most aggressive client will give a unwanted apology at the end of the interview.

It's also common for client's to say "I've never told that to anyone else before".

Last year we had trainee doctors come in to learn about these issues and how you go from being abused to receiving appreciation and form a positive relationship with your client (patient).

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The joke bit is right but I think you're being disingenuous if you're suggesting that an adviser won't believe you.

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It's 'disingenuous' to suggest that an advisor won't believe you ; really ? People with chronic, debilitating health issues are being denied the benefits they're entitled to because their honest accounts of incapacity aren't being believed . Some are ending their lives owing to the deprivation and sheer desperation ; others are sleeping on the streets.

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I can only think there's been misunderstanding if you really believe that if you go to a agency such as CAB or Headway, that adviser won't believe you.

Over 25 years assisting clients with benefit disputes and actual fraud is incredibly rare, so any adviser starts from the stance of you're representing the truth. Again very very rare but a adviser's nightmare, the facts your client gives to the court contradict everything you've been told.

I've been involved in around 10,000 benefit appeals and of those only 5 revealed fraudulent statements had been made to the DWP. I'm not including enquirers when the allegation of fraud seemed to have merit, those clients would be referred to a criminal solicitor

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You're right ……….a misunderstanding. I'd never suggest that CAB, Headway or Welfare rights advisors were anything but fair ; they've been lifesavers for me in the past. The word should have been 'assessors' not advisors, but had my feral head on yesterday as a result of earlier comments so didn't look twice before I leapt.

My praises of these organisations on Headway are many, but in my town CAB and Welfare Rights have closed owing to government erosion of public services and lack of funds for Headway. So people like Pat are struggling to find support and it's so, so unfair that folk already carrying the burden of illness are treated so shabbily.

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I absolutely agree with you and Patrick about how everything is stacked against the claimant.

Many agencies lost most of their funding when Legal Aid was removed from 1st tier benefit appeals, hence you're extremely fortunate if you are able to see a specialist worker.

One of my friends, a CAB manager, has just issued redundancy notice to all their employees, due to lack of funding

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What is being done about the advisors that are experienced, then report on claimants with brain injury’s - writing information in their report suggesting the claimants will not get any points! The decision maker has to believe and use the information in the report to award no PIP.

Then if the claimant has the right help, energy and guidance to take the claim to appeal and tribunal- they then seem to receive enough points to receive PIP!

The assessor needs to be held accountable or no doubt they will and do continue to use the same type of report writing.

I think their job is to avoid paying benefits to anyone and they know not many will appeal.

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Yes everything you say is correct, but it’s how you are made feel it’s so degrading

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I don't know what came from it but some years ago the DWP had a group look at the evidence as it came in for appeals and apparently many re-determinations were done awarding benefit prior to any hearing.

I believe this was done because of all the problems with ATOS reports, the question of would this change the government's stance has been answered by now.

I attend the Tribunal users group and whilst the Judges will be very cautious in what they say my interpretation is that they are far from impressed with the DWP and the quality of the medical assessment reports.

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That just about sums it up.

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I made the error of making eye contact whilst being interviewed; also I am physically well. But my memory is unpredictable, how do you show that? I have disappeared now; not considered at all, no financial independence is the one consequence of my brain injury that could lead to depression. How much would that cost them?

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Frustrating. When we generally need pip it is annoying having to prove our disability, I think its because to many people have applied for it that do not qualify. So I agree if we generally need it we should get it. My ex husband always applied for my pip. So when I apply it may be refused. As I always put my best side forward as I do not like putting my self down. So I disagree with the word faking it. Just do not put your best issues down put what you are like when not pushing yourself. I hate having to prove my disability. It is because to many people have applied who do not generally need it. You only have to look at the people who park in the Diabled spots. I wonder how they got there blue badges??

Live safely

Mufc

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I feel your frustration when i applied they totally disregarded the letter from my neuropsychotherapist so my wife challenged it and won so goid luck

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I agree with you there Pat, fake it.

Because of my BI, my balance has got progressively worse but I can do things such as standing on the spot and bending down to pick up a pen... but not all the time is this possible.

Brain injuries fluctuate. One minute you can do something with ease, the next it is difficult.

I can even lose my balance just by standing on the spot!

This is what the DWP do not understand or do not give a complete rat’s arse about.

The DWP are supposed to be helping out people via benefits but they are not helping one bit if they are taking the money away and adding more anal forms is piling on the pressure for disabled people causing stress and stress is something nobody should be dealing with as it can be a killer.

So your advice to fake it or even bend the truth slightly, exaggerate your problems is probably the best way to get the money you are owed.

I know how people will say it is so they can catch out the cheaters/scroungers but I think it is a lot more than just that, I don’t trust the government or DWP at all, they are criminals.

People should be a bit more open-minded about things. And fon’t always believe what mainstream news tells you.

I’ll tell you one thing, I am still waiting for the whole of UK to completely freeze... it hasn’t happened yet and I read this in mainstream news (The Sun or The Guardian or something like that) and it hasn’t happened yet.

FEAR MONGERING. That is mainstream news for you.

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You might be able to tell from my comment that I believe in SOME conspiracies.

Most people will shun the whole conspiracy thing and say these are crack pot theories or something similar. The thing is, if people carry on with that way of thinking then the rest of us are going to carry on with our lives living a lie. Living our lives how we shouldn’t be living our lives.

Money for instance. It’s totally pointless, there is no real worth to it but it is those in power who use money as a tool to control the population.

People can make a change if we all put our foot down.

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I AGREE!

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We all need to stick together and put brain injury on the agenda

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I am just about to send my PIP form back & l’ve been helped by a friend who deals with advice on benefits, he has told me to look at every question as if l have to deal with the situations on my very worst day. I have had 1 claim & appeal denied and have never claimed again. My TBI resulted from being hit by a car whilst crossing the road 15 years ago. Part of me believed having my DLA taken away meant l have made myself better to be no longer considered Disabled, but l am ! My Brain doesn’t function like it used to, l am at a disadvantage in the workplace. I will never be the strong confident woman l was and l have spent to long trying to find her on my own, l need help. So it is only now l will admit to this. It is really hard for me to say l need help and the older l am getting the more l see how badly l have been injured, l’m covered in scars but they are just who l am and because l have no facial scaring people say they don’t see them.

I’ll let you know how l get on with this, wish me luck as l think l’m gonna need it 👍🏼

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Best of luck Denny ; hope all goes well...….. xx

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Thanks Cat, l’ve photocopied all the info l’m sending, they’re getting the court report of my accident, a work assessment from an OT, a Dr’s letter about Tendonitis l’ve developed. I’m leaving nothing out. 😉

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Good girl Denny ; by throwing everything at them in black & white, and backed up by officials, you're obviously giving yourself the best chance. Keep us updated m'dear ! x

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Certainly will, this forum is so helpful and stops people who have this hidden disability faith & hope xx

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It’s supposed to be gives not stops 🙄 flipping auto select words 😉

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You know you can edit out errors Denny. Just click on 'more' after you've posted ; there are options of 'edit' or 'delete'. 🙂 xx

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Thanks Cat, it was late when l realized l’d made the mistake & couldn’t be bothered to try and edit it 🙄😉

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….know the feeling m'love ! See you soon...…. xx

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Hello

Terrible times - struggling with a brain injury is hard.

Why do the authorities appear to make it more difficult?

They have a protocol to follow - this does not fit brain injury!

BRAIN INJURY NEEDS TO BE RECOGNISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have today contacted the local MP.

As medicine moves forward and more people are saved (40 years ago - my diagnosis would have been a death sentence) with hidden disability - issues of memory/anxiety/

etc - for me - faking it is not an issue - the reality needs to be addressed!!

Regards

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how can they not ??? a brain injury has your paperwork from specialists???

i don't know how they can get away with this rockyandfrank??

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I thought you could request that it is someone who is qualified in brain injury to do your assessment.

I was recently diagnosed with complex ptsd.

On my form it read I had evident low mood and motivation. My CPN and psychologists both say I have not got a problem with motivation.

I was lucky enough to be given 3 yrs of stard rate care and mobility.

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I didn’t realize that, l’ve not posted mine yet. I may put that on the form, Thank is it Dan ?

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My partner and I, were at a headway meeting 2 weeks ago and we had a talk from a lady about claiming P.I.P , she was from citizens advice. She told us that they have a set quota to put through, so if you get let down then appeal and if that is still a no, then take it to the tribunal and gather as much medical evidence as possible. I know its difficult to get hold of help with the forms, I tried for Alan, my partner but then I was lucky with other sources. This other person I sort to fill them out, was experienced in knowing how to put things in and what to tick. He now gets the full benefit. I really feel for those of you who are struggling, but if there is any way to get any help, then do get it.

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fake what?? please explain?

I'm new to forum....new to assessments ?

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Possibly best to ask someone from headway to help with claiming PIP.

The whole process is stressful.

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That’s excatly what I did . I’m on a waiting list 🤨

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