Another tale for the PIP files: It's so much of a... - Headway

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Another tale for the PIP files

pinkvision
pinkvision
30 Replies

It's so much of a farce that it's funny.

The CAB applied to PIP for me in June. Had an appointment in August, went to that and was told it had been cancelled because the system was down, they said they would arrange another appointment.

At the beginning of October I phoned the DWP to ask when I would get an appointment. They told me that the claim had been cancelled because I did not attend the appointment in August. The DWP asked if I could prove that I attended. I said yep check the building signing in book and the CCTV, I described the the woman from Capita.

To be fair the DWP supervisor was supportive and was very annoyed and she told me she would sort it out quickly. It was and today I went for my PIP assessment.

I got to the building and signed in and spoke to the receptionist. She is the building receptionist and has nothing to do with Capita. I said her booking in system was handy. I told her what had happened before and she said they do it all the time, it's the normal process.

So I sit and wait and after a while an angry looking woman comes through a door and storms out of the building. A scruffy man in an oversized suit and creased manky flannel shirt came out and went to the woman who was puffing on a fag outside the building. They had a to do and came back in and disappeared.

That same woman then came out 5 mins later and invited me into a room. It was sealed, no windows and was full of bright LED lights. (I had written to capita two weeks earlier saying that I had a big problem with LED lights). I told her the problem and she said they never told us. She refused to move to a different room, she refused to switch some of the lights off. I said fine just get on with it.

She started asking questions about hospital appointments and about who I was with concerning the BI, I told her and she asked if I had a support worker. I said no I don't need one. She then said that she felt that she could not interview me without a support worker, I said I don't have one. By this time I was reacting to the lights, heart beating like mad and stomach moving about, burping and starting to get agitated.

Then she said that because LED lights make me ill and that I didn't have a support worker she would have to cancel the assessment. Then she said that they will make an appointment to see me at home and that I had to get a support worker to speak for me.

I just left the room, on the way out I told the girl on reception, she's a wise looking woman, and she said 'in a seen it all before kind of way' yep that's how it goes, she seemed full of contempt in regard to Capita and that this was a common event.

This post does'nt read like how it was but there seemed to be a drive to cancel the assessment from the start.

Going to be on the phone to the DWP tomorrow.

30 Replies
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Lynd

Not a great experience. Might be good to have a home interview as you wouldn't have to worry about the lighting. You could concentrate on the questions easier. Do you have a friend you could ask to be at the interview?

It would be interesting to know why she thought you needed a support worker.

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to Lynd

Hi, I had the impression that they wanted to find a reason to cancel the assessment from the start. There was something funny about the whole situation, it felt weird. The woman who assessed me had had an argument I think with the other person from capita and stormed out before the assessment, then had another argument with the man who came out after her.

They knew the situation with the lighting before I got there so I don't understand what the problem was, why could they not just go to another room. The brain injury unit that I am a patient never talked about a support worker.

I'm going the phone the DWP tomorrow and ask to talk to the supervisor that I spoke to last time, she sounded so annoyed when they cancelled the assessment the first time and lied saying that I never turned up.

I'm getting so fed up with all the processes I'm going through, the PIP people saying I'm too ill to assess alone, the disability saying that there is nothing wrong with me at all (I've got another assessment with them next week) and my solicitor messing up again. To cap that the CAB were going to help sort all my debts out in september and have only just come back saying they forgot and can't see me till the end of november. After my next set of payments go through in the next couple of weeks that's it I'm afraid financially, credit cards done to the max, overdraft will be gone, I owe my friends money, my landlord wrote off the money I owe him 2 months ago but said he can't do that again and I'll have to leave if I can't pay the rent. Oh dear the shit will hit the fan.

Maybe that will be a good thing, no more bills, no more rent, live in a tent and steal food from tesco, get arrested and get a bed and three squares a day in jail for the winter. What the f*** has happened to this country. Oh sorry, where did that come from???

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Lynd
Lynd
in reply to pinkvision

Sounds like they had some office politics type of row going on.

I would say concentrate on paying the rent and feeding yourself.

Credit card debt can be dealt with fairly easily by Cab but give your landlord whatever you can or show you are making efforts to pay.

This must be causing you huge anxiety and I hope you get sorted soon.

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to Lynd

Actually I am felling quite good about it, it's the trying to hang on that causes the anxiety, just let it all go I'm thinking. Oddly enough I think becoming homeless at xmas would be quite beneficial in an odd kind of way. Hey thanks for commenting, I'm ok and will pull through, it's just that everything that can go wrong happens at the same time and I know everything that can go right usually happens at the same time too.

I've become quite sceptical and think that companies like Capita are the ones ripping off the system by cancelling assessments etc so they can arrange new assessments and get paid each time for the assessments, then the re-assessments and the re-assessments on top of that. I'm going to find out how they get paid.

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WinB
WinB
in reply to pinkvision

Do not make yourself homeless get onto DWP and tell them what happened and say to them what you have told us and they acted very unprofessional for a company working for Government. You have to be a professional Layabout with this lot and a lot of genuine cases go through it. I cannot take bright lights so always wear sunglasses even in rain, Tell them the only kindly one was receptionist. Do not let them get away with this !!! Good luck

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to WinB

Thanks. The receptionist was the building receptionist and did not work for Capita, she had a lot of contempt for them, she must see this kind of thing all the time, as she said it's normal for assessments to be cancelled.

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Jasonwellens

Make an official complaint to DWP, it's extremely long winded but it's the only way to get lcwra or pip assessments sorted. I had to follow same for pip and lcwra and still it took nearly 8 months to get it sorted.

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pinkvision

Yep that's what I'm going to do today, I need to find out whether the DWP have a legal duty of care towards their 'clients', if so I think I can get free help from the community solicitor too.

If the system had a can do attitude rather than a can't do attitude it would work.

Oh well must keep going.

Thanks

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Jasonwellens

No step of the process went ok, from begging for an assessment to getting an appointment (which they cancelled with only 50mins notice), every time I made an official complaint the process advanced then back to their incompetence until next complaint. Even at the end of it when they owed me months of back pay I had to complain yet again to get paid. The system is broken then there is the question how can it be that they lose over 72percent of appeals? That means they get is wrong in over 7 out of 10 cases they rule on.

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pinkvision

Yep, the CAB here has an 80% win rate against them.

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Jasonwellens

The annoyance for me is I have worked and paid into the system for 36 years without ever claiming a penny. I had a brain heamorrage in January 2019 stopped me in my tracks, then the fight began getting universal credit alone did not fully cover my monthly bills ( I have no debt thankfully) and UC don't seem to understand cancelling mobile phone contracts, sky and the likes all come with large termination fees. So the fights for what I was entitled to started. Thankfully I am now getting what I should be and I can now afford to live again having made the financial changes necessary to live off a monthly payment of less than I was earning in a week, if I had not had savings I would now be on the streets as I would have lost everything thanks to a system that is broken ( and staff who treat people like rubbish and with total contempt).

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pinkvision

Yep, I paid in too, only had a few years on the sick in the early 2000's while waiting for an OP. Actually now I think about it the dole at that time took me to court saying that I was scamming the system. I went to court and represented myself, all I did was take a letter from my doctor and another from the hospital saying I was on the list for an OP and the judge awarded the case in my favor. He seemed really supprised that the case had ever been taken to court because the dole people had know the full circumstances all the time.

I wish they would take me to court now

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RockinRic

Wow, such a bad experience. Well done for being so resilient.

I applied for my wife's PIP in august and haven't heard anything back yet about an interview appointment date. Having read this I think I need to call DWP and chase it.

I hope your future appointment goes well, my friend.

Regards

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pinkvision

Yep you really need to get on it, they will probably say that your application has been cancelled because you failed to attend an interview that they, PIP, sent you months ago. It's meant to take 8 weeks from start to finish. I think it's a scam somehow by Capita, ie bonus payments for 'losing' clients and also payments for multiple assessments for those that get through.

I don't think it's the DWP, the supervisor I spoke to previously was fuming on the phone because Capita had lied to them. I'm sure it's some kind of corporate theft by Capita.

I see conspiracies in everything these days, oddly nothing so far has proved me wrong.

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RockinRic

My wife and I were having the exact same conversation about conspiracies and corruption just this week. It's interesting how no party leader has yet talked about fighting for less-abled people in thier campaign speeches, it would be nice to be included with ...the nurses, the students, the engineers... As one of them put yesterday!

...bad form talking about politics, I apologise, just my view in this case.

Regards

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pinkvision

Haha keep seeing those conspiracies until you are proved wrong. They really are out to get us!

We are only the playthings of politicians, they all sit and laugh about us together in the subsidised bars and restaurants in parliament. Parliament is a scam too, their all crooks no matter what party they are in.

As the saying goes, 'there's no point in voting because The Government always wins'.

Can you remember when Belgium had no government for quite a long time, the civil servants ran the country with no political bias. A belgian friend of mine said the country worked, the system worked better than it ever had.

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Jasonwellens

Whilst the imbeciles who run the country blindside us with brexit bul*shi#, the people they represent are having to deal with nonsense like this from 3rd party private companies that are nothing but money making scammers like Capita and Atos or whatever they have changed their names too due to bad publicity. Our parliment is a national disgrace and making a laughing stock out of us. We should abolish it as we all have the internet and a true democracy we should vote on everything (from our phones )and sack the politicians who make a mockery out of us as they persue their own agenda. Devolved Parliment by banksy just about sums it up.

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pinkvision

Haha, been saying the same thing to RockinRic on this post.

Going to find out now if the DWP have a legal responibility of care for their clients. Will update if I find anything.

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Jasonwellens

It's the DWP who are responsible, I've been down this road, Capita, Atos just their sub contractors. Can't remember (due to brain injury) everything I did but seem to remember complaint I put in was on the internet in as it's the only way to prove things in written form ( they must follow up on all complaints) phone calls count for nothing. The crap I've been through at the time of my life when least capable had me wishing the heamorrage had killed me they have that in writing as well it's a disgusting disgrace, wrote to my MP who didn't bother to reply. The worst fight of my life and I had to do it twice for pip and lcwra even though both are responsibility of DWP and run by the same outside agencies.

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Jasonwellens

Complaint must be in writing.

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sospan

PV,

If you want any success in what you are doing you need to calm down and address the issues.

1. If there was a squabble between staff before your session it is nothing to do with you

2. Interview room availability is very limited in the assessment buildings. The person doing the assessment. Finding a room with the correct lighting to suit individual people would be impossible. To be honest, it could be part of valid test - if a person says they can't stand bright lights, have a room with a bright lights.

When I had my PIP assessment it was the same thing, all the lights in the room were on. I explained about my symptoms and stated that bright lights affect me and I was finding the room very difficult. When you said "fine just get on with it" it didn't help you at all.

Did you not consider that maybe there was CCTV in the room? Being a lone female in a room with someone whom is already agitated and possibly aggressive (point 3) I wouldn't advise anyone to turn the lights down. It is just common sense.

3. "she asked if I had a support worker. I said no I don't need one. She then said that she felt that she could not interview me without a support worker, I said I don't have one. By this time I was reacting to the lights, heart beating like mad and stomach moving about, burping and starting to get agitated"

If you read through what you wrote. You don't need a support worker, that has undermined any case for PIP (apart from mobility) by saying that you don't need help means you don't need PIP.

As you say "I was reacting to the lights, heart beating like mad and stomach moving about, burping and starting to get agitated" . What the assessor did by stating that she couldn't continue was perfectly correct and showed a duty of care to you by clearly seeing that you weren't fit to continue. The assessor could have dismissed your case easily by now but was prepared to give you another chance.

Becoming agitated with a lone female in a closed room is never advisable, she could have quite rightly ended the assessment on personal safety grounds. Nobody would advise any woman to turn any lights off in that circumstance,

4. She said that because LED lights make me ill and that I didn't have a support worker she would have to cancel the assessment. Then she said that they will make an appointment to see me at home and that I had to get a support worker to speak for me.

I see nothing at all wrong with that, It shows perfect "duty of care" to you. Plus she is giving you an opportunity to get someone to speak on your behalf in a place more comfortable to you.

At the moment you are undermining your case with your solicitors and PIP. If you can eloquently complain to the solicitors, PIP and indeed on here, then you aren't portraying any symptoms associated with a Head Injury - memory, word finding, sequencing of processes or thoughts etc.

Having been and independent examiner for complaints against Social Services for 7 years, the assessor should be praised for her behaviour rather than be criticised.

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to sospan

That's class, sorry to burst your bubble but just got off the phone with the DWP and they say the situation was totally unacceptable especially because I had informed them about the lights and what happens when I'm exposed to them. You wouldn't give nuts to someone with a nut allergy would you just to see if they reacted. A duty of care would be to avoid these situations and provide the correct environment. The assessor should be prosecuted for psychological torture.

As to my memory etc and my eloquent writing skills and how I convey my message it's all done on a computer with a coloured screen in a room with the curtains closed and no LED lights. I am not speaking and no one is speaking to me. My neuro-psy test, done over two months, reveals my capacity for VERBAL memory and SPEECH memory is greatly impaired along with attention/concentration and it is all exacerbated by sunlight and artificial lighting. If I live in the dark I am fine.

It's always wise to get the facts before making judgements, as an ex-independent examiner you should try to remember that. What kind of an examiner are you, sorry were you. From what I have experienced they will say whatever they are paid to say.

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sospan
sospan
in reply to pinkvision

PV,

This is exactly what I was trying to show you by my post.

"get(ing) the facts before making judgements," is where you are at the moment. Based on what you say to people, how you react is how people will make a judgement on you.

Myself, your solicitor, your medico legal people and the PIP assessor have been trying to help and even support you. However, all your are seeing is people whom are doing wrong by you.

Take a deep breath and step back and assess your situation and take the advice you are given. Get yourself an advocate whom can step in and sort out your bills and deal with complexities that are causing your frustration

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to sospan

I think you live in a different world to me and many others, my solicitor/legal team are in the wrong and have now given me a suitably qualified claim handler, just got the e.mail. They would not introduce new medical evidence until I complained to the ombudsman. They wanted to go with the medco legal report that was opposite in opinion to the neurologist in Walton and the BI assessment at the BI unit. They were trying to get the case over without spending too much money, not help me, now they are sending me for a new medco report and yes they are paying for it because they are also the legal expenses insurer.

These people have blatently lied to me on many occasions and because of that I don't trust them.

I phoned the PIP people and asked about the assessment in the lighting etc and they said they never got the information I sent. I believe them somehow, they sounded genuine especially once they read the notes made at the time. They said that 'they' thought I should have a support worker due to how I deteriorated in the LED lighting, they never knew about it and were concerned. I say that's fair enough and they now have a clean slate with me.

Another one with the DWP, or in fact the people they use for medical assessments. I had nerve damage in my arm and could only use my middle finger and thumb in one hand. It was so clear to see, however the doctor said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my hand and that I had a 'full strong grip'. I know he lied and he knew there was a problem. I had all the muscular and nerve tests before I had an OP and they showed there was no nerve signal going along the nerves in part of my arm that left the fingers unable to function. You tell me these people are trying to help me, no sorry, but they are not, it may be the way I come across, I will stand and I will argue if I know I am right, I will also admit that I am wrong too, but no you got to fight to get it right.

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gabbycat

I found that when I rang to ask the DWP about when my daughters appointment might me they gave me the assessment centre phone number to ring them to check progress. I rang the assessment centre and was given an appointment the next Monday.

I suggest going back to CAB and asking them for help to put your complaint in writing.

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gabbycat

Also, I wrote to my MP about my experience with DWP and asked that it be passed on to the All Parliamentary group for ABI. Gotta keep the pressure up in parliament for improvements

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to gabbycat

Hi Gabby, thanks for the advice. Calls all done, local DWP were great as usual, gave me numbers for help with housing and paying the bills, done those calls and everything is going ahead. Tick. Phoned DWP PIP they said treatment was totally unacceptable but they can't do anything about it but gave me details of how I can sort it out, will do that later. They did say make a complaint to the MP. Not sure that will help yet because of the election coming up.

Right, now to phone Capita about the cancelled assessment.

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to gabbycat

Hi phoned the people who deal with PIP and they said I should never have been assessed in an environment with LED lighting. They said that they never got the information from me about the LED lighting. I believe them. The note from the assessor about the assessment said that they thought that I should have a support worker with me because of how I was reacting to the lights and how my health was deteriorating in them.

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Nikkisue

Keep going I know it’s annoying I had to go through it all to but eventually it will be worth it justxso annoying that most people have to go through this just to get something your entitled to disgraceful

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pinkvision
pinkvision
in reply to Nikkisue

Hi thanks, I've been on the phone and things are now moving in the right direction.

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