PIP assessment second home visit

Hi all

I hope you can give me some advise, i posted on Benefits and work also but hoping someone here can shed some light.

My husband has RA and was diagnosed approx 9 years ago. In the last year his health has deteriorated and he put a claim in for PIP. We sent all the evidence off and filled in the forms. He was given a home visit 3 weeks ago and the assessor advised we could request a report from DWP within a few days. Since sending the forms off and the home visit my husband was signed off work so I put this in writing and asked for the assessor to add this to the claim form. She said she couldn't accept it and to post it to DWP. I did so, and sent it recorded delivery so know it was received. I called at the beginning of the week and was told by DWP that the report has not been received from Capita. I called again as my husband was really anxious on Thursday and I was told that the report was being finalised and there was a few parts outstanding and she would ask her manager to get it signed off and forwarded to DWP as a priority.

Then on Friday, Capita called and said as we had sent off 'further evidence' after the claim form they need to do a 'reassessment' and thus another home visit next week.

She gave the impression that they felt it was 'fair and beneficial' to give my husband a chance to explain everything again! and this would make his case stronger..... I have looked into this and get the impression either the first report was substandard or they have lost it. What do you all think and can anyone tell us if a second visit is standard practise and what to expect. My husband is worried sick and I have raised a complaint with Capita as what she told me does not tally up and I got the impression they are not being upfront. Also I do not think its fair to come out again and prolong this matter and put my husband through another visit.

Any guidance will be thoroughly appreciated.

35 Replies

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  • Hi,

    Oh God I've been there! I rang them, stupidly, to add a new diagnosis to my application, after having had the interview and after being given PIP. They stressed that I should ring with anything- good or bad- even if I didn't think it would affect my claim. I did- and had to go through the whole thing again. It turned out alright but caused me a lot of stress.

    So, yes, if you add something it's my experience that it all starts again... I'd guess it was this rather than e.g they lost it. It worked out well in the end for me- hope it does for you too x

  • Hi Lizzie

    Thank you for replying. We haven't even had the decision yet... I thought it would be better to update them whilst they were making the decision rather than not being awarded and appealing later on.... now we are petrified as to what to expect. Will they just ask additional questions or start again through the whole form. This stress has made my husbands flare up... off the scale.... he is so anxious!

  • Oh I am sorry. It is awful- I was incredibly stressed, which of course makes things worse. For me, it was a full appointment, but with a different person. But, you can ring them and ask them to bring the appointment forward and tell them why. Just remind your husband to tell them what it's like on a bad day- and how many bad days he has. If they ask him to do exercises, only do them if it doesn't hurt- don't struggle through it! They need to know what movements hurt- not just what you can do when in immense pain. If he uses special equipment, e.g cutlery with wider handles/ light weight cups/ needs food preparing because he can't cut etc- tell them. They need to know all the daft little things that we all do without thinking eg leaning on the wall to get out of bed; staying in bed to stretch; needing a wet room; stair lift- needing a handle or railings. Anything that isn't as easy for him as for others counts.

    I'm sure it will be fine- your husband is obviously ill and they should recognise this. Thinking of you both xx

  • Yes he will tell them everything, last time the assessor was fine with me explaining things in more detail as my husband was being quite vague. I filled the form out in depth. Im hoping I can be there again as he is on sleeping pills at the moment as well as Zapain, Metroxate, Benapali so he is at his worst and not fit for work. He has had steroids injections in his elbow and ankles and seeing a podiatrist about the issues with his feet. I thought it was right to tell them... now Im worried that I have caused further stress for my husband. I just wanted to be as honest about his situation as possible.

    I'm so worried as last week I told the call handler at Capita that he had been signed off for another 5 weeks and she said to forward the sick note and any additional information which I did on Thursday afternoon. It was sent recorded delivery and not been signed for yet, so they will receive on Monday.

    So I've sent further info again..... so stressed that this may cause further problems again. The home assessment is on Wednesday so they may not action the further information so Im thinking 'OMG - will this cause numerous issues' and will that now delay matters again.

  • It is outragious that people should have to go through trauma. I didn’t know you could claim anything because I am self employed and now it’s too late because if my age,

  • Hi Lyneal

    If you are over 65 put in for Attendance Allowance even if you are self employed, you should try.

  • Do you get it even if I am not having a flare up at the moment, but knees are very sore.

  • You should apply, and fill it in as if it was a bad painful day. As every day is different. Good luck x

  • The long and short of it I'm afraid, is that the whole system is a complete cock up! People are suffering due to the ridiculous inhumane way the system is set up.

    I'm dreading my next PIP assessment. I'm so sorry you are both having to go through the trauma. Hopefully, it will all be OK in the end.

  • Hi it is probaly went through as a change of circumstances .if not they have made a ba..s of it..you will have to go through with it again not good enough.never mind.dont trust them .you should be ok though.im glad you have been on the benefit for work site usually good did you do the pip self test there .to understand the points.i would make sure hubby in bed this time.and any questions they ask he cant do it.

    Hope every tho g goes ok

  • Thank you Ajay. He is literally in bed all the time and so down and stressed about work as they have been very awkward and his manager said he had to make up the hours he was taking attending all his appointments. As a result he was working Saturdays and Sundays to make up for the time lost at work. This is what caused the flare up as he wasn't get the chance to rest up.

  • Terrible. hopefully it goes ok. I just help a chap similar as hubby.he had to stop work.got home visit I was there .I would not let him leave his bed .he did get enchanchd rates .hope your goes the same and you get a nice assessor

  • Is he allowed to be in bed for the assessment?

  • Yes deffinetly. been on 2 like that.they sometimes ask if a new illness causing this .say no.and it will be his bad day he is in bed and to much pain and medication ?.they will go to the room have a chair for her and you can be there to help with questions

  • It's an unusual situation to be so soon after the initial claim & the fact he's not even received notification of his award, or even if he's received the benefit, I might be way off mark but it sounds to me as though they're counting this additional information as a Change in Circumstances. I do hope not, it's highly unusual if they have but to be honest if Capita have messed up I don't think it'll be straightforward or easy to prove the fact.

    Just for information I had further written evidence by the time I had my assessment so I took it along & the assessor included it in with her report to add to the other written evidence I included in with the application form. This was with Atos not Capita though & I physically handed it to her before my claim was looked at by the decision maker at the DWP.

    Unless Capita are oversubscribed 3 weeks is excessive for the DWP to receive the report. As the assessor said it's usually received within a few days, I always say give it a week so they've time to receive it from the assessor, copy it off & send it you.

    I hope the additional assessment goes well, that it works his way & is an opportunity for your husband to explain how it affects him again, how difficult things have been & it further supports his claim. You never know they might o lay want him to explain about this further e idea ever & it not be a full repeat assessment. Hope so for both of you, you sound so very sorry you opened this can of worms.

    By the way, I'm not sure about the suggestion of you husband being in bed for the assessment, particularly if he was up when he had has assessment, they may see that as over egging things, even if that's where he is most comfortable. Sad we've to think this way but personal experience & other member's here proves they can shall we say make things fit.

  • Hi nomoreheels

    Thanks for your reply. I had the additional information ready and the assessor said they couldn't take it and to post it. When the forms were sent off he was at work but then the GP signed him off so we felt we should make them aware of this.

    I dont see how this makes such a big difference - all they had to do was add the additional information to the claim form like they did with you. Surely this is a waste of their time and tax payers money, paying someone to come out again. So bizarre and the last thing my poor husbands needs.

  • So you had the information at the assessment, am I understanding correctly? Well, as I say my assessment was with Atos but I would think the rules would be the same for both companies. Also my assessment was back in December 2014, maybe it's not allowable any more?

  • Yes, i had it ready to add to the claim form, under additional information. Im so worried as I sent a further update on Friday as the lady at Capita said if anything had changed to send it to them. I sent a copy of the sick note and gave an update on X-rays he had, had and an update on his condition. So worried that this is now going to delay and complicate matters even further. I feel sick with worry.

  • Did you just receive a message from me?

  • On the forum or a private message? No messages received.

  • Damn, must have caught the cancel button. Anyway, I can only think that too many were doing it & the DWP now don't don't allow it, it was only the first year after PIP was introduced when I applied. That's right, I rang to ask for the form in the April but didn't receive it until the August, then my assessment was in December. Because I'd been living abroad for 11 years I was subject to the Habitual Residency Test, even though I'd been back in the country 2 years. Not that anyone told me the truth every time I rang to ask why I hadn't received the form, not until I had a call requiring me to take the test. This made be so cross, I'm British, born here in 1960, lived here all my life other than the 11 years but what really ticked me off was learning I needn't have been subject to any of it. UK nationals automatically have the right to reside so don't have to satisfy the right to reside part of the HRT. I wasn't an EEA national who had come to the UK to claim benefits, I was a person with RD who needed help for the things that make day to day living easier, I'd paid into the system from 17 straight from college!

    Don't worry too much, it's not the end if after all this he doesn't receive what he's entitled to, he can apply for mandatory reconsideration within a month of the decision, if this doesn't change the original decision he can go to appeal. Even if he doesn't receive PIP he can reapply from the day after the decision date.

    I know, it's not what you need right now & I understand how you must also be feeling but this is the world of benefits, they're not easy nor fair for the very people who don't need the aggravation & upset. Keep posting we'll help wherever we can, & your husband if he feels he needs support with his RD. Take care, both of you.

  • I know what a dreadful time this is for you and your husband, At the end of the day, you can only answer truthfully, and that means telling them how it is on his worst days.....and if he needs to be in bed so be it.

    There are legal protections fo people with RD in the work place, and his boss had no right to make him work to make up hours lost by hospital visits. If he is in the union he should get their support. If not,the CAB can help, NRAS has leaflets about his rights under the disabity law

    Please don't get despondent, there is always someone here who can give advice. Take care, and do keep in touch. Mavis xx

  • Good Morning Mavis

    Thank you for your reply. He is not in the union and extremely worried about work but he has been signed off until 9th January so the GP has said for him to rest and concentrate on getting back to normal (whatever that is!) before pursuing this matter. He has a disability and I know they can treat him like this but with everything going on with his health both mentally and physically and this PIP claim - the work issue has been put on the back burner.

  • I worked as a disability assessor for Capita. They were very strict about not letting us take written evidence from the claimant due to data protection issues. We all worked from home so would have nowhere secure to keep it. That's why you are asked to send it off yourself. I can understand why you wanted Capita to have the additional evidence. Does seem strange to have another assessment so quick though. Will be interesting to see what happens then

  • Good Morning Scottiedottie

    So, this is not normal practise? This is why we are so stressed as to why they cant take the additional update in written form.

    The lady at Capita said that as we had sent a further update they didn't think it was fair to assess him on the claim form only and feel it is beneficial to see him again to give him a 'fairer assessment and report' I really hope that's the case.

    I guess this is a good opportunity for him to tell them how things have progressed these last 7-8 weeks since sending off the claim form. So I don't know why we're feeling so stressed about it. We're hoping that if he gets PIP it may allow him to reduce his hours slightly to help him to recuperate between the injections he is having. So a lot depends on this award.

  • I looked into PIP but I am over 65 so no chance. Wonder why you can’t claim anything after this age.

  • Have you looked at attendance allowance. I don’t know much about it but believe this is the alternative to PIP after 65

  • My husband is 45 years old.

  • Sorry bubblebug, that was meant for Lyneal

  • Sorry I pressed submit whilst I was still typing. I dont think there is anything else to claim whilst he is working.

  • Sorry Jewels... so deprived of sleep and disorientated at the moment.

  • As Jewels says there is Attendance Allowance Lyneal, applicable to those aged 65 or over. If you get it it also entitles you to things like a reduction in Council Tax, extra Pension Credit & others such as Carers Allowance for your partner or whoever else helps you for 35 hours or over gov.uk/attendance-allowance

  • Hi Bublebug

    I sent for the forms, and took one look at them and left it!! I fill in Attendance Allowance forms for people over 65 and fill them in no problem. But the PIP forms I just thought I would not stand a chance, as I don't have care.

    I still work, but may retire soon due to health. But I manage, apart form gardening and house work. So I have not attempted to apply. Good luck I hope your husband is awarded it.

  • Hi Annie

    Thank you.

    Yes the form was extremely lengthy but I used it as an opportunity to give as much information as possible regarding my husbands limitations.

  • When I finally succeeded with my 2nd PIP application I discovered, when I finally got the assessors report, that she refered to a letter from my GP that was available to the 1st assessor who had made no mention of it, it would have changed the first assessment, but not the assessors lies. To make things worse I took the 1st one to appeal at the tribunal, unaware that this letter existed, it was refused but I cannot take any further action on it as it is past the deadline to appeal the appeal to the tribunal. The DWP withheld evidence, I only found out about it a year later and they have been allowed to get away with it, be very wary of these games that they play. It appears they are using the sign off by the jobcentre as an excuse and probably have lost it, that is their problem but they have made it yours. Make sure that you follow exactly the same steps as you did first time, they can be worse but not better, as you will have given them an excuse to turn you down.

    Sorry to be negative but ATOS, CAPITA, etc are not to be trusted in any way, shape or form, their job is to reject applications which is why so many are overturned by the DWP or the tribunal.

    I have posted many comments on this process, they detest it being recorded and do their utmost to avoid it being done, but can't stop me writing a verbatim record which takes a very long time (I don't know shorthand) and are equally cautious when you have a witness as well.

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