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Thread: PIP and ESA Assessments - what to do when you dont get an answer to your concerns

  1. #1

    PIP and ESA Assessments - what to do when you dont get an answer to your concerns

    After a Mandatory Reconsideration in November 2017 my friend was awarded the standard rate of PIP until September 2021 – this I believe was in no small part due to how we demonstrated that the original decision to deny his claim was based upon a wholly untruthful report of his health assessment carried out by Independent Assessment Services (formally ATOS).

    A few months earlier after having another assessment for his ESA claim he was moved from the Support Group to the Work Related Activity Group and a Mandatory Reconsideration failed to change this decision and therefore we took the case to tribunal.

    In May of last year we were informed that our appeal had been allowed but just over a month later we were told that this had been changed to disallowed without any explanation apart from the first decision was made in error . . . something that the Citizens Advice Bureau had never encountered.

    They thought it unlikely we would be successful if we appealed this further and so we accepted the decision.

    Around the same time he began suffering with Lower Extremity Oedema in both legs and feet – the swelling was so severe that none of his footwear would fit nor either the ¾ metal brace he has to wear for his vulgus left knee which is riddled with osteoarthritis.

    Being on his feet for more than a few minutes was not only very painful but without the security of the leg brace his balance and stability was greatly compromised.

    His GP ran several blood test which did not reveal the cause, nor did the COPD test or Doppler Scan, and having tried a number of different prescribed medications the only combination which has been partially successful in that of Furosemide and Spironolactone.

    These only offer a very temporary respite as the fluid builds up rapidly once he is on his feet and only work by inducing prolonged bouts of urination which make him practically incontinent for several hours.

    With this and the side effects of these meds (nausea, dizziness, weakness) has greatly reduced his already limited ability to manage himself as he already takes very potent meds as Mirtazapin, Paroxetine, Zopiclone and Diazepam and any “Health Professional” worth their salt would accept this greatly diminishes the capability of a person to have even a semblance of normal life.

    Therefore in October 2018 (5 months since suffering with the Oedema) I wrote to both ESA and PIP making them aware of this new condition and asking them respectively if PIP could now award him the Mobility Component and ESA if they would now move him back to the Support Group as he has had to take out two Budget Loans to help cover the cost for additional assistance.

    Now even though I sent them medical, photographic and testimonial evidence verifying the severity of this new condition, both ESA and PIP chose to respond identically by sending him forms to complete as if he was making a new claim.

    We duly completed and returned both forms with a wealth of irrefutable evidence and asked that if an assessment is necessary for it to be carried out at his home explaining the reasons why.

    Both ESA and PIP responded alike by referring him for a “Health Assessment” to be carried out by a “Health Professional” from the Health Assessment Advisory Service (HAAS) and Independent Assessment Services (IAS) at venues over 20 miles from where he lives.

    His “support system”comprises of his friend who lives local and myself – I live in London and after my hysterectomy last year I have my own health issues and cannot offer the same support as previously – his friend is a self employed builder with two young children and therefore taking half the day off to go with D to any assessment is not only extremely troublesome but also costly.

    Both ESA and PIP were made aware of this when we returned the forms but they have chosen to disregard this information and to ensure they cause D the most distress and disruption – it seems very clear that both are looking to use the report from the Health Professional as an excuse to cancel the payments he currently receives.

    We've even had IAS and HAAS send letters giving him less than a week for his assessment and IAS have now done this twice!

    As disgusting as this may be it is the only logical reason for ignoring the overwhelming evidence we have provided in favour of a likely predetermined report from the Health Professional – these Health Professionals have at best the knowledge and experience of a registered nurse (though the majority have far less) and along with the barely cursory assessment itself are wholly ineffectual methods in gauging the capabilities of somebody suffering with a range of complex and serious mental and physical health issues and all the relevant discriptors have been registered

    I asserted this by letter at the end of Feb to ESA, PIP, IAS and HAAS and requested by Freedom of Information Act (FOI) the name of the person who decided to “refer” D for a Health Assessment but have so far only received an acknowledgement of the letter from IAS and HAAS . . . we;ve not had any response from ESA or PIP.

    One of the conditions D suffers from is acute anxiety and this can manifest in violent outbursts or equally as violent panic attacks – he had such an attack in February and collapsed in his bathroom and lost consciousness for a few minutes - When he came to he was unable to get to his feet so he dragged himself into the living room and rang Lee who has a spare key and came straight round – though in pain, after a while seemed otherwise unharmed.

    However during the course of the evening the pain became worse and by the morning he was unable to stand or lay down – after being checked by the emergency doctor she said he had damaged his sciatic nerve and prescribed him a 2 week course of Diazepam and bed rest.

    Unfortunately this has not remedied the problem and after being examined by his GP on March 7th she agreed that he had injured his sciatic nerve and he has been on bedrest nd diazepam since then while he waits for a referral to have an MRI scan.

    We have notified PIP, ESA, IAS and HAAS of this but he is still expected to attend the respective Health Assessments else risk the cancellation of their respective payments . . . none are willing to carry this out at his home.

    I've now written to Peter Schofield twice the past forthnight asking if he can give some clarity but have not had a response

    I don't know what else I can do if nobody is willing to respond to any of the concerns i've raised and thats why I'm hoping somebody here might have some suggestions.

    Thank you,

    Hayley

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Try writing to his MP and asking for support.

    MP's are very aware of what is happening and often put a rocket under the DWP.

    PS. The DWPs actions are not deliberate malice, they are just indifferent and see everyone as a number not an individual person.
    TBH though the result is the same and your individual pleas tend to fall on deaf ears.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    Thanks for taking the time to reply . . . I know its quite a lengthy post but i was trying to put it all in context.

    I'll give that a try, thank you.

    Hayles

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