Tell this MP about your problems with PIP assessments

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

A former Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has appealed for members of the public to tell their stories of failings in the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – as carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams has teamed up with blogger Chris Whitaker, who explains the situation better than I could on his site, disabilityspeaks.com:

“Recently, I have heard some of your accounts about the PIP process.  Some of them were particularly worrying, so I got in touch with people to see if they could help.  One of them was Debbie Abrahams MP.  I’m working with Debbie to call for improvements to be made to the PIP process.

“To be clear, this isn’t a political thing.  It is far bigger and more important than that.  It is about treating people fairly, with decency and dignity.  To me, that is about more than a political viewpoint, and we need support from across the political spectrum to bring about positive change.

“To help support the case for change, I need you to tell me about your experiences of the PIP process. Tell me about how the PIP process felt for you, what you would improve. It’s important to highlight any good practice too.

“If you would like to tell me about your experiences as a claimant, an assessor, or someone who has been involved with PIP via a professional role, I’d like to hear from you.

“You can give your name, or tell your story anonymously.   Your name, or other information that might identify you, will not be publicly named unless you give your consent to this.  I understand that telling your story about PIP can be hard, so if you want to talk about this, please let me know.

You can use the form here, or email Chris at [email protected]

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28 thoughts on “Tell this MP about your problems with PIP assessments

  1. jeffrey davies

    been there done that numerous mps have looked at it while the benefits scandal of the tories aktion t4 culling the stock through benefits denial carries on

  2. Michael Fury

    I can’t see the reason for contacting this MP about your experience with the DWP’s PIP assessments, because there’s nothing that she can do, like myself & thousands of other people who due to the dishonesty of the assessments made by outside agencies, have lost their independence because they have had to return their motability car due to like me their medical points were mysteriously forgotten to be added to the final assessment report & therefore meant they had to return the car & all because of mistakes being made, l mean how is it that the condition that you have is never going to improve & this was the reason you were awarded a motability car & then at the next assessment you are deemed to be A1 fit & no longer need the motability part of PIP & as in mine & I guess many others only go £250 to buy a replacement car, when you should still have the motability car. All this because someone who has never met you until the assessment by the stroke of a pen take your only form of independence away & all because they have been told to do so by the DWP or they would not get the bonuses they were promised. So what in the hell this one MP thinks she can do l don’t know except for the usual reasons to get votes & that it she can’t get the thousands of people their cars back.

    1. Phillip Stringer

      I’ve had a right outing with the DWP to the point it i couldn’t cope !! I was prescribed diazepam and lorazepam as they drew me the point of close to ending it all . One appointment with my local MP mr Lee waters and the problem was resolved in a week !! . Give your local MP a go / chance .

  3. Michael Hackett

    Out of touch the whole system is insensitive and out of control pip is a joke it should never have been changed from dla. But it’s all about money for this government they can throw it away like confetti but you can’t have it.

  4. Lorraine

    I have been refused pip twice now , I have a hole in my heart and a leaky valve from heart, I’m under mental health hospital , so why do they still refuse me

  5. Stephen Clare-Flagg

    I notified Capita that I was going to record my home PIP assessment and they gave me instructions on how this should be properly done.
    I subsequently had THREE VISITS whereby THEY failed to bring their paperwork for me to sign. The interviews were terminated after just a few minutes by Capita on the first two times, and on the third occasion I was told by my assessor that they would read me out the notes they had made at the end.
    I reluctantly agreed to this and so the assessment went ahead this time. However, at the finish they said that they had run out of time, closed their laptop and left for another appointment WITHOUT reading back the notes to me!
    When I eventually received the decision paperwork, to my horror I noticed huge discrepances that would have affected my score.
    eg no mention of when I broke down crying at one point.
    I feel that all these things were Capita secret policy enacted by their representatives.

  6. Margaret Gilbert

    Hi,
    I suffer with anhedonia which is a form of clinical depression. I went through all the process to br told I wasn’t entitled to pip. I struggle every day to do day to day things and I dont go out do things, enjoy or have any pleasures. My medication is up and down. As I’m having episodes all the time. I’m struggling to work when I get a job I’m struggling to maintain it and have breakdowns as I cant cope with my condition. I have been struggling and suffering now since 2014. I went to appeal to be told again yet I wasn’t entitled. I had an assessor who came to my house as I cant deal with seeing people, going out etc. I told him I couldn’t wash myself nor have food and drink that I’m constantly having to be encouraged and constant prompting.. This is a long term condition that isn’t going to be going nor am I going to get better. I’m struggling financially as I cant pay my Bill’s. Trying my best to do what I can and I’m failing every time. I am unable to work and may never. So what do I do .

  7. Colin moreland

    Below knee amputee right leg . Stump skin breakes down after walking .its grafted skin so have no nolage of this causing me unable to use prosthetic limb the other ankle very week tendon ligament damage and arthritis in foot close to toes so using crutches a problem I grit my teeth and get on with it till stump heals I’m on the lower rate of pip is this fair . Under Scottish law .

  8. Paul McMillan

    I currently had my benefits stopped I am hard of hearing and have worked and am currently working but the assessment said I could walk unaided I was dressed respectively and I was not abusive I could also make a sandwich and I heard when they called me in which was a lie I was nudged by my wife

  9. Stu

    Based upon experience I honestly believe that the current system is not in need of “tweaking” but in it’s current form is not fit for purpose and needs scrapping and a better thought out system implemented.
    Making a bad system better is no solution.

  10. Sharon

    My boy just been turned down every thing I said he can not do they said he can who lives with him me or them how they can say he does what he can not is wrong too much stress on me and my son he has autism /, aspergers and really struggles with daily living and changes around him

  11. Wendy

    My partner has been on DVLA for a number of years, he has quite a few medical problems, including a problem with his feet, he has had a few surgeries on them ,but not fixed the tendon problem, however with the add of his mobility car he continued to work ,(without this car he would have been on benefits completely) He turned 65 in March of this year. He received his letter inviting him for a P I P assessment for August 2019 ,he had his assessment and waited for the results, Last week he got his answer, He had been given 12 points, reading the letter it explained all the reasons for points given, it would appear the reason he failed is because he could navigate a route and plan a route to difference destinations,???? He is disabled NOT STUPID, He does not have a problem with his brain or his hands ,its his feet and now other medical problems he has that effects him ,He has now returned his Mobility car ,, he has just received £2000 to help buy a replacement car I must admit, but we thought as he was Already 65 and now retired, people in his situation were going to be transferred over to the new P I P , NOT have to go through the process of assessment, But never mind it’s done now ,We do feel it was unnecessary to do al this in the first place.

    1. Sandy

      @Wendy

      I was moved by you and your husband’s PIP story as it is similar to a relative of mine. There are still two things that you and your husband can do if you wish to try and get his Motability Car re-instated.
      1) You can appeal the decision, but you must start the process within a month of the date on the refusal letter from the DWP.

      2) If your hubby doesn’t want to appeal (it can take well over a year and is a very onerous & stressful process), he could always re-apply for PIP. There’s a 1 year deadline for this, from the date he lost his DLA/PIP in August. After that deadline he’ll have to apply for Attendance Allowance (AA) instead as he is now 65.
      Unfortunately, although AA has exactly the same rates for the Daily Living Component (DLC) as DLA/PIP, it has no Motability Component (MC) whatsoever, so no chance of getting back on the Motability Scheme via AA.
      Why that is the case regarding AA I’ve no idea. That ruling makes no sense to me as the older you get the more likely it is that your mobility is going to decrease, and the need for a MC would actually increase. Whatever the ‘reasoning’ behind that perverse ruling, here’s a quote from the CAB regarding re-applying for PIP and the deadlines involved.

      “Getting Older
      Getting older does not stop your PIP award but it can stop you from renewing your claim or making a new claim.
      If you are over State Pension age and you want your PIP to continue, make sure you renew your claim when your current award ends.
      If you are over State Pension age and your last award of PIP ended over a year ago, you cannot renew your claim or make a new claim. You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead but this does not include a mobility component.”
      Quote above taken from the link below. Please note that where I’ve bolded the type above, the same rule also applies to DLA; or at least it did a year ago. So unless the DWP have changed the rules in the meantime, your hubby can still re-apply for PIP within a year.
      https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/how-decisions-are-made/

      As your husband became entitled to his state pension on either the 6th July 2019 or Sept 6th 2019, (depending on when his birthday was in March) that deadline mentioned above is important regarding re-applying for PIP and not ending up being fobbed off with AA instead. Check with an independent advisor as DWP advisors often don’t know their own rules

      You mentioned that your husband got 12 points for his recent PIP assessment, but you failed to mention what they are for.
      If all these 12 points are just for the DLC part, then he’ll be receiving the highest rate for this (about £87 pw) but no MC at all as you need a minimum of 12 points in each of the two parts of PIP to qualify for the higher rates.
      If these 12 points are split between the DLC and MC then, depending on the split, he’ll possibly be receiving no PIP whatsoever, as you need a minimum of 8 points to qualify for either the DLC or MC at the lower rates. Therefore, a 7-5 or 6-6 split either way leaves you unqualified for any PIP at all in either category.
      Or the split maybe 8-4/9-3/10-2/11-1 which would either qualify him for the standard rate of DLC (about £58 pw) but no MC, or just the standard rate of MC (about £23 pw, but that doesn’t qualify you for a Motability car) and no DLC.
      Going by what’s happened to various others I know of in a similar position to your husband I suspect he’s now on the standard rate of DLC under PIP, and the split was 8-4; that seems to be about standard going by what happened to other people I know of. Given his age and health conditions he’s been very unlucky if he was given the 7-5 or 6-6 split and ended up with absolutely nothing despite having previously claimed DLA successfully.

      If he decides to re-apply for PIP then you may be worried that you’ll have to pay back the £2000. If you re-apply before 6 months of receiving the £2000 then you may have to pay it back. However, if you re-apply after 6 months then you almost certainly won’t, as the following quote shows:
      “If I apply for PIP in the future and am successful, will I need to pay this money back?
      This is a one-off support package to help with the transition from the Scheme and we do not expect that you’ll need to pay this back if you are later awarded PIP. However, if you decide to rejoin the Scheme within six months of receiving the transitional support package, you will need to speak to us to discuss your options.”
      Quote taken from the link below.
      https://www.motability.co.uk/about-the-scheme/personal-independence-payment/unsuccessful-reassessment/transitional-support-package/

      A relative of mine was in a similar position to your husband, and took the 2nd route of re-applying for PIP after 6 months. About 4 months later he not only got his Motability car back, but he didn’t have to pay back the £2000 either. Plus he was up-graded from the standard rate of Daily Living Component to the higher rate of DLC to boot!

      I’m convinced the reason he failed the first time is due to his naïve complacency as he assumed because of his age and degenerative conditions (emphysema amongst other things) he’d automatically be transferred to PIP with the same rates he had under DLA.
      He’d also never had any problems with his DLA before, and so further assumed that all the horror stories he’d been reading about were ‘mistakes’ or ‘gross exaggerations’…. He knows better now.
      Be that as it may, for his re-application he used a local benefits rights group for help to fill in the forms, etc. I’m sure that made all the difference.

      Regardless of whether you appeal/re-apply or not, I’d strongly recommend that your husband writes about his PIP experience to the MP mentioned.
      Many may decide (not unreasonably) that it will never do any good, and I wouldn’t blame them if they did. But these things are always cumulative; and you never know which report, investigation, etc, may finally breaks the camel’s back.
      It may never break regardless of how much straw is piled on. But, by the same token, unless people do add straws then it’s a dead cert that nothing will ever get done to make these assessments rigorously fair, reasonable and equitable across the board for all applicants, and not just for the lucky few who do get treated properly.

      I’m in the middle of persuading my relative to do likewise, and would do so myself, but I’ve never applied for DLA/PIP so can’t. But I can encourage and help others to do so.

  12. Neil Morgan 14 Frankby Road West Kirby Merseyside Ch48 6ee

    I was tortured by the assessor for four hours. Every time I spoke she banged away on her keyboard so loudly that I had difficulty thinking. I am paranoid SCHIZOPHRENIC and arthritic and photosensitive with cancer problems. I was awarded zero for all parts of the assessment. Neil Morgan 14 Frankby Road west kirby, Merseyside. Ch48 6ee phone 07546460172

  13. Jessica Rees

    The pip assessment is unmerciful. Individuals have been refused more than once, despite their conditions worsening & they’re health deteriorating. The form to fill in sets you up to FAIL! The outcome of the needed points require people to not be independant. They need to be practically housebound, dependant on someone else for their care and not proud or trying. ‘crimes against humanity’, I describe it as, as according to wikepedia description.

  14. Daron

    The pip assessment make you feel like your a criminal how can you get 4 points in one assessment and get turn down and reply and then get 26 points if lie where not told in first place I’ve had to wait a year to get this sorted and you complain and thay do nothing there no trained and thay can overrule a doctor

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