My Personal Independence Payment Home Assessment – Lies and More

Alex Tiffin

So, yesterday I had my long awaited Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment. I had a home assessment, so I thought that I would give you my verdict on how it went.

personal-independence-payment.jpgI was sent a letter by Independent Assessment Services, (Atos’s new name), dated 6th of June advising me that having reviewed the information from my health care providers  I  was required to have a home assessment to help them make decision on my Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim.

To be honest I was surprised, just two days earlier I had received a letter dated 4th of June advising me that they had received my claim form and that they would contact my doctors before making any decision on whether I needed an assessment. Had they managed this in two days?


I caught Atos lying about contacting my Doctors – PIP Assesment

Off to a lying start

The answer is no. I called my GP and the main Consultant responsible for my care and, yes they had been contacted for information on my health conditions, however they had not replied. My GP’s surgery had in-fact only just received the request that day.

The reason that it concerns me is because how can they make a fair and accurate assessment with doctors report? Requiring a home assessment I understand, but how can I be sure they won’t make a final decision before each of my six doctors has returned their reports?

Anyway, Monday arrived and bang on 9am the assessor arrived. He came in, introduced himself and showed me his ID. Well by ID, it was a green card with “Independent Assessment Services” written on it. He told me he was a nurse and asked me for my ID to prove who I am which I showed him.

The Assessment Itself

Then it began. Whilst looking at his laptop he started asking me a series of questions. Name my conditions, do I need help doing this and that etc. It soon dawned on me that it was the same questions from the form I had filled in and sent back to them.

So I told him how my conditions affected my life, he did ask a lot about my mental health and whether I had tied to kill myself and why I had done this, I found this part very uncomfortable but answered anyway. I showed him my medication when requested and then he said he had a few tests to do.

These “tests” were: measure my calf circumference, which can only be to check my muscle mass is within their threshold to prove I don’t walk and lift my arms level with my shoulders. That was it, assessment over. Really?

They could have gained nothing new from my assessment that I put on my form, probably less if I’m honest. I didn’t move or have to do anything, I didn’t need to wheel around nothing. How is that any kind of assessment?

He then explained he had one more assessment to do then he’d go back to his office and tidy the reports up for the Department for Work and Pensions. He advised that I should have a decision within two weeks but than it can take up to four depending on how busy they are. And then he left. It was 9.25am.

They changed there name by have Atos changed their ways?

8bd8e99eb2dd4d17ae6e6ebfc6dabe32So I now await the dreaded brown envelope in a few weeks time. I would have been confident of a fair decision however, that changed when they lied about having contacted my doctors.

How can I now be sure that they will make a decision with all the evidence available? I hold out hope that they will, but I won’t be surprised if they don’t.

Atos may have changed their name in an attempt to escape their past, but having experienced it for myself, I don’t think anything has changed. The same old Atos that everyone has heard of before.

Lets hope not, but I am not holding out hope

Alex @RespectIsVital

You can find me on Facebook by searching: Universal Credit Sufferer.

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  • It always makes me laugh that they are called Independent Assessment Services. They are no more f’n independent than I am about to vote Tory 🤣 Can we sue them for Trade’s Descriptions?!

    Seriously though, I hope all goes ok. I got my mobility part cut but I got a 10 year award. Apparently cus I have a nervous habit of touching my hair, I am able to make dinner without assistance of because I got out of bed once and didn’t get dizzy that I am a liar and can walk 50 yards. Yes, I should have appealed but I just couldn’t face it, I was too ill. The only thing that even vaguely consoles me is that I don’t have to deal with them until 2026, hopefully.

    Good luck mate 😊

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  • Ive lost my 35 years dla that l won at an appeal along came atos lied about mel cant do any of the things they said l could do she said l use computers have degrees had a large handbag none of it is true l cant lift my right arm she said l did vigourous exercises news to me she didnt look at me did no exercises and wrote opposite to what l said she said l went on 3 mile walks l fall and stumble and walk into people even with a stick l wonder where they dream up these lies and false answers designed to rob disabled of their help and care the appeal believed her lies they refused me l was upset they were no more then bullies on the appeals board they said they believed her my dr attended.. l said l knew him they still let him attend at my appeal he also agreed.. ive been diagnosed with my illnesses.. yet l cant get help l need

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  • I had one of these assessments recently – although in a Physiotherapy office, not at home. My assessment started at 1:15pm and I got out at 2:50pm. It was done by an Occupational Therapist, who was friendly and professional.

    Like you she asked a lot of questions that I had already answered on the original forms and it felt very repetitive.

    Just waiting for my decision/outcome now.

    A x

  • Alex, you can call the DWP and ask them to post you a copy of the assessor’s report (unless you’re in N. Ireland – they don’t do it there). They might tell you that they don’t do that, but the call centre people don’t have a clue. It should be with you within a week, and then you can see what points the assessor allocated to you. The DWP decision-makers generally just rubber-stamp the report (although not always). Also, in case you need to do an MR/appeal, you can start going through it to pick out the errors. You can quote the worst ones (or all of them) in order to discredit the report, but remember that the most important thing is to tell them what descriptor you think you should have gotten for the activities, use Dr’s reports (ask for ’em now)/OT reports/letters from carers/people who know you well to support your descriptor choices, and include a couple of anecdotes to support your descriptor choices too.

    If you haven’t already, find the descriptors online, and look for something that defines the terms they use. e.g. “prepare and cook a simple meal” (I know that’s not quite right) means something like make a simple meal for 1 using fresh ingredients, cooked on the hob or in the microwave (but not in an oven, as bending down isn’t included). Serve it onto a plate.

    Also look up the “reliably” thing. It has 4 very specific parts to it.

    If you already know all this, my apologies!

    • Alex Tiffin - @RespectIsVital

      Thanks for all your comments heather. I have asked for copies of everything and have Doctor reports to discredit them. Waiting on PIP decision after my Assesment and I will gone to tribunal fir Universal Credit.

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