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.
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?
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?
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
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