PIP assessment report distress

Firstly, apologies as this post could be a bit rambly, but I think I need some help, advice and maybe a little rant.

The background…

I am a carer to my son, Ollie, who is 22. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and a half, and with dyspraxia when he was 10. We successfully claimed for DLA when he was 3, and each successive claim was also awarded at higher rate care and higher, then lower rate mobility. He attended mainstream school, where he spent part of the time in the resourced base, and the rest in regular classes with a one-to-one. After school he spent two years part time at college on a course for living/independence skills. After that he had a short, part time placement in a cafe, run by Enable Scotland, although he wasn’t able to help serve customers and spent all the time behind the scenes, learning more life skills. He has always needed help and support in every area of his life, physically, mentally and emotionally, from myself and my husband.

Fast forward…

A little while ago we applied for PIP. He was sent a letter with an appointment for an assessment in a centre but after calling the centre I requested a home visit, which was agreed to without issues. Cue high levels of anxiety from then on for Ollie. But, for some unknown reason, the assessor didn’t turn up so I jumped straight on the phone and was given another appointment. I prepared him (again) as best as I could and the appointment did seem to go okay. Not too much hassle and I thought we gave the assessor a good, clear picture of Ollie’s many difficulties.

Present day…

I received a copy of the assessors report in the post. Well. Im still in a state of shock. The report is riddled with lies and almost everything we said has been twisted. It’s safe to say that the final decision will be the worst possible outcome - zero points for everything. Here are some examples… The assessor asked Ollie if he could put food in the microwave and he said yes. And he can. But he has no idea what to do next. He can’t understand the instructions and would burn himself on hot plates. He needs supervision when in the kitchen. Therefore he cannot make his own meals… but the assessor reckons he can because he can put a packet in the microwave. She also thinks he can budget and manage his money perfectly well… because he sat a maths test at school, and knew that £1 minus 75p was 25p. She also thinks he has a perfectly good level of concentration because he can play a computer game. So obviously he can concentrate on everything else. He can’t. And the lies… wow. She said he spelled a word backwards. She never asked him to do that. She said he remembered three words when asked. Again, never asked to do that. She said he followed three step instructions. Guess what. Never asked. In fact we stated that he CAN’T remember more than two instructions at a time. She said his long and short term memory was fine. We told her they weren’t. She stated that Ollie is capable of planning an unfamiliar journey, and making it, alone. We had told her the exact opposite. She said Ollie saw her out of the house after the assessment. He didn’t, I did. And I’m missing out so much more.

I know it could be a few weeks before we hear the final decision, but I’ve started planning for the MR already. I’m going to the CAB tomorrow, I have a welfare rights officer phoning me in the next few days, my husband has emailed our MP and I have a bundle of notes ready to draft into a letter for the MR.

I would be grateful if anyone can give me more tips at this stage.

One thing I am desperately worried about is the tribunal. There is no way on earth that Ollie could cope with that. Is it possible for me to go alone? Or do they really need to see my son in a massive amount of stress leading ultimately to a meltdown?

Im so fed up it’s ridiculous. I hate the fact I may have to put my son through something so distressing. The guilt is terrible.

Anyway, that’s me. Thanks for hearing me out but I’m not sure if I feel any better…

Forget appealing in my experience once they make a decision they keep it losing you time.

Keep applying every 26 weeks till you get pip.

But I thought there was a good chance of a decision being overturned at a tribunal?

PIP Appeals ?

AdviceNow :

How to win a PIP appeal | Advicenow

CAB … one of the best there is out there :

Challenging a PIP decision - appealing against the decision - Citizens Advice

Needless to add … the major online disability forums … full of similar threads … SCOPE for instance :

Appealing a DWP decision | Disability charity Scope UK

PIP, DLA, and AA — Scope | Disability forum

If you prefer audio / video … YOU TUBE … search … PIP APPEALS.

Thanks Chris. I’ll be phoning the CAB as soon as it opens today and then popping in when I can arrange some care for my son. In the meantime I’ll check out those other forums.

Your welcome.

SCOPE … HIGHLY recommended … if you post , chances are an Online Advisor may answer.

Unfortunatly the assessors don’t always tell the truth, whether they were trying to cut down on claims I don’t know.

We had similar that we could cook meals, I had M.E. was not well, my wife was very ill, the kitchen you could see no one had cooked meals for months, dust etc.
The cooker wasn’t wired up, so how we could cook meals? We went to my mum and dads or went for pub meals 2.99 lunch special.

The assessor claimed I could walk 150 metres up the road, I managed about 20 then sat on a neighbours wall.
Now the problem is the road isn’t 150 metres long, there’s about 10 houses and a very big wall, 15 foot high.
We went to a tribunial on our own no help at all so have someone go with you, Citizens Advice or Advocate.

It’s shocking. I’m struggling to understand how someone’s concience can allow them to potentially wreck another human being’s life. How did you get on with your tribunal londonbound?

Hi I would definitely appeal make an appointment with your local CAB or DIAL they are really good with helping your appeal and filling in forms the majority of people that appeal win it’s stressful but you need help with your son and he deserves it I can’t believe they’re still lying about what is said at the assessment they should be ashamed hope you get it sorted soon

I fear the lies seem to be par for the course - our assessment contained quite a few too :frowning:
The assessor should be perfectly well aware that putting a microwave meal in the micro does not constitute food preparation according to the DWP’s criteria - it has to be a “proper” meal made from fresh ingredients.
Unfortunately, the DWP’s definition of complex budgeting decisions is ludicrously low - apparently subtracting something from 100 is quite enough :frowning:

One thing I am desperately worried about is the tribunal. There is no way on earth that Ollie could cope with that. Is it possible for me to go alone? Or do they really need to see my son in a massive amount of stress leading ultimately to a meltdown?

Based on my own experience, I fear the tribunal is highly unlikely to allow you even to speak if Ollie isn’t there. If I were you, I’d ask his GP to write a letter saying that he can’t possibly attend because it would cause him undue mental (and physical?) stress. However, you aren’t there yet - I suppose it’s conceivable you might actually get a mandatory reconsideration through. Miracles have been known to happen. Apparently.

What I fear it’s too late to tell you, and what I only found out recently from the Benefits & Work website, is that you are allowed to request the assessor’s report a few days after the assessment has taken place, and can then, if you’re quick, ask to speak to the Decision Maker before they’ve issued their decision. It may make a difference, but I’m putting it here anyway in case the info is useful to someone else.

Definitely ask to see the report, and keep appealing all the way to the Tribunal.
I’ve supported a number of people through the process.