I made an application for PIP nearly 4 months ago and I have only just got an appointment for a face to face assessment on 11th February. I don’t know quite what to expect and was hoping for some information and advice please .
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This site, http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ , has a reputation for being invaluable at times like this. There is an annual subscription, but most people feel it is well worthwhile.
Conversely, all the information provided should be obtainable elsewhere, so I’ve been told.
A trip to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau may also be in order, if you have one in easy reach.
Preparation to these assessments is key.
I’d just say that you need to be realistic and describe your symptoms based on a worse day… Otherwise they only seem to make note of positives … They don’t seem very human to me!
Good luck xxx
You would do well to read up about the descriptors you have to satisfy in order to qualify because you need a certain amount of points – there is a link to the table of descriptors on the adviceguide website – http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_sick_or_disabled_people_and_carers_ew/benefits_personal_independence_payment_e/benefits_the_pip_assessment_e/pip_activities_descriptors_and_points.htm
Hope that helps.
I applied three months ago and have heard nothing yet so the advice given here will help me when they do get round to it thanks.
Good luck mammamoose with yours
On the Benefits and Work website, there is a self-assessment tool for PIP so that you can see (unofficially) how many points you would get and therefore how likely you are to qualify.
Ask them, before you start, where they qualified, and what their experience with MS is.
Some people suggest asking if they are qualified to work in this country, but thats a bit cheeky!
If they reply with, thats a personal question, be cautious.
You also have the right for the interview to be recorded.
http://www.atoshealthcare.com/pip/at_your_consultation Assuming its ATOS..
THEY, do not make the decision, the DWP does based on the report.
Thanks everyone you have been very helpful.
@ahuk I would phone them up. I contacted the DWP and they told me ATOS was dealing with it so I phoned them and got a cancellation appointment, don’t know how long I would have waited otherwise.
@jman I am definitely going to ask about their qualifications and experience with MS. I have found so many people in the medical profession do not seem to have much of a clue and I don’t want that to be a problem.
I will let you know how it goes on the 11th.
Atos was terrible to me even tho I was on my 7th relapse that year which left me pretty unable to do anything I even said I was to ill to go to the meeting yet if I cancelled they would suspend my payments, so had no choice to make it there I also had been suffering with dipolia (double vision) for 15 weeks yet they stopped my money and said I was able to work in the end I took them to crown court where the doctor got suspended and I got all my money bk which I needed to live on and have the care i required at that time it’s not done fairly and they have no idea of ms, my advice to u is take every bit of medical information u av and describe everything u deal with as it’s your worse good luck and keep us posted how u got on x
I had my face to face on 19th OCtober 2013 and am still in the system and i have been told not to expect any news until end of Feb as that’s how long its taking for new claiments……..i dont know how some people are coping…
Regarding the face to face, mine was with a qualified Nurse employed by DWP to carry out the checks for whoever had been awarded the job to carry out face to face in this case it was Capita. They are all qualified they arnt trying to catch you out nor are they trying to pull the wool & lie, they were very good. It was unfortunate or fortunate, depends on how you look at it that i was 3 days into the worst relapse i had had and couldnt balance or talk or walk (not much better now) but again, if you are in a hurry……………..
Yes Sorry just reading Abby’s comments, also take as much info about your illness as possible, diaries are good & take a list of drugs you are on & its all about telling them about your experience at its worst
I was told that Atos’s mission is to say no to us. And was advised to try and get them to come and see you. As I’m sure you know that in our worst days walking is out of the question (even if it’s)just around the corner of your living room). When I was going through my last relapse I lost my vision so for a couple of month I remained very close to being completely blind. Good luck and my best wishes to you my darling. Be Very Strong and Stay Safe and Sane! Love! M ;0)x x x
I had my letter today with details of my appointment and it isn’t with ATOS its at a place called “Physioworld”. I googled “Physioworld” and found that it is a private company(although they do take on NHS referrals) with centres all over the UK and they basically are physiotherapists (the clue was in the name I suppose) and also offer cognitive therapy.
I am a little more optimistic because I was dreading a “hired gun” from ATOS and a terrible ordeal like @Anonymous. At least I hope a physiotherapist will be able to understand my physical difficulties and cognitive problems should be covered too.
So fingers crossed it shouldn’t be too bad.
Thanks to everyone for all your advice and messages of support.
@kerrylouise I hope it doesn’t drag on for too much longer after February and @Malivina thanks a lot, I try to stay sane well, I think I am sane but my family do not agree! :).
Hi, First post here but seemed to be as good a place as any to start.
I have never claimed for any benefits to date so am a little nervous at what to expect from Atos as well. I have my appointment on 28th January, only 1 week to go! I had to call DWP and then Atos to get this appointment so I don’t think organisation is a key element of this company!
At the moment I have been off work for a few months with weakness in my right leg and arm (What fun this is to walk with a cane!) and loss of control on my fingers and a big dose of fatigue thrown in to really screw me up. At the moment I am not going out very much, just got a taxi to the doctors today and then back again, because I cannot walk for very long before needing a rest (benefits of this are that I don’t have to go shopping with the wife ). I am going to borrow a wheelchair for the assessment, not so I look worse than I am but rather than I cannot walk without having to take nap during the assessment! This should be fun! Sorry if this sounded like a bit of a tangent filled rant but I feel like when people who really need help ask for it they are treated like scammers trying to make a quick buck!
Anyhow, hope you all get on easily with the Atos bods!
Just back from my Assessment with Atos and apart from my appointment being at 11:20 and not getting seen till 13:00, it was not bad. The assessor was lovely, asked all the questions that where in the application form and made it clear that they expect changes whether what I had put down was on the assessment form was better or worse that is is now. I explained pretty much what I had put down on the application form and explained how it had changed and that I was now on Gabapentin for pain. As I talked she typed it on the computer. Her physical check on me was no more than how far I can stretch my legs, arms in different directions and oh much forced I could provide by pushing against her and squeezing her fingers with each hand. This all took about 45 minutes rather than the estimated 60 minutes.
Also, Atos gave us a £5 Costa card to get a drink due to the wait, so not too bad 😛
Just thought I would update this to let you know after many, many, many phone calls to HMRC to chase up my PIP claim, I have now been award, without appeal, the Higher rate on both parts of the PIP assessment. Hopefully you all get on ok and would love to hear from others that have had success as well.
Hope I get mine soon been waiting 5months I’m desperate for carers to help me I can barely walk now need a crutch all the time and I have my baby to look after totally un fair I need help they know this I could scream .
Don’t hesitate to get your local MP involved to fight your corner. 😉
I hope you get it soon too. I don’t have a baby to look after myself, unless you count my wife, but I know what you mean about the walking. I am fine on my left size. If I was entered into a hopping completion I would win first place but my right leg and arm are either weak or in grey pain and most of the time both. I have taken to, on long trips, using a wheelchair as the amount of energy I use is itching companies to a stock. I waited about the same amount of time as you. They had to refer back to Atos twice I think and strangly, even though my initial application (01/09/13) was bleak I got worse by the time the Assesment rolled round (28/01/14) and they still awarded me the full amount between application and Assesment. I am not arguing but I think the whole process is not equal for all really or rather is not the same level of care and understanding. Hopefully you get a letter through the post tomorrow and all is well for you
Happy that you have got a positive result, gives me a teeny bit of hope! Changed over to PIP at their request at Christmas & not heard much since. Apart from the delays the change over doesn’t seem to be as much of a mess as when ESA was introduced, oh fun that was at work.
I had a letter yesterday saying they now have all the evidence they need, and they will be getting back to me with a decision, my dr phoned them so it looks like no assessment ,they also said sorry it has taken so long, life is so cruel isn’t it I applied end of November having my baby has made it worse he has just turned one now so my life has been hell ,and no help my walking is so bad , hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel soon I hope
Unfortunately, this process has been a complete fiasco. But, like you say, light at the end of the tunnel.
Good luck. 😉
Yer thank goodness something finally happening, I need carers to help me 6months of trying to cope is not nice, I can’t even take Jake for a walk as to wobbly , he needs a life to
Got my appointment letter today, coming to home in mid June – eek!
Further update. Got my decision today, quite unexpected as only had assessment 2/3 weeks ago. Awarded enhanced rate for care & mobility for 3 years. Very happy, one weight off my shoulder!
Fantastic news reens I too have applied and am playing the waiting game up to 26 weeks they say.. just wanted to ask do they back date the payment to the date you first put in the claim could you tell me..?? I was told that they do or should do but never heard mention of it before.. 6 months of backdated money could be a nice amount I hope. Best wishes
@northernlass , I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. DLA was always done on that basis.
This webpage, http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/benefits_e/benefits_sick_or_disabled_people_and_carers_ew/benefits_personal_independence_payment_e/benefits_claiming_pip_e/pip_how_to_claim.htm , confirms it is backdated to the date of claim (See Top Tip on the right).
Thanks Stumbler .. maybe that means I will be able to splash out on a convertible automatic mustang after all .. I wish !! sadly it will go on much more practical things if I get it.
I’m really glad I found this thread. I applied for PIP on 18th march. Hadn’t heard anything at all so a couple of weeks ago I rang to make sure they had actually received my application. I was told they had and it had been passed on to an assessor. Now I am waiting for my interview/assessment date to come through! Good luck everyone x
Yes @northenlass they will back pay you from the date you applied. I was in receipt of DLA when they asked me to change so for those people the payments just carried on till they make a decision and even if they don’t award it you wouldn’t be expected to pay any DLA money back.
@glitter I did wait quite a whole for the assessment, put my application in December but while they are taking their time they do appear to be generous in their awards.
I do work with benefit advisors and this is what they have seen so far for PIP so hopefully all of us that deserve it get good outcomes!
Off to splash some cash on a bag for my wheelchair hehe >_<
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