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Recording your assessment


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Hi Folks

 

I have just had my reconsideration letter through the post and fortunately was successful.

 

I think that this was due to my secretly recording the whole process via a mobile phone. The recording allowed me to quote exactly what I said and point out the "inconsistency's in the ATOS assessor report. Without this recording I would have been at a loss to recall a fraction of what I said, and what the assessor said and given the numerous distortions and assumptions made by the assessor it was a godsend.

 

I don't know what other people think, but I would advise anyone undergoing the PIP/ESA process to try and get a recording of any and all communication with the DWP or their contractors.

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  • 1 month later...

 

I don't know what other people think, but I would advise anyone undergoing the PIP/ESA process to try and get a recording of any and all communication with the DWP or their contractors.

 

First, well done.

 

Second, whilst I would agree with the above suggestion, claimants should be aware that whilst the ESA assessment does allow Maximus to arrange for an official audio recording (must be requested in advance, very limited numbers of machines so may well delay matters and/or lead to multiple cancellations), there is no similar process for PIP. You can of course make an unofficial recording yourself, but should be aware that if you are discovered and refuse to stop recording, your assessment may be terminated on grounds of 'failing to participate' which is likely to result in your claim being refused. Also, there is as yet no official guidance as to whether such recordings can be accepted at the reconsideration or tribunal stage.

 

The machines required for an official recording are beyond the means of most claimants, however one strategy I have seen in practice is to have one phone out on the desk/table openly recording, which can be switched off with appropriate apologies when spotted, with another in a pocket or whatever as back up.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Yes, can only reinforce RMW advice above, whilst I have always covertly recorded my dealings with ATOS/DWP/JCP if on an assessment you're caught doing so, then they can, and often will terminate the interrogation and strike you from the list.

 

There are plenty of relatively cheap covert recording devices on the market, that are very good, and very discreet, alternatively a simple dictaphone in the pocket.

 

Just don't get caught, or as I like to do, put them to the trouble of getting a recording device from somewhere in the country down to your location.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have found with only a few days to spare (four months spent away from 'my home' due to a violent neighbour, documented in another subforum) that I've got my second medical on Thursday. As I established that the woman working for ATOS last year repeatedly lied I'll be recording my assessment, legally or otherwise. I will ring them tomorow to request this, and I'll be attempting to assert using my equipment, but if it doesn't pan out there's no way I'd go through this [problem] without protection. Last time I actually got permission to record well in advance but was told on the day that I couldn't, amazingly enough, which surely must entail misconduct. She said she had no record of the request to record. She also said only they could record and not me, when I had clearly remembered seeing that we an make our recordings, and in view of the reality of these procedures it would be a potentially grave error not to.

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I have found with only a few days to spare (four months spent away from 'my home' due to a violent neighbour, documented in another subforum) that I've got my second medical on Thursday. As I established that the woman working for ATOS last year repeatedly lied I'll be recording my assessment, legally or otherwise. I will ring them tomorow to request this, and I'll be attempting to assert using my equipment, but if it doesn't pan out there's no way I'd go through this [problem] without protection. Last time I actually got permission to record well in advance but was told on the day that I couldn't, amazingly enough, which surely must entail misconduct. She said she had no record of the request to record. She also said only they could record and not me, when I had clearly remembered seeing that we an make our recordings, and in view of the reality of these procedures it would be a potentially grave error not to.

 

Whether or not you can request an official recording depends upon whether the assessment is for ESA or PIP, there is currently no facility for an official recording of PIP assessments. If you can get permission to record an assessment yourself (the provider and the healthcare professional both have to agree), you are required to use equipment which can make two simulataneuous recordings onto either cassette tape or CD, no other equipment or format is acceptable. This type of equipment is of course extremely expensive and beyond the means of most claimants.

 

If you do try to record an assessment yourself without permission or using equipment which does not meet those criteria you will almost certainly be asked to stop, and if you do not the assessment and your benefit claim are likely to be terminated.

 

That said, I totally agree that recording assessments or any other dealings with ATOS, Maximus or DWP is essential and I wouldn't dream of not doing it, you just need to be subtle about how you go about it.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Really, they're that specific about format? So if I ring tomorrow to ask to do recordings they'll tell me this? The leaflet isn't specific like that. I can see why they might hold this to be necessary, even if it's essentially b.s., but I would think also in a court of law or tribunal there is facility to assess that a recording hasn't been tampered with

 

So the thing then really is to just do it but be shrewd. What is the legal position though with actually using the recordings as evidence later?

 

I have told the council as well that because of their misconduct against me any future discussion is something I'd need to record but I wondered if there is some fascistic law in place to dismiss independent protection. I currently need to learn about legal attack protection but I'd be unsurprised to learn all the supposedly legal sprays and alarms advertised online aren't really legal and that safety is a matter of luck. It feels like the same kind of thing as these recording laws, an institutionally crafted way of stripping us of protection.

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The DWP regulations regarding acceptable recording equipment are indeed that specific, and if you phone tomorrow to ask for your assessement to be officially recorded it is likely to be postponed as the providers only have a few machines which have to be shipped about as needed.

 

If you decide to record covertly you do need to be very subtle about it and you absolutely must stop recording instantly if you're caught. The legal position of such recordings has yet to be tested at tribunal, though I do know of at least two cases where a transcript of a covert recording wasn't challenged.

 

In general, if you wish to record telephone calls there is no need to ask for permission or tell the other person that you are recording, and there are plenty of apps which will automatically record all calls. If you wish to record face to face conversations then whether or not you need permission from the other person depends on where you are. In your own home, you can freely record whatever you like, but if you're in someone's office, for example, you do need the other person's permission.

 

As for your other enquiry, it's not something I know anything about so I won't comment.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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  • 4 months later...

As far as I am aware there is still nothing in english law preventing anyone from making clandestine recordings (Electronic Contemporaneous Note) of any medical assessment. This electronic document, which is how the tribunal would view it, is admissible as evidence in a tribunal and is treated the same way as any other piece of evidence that you might wish to submit. There are a just few rules for the disclosure of electronic documents and these can be found under the Civil Procedure Rules.

 

I can't provide a link as I haven't posted enough yet but if you search Google for "Civil Procedure Rules" + "Practice Direction 31B" it should take you there.

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  • 7 months later...

i secretly recorded my first assessment and then pointed out the inconsistencies in 2015 and am still awaiting a decision. they would not accept my recording.

 

my second assessment - i requested for this to be recorded. unfortunately, it was only a part recording. i can be heard in the actual recording even saying "as discussed before recording" - various things were omitted from the assessment from my entire recording versus their partial recording.

 

my advice would be to make both, your own secret recording and their own recording (they give you a tape at the end of it, albeit only a partial recording)

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