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How far can you walk?


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My wife was previously in receipt of DLA with the higher rate of the mobility element, and had to apply for PIP. My wife has arthritis, particularly evident in the left knee, and has great difficulty walking any distance. We put on the application pack that she is unable to walk 20 Metres. What that means in reality is that she is unable to walk 20 metres without stopping to rest to relieve the pain. Anyway, we had to go to the Truro Assessment Centre in Cornwall for a "Face to Face" assessment. In order to qualify for the "Enhanced Rate" of the Mobility element under PIP, you have to claim and "prove" that the distance you are able to walk is less than 20 metres. But what exactly does that mean?

 

We arrived at the Assessment Centre, and guess what - the car park is more than 20 metres from the entrance. So we parked on the road directly opposite the ramped entrance to the Assessment Centre - less than 20 metres, but unfortunately after crossing the road there is a high kerb which would have been difficult and dangerous for my wife to negotiate, so we traversed to an area where the kerb had a wheelchair ramped area to make it safer for her. This meant that the total distance she walked was in excess of 20 metres, but this was not achieved in one continuous uninterrupted journey, she was forced to stop and rest periodically along the way.

 

At the assessment my wife was asked how far she had walked to get into the assessment centre, and she estimated that it could have been as much as 30 metres. What was not made clear and what was not asked is whether she had to stop at any point to rest.

 

When we got the decision, in the comments on how they came to their decision, it said that my wife had admitted that she walked 30 metres to get into the assessment centre, and then was observed to have walked another 14 metres within the assessment centre, a total of some 44 metres in all. From this their ruling was that she could walk more than 20 metres, but less than 50 metres and thus under their scoring system was denied entitlement to the enhanced rate for mobility. Let's consider this carefully:-

 

By their figures, she walked a total of 44 metres to get to the "Face to Face" assessment. She would of course have to walk another 44 metres to get back to the car - making a total of some 88 metres in all. Far more than the maximum of 50 metres which by their own admission would be beyond her capabilities. So how do they arrive at this conclusion?

 

By deduction, the question should be "How far can you walk without being forced to stop to rest?", and not "How far can you walk in a given time period?" Let me expand on that to explain:- It may be that someone can only walk 10 metres without having to stop to rest, but they may be able to do that 100 times a day - a little extreme I know but you get the point! So by the Assessment Centre's rules, how far can that person walk - is it 10 metres or 10 X 100 = 1000 metres? It has to be by logic alone how far can a person walk in one uninterrupted journey without being forced to stop and rest because of fatigue or pain.

 

We have appealed and contested the Assessment as this 20 metre rule makes all the difference between getting the standard rate and/or the higher rate of the mobility element.

 

Be warned, if you have to go to an Assessment Centre, and you expect to receive the enhanced rate for mobility, take note of where you have to park and how far you had to walk to gain entry. I

 

Cynical I may be, but is it a coincidence that the car park is more than 20 metres from the entrance at the Truro Assessment Centre for PIP in Cornwall?

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Advice to anyone attending an assessment.

Go in a wheelchair!

They deliberately make the questions difficult to answer, for example, your wife can walk a mile (in a week, a few steps a day)

So when they ask their tricky questions be straight with the answer: Can you walk 20 meters? NO! NO chance!

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The question always used to be "How far can you walk without resting" It does seem to me that they are loading questions.

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Also now they have to consider how much pain walking would cause! I hope you are going to appeal the decision, think you have to request a mandatory reconsideration before you can go to appeal where you can explain yes she walked that far but had to stop to rest repeatedly and was in considerable pain.

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Did the letter mention anything about observations of sitting and standing?

Did the musuloskeletal examination confirm anything such as restricted movements, flexion power in the legs?

Any specialist input for arthritis and is she seen on a regular basis?

Pain relief is it a low level, moderate or high level?

Breathless on exertion, is she prescribed any inhalers/medication with specialist input?

 

Does she use any aids to walk?

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I have attended two assessments and on both occasions the question asked was "how minutes can you walk for". Bear in mind that the average person walks 100m in a minute then surely you are doomed to failure if you say just 1 minute?

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I have attended two assessments and on both occasions the question asked was "how minutes can you walk for". Bear in mind that the average person walks 100m in a minute then surely you are doomed to failure if you say just 1 minute?

 

Yep wife was asked the same question by Atos for pip ! When I went to explain what they were asking I was told to be quiet or leave the room .... even though I am down on her claim to deal with it as well !

She was never asked how far can you walk before you need to rest. Just how many minutes.

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I simply answered their loaded questions with a question.

 

When they tried to trip me up by asking one of there questions, ie. "If I asked you to walk around the car park outside for ten minutes would you be able to?"

 

" Why would I want to walk round the car park?"

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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In a lot of cases they might just as well ask how long is a piece of string as how far can you walk. For example, I know that if I (try to) walk from the front door to the car I might make it, but by the time I get there I'll be in so much pain that I can't walk anywhere else for at least an hour - my pain does not abate with rest. However, I suspect that if the building was on fire, I'd happily walk twice that distance and worry about the pain later. The bottom line is that I walk as far as I have to and how far that is depends on whether I can send someone else or get someone to push my chair etc. Even if I end up crying from pain, life has to be lived and I just get on with it, but if you tell ATOS that then you can wave goodbye to your PIP.

 

PS A note on the dangers of someone using a wheelchair to get to an assessment if they're not used to using one is that it does take practice to look as if you know what you're doing and any assessor who does have experience of wheelchair users will spot a novice fairly quickly. Also, observed by my sister who works in the same building as an assessment centre (but not for DWP or ATOS etc) - chap gets out of his car, not in a blue badge space though there are several free, unloads a wheelchair from the boot and spends several minutes unfolding/assembling during which it's clear he doesn't know where everything goes etc, then sits down and starts wheeling himself across the car park. On arriving at a kerb, he considers it for sometime before turning the chair around and reversing up to it, then standing, lifting the chair over the kerb and sitting down again. There was a ramp less than 6 feet away. One almost hopes that someone from the assessment centre also observed him.

RMW

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

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- chap gets out of his car, not in a blue badge space though there are several free, unloads a wheelchair from the boot and spends several minutes unfolding/assembling during which it's clear he doesn't know where everything goes etc,.

 

It's quite a misnomer that because you have a BB you have to park in a disabled bay, although if there are plenty free I'll usually use one, if there's not many then I'll use a regular bay.

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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It's quite a misnomer that because you have a BB you have to park in a disabled bay, although if there are plenty free I'll usually use one, if there's not many then I'll use a regular bay.

 

Ditto. If I'm with hubby and the wheelchair is in the boot, I see no reason why I should take up a disabled space which someone else might need more.

RMW

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

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Ditto. If I'm with hubby and the wheelchair is in the boot, I see no reason why I should take up a disabled space which someone else might need more.

 

I find the most inconsiderate to be the elderly, it's almost as if they think they have a right to dump their vehicles over dropped kerbs, pavements, on junctions etc, simply because they have a BB in the windscreen.

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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bad as an interview of a guy I know at a hearing he was told to lie on floor and then get up - being disabled and heavy weight pointed out he would as long the chap helped him back up as no way he could === case proved in his favour.

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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I find the most inconsiderate to be the elderly, it's almost as if they think they have a right to dump their vehicles over dropped kerbs, pavements, on junctions etc, simply because they have a BB in the windscreen.

 

Several regular offenders seem to always park in the same space near where I live, between a car park exit - where there are many, many disabled spaces but you have to pay 30p to use them - and the end of the zig zags marking a pedestrian crossing, meaning that anyone exiting the car park to turn right cannot see traffic approaching from the left and anyone intending to turn left cannot see if anyone is on the crossing. What price a life if it can save you 30p!

RMW

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

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I got assessed in Cherry Tree Grove, Croydon, where the assessment centre was on the 1st floor. You werent allowed to use the lifts and there was no wheelchair access and anyone not able to reach the front desk was assessed as being deliberately absent. If you managed to reach the desk then you were not disabled. Prosthetic limbs are not considered walking aids and you are expected to purchase one of the olympic type blades if you have lost a leg and even then it is not a disability because of the speed some paralympians can run and you are deemed to be the same. In my case they applied the wrong legislation ( I was receiving an NI based income support, not a disability based one and had a job to return to if I suddenly recovered) to the assessment and when I refused to answer their questions they called the police.

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Is there any reason why you didn't request a home visit just in case the centre was not accessible for you? (general, not aimed at anyone in particular)

 

You'd like to think that they would have thought about that before they send out their intimidation missives, demanding you qualify your disability to an unqualified monkey.

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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