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kirstyo

ATOS - here we go again

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The other half's PIP is not due for renewal till next year (the end of april I believe it is) however he got a phonecall last week to say he hadn't replied to a letter he had never received saying he was to go for assessment. Now I'm raging about that to say the least as they are not supposed to contact him by phone on instruction of myself and his GP but that's a different issue.

 

We are obviously going to have all the same issues we had a few years ago with regards to him getting a home assessment rather than going to the assessment centre. And given their 'health professional' apparently thinks he is not on any medication for mental health, only for pain when he is on max dose anti-depressants, I do not hold out hope for this going well.

 

However my question is, given we are almost 11 months away from him actually needing this reassessment, is there any way to get it delayed even slightly? We are in the middle of moving house and I am actually off on the sick right now so the timing is just awful. We are moving out of the area we were in so that means all the health professionals he currently sees will be changing very soon. the stress of the move and the idea of moving away from health professionals he knows and trusts is more than enough for him to be dealing with right now without ATOS or whatever they are calling themselves these days joining in.

 

Even if I could get it delayed till I have a new GP/CPN/Psychiatrist sorted for him that would be a huge help I think. is it worth asking the DWP for a delay? anyone have any experience of this?

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Hi Kirsty.

 

 

I haven't heard of the DWP delaying for that reason, but other people know more than me. It's been mentioned that asking for it to be recorded can hold things up for a while, maybe some of our regulars can comment.

 

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I'm hoping that asking for the home assessment will delay things a little, it did last time for maybe a week or two.

 

Im now wondering if the delays are going to make it worse in the long run stress wise for him, oh I just don't know what to do. why now?

 

Why do they need to do this so early in the first place?

I'm actually crying right now because he has been in a really good place until that phonecall and now he is cutting himself again

- this whole thing is a huge trigger for him given how it went last time.

 

I'm not even sure I want to put him through this again. maybe we can survive without the money somehow

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I'm sorry this has made you feel bad, Kirsty. Hopefully the others will be along with wise words for you later.

 

 

 

:grouphug:

 

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks HB, I may actually call the DWP themselves tomorrow I found them much more helpful than ATOS last time round. He seems a bit calmer now at least knowing that the appointment they had set up for Wednesday has been cancelled at least till they decide if they will or wont give him a home appointment

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Well a letter appeared this morning basically saying they are going to contact his health professionals to see if they can do a paper based assessment instead, letter does point out that they still might have to physically assess him and I'm sure that's what will eventually happen but it seems to have bought us the time we need to get over the house move at least. Hopefully we wont hear from them for another couple of weeks now and by then the move will be done so at least he will have one less stress I guess. I still don't understand doing this reassessment so early, a lot could change in 11 months.

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Well within about three days of the letter arriving to say they would try and do a paper based assessment he got another letter saying he would get a home appointment. they clearly didn't have time to do the paper based one before making this decision but thats not the point. We then get a letter a few days ago saying the health professional is coming in a few days time but it was the same day I was at a hospital appointment with my mum, since this is a yearly appointment involving servicing of equipment which was already seven months over due I was unwilling to cancel that. I called ATOS and went through exactly the same as last time, they cant change an appointment more than once, despite them allocating an inappropriate appointment in the first instance and then correcting it, but apparently that amounts to us changing it!

 

The girl on the phone was quite rude actually and got really mad with me when I tried to explain that we never provided any information to them because she kept saying this was all based on information we provided which we have not done. So she then tells me she will pass it back to DWP who may require him to apply all over again, I told her that was fine because we haven't actually applied for anything at all as yet as his current entitlement is nowhere near finished. I was going to call DWP as last time they were actually very helpful when this happened, but do you know something? I don't want these idiots in my house, I don't want them upsetting my other half, basically I don't want them in our lives. I will do whatever I have to do to bring in enough money so we don't need them when the renewal comes through.

 

My concern is that it will affect his current claim, how likely do you think this is? I guess we just wait for a letter from DWP telling us what they want us to do next? Also is it best to write a complaint to DWP? last time I complained to ATOS and got nowhere.

 

 

On the plus side, we are all moved in to the new place, just to unpack the last of it really!

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It is ATOS own rule about only changing appointments once and it has no basis in law. I'm fairly sure it's already been challenged at a tribunal but I don't have time to go looking for it right now.

 

This will not affect his current claim and there's plenty of time to get it sorted before the renewal date so I would just let ATOS/DWP get on with it for now. There is a chance that when someone is allocated to actually do the assessment they will decide that it's a waste of their time (they can do 4 assessments at a centre in the time it takes to do one at home) and there's enough info to do a proper paper assessment. What ATOS and DWP never tell you is that for someone with serious mental health issues a face to face assessment should be a last resort not the default option it usually is.


RMW

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It is their own rule and took me about ten minutes last time round to get DWP to tell them to change the appointment. Frankly I just cant deal with it all right now, i am off work sick myself and stressed enough with that plus the move plus now him having no gp etc which i somehow need to get out and sort today. so i am tempted to try and just see how it plays out

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Just thought I would update this thread as I know how frustrating it is when people don't update. So a while after my last post I got a text saying 'we have sent you the form how your disability affects you' so I figured we were going to be asked to reapply but nothing ever turned up and I have made the decision that I am not going to chase them. Weeks later I get a text thanking me for filling in the form that we never even received and that they would pass the info on to ATOS (that wasn't their wording but it was clearly what they meant) again I just ignored and left it to them to get back to me.

 

another few weeks pass and I get a call from the PIP centre the guy said he was calling me to clarify my reasons for cancelling the appointment as ATOS had said that I told them neither of us would be home and they felt that if he wasn't going to be home that day for whatever reason then he should be fit enough to go to the assessment centre - I explained that what I had actually said to ATOS was that no one could be here with him and that at no point had I actually said my partner was housebound in the first place only that he was unable to cope with attending an assessment centre as agreed by his former GP and psychiatrist (we haven't had an appointment through for a new psychiatrist yet) he said he would pass that to ATOS but ultimately it is there decision.

 

I pointed out to him that things are not yet set up since the move with regards to his mental health services, he has a new GP and has been referred to psychiatry but nothing has come through yet and that this may cause ATOS problems with conducting the assessment as they wont be able to get the information they need. given that the reason we are in this position is that ATOS informed our old GP we had moved when we actually hadn't yet (we had just given them the new address for the purposes of them organising the home visit as we would have moved by that time) causing him to be removed from the GP list which we didn't even know about till it was too late as the old GP sent the letter to the new address which we didn't yet have keys for at the time, I felt they should give us time to set these things up as obviously I had planned on getting the old GP to do referrals to the services in the new area so that things were set up for him here around the same time as we were actually moving but they took that away from me and have left him with no support.

 

So my update is there is no update really, we are again at the mercy of ATOS and their stupid appointment system. I am still feeling like I really don't want this stress on him and wishing we could just live without the money, but I don't think we can if I am being honest

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Hi,

I can fully empathise with you and ATOS (or Independent Assessment Services) I had a PIP assessment in April this year and they did or didn't do some thing wrong. Sorry. Can't be more specific as yet as my complaint is in the hands of the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) and until that is concluded I can't say more.

It's pointless asking ATOS for a recorded assessment as they won't do one and if you want to do so, you will have to supply the equipment that ATOS approve of. Otherwise they will refuse. You could covertly record an assessment and see if ATOS do wrong but don't expect them to listen to it-they won't.

 

 

Once my case is over, I will publish what I have and the press may even get involved :wink:


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We had a nightmare with them the first time round, but it did all get sorted out in the end. All I hope at this point is that they don't send out another unsuitable appointment because I know what happens if that becomes the case. I just wish that they would give you a choice of dates when you call to change an appointment but they don't and they just don't give enough notice for me to be able to change my shifts in work (I have just started back part time after my injury) i'm a nurse so I can only get a day off if I can organise it in advance or possibly swap with someone at short notice. I think they assume because he is not able to work that automatically means he should be available any time, but they have been told time and time again that someone has to be with him and it is better if its me because obviously I live with him and I can help explain things they know I work and whilst I don't expect them to do ridiculous things to accommodate me, surely a little advanced notice of an appointment isn't too much to ask? Last time they gave us three days notice that someone was coming to our house then complained to me when I tried to explain to them that I was unable to make myself available at that short notice.

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Well the home assessment eventually got organised and the woman that came was quite nice. I did make a point of explaining to her the stress this situation caused and how it had made things worse, particularly them causing him to be struck from the GP list.

 

They have taken his mobility away from him which we expected, he only got the mobility component because he was having back issues related to the job he had just been unfairly dismissed from before getting PIP the first time round, because he is now not working his back pain is well controlled with medication so we knew we would lose that. They have also put him down to the low level daily living - apparently there is no evidence he cant budget and manage money - strange thing is, he has never been able to do that even before he stopped working due to a learning disability he has obviously had all his life. there were a few other things they said there was no evidence of that they never even asked about so I have sent a four page letter off for a mandatory reconsideration basically asking them what their evidence is that he can in fact do these things, so we await their reply to that. Given that we have lost over half his money, this month is a real struggle, I literally have a fiver in my account and its a long way till payday but we will get by.

 

The most upsetting thing about all of this is the negative effect it has had on his mental health. he has been set back so badly by all this. Prior to this reassessment nightmare he was actually doing pretty well, now we are back to square one almost. No doubt his ESA will be reassessed next

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Hi again.

I really feel for you over this. ATOS deal with assessments in black and white; no shades of grey allowed. Did you ask for a mandatory reassessment? I did and it got me nowhere but it may be different for you. I also lost my mobility and got low care. Odd that isn't it. I chose not to appeal and instead followed the formal complaints procedure. I didn't think I could cope with a tribunal.

 

Have you searched to see if there is any help available such as carers allowance if you earn less than £120 per week and you you are the main carer for 35 hours or more per week.


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We aren't entitled to anything as i work full time. We have applied for the mandatory reconsideration but i can see us having to go to a full appeal, although i haven't told him that yet the stress will be far too much for him. Got the text to say they have got my letter and to wait up to six weeks for a decision, just a waiting game now i guess

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It is saddening you have to deal with their incompetence. Just wanted to suggest you contact them via email rather than phone as then you have a perma record of everything. If ATOS are the same people who conduct work capability assessments, then from my experience they will be very economical with truths.

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The only time I have called is when they have given so little notice of appointments that I have no choice, I think thats why they do it so you have to call rather than write. They have received my letter, now we wait I guess

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well you've been here since 2011

you should be routinely recording every call.


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Sorry DX I never seen your reply, yes I record calls.

 

The letter has now arrived saying they are not changing his points, although at least it has an actual description of why that I can argue against at appeal. One example is that he can take his own tablets which is true, but if he cant/wont order them himself then he wont have them to take will he? they are also still adamant that he can budget and make financial decisions which is news to me because this wasn't something he was capable of before the depression got bad due to a learning disability, but because he has a bank account apparently that means he can manage. Given that money is his biggest trigger, I don't think it would be safe for him to even try and deal with money.  he spent the whole day yesterday in an extreme amount of anxiety because the letter arrived and that was without even reading it. I don't think he can go through the appeal if I am honest and his mental health has to be my priority and if he has to physically go to an appeal I cant imagine what will happen to him. 

 

On the other hand, I don't feel like I should just let this drop either. I feel quite strongly that these people shouldn't be allowed to damage someones already fragile mental health in such a way and I know what he has been put through isn't even bad compared to some people. he has me to fight for him and I do, I got him the home visit when they were determined not to give him it, what if I wasn't here? I just feel like these people have to be stopped from treating people like this.

 

on a rather funny side note - I happen to also be a nurse and recently put my CV online just to see what sort of other jobs are out there because im struggling with an injury - guess who have called me and emailed me several times offering me a job?

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