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Thread: Word of warning ATOS assessments

  1. #11
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    @chrisg11 you said= Then I have around a week left to look at this, write a report/document on how I should meet the activities criteria and supply further evidence before the MR deadline. Not enough time really as I need longer to process information and to type this up in a word document

    ideally its better to have your information to send with your MR but if you don't have it all you need to request your MR and state that you will be sending further evidence when available, dwp should then hold off making a decision for a further 4 weeks.

    the main thing to do is retain your right to a MR within the time limit and then you can send further evidence when you get it.

  2. #12
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    Slipmaster, thank you for the advice. I've requested for further reports however I'm still waiting on one more medical report. Had to pay £10 to access my medical records so once my GP surgery gets hold of my medical records, I can get what I need.

    I will make a start on creating a new document/report tomorrow so that when my assessment report arrives, I can just add bits to the report.

  3. #13
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    I know this is risky, but if you suffer agarophobia or find being outside difficult and get a town assessment then refuse to go. Grt a doctor confirmation you suffer outside. Twice capita tried to get me to a town assessment. I absolutely refused saying i put agarophobia on my form. It was a real condition and i couldnt pick or choose when i can get outside to please them.
    they threatened to pull my dla. I said i didnt care and id tell the police (i know i know i was in a bad way at the time) i said id go the my mp too and make an official complaint to my doctor, the government and whoever else i could complain too, but no way on earth i could get to an appointment in town.

    They eventually did a home assessment. But i truly believe they put presssure on me to disprove the difficulties i claimed to have before i even had an assessment.

  4. #14
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    sandyp196 I'm glad that you have it sorted eventually. It's a real shame that you had to do what you had to do because they ignored your requests. I thought home assessments was accepted by the assessment providers providing you back up why you have to have it at home, which you did. As you can see, they will try anything to get you off DLA and PIP and use whatever against you.

    Hence why I think DWP are employing french companies like ATOS and Capita to invite claimants to assessment centres (whether local or far far away) and conduct the assessment in a small room with a stranger who they'll believe more than the claimant. Its disgusting how they can get away with this. What is wrong with accepting up to date evidence that backs up all aspects of the claimants condition. Why the need for an assessment which is clearly unfit for purpose as some assessors assume the claimant can do this and that all based on a 60/90 minute assessment to be sitting in a chair to repeat whats on the form??

    Funny how DLA was assessed on what disabilities you have which you can PROVE by medical back up. Now, PIP is assessed on your inability to do activities because of the disability, but the claimant is never believed!! Because of how the claimant's disability is assessed, DWP and assessors would refer to the assessment and the form backed up by evidence. Medical evidence seems to be totally disregarded. Invalid, rather silly conclusions are drawn based on what said or done in the assessment and that's that, next please kinda thing.

    And they've now introduced MR where another decision maker supposedly looks at the decision again rather than allowing it to go to an independent tribunal/appeal. Seems to me that DWP are covering their backs now even more.

    It's all one big big con. Appeal. Appeal. Appeal. (After the MR of course).

  5. #15
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    Hi everyone, just an update, I've requested a written submission of the mandatory reconsideration and I sent my report document off last week. It's 22 pages long but hopefully I've explained myself as much as I could so the decision maker can see my argument. I referred to the reliability criteria throughout as they cannot argue that if I can do an activity, when I may, but it is not safe for example.

    DWP have said to my mother on the phone today that they have recieved my MR last week and it'll take 8/9 weeks for a decision to be reached (can be quicker or take longer). I'm based on the Wirral area so wherever the DWP office my report has gone to, looks like I'll have to wait around two months to get a decision.

    Also I realised the other day that page 4 is missing from my copy of assessment report so my mother has requested this again, making sure they are aware that page 4 is with the new copy. I'm annoyed as I spent so much time and effort on doing my MR report with the help from a few others, to find that a page is missing so my argument could be weaker now.

    Also make sure that when you request a copy of assessor's report, it arrives in a weeks time. If it doesn't arrive, chances are they have not sent it out (as in my case) so request this again. Luckily I still had enough time left but I'm very sure my mother requested a copy first time round and I waited and waited for it. It arrived second time round.

    I've heard from a quite few people that DWP try to ring the claimants and encourage them to not to go to tribunal if their MR is unsuccessful and that the claimant is advised they are likely to get it next time round when they claim again. Also a few people have said they were encouraged/pushed to submit another application for PIP whilst they are waiting for the tribunal. This can put an end to the tribunal process and they would have to start all over again. Very underhand and sneaky of them to advise claimants that. If they try to phone me and ask, I will refuse to proceed with their advice and wait for the tribunal. This is so I don't lose my backpay if I am successful.

    A Facebook group called 'Fightback' is very good. I'd recommend you join if you have a Facebook account. Wait and see for the MR outcome.

  6. #16
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    Chrisg11 the assessor did the same thing with me, putting down I had a good rapport and eye contact and the DM put in his decision he considers me to be able to engage in face to face with people the majority of the time. I see my GP, Psychiatrist and Mental Health Therapist and speak to them the same way as they are there to help me and it is confidential. I wasn't going to refuse to have the assesment as I believed it would help me with my claim and just because I am depressed does not mean I canot speak tidy. I have joined the group fightback to as some good information on there and I think we all need as much help and support to win these cases.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrshmh View Post
    Chrisg11 the assessor did the same thing with me, putting down I had a good rapport and eye contact and the DM put in his decision he considers me to be able to engage in face to face with people the majority of the time. I see my GP, Psychiatrist and Mental Health Therapist and speak to them the same way as they are there to help me and it is confidential. I wasn't going to refuse to have the assesment as I believed it would help me with my claim and just because I am depressed does not mean I canot speak tidy. I have joined the group fightback to as some good information on there and I think we all need as much help and support to win these cases.
    I can understand if the assessor has to report what he/she observes, but when they lie, twist and miss things out, that's unacceptable as the decision maker will jump to conclusions and use whatever they can against the claimant. Like yourself, if you were accused to have 'good eye contact' and 'good rapport' in the assessment, what does that necessarily mean? Despite what disability or impairment/s claimants have, it doesn't mean they should have to go in and be rude or whatever. Maintaining eye contact usually mean they're being polite, although some people can't do this and some people force themselves to be polite and respectful. What do they expect us to do, look the other way on purpose and hope for the best?

    Anyone (apart from a lucky minority) who deals with DWP and/or attends assessments and think its going to be a breeze, really needs to think again and be prepared. I couldn't believe what I'd seen on the assessment report when I finally got my hands on it as the assessor was so nice, welcoming, chatty, as if we've been friends for years. It's a totally different story with what they've typed up. She even allowed me and my mum to quickly read over her typed up notes at the end of the assessment, but on the assessment report, it tells a very different story. She changed so many sections.

    Pleased to hear you've joined the Facebook group. I got very upset and felt targeted by them but to share our experiences, I feel more at ease as I've never been treated like this before by anyone or organisation.

  8. #18
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    Hello chrisg11,

    Can I ask what points you got for communication (linked to your deafness/aids/lipreading) and did you get any points for engagement? All I got was 2 for wearing aids, up to 4 for Verbal communication after MR. I think that hearing impaired people should also get points for engagement - after all, most of the time I don't know that someone wants to talk to me if they are behind or along side me. It's only when they are in front of me I can see they want to talk and I certainly can't do social engagement. And I find travel to new places difficult as well as can't hear a sat nav, or someone directing me as I can't look at them while driving and if I go on public transport and something goes wrong, I try and deal with it by telling people I'm deaf and need help but that doesn't always work either.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieBear View Post
    Hello chrisg11,

    Can I ask what points you got for communication (linked to your deafness/aids/lipreading) and did you get any points for engagement? All I got was 2 for wearing aids, up to 4 for Verbal communication after MR. I think that hearing impaired people should also get points for engagement - after all, most of the time I don't know that someone wants to talk to me if they are behind or along side me. It's only when they are in front of me I can see they want to talk and I certainly can't do social engagement. And I find travel to new places difficult as well as can't hear a sat nav, or someone directing me as I can't look at them while driving and if I go on public transport and something goes wrong, I try and deal with it by telling people I'm deaf and need help but that doesn't always work either.
    Hi CharlieBear,

    All I was scored was 2 points for wearing an aid (cochlear implant) and I think this is only because the assessor has seen this on my way out as well as me changing the batteries throughout the assessment. The assessor claimed "I engaged well" and "maintained good eye contact" and "spoke in normal rate, tone and volume throughout" (although she contradicted herself later on and said I spoke loudly on purpose), I did not score anything here. She lied constantly and although I was able to answer a few questions, my mum had to remind to mention many things, she added a lot to what I said and I realised when I got home that I still forgot to mention few things because I was that nervous or by the time she asked the next question, I'd just fully realised what she asked on her previous question if that makes sense. My processing ability can be slow and impaired.

    I agree, I am like yourself, a person who speaks to me has to get my attention first. I may hear them talking but I've not registered them talking to me yet so here I have to ask them to repeat themselves. Background noise, their accent, their tone, their volume, whether they're obstructing their mouth with their hands/pen etc, all play a big part in whether I can understand them or not. As well as if they communicate too quick or too much of it, I go off track easily.

    With regards to following a route, I believe I should score on this activity and so does my welfare benefits advisor and specialists, so possibly you could to. I thought about following a sat nav, although it would be difficult for me to do this, I decided not to focus on this point. I mainly focussed on in my MR report, that it is dangerous for me to go out and about, I've nearly been run over by cars/cyclists on several occasions alls because of my hearing loss/limited hearing. Members of public/friends had to save me as they heard something approaching whereas I didn't. I become very tired as I pay extra effort to concentrate on getting around safely. I become that tired and stressed often, I lack motivation to repeat this and put off going out for another day. All this is with my cochlear implant on by the way. A lot of the days, I am forced to leave my implant off because of the pain, discomfort, swelling on my head from the magnet on my head which causes me to suffer from severe headaches and sometimes dizziness. I've also mentioned that I've had to had someone with me to navigate a route safely, so for example getting someone to cross a road and I follow them, asking for directions on my behalf if I'm lost and so on. Although I have anxiety as well as impacts on this a lot, I've decided to focus on my main disability as this is the biggest limitation for me when following a route safely.

    A lot of people including the decision maker, quite rightly so, do not fully understand what it is like to be profoundly deaf from birth and have basic, limited hearing from a cochlear implant (on the days I can wear it that is) and the hassle/stress that it brings. Although I do require communication support, my processing ability can also be impaired meaning I take longer to process information. A cochlear implant is a far more severe aid than your normal hearing aid. Without it, I cannot hear a thing at all, even if there was a party right near me, I still would not hear anything at all.

    I may be wrong, but I strongly believe that if I cannot do an activity because of my disability/impairment is limiting me, not because I'm lazy, I should score more than 2 points out of the whole lot, which is because I wear due an aid. The reliability criteria was forgotten about in the decision making so my MR report (22 pages long) makes constant references to this on some of the activities I've disputed. Hope this helps, sorry for the essay :-)

  10. #20
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    Thank you for your answer, a lot of the same applies to me too. I am re-reading a lot of the paperwork I have (complaints and replies from ATOS) etc and one of their arguments is that deafness isn't a communication problem - based on the fact that I can write quite coherant letters. - this is only because I have always read a lot - as a child I always had my nose stuck in a book because it was far more interesting than trying to play with other children when I couldn't hear them. I know now, looking back, that I didn't explain myself or my disability very well on the pip form but then the assessor is equally at fault because she didn't ask me (probably didn't know) the proper terms i.e. profoundly deaf, senourial hearing loss etc etc so I have tried on the appeal form to be more specific using the clinical terms and if you haven't already, then you should do so too. for the Tribunal I have asked for a loop and a text to speech operator - will see if that happens. I did ask for a notetaker - not in the sense of recording which I know they don't like, but so that I had the questions written down before I could answer but they refused a notetaker. Apparently I could have requested a BSL but since I don't sign, that would be pointless - they don't understand that not all deaf people use sign. Hey ho. A recent audiogram this week puts me at 80, 90, 110 and 120 in both ears but I'm not sure that I would go down the CI route as no-one has ever confirmed that my cochlear is functioning properly either.

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