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Thread: Word of Advice for Claimants

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Word of Advice for Claimants

    I don't know if it's mentioned on the board or not but I thought I'd give some advice based on my f2f and report.

    1) Gather as much medical evidence as you can and send it in with the PIP claim form. I assumed that since they asked for contact details for your doctors, consultants, etc that they would reach out to them for information but this is not true (per my experience). When I got my report back, one the front where it lists the evidence they used to base their decision on, the list was empty - they hadn't contacted any of my doctors. The only this they had was my physiotherapist appointment letter I had sent in.

    2) Take a list of all the medication you take with you. Like I said above, I had expected them to get that info from both the form and from my doctor but I was asked about medication and dosages, etc during my interview. While I can list all the medication I take and how often, I wasn't sure of the correct dosage for everything.

    3) For people with anxiety I found that you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. I spent a lot of time going over what I wanted to say in my head. I made lists in my mind over and over again so that I wouldn't forget anything and I did breathing exercises in the waiting room to try to keep myself calm. This board recommends that you give as much information as possible about you condition(s) and how they influence what you can and can't do so that you give a full picture to the interviewer. People have said that by not doing this they have lost points. However, when I did this during the interview the nurse reported that because I could communicate and explain my symptoms without prompting this showed I didn't suffer from anxiety or any mood disorder (even though I have for years). I did explain during the interview that I find it easier to talk to medical staff because they understand what anxiety does to a person and that I had sleepless nights in the run up to the f2f and that I can't go places without my grandmother (she was at the interview with me) but none of this was noted in the report.

    4) You are assessed on everything - not just what you say during the interview. My example for this is I stated that I needed help dressing because I can't lift my arms above my shoulders due to subluxations. Later in the interview, she asked me to take my hoody off to do the physical exam which I did without help. Taking a hoody off is no problem for me because I don't have to lift my arms to do it. She noted in her report that because I could take my hoody off/on without help, this showed I didn't need help dressing (even though I did need help getting it back on as I can't raise my arms or bend them right behind my back.)

    Also, it was noted several times in my report that I was well kempt and did not look tired. I had stated that I suffer from fatigue a lot due to either my hyper mobility or my anxiety but as I did not 'look' tired and was clean this was taken as more evidence that I didn't have a mood disorder/anxiety. Part of my anxiety is that I care too much about what people think of me so going out looking sloppy isn't an option for me. Looking 'put together' is something that helps lower my anxiety.

    Like I said, this advice if based solely on my experience. I hope if you have a f2f assessment upcoming that it goes much better for you. Good luck!

  2. #2
    Good read scarlet..:-)
    And yes i had similar comments as you they said i was well kept and spoke well..
    They gave me 12 points and i appealed and got SG for 3 years:-)
    I think your just as well talking jibberish at these f2f interveiws because what ever you say they pick out the bits that they can use to fail you ..
    My doctor has told me not to worry if i get failed as the appeal will find the same conclusion because my sittuation will not improve:-)
    My doctor said he wont write any letters of support till after the f2f because if he does then at appeal his letter will not be classed as NEW evidence:-) he knows how the system works:-)
    I feel desperately sorry for those not getting what they are entitled to
    Another point i would like to add is how doddgy this esa system is esecially reguards to the ROYAL MAIL , if your esa50 dosnt get to you or gets lost on its way back to them you wont find out till your money stops and if you ring them they may tell you what they told me > "your claim is closed and your outside the time for MR / APPEAL"..
    It took months for the CAB to get my appeal lodged under special rules ..
    I had recently moved and i had told the dwp but they hadnt told the "reassessment team" can you believe that???..
    They sent everything to my old address and even when CAB asked for all imformation to be resent they AGAIN sent it to my old address after CAB had told them to note the previous mix up in the address..
    Finally genuine people with mental health can throw letters in the bin without realising there importance ( this may make them homeless) and when they try and get help they may not make any sence and can end up looking through bins for food while social workers / mental health teams etc get a nice warm bed at night to sleep in .

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    North West UK
    scarletspy you described your experience well and mine was much the same result but based on the Mental ,Cognitive and Intellectual part of the test .
    At appeal stage now MR upheld original decision and not feeling confident.

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