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Thread: PIP Assessment Thursday, URGENT!

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    PIP Assessment Thursday, URGENT!


    I just want to ask for some advice on a 3rd PIP assessment my partner is receiving at home this Thursday.

    My partner (M-22) applied for PIP last March as he has a heart problem meaning his resting heart rate never drops below 160BPM (confirmed by implanted cardiac monitor that showed persistent tachycardia and never dropping below 150bpm over the last 16 months. A condition that has baffled specialists and some of the best cardiologists in Europe. He also has severe arthritis in his right wrist and a disease that causes extreme pain, some of the highest pain known in modern medicine. He also collapses multiple times a week without warning due to his heart problem. Leading to adaptions being made to our property and a community alarm being installed to automatically detect his collapses.

    However, he was fortunately awarded PIP standard with no questions asked and placed into ESA Support Group. He is on contributory because he had been working for 6 years full time up until he had to give it up.

    Although it was nice for him to be awarded this without question, we spoke to some people, his specialist and advisors and they felt he should be awarded higher mobility.

    This is why they felt he should've been awarded higher mobility and you can let me know what you think:
    "(Patient) has a heart rate of over 150bpm at any point during the day regardless of whether he is sleeping, walking or sitting. This is a heart rate that we would expect to see in someone who is exerting themselves quite a lot during exercise, although they can immediately bring their heart rate down by stopping what they're doing. This heart rate causes extreme breathlessness at rest and is even worse when (patient) moves.

    We have noticed since December 2016 (patient) oxygen saturation has been dropping to 72% when monitored and when we administer pure oxygen it is struggling to get above 93%/94% which is what we would consider acceptable in someone with a respiratory problem but isn't normal in someone of his age. He was urgently referred (Max. 2 week wait) to a specialists Respiratory hospital who did their tests and noticed he also had low oxygen at rest. They asked him, if he was able to, to perform a lung function test which showed he struggled to breath properly and we noticed after 30 seconds he went pale and nauseous leading him to throw up in the clinic. We have strong advised he does not walk more than 5-10 metres without a break and if possible use a wheelchair to and from the vehicle. We are making urgent appointments for a chest CT and exercise test and will decide what action to take next which may include ambulatory oxygen but we hope to avoid this. But first we must find out what is causing the low oxygen levels and although it may be easy to blame his tachycardia on it, we would expect someone at his age to be able to sustain healthy oxygen levels even at a permanent tachycardic rate.

    (Patient) also suffers from multiple collapses a week. This is heavily documented by his partner who keeps a diary collapse but also by the frequent hospital admissions made due to severe cuts to the head or concussions. His partner said she wants it to be made clear that the collapses are happening more than you can see through evidence because they do not go to hospital for every collapse if he isn't hurt or concussed.

    (Patient) recently started seeing a psychiatrist on a weekly basis and the report the psychiatrist provided scored (Patient) 21 out of 21 on the GAD-7 scale and 24 out of 27 on the PHQ-9 scale. Diagnosing severe depression and anxiety which is backed up by the patient being on 200mg of Sertraline for over 6 years.

    (Patient) is also on high doses of Morphine, Oramorph, Tramadol, Amitriptyline, Cyclizine and Sertraline which make him very drowsy and confused. Often leading to hallucinations and the inability to remember where he is.

    Ultimately I believe that all of the above justify that (patient) should not leave the house alone and if he does need to leave that he is accompanied by someone able to administer first aid immediately should an incident occur and that (patient) should walk at a very slow pace with breaks every few metres but ideally use a wheelchair."

    Now we made an appeal last Summer and were seen by the tribunal late in Autumn and they increased the points slightly, to 1 off higher living. But they left a note in the appeal saying that "(Patient) has clearly deteriorated quite severely since his original assessment and is materially incapacitated". We spoke to a CAB advisor who has been helping her and she said that this is a helpful hint from the Tribunal to say that you should re-apply for PIP and have another fresh assessment. Funny enough PIP sent a new booklet of "How your disability affects you" about 2 weeks after the appeal without us asking for it.

    The automatically made a home appointment for (patient) which is Thursday (tomorrow) and I am trying to prepare everything and was wondering if there is anything I should remember to say? His CAB advisor strongly believes Samuel should get higher mobility and higher living. (Patient) was 1 point of higher living but that didn't take into account his severe depression and anxiety from his collapse. Also there are a lot of changes such as washing, bathing etc that he can't do because of collapses and drowsiness so I am 99.9% confident he will get higher living component but want to ensure he gets the mobility.

    When I submitted the PIP form (I am his legal representative), I did it on a computer in a pre-formatted PIP form and stuck them in the booklet. I have printed it out so I have a copy myself for when the assessor goes through it. I've also printed out the copies of his psych report to provide to them to read.

    The CAB advisor said she is confident that he will get it and if he doesn't she will help us appeal. I just want to know if there are any tips to help me on the day? (Patient) will be far too drowsy to stay awake and talk so I will do it all, but at least the assessor will see Samuel in his true state for the first time because on the 2 other occasions (patient) stopped taking medication so he could stay awake for the assessment.

    Don't worry if you can't help. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Hi Lola, just wanted to wish you luck, it sounds like you have everything prepared. I had a home visit and it was much more relaxed than at a centre and the assessor have me plenty of time to answer the questions he asked me. Fingers crossed for you both. Let us know how you get on.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Hi Lola
    This may sound hard
    PIP is about how conditions affect claimants ability to perform certain activities. Your partner will not score points for not doing things or for things you always do for him. It is about the help he needs to do things himself. I realise that you probably do most things so look at the descriptors carefully

  4. #4
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Frankly I am shocked he didn't already qualify for an award for mobility,as you have evidence he cannot walk more then five to ten metres without resting

  5. #5

    Don't panic!!

    I was a case manager working on PIP claims until I retired on 31/1/17 so I know what I'm talking about. Just ensure that the assessor sees the medical evidence that you have. I cannot see any reason why the enhanced rate of the mobility component shouldn't be paid. If the award is otherwise then you should definitely request a mandatory reconsideration and if that doesn't work then an appeal will have to be made and I would bet my pension that the enhanced rate will be awarded. Best wishes.

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