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Stumbler

DLA/PIP Reassessment - An MP's View

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Nick

Should have dropped in the bit.....'As I am sure you are aware this week is MS Awareness week.'

 

I've just been having a go at our new fangled all singing "Privatised NHS' system of GP Consortia and their local 'not for profit' companies who have just cut the funding to my exercise class without any reference to us mere mortals, despite the stated aims of said organisations as being ' in the interests of local people ' AND despite new initiatives to keep people fit which are completely unasked for not accessible and VERY expensive.

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Just another Warrior...........

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Stumbler

I've had a response from Esther McVey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Disabled People.

 

I'll try and put her comments, in green, under each of the points raised, It'll either aid readability or make it a complete mess :-

 

OK, I'm happy to push this issue. Here is my latest e-mail, to which I attached our "Description of Symptoms" from the Survivors Guide:-

 

"I am very vocal on a couple of MS self-help internet forums, so I am aware of the general feeling on this topic. So, I regret to advise you that the majority of MS sufferers live in the real world, where life is already becoming a struggle, before you bring a debilitating condition into the equation.

 

Can I take issue on a few points in your response :-

 

the benefit will go to those individuals whose impairments impact most
on
their ability to participate in society”
, which means what exactly? The majority of our additional cost is down to our overwhelming problem of fatigue and lack of mobility, in paying for care, cleaning, decorating and generally the little chores that cause no problem to normal people. MS can be an isolating condition, as leaving the comfort of your abode presents many logistical issues. So, the meaning of “participate in society” is an interesting exp
ression that may benefit from a greater definition.

Participation is about people’s involvement in everyday life. Disabled people should have the same choices and opportunities as non disabled people, but too often they face challenges that prevent this. We want
PIP
to help disabled people to live full, active and independent lives. Therefore the assessment will look at the ability to carry out a range of activities which are fundamental to everyday life such as planning and making journeys, and communicating and engaging with other people. The greatest level of support will go to those people who are least able to carry out these activities, to contribute towards the increased extra costs they are likely to incur to be able to live independent lives.

“The new
PIP
assessment will be a simpler than
DLA
as it is focused more
on
face to face discussions”
. I am only too aware of horror stories of these “face-to-face” discussions. To date, assessments have invited sufferers to attend interviews at the most difficult of locations, involving logistical challenges, sometimes over a five hour return trip. So, will these face-to-face meetings consider the transport difficulties faced by MS sufferers?

 

Participation is about people’s involvement in everyday life. Disabled people should have the same choices and opportunities as non disabled people, but too often they face challenges that prevent this. We want
PIP
to help disabled people to live full, active and independent lives. Therefore the assessment will look at the ability to carry out a range of activities which are fundamental to everyday life such as planning and making journeys, and communicating and engaging with other people. The greatest level of support will go to those people who are least able to carry out these activities, to contribute towards the increased extra costs they are likely to incur to be able to live independent lives.

 

Regarding Mr Wiltshire’s concerns around the difficulties claimants have travelling to venues for face-to-face consultations,
PIP
assessment providers must ensure that claimants do not have to travel for more than 90 minutes by public transport (single journey) for a consultation. However, this limit is an absolute maximum and we expect that only a small minority of claimants will have to make a journey of this duration.

 

We are aware, through research and engagement with disabled people and their representative organisations, that some claimants find it difficult to travel any length of distance, and particularly to make journeys of longer durations. The Government is keen that arrangements for face-to-face consultations reduce the maximum travelling time as much as possible, that assessment providers identify consultation venues that are as local and convenient as possible, and consider the needs of
PIP
claimants, such as proximity to public transport routes and access to suitable parking.

 

There are also circumstances in which face-to-face consultations will take place in the claimant’s home. These are:
  • at the claimant’s request, if the assessor agrees that their health condition or disability means they are unable to travel;
  • when the claimant provides confirmation, through the professional providing evidence to support their claim, that indicates they are unable to travel on health grounds; or
  • at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) request, although these will be except ional circumstances.

The Government estimates that eight per cent of assessments will meet these criteria. Of course, the assessment providers may also undertake additional home consultations at their discretion.

“…work with disabled people is being used to decide how
PIP
is delivered, including how people who need additional support through the claim process are identified.”. Can you provide some detail about this additional support?

“and has worked hard with
DLA
claimants and organisations to understand the preferences and health issues”. Is there any additional details of these claimants and organisations, their concerns and any action being considered as a result.

 

These issues are already creating stress within the MS community, even though the assessments have been rescheduled into the near future. I have heard of sufferers, who will not apply to be reassessed for
PIP
as they just don’t want the stress associated with this assessment. Perhaps this is considered a successful outcome!

 

As a small section of the population, MS sufferers often receive comments such as, “but you look so well”. This condition isn’t fully understood, until you receive a diagnosis, then your entire world changes. We are now being vilified by the general public as malingerers and scroungers.

 

I’m attaching a document that explains the array of symptoms that we have to endure, with an everyday analogy. So, speaking
on
behalf of many sufferers, I ask you to look at MS and how this
PIP
Assessment can be handled in a truly compassionate way, that will not cause any further suffering."

The claim process for
PIP
has been developed by involving claimants and people who support disabled people. The initial claim will be taken over the telephone. If required, somebody can help the claimant make this call. Claimants will be asked for general information – for example, their name, address, whether they are in hospital, and whether they are claiming under the special rules for those who are terminally ill.

 

Claimants will be asked if they have a mental, cognitive intellectual or developmental impairment, such as Asperger's syndrome and autism.

If they do, we note the
PIP
computer system that they may need additional support, so that we can ensure we provide that support as necessary throughout the claiming process.

In addition DWP will provide assistance to the most vulnerable customers via DWP visiting, if they do not have assistance from family, friends or other support.

 

If the claimant is having difficulty completing the 'How your disability affects you' questionnaire, they can ask a friend, relative, care provider or external organisation to assist them with completion.

 

DWP has provided advice and information to external organisations like Citizens Advice to ensure that they understand the
PIP
process. This will enable them to provide assistance and support to claimants throughout the claims process.

 

Finally, Mr Wiltshire would like to know whether there are any additional details addressing the concerns of
DLA
claimants and organisations and if any action is being considered to understand their preference and health issues.

 

The development of the assessment criteria was an iterative process. We developed our proposals in collaboration with a group of independent specialists in health, social care and disability, including representatives from Disability Rights UK and Equality 2025.

 

Formal public consultation
on
our proposals to replace
DLA
ran from 6 December 2010 until 18 February 2011. Our response
on
4 April 2011 outlined our proposals to bring
DLA
into the 21
st
century by replacing it with
PIP
. The response can be viewed at
.

 

In May 2011 we published an initial draft of the assessment criteria, and over the summer of 2011 we informally consulted
on
this draft, undertaking meetings and seeking written feedback, to hear the views of disabled people and their organisations
on
our early proposals. We published a second draft of the assessment criteria in November 2011, and launched a 15-week formal consultation
on
it
on
16 January 2012. The consultation ran until 30 April 2012 and we received over 1,000 responses.
On
26 March 2012, we launched a further consultation setting out our proposals
on
the detailed rules that will underpin Personal Independence Payment. This consultation closed
on
30 June 2012 and we received over 1,600 responses.

 

 

Following the completion of the two most recent consultations and extensive engagement with disabled people and their organisations, we published our responses to the consultations
on
the assessment criteria and the detailed rules underpinning Personal Independence Payment consultations
on
13 December 2012. These can be found at:
.

 

The annex to the response document lists the organisations that responded to the consultation.

 

So, a long post, but does this make you feel better about the impending reassessment?

 

 

:moonieman:

PS Don't try and complicate the formatting on a long, multi-quoted post 'cos it get its knickers in a twist! :lol:

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John aka Stumbler (as I do fall over!)

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "Wow! What a ride!"

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Tired
Marina

John, as this is a topic which I'm sure must be of much interest to many MSers, I'm going to (belatedly!) pin it for now (or for as long as it continues).

 

Thanks muchly also for going to all this trouble. You've done and are doing an excellent job of it :flowerface:


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Stumbler

John, as this is a topic which I'm sure must be of much interest to many MSers, I'm going to (belatedly!) pin it for now (or for as long as it continues).

 

Thanks muchly also for going to all this trouble. You've done and are doing an excellent job of it :flowerface:

 

Marina, I see all MSers as part of my extended family. I don't like the idea of this Government strategy stressing everyone out and accelerating our conditions.

 

So, I have a bit of time on my side and a computer in front of me, so I just wanted some reassurances from those that we pay to represent our interests - although you wouldn't believe that last phrase!

 

I think I may have taken this as far as I can now, unless someone can see any glaring holes in the response that needs further clarification.

 

:moonieman:

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John aka Stumbler (as I do fall over!)

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "Wow! What a ride!"

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Nick

Thanks for this detailed post.

 

I am afraid the stock answers show a complete lack of understanding! A good example of this is the reference to a maximum public transport journey time of 90 minutes. This is simply laughable! When I did my original ESA assessment the DWP sent me a detailed description of how to get there via public transport. The journey time stated was 2 and a half hours and included a walk across a large city of around a mile. (No consideration was taken about what such a suggestion would have onMe at the time!!!) More recently as this particular assessment centre has been declared unsuitable for wheelchair access people from my area have been directed to a different assessment centre which is around 60 miles away, which for many county people will be completely impossible to reach on what little public transport remains in this area.

 

Anyway I think you have done a brilliant job, While I don't think much will change any time soon I do suspect that more attention will be paid to getting better methods of assessment.

 

So all the hard work is not in vain, the government is fully aware of the injustices they are inflicting and know full well that they need to improve things.

 

 

Nick

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Just another Warrior...........

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Stumbler

Thanks for this detailed post.

 

I am afraid the stock answers show a complete lack of understanding! A good example of this is the reference to a maximum public transport journey time of 90 minutes. This is simply laughable! When I did my original ESA assessment the DWP sent me a detailed description of how to get there via public transport. The journey time stated was 2 and a half hours and included a walk across a large city of around a mile. (No consideration was taken about what such a suggestion would have onMe at the time!!!) More recently as this particular assessment centre has been declared unsuitable for wheelchair access people from my area have been directed to a different assessment centre which is around 60 miles away, which for many county people will be completely impossible to reach on what little public transport remains in this area.

 

Anyway I think you have done a brilliant job, While I don't think much will change any time soon I do suspect that more attention will be paid to getting better methods of assessment.

 

So all the hard work is not in vain, the government is fully aware of the injustices they are inflicting and know full well that they need to improve things.

 

 

Nick

 

Nick, now I have some assurances, I would be willing, ready and able to accuse whoever of hypocrisy, using any methods that I can find to make them feel very uncomfortable. I just need anything specific coming out of the DLA/ PIP re-assessments.

 

I'm not done yet!

 

:moonieman:

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John aka Stumbler (as I do fall over!)

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "Wow! What a ride!"

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Bigbird

Stumbler

I like the way she mentions available parking. When I went for my ESA assessment the ATOS offices were located in a building in the middle of roundabout. They said no parking was available. When I finally managed to stagger there they told me I should have requested it! The PIP assessments will be held in the same building. That'll be fun. I'm wise to it now tho and will be requesting a parking space in plenty if time.

They have no damned idea.

 

BB x


Life's too short to be subtle

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Stumbler

If there are any specific examples of situations that differ with the assurances that Esther McVey has given, I will gladly take them up and rattle some cages. I've got the loquacious artillery if you supply me with the ammunition................

 

:moonieman:


John aka Stumbler (as I do fall over!)

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "Wow! What a ride!"

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lancelot

This is disgusting...........Where I used to live guy aross the road............arms legs etc all working fine yet he gets the motability thing............ DLA or what ever the f--k its called nowadays...............he walks his dog etc etc.........and yet here we have the many on here being told to more or less drag themselves into centers for god sake...........this sytem needs damn good shake up and the needy not the greedy shud come first

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Stumbler

This is disgusting...........Where I used to live guy aross the road............arms legs etc all working fine yet he gets the motability thing............ DLA or what ever the f--k its called nowadays...............he walks his dog etc etc.........and yet here we have the many on here being told to more or less drag themselves into centers for god sake...........this sytem needs damn good shake up and the needy not the greedy shud come first

Lancelot, your views are similar to the basis of the disability reassessments and I can empathise with your frustration.

 

But, MS can be seen as the invisible condition too. There are a lot of us that show no visible signs of being "less enabled", yet we have a condition that can render us incapable at any time that fatigue wants to kick in.

 

What I am saying is that the "guy across the road" may be carrying a condition which is not visible. He may take the dog out for a walk, but he may finish his walk and then be completely disabled for the rest of the day.

 

Try not to jump to conclusions as there may be a hidden truth which makes the situation understandable. But, and it's a big but, if he is a scumbag scrounger, he wouldn't welcome your sudden interest in him!

 

The Government need to reassess everybody as it's the only fair way forward. All I ask them to do is to go easy on anyone who has irrefutable medical proof of an incurable degenerative condition.

 

:moonieman:

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John aka Stumbler (as I do fall over!)

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "Wow! What a ride!"

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lancelot

I appreciate what your saying but he openly boasts that he only has a couple of missing toes and slightly dodgy back and yet he gets everything, while other as u say have an invisible illness. All im saying is that the needy do not get what is theres and needed and the lazy greedy get it all. Just an unfair system...........nothing new there tho

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oopsifellagain!

Gosh its very complicated being ill isnt it? It just makes me want to cry and give up. I feel useless enough with this disease. Finances or lack of them just make stress levels go through the roof. I have a pip assessment for the first time on the 24th of this month (feb) im crying as i type this as i think ill b wasting my time. The fact i sleep on my sofa as i can no longer get upstairs wont matter will it?? Im horrified at the lack of compassion politicians have. Gutted oopsifellagain!

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Nick

Well this is indeed the problem. That is the stress of all the complication and uncertainty. You are however not alone! It's probably mentioned here but a good bit of advice is to use the Benefits & Work site ( http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk ) Subscribing to this and obtaining the latest guides on PIP is very helpful. Having good knowledge and an understanding of the process before you go for the assesement will enable you to have the best possible outcome of a reasonable assessment. You can also take somebody along with you for support. Be prepared!

 

Nick

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Just another Warrior...........

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oopsifellagain!

Thankyou Nick. Ive just signed up for the newsletter etc...oopsifellagain!

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Sleepy
Scully

Also, it's well worth mentioning that when you fill in the dreaded forms...complete them as much as possible and use your worse day. This is what you're told to do. Although I'm guessing you've already done that part ?

The fact you have to sleep on your sofa because you can't get upstairs is very important, so yes, note it down.

 

Have a read of the site that Nick gave you, there is valuable information there about completing the forms, and sttending the assessment.

 

We've all used it along the way!

 

Scully

 


They are not brain lesions..........they are just bright ideas

 

"The truth is out there"

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oopsifellagain!

Hi Scully- thanks very much for advice- i had my form filled out for me as im having problems writing and the lady that filled it out with me was very diligent about the info she imparted so much so i have a HOME assessment!!- i know!....wonders will never cease! 24th of feb will b judgement day and the assessor will see for themselves i am living downstairs so i hope it all helps- i have saved the link aswell so will study b4 the 24th and be as prepared as possible!- thankyou again!

 

Kind regards oopsifellagain!

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WobblyGreg

I am dreading the PIP assessment I had the ESA interview that went okay and past if that's the right term but that was basically for employment support or long term sick .

 

Read recently that 49 percent of mobility cars have been taken away which means a lot of people have lost what was high rate mobility

 

What I think is really wrong is that and I think must be illegal how one can be awarded a life time DLA or indefinite award just to then be told it's not relevant now as we have got rid of it WTF

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Nick

These are issues that many of us are struggling with. I am in a similar position and have taken a long time to try and understand things. With regard to ESA I was formally assessed and met the requirements of belonging to the support group, only to discover that as I had taken ill health pension I was not entitled to any financial support. A hard thing to take on board since I had paid into the UK tax and NI system for 37 years. I was awarded DLA for an indefinite period and like yourself am waiting for the letter to tell me to change to PIP. The first misunderstanding many people, including myself, have, is the way the system here in the UK works. The principle of NI is that it is available to all and apart from pensions is NOT based on how much you have paid in. This makes good sense when it comes to health care as a new born gets the same level of support as a pensioner. Welfare is slightly different but works on a similar principle. However it is, and always has been subject to political change. Just as we expect much more from our NHS than we did 40 years ago, so to do we expect a lot from the DHS. The subject of 'benefits' has always been a political football and is particular vulnerable as it is an easy target for cuts when money is short. The fact is that the recent changes to the system ARE legal! this is exactly why they are so comprehensively complicated and difficult to interpret. Fraud within disability benefits has always accounted for a very small cost of the overall budget, yet is portrayed by some politicians as a major issue. All this adds to the stress that we feel when we encounter faulty decisions or feel betrayed by the lack of support from our fellow citizens.

The cost of having a decent social security system and health provision has never been higher and if we wish to maintain it then taxation (in one form or another) has to rise. That is the crux of the problem. One that you can't do much about. What you can do is try and understand the present system and make full use of the various advocacy services that are available which is about the only way that you can get a decent outcome as to what you are entitled too.

 

Don't get angry! but make sure you get what you are entitled too

 

Best from Nick


Edited by Nick
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Just another Warrior...........

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Tired
Marina

Greg, the link to the petition doesn't seem to work?


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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WobblyGreg
Nindancer

I've been reassessed for PIP already, some 11 months before the date it's guaranteed til.

Already had a letter from DWP apologising that they've not managed to review it yet... I feel like screaming as I guess the timing just means they are looking to make cuts. I'm not in a good place emotionally right now as I'm sure you can imagine :wave3:

We shall see then, still not retired and running out of cash quite quickly now, grrrrr!

Sonia x

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WobblyGreg
SO now IDS has resigned , although damage haas been done in lot of cases .

 

Saying new budget cuts were a step to far was reason given I suspect his falling out with Cameron ( who claimed DLA and carerers allowance for his late son) over EU had as much to do with it.

 

At least this leaves way for a new broom to come in and change things back or water down the most unpopular of changes as this is deviding Conservative party as much as EU membership is.

 

I'm bit happier now as I think tories will back peddle on cuts to Disabled . Amnesty are also now involved I read yesterday which makes me suspect although not technically illegal the treatment Disabled have received is in humane.

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WobblyGreg

I've been reassessed for PIP already, some 11 months before the date it's guaranteed til.

Already had a letter from DWP apologising that they've not managed to review it yet... I feel like screaming as I guess the timing just means they are looking to make cuts. I'm not in a good place emotionally right now as I'm sure you can imagine :wave3:

We shall see then, still not retired and running out of cash quite quickly now, grrrrr!

Sonia x

Strangely I have just received my new DLA allowance

I have got indefinite award as before so not sure why I got whole new set of paperwork but as we know it's not worth did,y squat as DLA is no more !!!!!

 

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Sleepy
Scully

I've just seen that Iain Duncan Smith has resigned, claiming it's over the disability cuts, which are now being re-visited....I guess it's a similar situation when they tried to cut tax credits and then back peddled.

 

I felt pleased he'd pointed out in his resignation that the disabled cuts were at the same time that higher earners got an increase....how can that be right.

 

We shall see who is appointed today I guess....fingers crossed it won't be someone who grovels to Cameron ( who I wouldn't buy a used car from ) and pushes ahead with cuts.

 

I see they are calling for Osbourne to resign too....

 

Scully

 


They are not brain lesions..........they are just bright ideas

 

"The truth is out there"

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