Awarded PIP but told I was lying about my mental health

So I finally received the dreaded brown envelope from the Department for Work and Pensions – DWP with a decision on my PIP award. Whilst I am happy I have been awarded it, they say my mental health doesn’t affect me which couldn’t be further from the truth.

After an agonising wait the DWP finally gave me a decision on whether they would award me Personal Independence Payment. I am happy to report that I was awarded the enhanced rate of mobility meaning I will not lose my motability car. This is a huge relief to me.

In regards to the “daily living needs,” I was awarded the standard rate. Whilst I am certainly not complaining, I do take a major issue with their assessor stating that my mental health doesn’t affect me at all.

Points based system

If you don’t know, when you are assessed for PIP you are given points for different categories they have set. To get the enhanced rate of each component you are required to accumulate 12 points. I automatically got 12 for the mobility section as I cannot walk. I would have been surprised if I hadn’t, although it does happen.

For “Daily Living Activities” I scored 11 points. I thought ok that’s nothing to complain about. That was until I looked at their scoring.

I’ll outline what I got:

  • Preparing Food (scored out of 8) = 4
  • Eating and Drinking (scored out of 10) = 0
  • Managing your treatments (scored out of 8) = 0
  • Washing and bathing (scored out of 8) = 3
  • Managing your toilet needs (scored out of 8) = 2
  • Dressing and undressing (scored out of 8) = 2
  • Communicating (scored out of 12) = 0
  • Reading (scored out of 8) = 0
  • Mixing other people (scored out of 8) = 0
  • Making budgeting decisions (scored out of 6) = 0

My Mental Health is finally apparently

Mental health conception on white background

“The mental state examination showed you were adequately nourished, have no signs of cognitive impairment, had good rapport and eye contact and were not anxious at all.”

“This is not consistent with what you put of the initially form. I note that your health professional states you have issues mixing with people however I am basing my decision on what the face to face assessment report states.”

Basically my doctor and I are lying is what they are trying to say.

I can tell you one thing now and that is that anxious does not even come close to how I felt. That assessor arrived early, banged on my door and I was there alone. I was a stuttering mess.

How they ascertained I mix well with other people I do not know. My psychiatrist’s secretary confirmed that the report he submitted to them noted my anxiety attacks and the lengths I go to, to avoid large crowds. eg; shopping at 3am.

As I have written before my mental health has a big impact on my life every day.

The communication section is meant to cover people with mental health difficulties too. I am very anxious when going to new places and when I do it doesn’t usually go well. It took me three months to visit my new GP just because of sheer fear, irrational as that sounds.

Next steps

I asked Citizens Advice for their thoughts and they have told me to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. It is purely that they have discounted my mental health something that significantly impacts my daily life.

 

They have basically called me a liar without directly saying it and have even gone against what my psychiatrist of 6 years has reported.

Apparently 25 minutes with me and the assessor is now an expert on my mental state.

The government have been shown to be discriminating against those with mental health conditions and Esther McVey has tried to call the Tories compassionate because she dropped her appeal against that ruling.

Image result for points based system PIP

I am in no doubt that nothing has changed at the DWP despite the numerous lost court cases and that unless a change in government occurs, nothing will.

I will as always keep you up to date on how things progress.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

I do not get paid for writing but if you’d like to make a donation you can do so via PayPal by clicking here. I put a lot of time and effort into writing what I hope is relevant and engaging articles.

 

 

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10 comments

  1. Wow, that is shocking. I’m still awaiting my decision…I’ll probably get nothing, as a lot of my application was about my mental illness.

  2. Mental Health – The Great ‘Invisible’ Disability that is Ignored by Powers! I am another who have had this experience; would love to know just how many of us there are.
    Take some relief you were awarded x

  3. Well it’s at least 1 in 4 according to the national statistics, although I personally think that it’s higher than the 1 in 4 (25%).

    A x

  4. Hi Alex I have just been to court for the second time in 2 years (2016 & 2018) for my son who is now 19 as he has aspergers and the difficulties that come with it. Both times I have had dwp’ s decision overturned and this time they have awarded pip for 4 years! To say the amount of stress and anxiety it has not only caused me and my son is an understatement! Dwp didn’t even send a rep this time! It is ludicrous how an assessment is done by someone who doesn’t have the experience of mental health/physical didability/ASD who doesn’t have a clue how this affects the person. Dwp need to change their way of assessing and have a more understanding approach to what genuine sufferers go through!

  5. In 2014 I sent the DWP a Subject Access Request as if I was already sure I had got the award it was sent just 2 hours after the assessment ended. They took just 4 days to make the decision, it took me longer to get the SAR or the decision notice.
    I would add that the DWP are a Cluster f*ck when it comes to letter writing as this has basically the same mistake as the ESA72 up to April 2014. Page 2 used to have the phrase that they would contact the claimant on or after DATE where they would either be sent another ESA50 or appointment letter. Their enhanced rates letter says they will contact you while still on PIP but after the ASSESSMENT DATE, it’s another CLUSTERF*CK by the DWP and this time they will pay.

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