PIP - home consultation - help please!

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MEdawn

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I've got the health professional coming out to my home to do the consultation for my PIP from DLA application.  To be honest I'm amazed (and very pleased) that they're doing it at my house, but it does rather beg the question of what will happen as all it says is ".....give you the opportunity to tell us how your health condition or disability affects your daily life".  I have already put all the information on my application (there were 11 pages of extra information as well as the pack they sent), so I could just print it off and giving it to them with a cuppa (made by the person who's coming to support me during it) and letting them read it while I lie on the settee and fall asleep. 

But, realistically I suspect they'll be looking at how I move, checking the adaptions are there that I've said there are and waiting for me to become brain fogged while talking to them?  Is that it or has anyone had any experience of this that they can share please?

Monic1511

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Hi
is there anyone who could be with you while the visit is carried out?
its just if you said you don't engage well with strangers and are then able to deal with the person visiting they might take that the wrong way.

Good luck
Monic

MEdawn

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Friend is definitely going to be there for support, for which I'm very grateful. Having read elsewhere it said that the professional reads your information (good luck to them with all the form plus 11 pages - I'll have a sleep while they do that!) and then it seems that they question you on it. If anyone's been through this, can they confirm it's what will happen.
They must be taking my app fairly seriously if they're prepared to visit me at home and I'd hate to mess up at this stage. And yes I know seeing me at home should just confirm it all, but we all know it's not always that straight forward.

I have given friend a copy of all the paperwork for her bedtime reading and warned her she is not to do the washing up or tidy up while waiting for them to arrive.

Sunny Clouds

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Random thought -  you won't tidy up specially, will you?  It's just that I read somewhere recently of someone who diligently put everything away out of sight, including things like perchings stools and incontinence pants.  What I mean is, just leave it as it is. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

MEdawn

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Nope - and I intend to wash up on monday (day I normally do) and then leave it all out - so they can see just how few "real" meals I eat, plus I'm going to do a food diary for those days too. 


RoseRodent

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When they say "tell me about how you manage x" for each descriptor, start at the HIGH end and work down, otherwise if you start talking about aids and appliances that's what you'll score. Don't be bullied into doing something stupid like standing up to have them check your eyesight - it's only to make you stand up. Express everything as a NEED not a preference or a use, i.e. "I NEED to use a ___ in order to prepare my food". Talk about the help you'd need in order to achieve something you currently simply do not do, i.e. you don't eat many meals that doesn't get any points. Points are for "I need someone to make my food". You need to go more along "What I really need is someone to cook for me completley because I can't do it myself because of the ____ that I suffer from. But since I don't have that at the moment I've not been eating. I'm not really coping by myself". You have to be preapred to sound pretty pitiable rather than strong and adaptable. Good luck.
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2016 02:06PM by RoseRodent »

MEdawn

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Thankyou so much for that Rose - much appreciated and I'll start practicing now!

Unfortunately they've just rung to change the day to a week on friday and my original support person can't make that as she's on holiday so I've asked someone else in the hopes they can make it.  Because I NEED to have someone there for when my ME brainfog kicks in and I'm not capable of answering rationally or understanding questions.  (see, I'm trying it out). 


RoseRodent

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Well done, good practising!

I'm not sure how the form or medical examiner will word it, but remember that each question is asking not just "can you" but can you safely, reliably, repeatably and in a timely manner do x. That's the legal question. If you can dress unaided by putting on one item of clothing per hour, you cannot dress unaided. If you can walk but you OFTEN fall and get hurt, you cannot do it. If you might be able to start an activity but could be interrupted by a spasm at any moment which throws it all over you, you can't. (So long as these generally affect you on most days and are unpredictable). If you can complete an activity but are good for nothing after you've done it, you require help.

This was confirmed to me at a DWP conference yesterday. Make sure you have that WHOLE question in mind when they ask you anything.

And don't be scared to ask for a break or breaks if you need them! You'll be thinking about getting through it then collapsing for a week, but they won't see that, they'll see how you present on the day. If you need to lie down, lie down (your friend can help you lie safely). You'll be thinking about presenting yourself in a professional manner, they'll be thinking "this girl looks fine to me, professional and articulate". If you got out of bed specially and it's not typical for that time of day, say so. (Or have your friend show them into your bedroom)

Don't want to say so much I overload you nor not enough so you make "mistakes" as it were.

Hurtyback

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The thing I would say is, in answer to the question 'Can you do such and such?' don't say 'Yes but...' as the assessor is likely to stop hearing after the 'Yes'. It is better to say 'No, not safely etc' or 'No, no without...'

Fiz

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Both good points there Hurty and RR

How do the assessors respond to care needs due to mental health needs ie find it difficult to get out of bed, and impossible to dress or prepare a meal on bad days? Or see or speak to anyone? I wonder if you have the physical ability to do something whether assessors will take any other reason seriously

RoseRodent

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They are supposed to. The bigger issue there is you said "on bad days" - you must express how many bad days you normally experience. If it's less than half the week as a mean average they don't qualify anyway. Be careful of speaking about bad days without saying how many you have and what a typical day would be like when it isn't a bad day.

Monic1511

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describe your bad day as typical day and when asked about good days "I can't recall a good day", this is normal and it gets worse, we all remember the worst time but not the good times

RoseRodent

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describe your bad day as typical day and when asked about good days "I can't recall a good day", this is normal and it gets worse, we all remember the worst time but not the good times

Tempting as it is, and widely known as it is that this advice is given by welfare organisations, it's important to know that using only your worst days as if they are typical day IS fraud unless your bad days are more than a mean average of half the time. You have to stay on the right side of the line between making sure you say things which are true in DWP language and saying things which aren't true.

Describe your worst days, describe a typical day, state how many of each you have had historically and if you expect that to change going forward and for what reason. Any further one treads has to be done with VERY careful thought.

And this is what we're up against, most people are being encouraged to misrepresent in a way the form (not seen a PIP version but it certainly did in DLA) explicitly tells you not to. So those who do it come off better than those who don't. We're told it's "the only way", but the buck stops with the claimant if you're investigated for having more good days than you said you had. 

MEdawn

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I actually have an A4 sheet that has at the top my definition of different days:
 
Worst day – normally happen 4 or 5 days a month      Bad day – normally 2 or 3 days a week
Average day – normally happen 2 or 3 days a week      Better day – normally happens 1 or 2 days a week


and then a whole load of things and how I am on the different days, so things like personal hygiene, sleep, mobility, cooking, concentration, socialising, household stuff and then at the bottom a bit about payback. 

Sleep
Bad – 18-20+ hours a day      Average – 12-16 hours       Better – 8-10 hours


That will be on the top of my pile of papers!

It's the first thing I give to any new doctors/osteopaths etc and my doctor at least says she finds it very helpful and wishes everyone else she sees with a long term fluctuating illness would do a crib sheet too.



RoseRodent

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The difficulty I have is there's an extent to which I can choose the number of good and bad days by what I do (or don't!) on days and weeks leading up. I can plan to most likely be ok on Thursday afternoon by cancelling all plans from the previous Saturday to the following Wednesday, then taking it easy for another few weeks. So I could end up with 5 good days a week...but not a dongle thing done on any one of them, good or bad. It's hard, then, to count how many good and bad days I have, anything between 0 and 6 per week? A diary doesn't help me with the numbers