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Featured Rant/Long post: Disability Benefit Assessment (UK)

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by As sweet as-pie, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, I've just gotten home from my medical assessment for PIP with Independent Assessment Services (Formerly ATOS). If any of you are familiar with spoon theory, I am very low on spoons right now.

    I attended the appointment with my dad because even though I'm now 18, he pretty much talks for me in all professional situations.

    On the form they asked if there was anything they could do to make the appointment easier, and I said that a quick appointment with no waiting time would be helpful, but I still had a 10 minute wait. I can't help but think this was intentional.

    Anyone familiar with IAS/ATOS knows that they are notorious for their reputation. It's also common knowledge that they are paid for every patient they decline. This is the country we're living in...

    I often become non-verbal in appointments/professional or formal situations and with new people overall.
    When the assessor first greeted me, he was overly friendly and even though I find it hard to read people I could see right through it.

    I did not speak or make eye contact once. My dad answered all questions for me and I used gestures which weren't well understood by anyone. The assessor then said "if you can't speak for yourself then I'm just going to have to put no answer for everything". I've since realised this was a very clear trick as it would be nonsensical for this to be policy if one of the issues you're claiming for is mutism. I asked if I could write instead, and suddenly it wasn't an issue and he moved on.

    Throughout the assessment I was asked questions about daily life and my dad explained about my severe executive dysfunction. None of it was exaggerated, if I lived alone I would not eat or drink or shower or probably move for days/weeks. The assessor didn't believe me and made a few sarcastic remarks such as "but you feel hunger?" "but you can think about it?"

    It came onto how autism affects me and he asked what the "symptoms were" he also asked "so you've had it since 2017?" and my dad had to explain it's not something you get. He also asked why it wasn't being treated. Honestly why can't these people have even basic understanding of autism. These people get to decide if I have money to live on and yet are utterly incompetent.

    He also stated that "meltdowns" were just feelings and wrote this on the report. Someone who thinks that an autistic meltdown is "just a feeling" has clearly never experienced nor witnessed one. Him saying this made me want to go out in public just to meltdown and if a professional was alerted, I could just tell them not to worry as it was "just a feeling". o_O

    Now we wait for the decision! I just needed to vent somewhere. Thanks for reading if you got this far. :)
     
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  2. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    iam
    iam so glad i never went
     
  3. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    How come you didn't go?
     
  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    i wonder what will stop!!!!!!! them being fascists people threatened atos so it has to be done again
     
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  5. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    because i went for an examination !!!!!!! by atos for employment!!!and!!!support!!allowance!!! and the devious ignorant !!!!! ****** denied me i COULDNT cope again i have no support what so ever
     
  6. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I'm really sorry to hear that. :( Unfortunately they don't care about people, we're just numbers to them. I'm planning to appeal if they don't award me the enhanced rate on both.
     
  7. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  8. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow, I honestly dread that kind of treatment.

    Unfortunately though, there are so many people out there, who are faking disablities, that they go on overdrive to shuffle through the genuine and not so.

    I am also from the uk, but live in France and I tell you, they do not even recognise aspergers here and so, when I get to see the psychiatrist soon, it will be to be formally diagnosed with social anxiety, because I have not got the mental strength to go through, being diagnosed with aspergers.

    I had a dr nod her head when I mentioned aspergers and then, it seemed she had been cogitating over it, because she suddenly comes out with: no, sorry, you do not have autism. I have patients who are autistic and there is no way you are. I wanted to scream that I have aspergers ( even if so called professionals throw aspergers out of the window, does not mean it doesn't exist still). Unfortunately, my husband was there too and in truth, I felt that he was in with her, because he was nodding in agreement with her, forgetting what it is like to live with me!

    I am unable to defend myself unemotionally and so, it is best I steer clear and go for something that is so obvious ie social anxiety and so, perhaps you could try to do the same? Go for another issue and maybe a good therapist will come to the conclusion themselves.

    What is really nasty is that they make you question your entire life and cause doubt.
     
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  9. Momo

    Momo Well-Known Larrikin

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    This is why I've had so much trouble deciding if I even want to be diagnosed in the first place, people like that. :eek:
     
  10. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Well-Known Member

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    Meh, I had the assessment in December 2015 and they put me on ESA, despite the factual fact that I've spent the majority of the last 20 odd years in voluntary employment therefore IMO it's clear I could work part time in some capacity.

    But no, because the useless government wants everybody to work 60 hours a week just to break even on their expenses, they said I can't work.
     
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  11. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    Luckily my diagnosis was fairly easy, just the government make it very hard to get benefits for anything that isn't physical.
     
  12. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I have both diagnoses already :) This was just an appointment with the department of work and pensions to get disability benefits as I'm unable to work. Unfortunately they don't understand autism or recognise anything that isn't physical as a "real" disability anymore.
     
  13. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    i think what momo means is whatever they know about you mentally they will use it against you and i think most of the employees have had their independent thinking removed by some terrible means
     
  14. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    Oh well yes I agree with that! I think if you don't need a diagnosis, you should probably avoid it. unfortunately I needed a diagnosis in order to get benefits because I can't work at all and if I did go through education would have special needs so need proof.
     
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  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    have you contacted welfare rights yet if you get a denial phone them straight away they need to have time to prepare keep everything about your medical conditions take photo copies for your welfare rights worker
     
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  16. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat V.I.P Member

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    god,what a prick-sweet as pie,thats awful im sorry you had to go through that.
    can you request a tribunal? im not sure how it works,but years ago when my staff applied for me to get high rate mobility [DLA] under the severe mental impairment with severe behavioral difficulties criteria they kept telling staff its only for people who are severely physically disabled plus wheelchair bound-it took two years of my staff retrying on and off before requesting a tribunal and there were three independant people on the panel who told the people representing me that i had genuinely deserved it and it should never had got that far-after 15 minutes,i was then given a life award!

    i think you have got a far better chance if you have a tribunal,the people on the panels tend to be more open minded as they arent being paid to find you non disabled, theyre totally seperate from DWP/ATOS etc.
     
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  17. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    Honestly, they are utter b*****ds. My Mum had her ESA taken away a few years back, and they straight up lied on her form. They also got other stuff wrong. Please, even if you are unsuccessful, appeal the decision. My Mum wouldn't do it when she was denied and she was a fool not to. My friend who's HFA also had hers taken away, and she appealed and eventually went to a tribunal - which lasted no more than 5 minutes as they could see the original decision was obviously wrong.

    I wish you luck with the outcome.
     
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  18. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I live in the US, but yes, the lower level government workers involved in the disability process are often incompetent. The upper management in these agencies will not hire the brightest and best, as they want employees who will tolerate being told what to do; ones who cannot think for themselves, and who cannot be empathetic and fair. So, as the goal is to deny as many claimants as possible, these employees are trained to do whatever is possible to twist every fact that supports disability, to make it look like they are not disabled. If this means also not following their own rules, creating new rules on the spot, or having the agency set up with extremely unfair rules, they resort to this.

    Although I do not know the specific disability rules for those in the U.K., I am knowledgeable about the SSA and disability rules and processes in the U.S. The Social Security Administration agency here is a corrupt organization as well, as pertaining to treatment of disabled claimants. I will not detail that here as I created a different thread here titled "Aspies who Cannot Work," but in general, try not to take their uncaring and dishonest intentions personally, as they do this to all claimants and are not singling you out. Try to instead see that they try to be tough, to hope you go away. Well, use that frustration and wisdom of their wrongs to your advantage.

    Instead of backing down, for any denial of your claim fight harder, to make sure your rights are protected. Have witness statements signed and notorized. Detail yourself how your condition impacts your daily living functioning, in all environments, like at home, in public, and at school. Have a letter written to your doctors detailing why you cannot work, because of your mutism, executive functioning issues, and anything else you can think of that is relevant, like avoidance of persons, lack of concentration, sensitivity to criticism and rejection, etc. Have doctor reports verifying your condition and inability to work because of condition severity. Document in detail the happenings during the contacts and wrongs from those disability personnel, to be possibly used later during appeal.

    The persons responsible for making disability decisions often think most all disability claimants are naive, weak, and not willing to be persistent in fighting a claim. This is because they see many claimants eventually who apply run away after a denial, or who get upset throughout the process and this makes those workers satisfied, knowing their dishonest agendas and biases are working. And so, the persons evaluating a disability claim will make it hard for the claimant by resorting to scare and intimidation tactics, or indirect threats, minimizing a claimants condition, lying, secrecy, and by acting either overly friendly or arrogant, to coerce a claimant to give up. Such agencies and their workers are not in the business to be fair, but to save money, by denying as many claimants as possible.

    Even in the US there have been several scandal stories involving the SSA. Long ago, it was reported the extra money left over each year from disability claims went into the pockets of workers, in the form of bonuses. As well, there was a story several years ago of SSA discrimination against their own employees even, with a few thousand of those workers filing discrimination complaints against their employer the SSA, but with 0 to have found merit after those employees went through the SSA discrimination policy and application procedures. So, if the SSA is willing to commit discrimination and unethical practices against their own workers, does one think they would not do this to the disabled who do not work for them?

    A big lawsuit settlement was won against the SSA on behalf of the disabled SSA employees, with regards to treatment, and failure to promote them to higher positions. So, regardless whether one is in the U.K., U.S.A, France or wherever, when a disabled person deals with those entities, try not to obsess about those many wrongs they do, but focus more on being persistent and having the perfect case as possible, for each stage, by having doctor reports, witness statements, any videos, thorough and detailed completed application and questionnaires, showing all daily living functional limitations in various environments, by citing disability law as pertaining to that agency's policy, and by detailing extensively why you cannot work.

    The claimants who win are not only disabled, but they will have strong confidence in the merits of their disability and will not give up until successful resolution. When those agencies see a serious disability claimant, willing to appeal cases, and who will provide compelling evidence, they almost always will eventually back down. For those who need a lawyer for any disability case, as they do not have the patience, strength, and desire to take on that agency, please get a lawyer. Lawyers know how dishonest and biased those agencies are, too, and they can present the case in a professional manner, through citing the law. But, do not rely on them to get much of the other evidence I talked about, as they just do the basics. Submit that information I requested to any lawyer too.
     
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  19. Aeolienne

    Aeolienne Active Member

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    I applied for PIP and was assessed at home by someone from Capita, not Atos - and at very short notice. I haven't heard the result yet.
     
  20. As sweet as-pie

    As sweet as-pie Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know you could do that! Good luck with the outcome. :)