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TOPIC: Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors

Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 2 months 2 weeks ago #197932

Hi, After having an appalling experience in August when an attempt was made to assess me at an assessment centre but failed because I was too unwell, I was given a home assessment last week. The assessment went much better in that the assessor was not confrontational, seemed to have read all of my written application and medical supporting evidence and dropped strong hints that she would be writing a favourable report. However, she also said at the end of the visit that she is being heavily audited at the moment and that there is a chance that her recommendations would be challenged and that I'll have another assessment at this level again (ie not mandatory reconsideration or appeal). How common is this and who is likely to be auditing her work?

I wondered if it might be that she has declared too many people as eligible for PIP which has prompted a red flag from Atos. She did seem generally well meaning and very competent in the way she assessed, the questions she asks and the assumptions she jumped to about difficulties I would have with certain tasks (actually I think she'd just read my notes which outlined them all), but I have also read about people receiving unfavourable results after thinking assessors were nice and that the assessor was fair, so I am aware that things may be different they seemed.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 2 months 2 weeks ago #197944

  • Gordon
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H

I would not expect you to be reassessed again unless the report had to be withdrawn after being declared as unfit for purpose, if this were to happen then you would have good grounds for a complaint as the Assessment Provider would have clearly sent out an assessor not capable of doing their job.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: H

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Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 1 month 3 weeks ago #199595

Hi again,

To update you, I was awarded enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility for an ongoing period. In retrospect I think the assessor's comment at the time about me perhaps needing to be reassessed at home was in relation to the fact she knew she was going to recommend me to have the benefit for an ongoing period but didn't know if that would be accepted and was giving me advice to request a home assessment again if that happened (but obviously couldn't say this) Thank you so much for all of your online resources and forum support. Really helpful. I also had support from CAB with my application, which was invaluable, and interestingly the worker who supported me said he has benefited in the past from having access to your resources too.

Following the receipt of my PIP award letter, I have a few questions, which I wondered if you might be able to help with.
1) I am currently in the support group for ESA and have an element of the income related amount also to top the contributory payment up. Will my PIP income (including effect of a lump sum for back pay) affect these payments?
2) Re the above am I still eligible for free prescriptions and dental care (fine if not, but I'd just like to know)
3) Do I need to let ESA know about my PIP award or will the DWP do this automatically?
4) I am currently on full housing benefit. Will I need to pay any/ all of my rent from my PIP payments?
5) I currently receive a discount for council tax on the basis of being on a low income, how will being on PIP affect this?
Apologies for all of the questions, I tried to prepare myself for the prospect of having to take my claim to appeal stage having heard all of the horror stories (and more so after my bad experience at the assessment centre), but spent very little time and energy anticipating such a positive result!

Thanks again for your help. Best wishes.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mrs Hurtyback

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Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 1 month 3 weeks ago #199613

  • Gordon
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H

Congratulations on the award, well done.

1. No any back payment should be disregarded for at least 52 weeks although you might want to ask the DWP to confirm this in writing.

2. As long as you are receiving at least 1p of ESA(IR) then you remain entitled to free prescriptions and dental care.

3. The PIP people should notify the ESA ones, but again I would contact the ESA department to make sure.

4. PIP Is not considered as income for HB so it will remain the same.

5. It's possible that the discount will increase but it should not decrease.

Gordon

tags: @RESULT @PIP

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Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 1 month 3 weeks ago #199618

Thanks very much. That's all very helpful.
Just to make sure I understand correctly, is the regular income of PIP, aside from the back payment, classed as an income for ESA purposes or disregarded? I currently receive the income related element of ESA as well as a contribution one, due to being in the support group and - prior to the PIP lump sum - having only a low level of savings and no other income (aside from HB) - will my fortnightly PIP income affect my eligibility for for the income related element of ESA?
Best wishes.

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Question about auditing of Atos PIP assessors 1 month 3 weeks ago #199625

  • Gordon
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H

PIP Is not treated as income in regard to ESA(IR). It can result in additional Premiums being payable, you should already be receiving the Enhanced Disability Premium (Disability Income Guarantee) due to you being in the SG. If you live alone and no one receives Carers Allowance for you then you may be eligible for the Severe Disability Premium.

Gordon

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Moderators: bro58GordonMrs Hurtyback