Written evidence from Michelle McCluskey HAB0143

 

 

My mum had an assessment on the 14th April 2018 as she was being transferred from DLA to PIP, the assessor attended my mums home and stayed for 55 minutes (as detailed on the PIP6).

 

The assessor asked her a various selection of questions such as budgeting, washing, managing travel and various other questions. At the time my mum suffered with Crohn’s disease, COPD, fistula’s, stroke and was being fed with a tube 6 days per week, she weighed 34.4kgs at the time of the assessment.

 

The entire assessment was an absolute farce, as this person did not take into consideration the serious chronic illnesses my mum had.

 

My mum was declared more than 80% disabled in 1986 at a medical appeal tribunal sitting and also again in 2002.

 

My mum was awarded 4 points based on her assessment, so we proceeded with a Mandatory Reconsideration, we did have someone from a Law Centre helping my mum with this. We had letters from her GP and consultant as they couldn’t believe someone with such poor health had her benefits stopped.

 

 

At the time my mum was undergoing further tests by her Gastro team, as she had been suffering with shortness of breath and a cough which was getting worse. She was later diagnosed with double lung cancer and was unable to receive any treatment for this as her health was so poor, so it was a case of just making her comfortable.

 

Also, when this claim went to Mandatory Reconsideration, DWP did not even contact her consultant etc, Instead, PIP decided to not ask for further information and make a judgement on what this so-called assessor reported back. I was advised by PIP that once it gets to this stage it is down to claimant to obtain records etc, however not all claimants have the ability to be able to do this especially if they are diagnosed with a terminal condition.

 

If someone has been long term sick or if someone has chronic or terminal illnesses, it should be that medical records are requested at that time and not cause unnecessary stress on a clearly ill and frail person.

 

I believe the incompetence and inability has been proved once this case went to appeal to which my late mum won after I submitted further evidence such as medical letters, DS1500 etc.

 

 

I fully understand why these assessments must be completed; however this case was not border line and it was clearly obvious just by looking to see how ill my mum was.

I have written to the local MP and have taken this to the Health Secretary to highlight what has happened and those changes need to be made to ensure people with disabilities are not put through this stress.

 

My mum died in the September 2018 and was diagnosed with double lung cancer just about 5 weeks after her assessment. If the medical records had been requested, DWP would have been able to see how ill my mum was and that scans etc had been carried out to assess my mum’s condition.

 

I am absolutely sickened at what that assessor done to my mum in her assessment and will not stop fighting and highlighting the way my mum and possibly many others have been treated.

 

As stated on the letters received from PIP the quality and Diversity Policy quotes that people will be treated regardless of their disability. However, this certainly has not been done in my mum’s case.

 

 

Also, after the hearing, the decision notice was emailed to DWP by the court at 10:11 am on the day of the hearing 11th February 2019. I called PIP Wednesday 6th March 2019 for an update as I had not heard anything back with regards to the decision notice. I spoke to a gentleman on the phone that managed to lookup the file and said no decision notice had been received, he then advised me to call the court and ask when it had been sent and if they could resend. The court advised me it had been sent and that if PIP hadn’t received it, they had a procedure to follow (no-one seemed to know in PIP what the procedure was. I then called back PIP and again explaining the situation, I was told they had no procedure and that I had to call the court again and ask for it be resent. After several calls to PIP and the court, I finally said this was enough and I wanted to speak to someone in PIP who could escalate this. Eventually Mathew from PIP took my details and said he would call me back and he would investigate this for me. I then received a call from appeals who said they had found the decision notice after looking through archived emails.

 

I am absolutely appalled at the entire system and lack of courtesy or understanding not only to me but my mum and all the other people who have had to deal with this.

 

My mum’s final moments of dying should have been stress free and with some dignity, instead the assessor and everyone else who was part of the case should be ashamed. 

 

 

[Images removed for publication]

 

I have included these photographs as I want you to see how ill my mum was, the picture where she in her dressing gown was only a matter of weeks after her assessment. In my eyes just looking you can see how ill she was.

 

I have since helped Marie Curie with scrap6months

Kind Regards

 

Michelle McCluskey

 

May 2022