Discussion in 'General disability topics and advocacy' started by Andy, Oct 11, 2019.
Wow, incompetent assumptions know no bounds! Glad to hear they've finally admitted they're wrong though.
This is (was) only one of a large number of assumptions the DWP manuals 'coach' the ATOS, Maximus, and Capaita health care assessors, as well as their own 'Decision Makers', to make about claimants. To get the full picture you have to read through the original DWP guidance (their published manuals). It's not a nice read.
Rock and hard place choices:
Take opiates, and perhaps more readily qualify for disability coverage, all the while having the potential risk of overdose, or further harm to one's health.
Or, take weaker pain killers, experience more pain, and risk refusal of disability support. The way things go, I would be surprised if this error in assessments completely went away.
I had over fifteen years of severe pain and for most of it took nothing. Because nothing worked. Pacing helped the most, by not aggravating things. Vioxx, which was banned due to vascular risks, I took as occasional help, and it worked, but I was never game to take it regularly as I was well aware of probable eicosanoid impacts. Eventually I discovered menthol muscle rubs, and to this day its the only thing that helps my muscles, and then it depends on the type of muscle problem. Its not a panacea.
If an assessor had presumed that just an occasional muscle liniment was all I needed, and my pain was not severe, they would have been seriously wrong. It was my most disabling symptom. Now under some current unproven medical opinions my accommodations might been seen as evidence of a psychiatric disorder, but even today, some fourteen years after my pain levels started coming down, I still use my computer mouse as a left handed person because my right hand cannot handle it. Every now and then it flares up again too, but that is usually my fault because its usually due to overdoing things playing a new computer game.
I do appreciate you sharing all your knowledge about all this with us @Simbindi
You don't happen to know how I could find out what DWP tell their assessors/decision makers about specific conditions other than ME/CFS do you? Is there like an A-Z type guide or something or what?
This is the old one used for DLA/AA:
For ESA and PIP each assessment company (Maximus, ATOS and Capita produce their own guides for some of the more common (and I guess, more controversial) conditons. They can be obtained via a Freedom of Information request, but the companies will redact some of the information, such as their 'worked examples'. I have some of the unredacted ATOS ones from a 'whistle blower' on my old laptop. I'd have to look up what conditions they cover, it's mostly mental health from memory. These scanned files are too large to upload to this forum.
Edit: You can do your own search on the 'What do they know site'. I haven't got the time to go through the site myself, but putting in 'Maximux ESA' to the search box, it was easy to find (as an example):
More specifically, putting in 'Maximus ESA CFS/ME', the following came up:
Separate names with a comma.