Brain injury survivor Jeff Clare, 60, and his partner Heather, 57, know first-hand the benefits of having a PIP assessor who understands brain injury.
Jeff, of Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, fell ill with encephalitis in 2010. He was left with memory, concentration and mobility problems, as well as fatigue.
After a distressing and disappointing PIP assessment in 2013, Heather was too stressed to appeal the decision on her husband's behalf.
“I didn't get the impression the assessor had read Jeff's reports or had an understanding of brain injury," Heather said.
“She did not appear confident and was trying to fit Jeff's abilities into boxes rather than assessing him as an individual or looking at his needs.”
But after six months, Heather requested a reassessment, which was conducted by someone with an understanding of brain injury.
"I actually enjoyed the second assessment because it felt like talking to one of the professionals at the hospital," she said.
"He had read through all of my husbands' reports and started the assessment by giving us a summary of what he thought the reports stated. He asked us if we agreed with his summary.
"We were very happy with the way he summarised things. It was reassuring that he had taken the time to read and understand the reports. Everything was clearly explained to us about the assessment process.
"It was clear to me that the person conducting the assessment had a good knowledge of the fluctuating nature of brain injury and how it could impact on everyday life.
"I felt confident throughout the assessment that my husband was being viewed as an individual and his needs were being assessed fairly.
"I would love it if everybody could have the experience we had. It was how it should be."
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