Hi my daughter is 21,receives full Pip and esa. She now has a part time job in a cafe and has to have a work capability assessment. Has anyone had experience of this. I imagine they will put her in the work group now but I'm hoping they won't cut it altogether. Does anyone know what they will ask her. She still has selective mutism so I will mainly have to answer for her. She clears tables and takes out tea and coffee orders. Apart from that her autism has not changed at all. Any advice would be great.
Hi, I'm 23, autistic and unemployed (not ready), I had a work capability assessment last year and was put into the work group section because I didn't fully understand what the difference was and they said they weren't going to force me into work, they haven't yet. ; however, I went on a few courses to try and improve my confidence and something. It was very stressful, worrying and upsetting because I didn't understand. I live in supported living, too (don't ever let your daughter move into supported living, it's absolutely terrible, a terrible decision I'd made) and a few days ago, I received another Capability For Work form (I don't even know how I'm going to cope with that this year and I'm afraid that they are going to call me for an interview and say I'm able to work because I'm very high-functioning and the "medical professional who interviewed me last year was rubbish! The first appointment got cancelled about 2 hours before my appointment, but, she didn't take into consideration or seemed to care about the mental side of things. She was making me do very easy physical things like putting my arm in the air when we told her repeatedly there was nothing wrong with my mobility apart from I get a lot of aches and pains! We had filled out the whole form but, were made to go to an interview because I didn't send it back on time because it's very difficult and takes days and mentally exhausts me!) and can't even think about how I'm going to go through this flipping form, again! Anyway, I also receive full PIP and ESA, am unemployed and in the work-related group whatever that means. However, I've known a few people around 21 years old that also receive full ESA and PIP and work part-time, too and they didn't get theirs cut altogether. If her autism has not changed then, I personally do not think they will cut it because my "friends" haven't and they haven't got Selective Mutism, the fact that she has that is an obvious sign that she should not get her benefit cut, remember, if you do not agree with something, you can always... what's the word... appeal? I really wouldn't worry, do you act on her behalf? If so, that's another sign that she needs help and people that need help or have needs, should get a certain amount of benefit depending on their needs, health etc.
They will literally ask her everything on the form and things that you have already told them, they will probably ask your daughter multiple questions that are open ended and can't be answered with a yes or no that she probably will not be able to answer (because of the mutism, right?) and talk to her like a child. They will probably also ask you stupid questions which aren't relevant or any problem for your daughter too, then, question you multiple times and try to twist your words about things she does need help or struggle with.
Bottom line, I really wouldn't worry, she has Autism and Selevtive Mutism, if (highly doubtful) they did cut or highly decrease her benefit, that's like telling us autistics that we can work and our difficulties and struggles aren't relevant. That would cause a huge what's the word, again... not riot, the thing where lots of people get together and fight for change, that would happen. Go prepared with lots of notes and don't let them twist your words and ask for a copy of what they'v written (I never did and I never appealed because it was too much stress, anxiety and confusion for me). Don't make the mistakes I did, don't let them knock you down, you probably know your daughter than anyone so don't let them tell you what she can or can't do. Also, maybe ask her if she would like to write anything down or if she has any ideas or questions she can write or type etc. down for them. They have to understand, just because the anxiety can prevent her from being able to speak, it doesn't mean she can't or doesn't want to communicate. Also, good for her that she's working, wow! I'm very high-functioning but, the thought of work makes me feel sick to my stomach and want to hide away.
Sorry, I went off-track a lot there in the brackets.