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Here are some of the questions you may be asked during your medical interrogation ‘examination’.
Completion of tasks
Can he or she answer the telephone and reliably take a message?
When referring to ‘telephone’ the ‘Doctor’ will deduce you have and can operate a mobile phone, which you use for texting, chatting, making arrangements and for emergencies. the term ‘Mobile phone’ will not actually be used. That you can and do answer the phone when it rings, your motor and memory functions are normal and that you are not depressed among many other possible ‘stock answers’ he is allowed to use in his / her report. Apparently, answering yes or no to any of the questions you are asked gives the alleged ‘Doctor’ the freedom to be creative in their answer.
Does he or she sit for hours doing nothing?
From this question the alleged ‘Doctor’ will assume you can sit comfortably for longer than the period you have stated on your IB50, incidentally, if you stand up at regular intervals during your examination due to the discomfort you are feeling, he reports this as being able to stand for (and he times you here) for however long without discomfort. You can not win. He /she will also link this with travelling to the examination, either driving, being driven, bus etc despite the fact that you will have stopped several times during your journey due to the discomfort you were feeling during the trip. All from answering yes or no to this question?
Can he or she concentrate to read a magazine article or follow a radio or television programme?
They are still looking to trip you up here if you have said you cant sit for long periods, despite the fact that you lie in bed to read, watch TV or listen to the radio! They also deduce that you can read, which means to them you can manage your own finances, bills etc, letters, and mail in general, that your eye sight and concentration levels are excellent and in one email I received last night, that you can operate a computer without difficulty? Where on earth does it mention finances, computers or concentration in the question?
Can he or she use a telephone book or other directory to find a number?
Please note, a telephone directory can be heavier than a carton of milk, its another method of covert assessment, curiously as well as proving you can read it also includes the use of computers, management of finances, and the mobile phone again? Be careful and specific when you answer these questions yes or no can be dangerous. Personally I don’t read at all now, and have not done so for years, and when I need a number from the phone book I ask my partner to look it up as I find I usually end up straining to see the small print in the directory.
Does the mental condition prevent him or her from undertaking leisure activities previously enjoyed?
This one is a beauty, the alleged ‘Doctor’ is trying to trip you up again. If you say you are suffering from depression and yet still follow your local football team then this proves you are not depressed. If you say you sometimes get to the allotment to see to your pigeons, then you are fit enough to travel to work. These questions are geared to prove everything you have entered on your IB50 form is false and can be medically debunked by your own answer. I don’t know about you, but my disability prevents me from pursuing any of my previous hobbies, full stop.
Does he or she overlook or forget the risks posed by domestic appliances or other common hazards due to poor concentration?
This question disproves the following question (before you even answer it!) relating to serious accidents or to whether or not you can cook for yourself, from your answer the alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce that you have not had any ‘serious’ accidents lately (I wonder if this includes slips, trips or falls?) you can use a computer? you can drive without difficulty? have excellent concentration skills? can use a mobile phone, deal with you finances, correspondence, can read and write, do your own shopping?
Has agitation, confusion or forgetfulness resulted in any potentially dangerous accidents in the last 3 months?
From your answer the alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce that you have not had any ‘serious’ accidents lately including slips, trips or falls? you can use a computer? you can drive without difficulty? have excellent concentration skills? can use a mobile phone, computer, deal with you finances, correspondence, can read and write, do your own shopping? you have an excellent memory, your coordination and orientation are normal and you were not confused, agitated or forgetful during the ‘examination’?
Can his or her concentration only be sustained by prompting?
Again, this question is linked to the previous questions and is asked this far in to prove your concentration is good enough to continue answering questions under pressure? So anything you have said relating to poor concentration in your IB50 is immediately called into question?From this and previous answers the alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce that you can (yes you guessed it) use a computer? you can drive without difficulty? have excellent concentration skills? can use a mobile phone, deal with you finances, correspondence, can read and write, do your own shopping? you have an excellent memory, your coordination and orientation are normal and you were not confused, agitated or forgetful during the ‘examination’?
Does he or she need encouragement to get up and dress?
Your Healthcare professional will comment that you have no difficulty getting in and out of bed and can dress yourself without difficulty. This means anything you have said relating to pain when moving is immediately called into question. This also means you are not depressed, can cope easily with everyday functions and can climb stairs curiously enough?
Does he or she need alcohol before midday?
This is to prove you have or do not have a drink /alcohol problem. Notice the use of the word NEED in the question. Everyone (including alcoholics) will rarely admit to NEEDING alcohol at all? Therefore, if you are in the unfortunate position of being an alcoholic, your own pride prevents you from answering honestly. Sad isn’t it?
Is he or she frequently distressed at some time of the day due to fluctuation of mood?
This question relates to mood swings, sudden changes in temperament. Your alleged ‘Doctor’ will say you did not suffer a mood swing during your examination which means you are not depressed, stressed, or suffer mood swings. Are we to assume then, as long as he /she does not witness you having a mood swing they can say you do not have them?
Does he or she care about his or her appearance and living conditions?
If you are relatively well dressed and appear to be clean during the examination the alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce that you are capable of dressing appropriately, caring for your self, have good living conditions, are not depressed, stressed and have good coordination. This is despite the fact you may have had help in washing, dressing and that your family or friends help you look after yourself and your home?
Do sleep problems interfere with his or her daytime activities?
Be careful when answering this question! as from your answer the alleged ‘Doctor’ will decide if you have sleep problems which affect your concentration, which in turn may debunk any answers given to previous questions relating to concentration. I refer you to questions 3, 6,7 and 8 previously asked in the Mental Health section.
Coping with pressure
Was mental stress a factor in making him or her stop work?
This question is used to debunk any information you put on your IB50 relating to stress as being the main reason or contributory reason you stopped working. The ‘Healthcare professional’ should say so here, if the main reason was anything else, this should also appear here. I.E. The main reason for leaving work was mental stress, physical health, depression etc.
Does he or she frequently feel scared or panicky for no obvious reason?
Unless you actually have a panic attack during your ‘examination’ the alleged ‘Doctor’ is at liberty to assume you do not have panic attacks and therefore anything you have entered onto your IB50 is utter lies. The usual comment is; Does not experience panic attacks, Appeared relaxed, Not anxious on examination
Does he or she avoid carrying out routine activities because he or she is convinced they will prove too tiring or stressful?
This question has already been asked in the mental health section and I refer you to question 5. The alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce the following from your answer. You have and can operate a mobile phone, which you use for texting, chatting, making arrangements and for emergencies. Can drive a car without significant difficulty, can deal with your own finances and correspondence effectively and are able to make long journeys without significant difficulty?
Is he or she able to cope with changes in daily routine?
This answer to this question has already been gleaned from the previous questions asked. Take a look at the questions in the two previous sections and tell me I am wrong, The alleged ‘Doctor’ arrived at the following opinion from my answers. Had an appropriate level of concern because of coming here today, normal concentration on examination, not anxious on examination, does not suffer panic attacks and oddly, has a mobile phone, which you use for texting, chatting, making arrangements and for emergencies.
Does he or she frequently find that there are so many things to do that he or she gives up because of fatigue, apathy or disinterest?
Its interesting to note that the answer to this question appeared to have already been gleaned from section 1 questions 1,3,4,5,6 and 7. Section 2 questions1,3 and 4. Section 3 Questions 1,2,3 and 4. You can see this clearly from the alleged ‘Doctors’ answers this question. Dont forget the question about your past hobbies in particular?
Is he or she scared or anxious that work would bring back or worsen their illness?
As with every one of the previous questions, when I was asked this question it was worded differently, the alleged ‘Doctor’ asked; “What would you do if “they” offered you a job now?”. I gave a positive answer by saying I was eager to return to work once I recovered from my ailment. The alleged ‘Doctor’ inserted the following stock answer. Feels very negative about being able to cope with work? What planet are these people on? What on earth will the decision maker conclude from that? Worse still, how can I defend this if I need to? The mind boggles.
Interaction with other people
Can he or she look after himself or herself without help from others?
Beware?You have already been asked this question in sections one and two, from this question your alleged ‘Doctor’ will deduce that you have a mobile phone and use it for texting, chatting, making arrangements and emergencies, can deal with your own finances and correspondence without difficulty, can use a computer and have normal intellectual functioning?
Does he or she get so upset by ordinary events that it results in disruptive behavioural problems?
Caution! this has already been assessed in question 3, Daily living section.
Do mental problems impair his or her ability to communicate with other people?
Already assessed in question 1 section 1.Curiously, the alleged ‘Doctor’ deduced the following; Yes you guessed it, has a mobile phone and use it for texting, chatting, making arrangements and emergencies, Behaved normally, normal rapport?
Does he or she get irritated by things that would not have bothered him or her before becoming ill?
Beware! this has already been assessed at section 1 question 5, section 2 question 3 and section 3 question 3. The alleged ‘Doctor’ will comment on your present state of agitation, i.e Had a clam nature, He or she appeared agitated.
Does he or she prefer to sit alone six or more hours a day?
It didn’t seem to matter when I told the alleged ‘Doctor’ that I regularly spend long periods of time alone as my partner works alternating shifts, the stock answers entered were. Sees family every day, Behaved normally, not depressed on examination?
Is he or she too frightened to go out alone?
I was asked How I got to the examination centre? was I accompanied? did I drive there myself? The answers I gave to these questions (which were entirely supplementary, and not part of the official list of questions I have reproduced here) did not appear on my medical report, neither did I understand their significance until I saw the medical report. The stock answers included; Goes out alone, Does not experience panic attacks, Not anxious on examination, can drive a car without significant difficulty, Appeared relaxed, Able to make Long journeys without significant difficulty.
As you can see, it would be easy for anyone (let alone allegedly qualified and registered medical practitioners) to carry out one of these so called medical examinations. Which in the words of the DWP “Is different from a normal medical examination- it is not to diagnose or discuss treatment of your medical condition”. It is there to prove you do not have a medical condition It would also be just as easy for someone to abuse the system and either deliberately try to produce a report which would be sufficiently damming enough for the decision maker to stop payment of your benefits. Or equally to accept a bribe in return for a report which guarantees the decision maker would continue or increase your benefits. Please note; I am not suggesting for one minute that this has ever happened, simply, that it is possible.
I hope this helps to bring these people to book over the way we are being treated just because we made a legitimate claim to benefits we have paid for in advance. Like you, dear readers I want to see the thieving scum who cheat the benefits system prosecuted, but why should we all be treated as potential benefit fraudsters, forced into taking a ‘medical’ which is solely designed to make us look like we are not telling the truth?
I’ll be back