autoimmune · autoimmunedisease · benefits · disability · PIP · working

What happens when claiming PIP and what happens at the assessment?

It has so far taken me just over 6 weeks to get to this stage. Let me tell you I’m nowhere near completing the process either!

If you are thinking claiming personal independence payment is an easy and simple thing to do, I can assure you it isn’t.

This is my journey of trying to claim.

  • End of January I made the phone call to the PIP claim line. I had to give limited details, just name, address etc and was told I would have a claim pack sent in the post. 3 weeks later my package finally arrived! The pack is a minefield. If you can get someone to help you fill it in I strongly suggest you get help.
  • There are numerous questions including –
  1. How far can you walk?
  2. Can you shower yourself?
  3. Can you walk more than 50m but less than 100m?
  4. Can you plan a journey on your own and follow directions?

Anyone with an autoimmune disease or a related illness such as fibromyalgia will tell you that these questions are ridiculous and pointless. They are only designed to focus on you generally and not look at the overall picture.

Myself, for example, I am the majority of the time capable of showering myself and walking unaided. However, there are days where I can’t get out of bed. Everything hurts, I’m fatigued, and having a shower is just not possible. Getting out of bed is not possible. The DWP do not see it like this though. If you’re capable one day out of the year, then they see it that you’re capable of doing that all the time. Forget the other 364 days where you can’t move.

So I’ve filled my forms out and sent my medical history and GP letters as evidence etc. Now I wait.

For 6 weeks!!

Until I finally get a letter asking me to go to an assessment in Birmingham. (20 miles away from where I live!)

Hang on a minute. The government is asking someone who is applying for benefits because of illness and mobility issues, to travel 20 miles for a face to face session, where someone who doesn’t have my conditions and probably doesn’t understand my conditions day to day, to sit in judgment of me.

We have all seen the issues surrounding not qualified healthcare professionals doing the assessments.

So my PIP assessment is on the 26th April. The same day as my physiotherapy! So I’m going to have to cancel my physio.

I’ll let you know how my assessment goes.

If you haven’t seen this film already I strongly advise everyone to watch I, Daniel Blake about the injustices of the benefits system in the UK!

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