Variable conditions are hard to describe on benefit applications. Many people talk about describing your “worst day” and I think that you should absolutely do that BUT to imply that your “worst day” is a 24/7 situation is to lay yourself open to all sorts of problems. If you describe a day with horrendous symptoms and get called for a medical on a “good day”, at best it will seem that you have gilded the lily at worst it will look like fraud.
The thing to do is describe your worst day in all its gruesomeness (forget the swingy bit of space they give you and go onto an extra sheet) but clarify it by describing where things are different on a “better day” Don’t say “good”. I’ve not had a “good” day since 1994. PIP actually clarifies variability better than other benefits:
If a symptom appears only once during the day it is considered to be evident for the whole 24 hours (This is good for variable fatigue)
The other figure seems to be that a symptom (descriptor) should be evident for 50% of the time. The time , I think, is 12 months.
So it’s up to you to say how many days a week/weeks a months/ months a year that worst case scenario exists. If the worst symptoms are not predictable (which is I’m sure the case) describe how you have to make plans and adjustments to accommodate your MS so that even on those “better days” your life is not normal. Can you live a normal life? Think carefully when you answer those boxes. Can you do things because you have found ways to do them or do you do them like a healthy person? The other important factor in PIP is reliability. If you cannot do the activity:
-Safely–in a fashion that is unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person.
-To a necessary and appropriate standard–given the nature of the activity.
-Repeatedly–as often as is reasonably required.
-in a timely manner–in a reasonable time period.
Then you are classed as not being able to do it at all
You mention in a later post deciding to apply for ESA instead – don’t do it instead do it as well. Just keep in mind that the two benefits are quite different although some of the questions seem similar. ESA is only concerned with activities that are relevant to the work place (sitting, standing, carrying things etc) whilst PIP is looking at how you live your day to day life (bathing and dressing etc)
Catmummy – I can lift both arms over my head and I am in the ESA support group. I score maximum points for walking (or lack of) and continence, neither of which are affected by the movement of my arms. If you can score a total of 15 points on other descriptors you should appeal that decision. If you are able to do one of the descriptors it does not preclude you from scoring points on the others. If less than 28 days have passed since your decision letter you can ask for the decision to be looked at again.