From time to time I see posts from people concerned about the transition from DLA to PIP so I thought I’d share my experience with you.
i have PPMS I was diagnosed in 2006 and was granted the highest rate mobility component of DLA. I had actually been examined by a DWP doctor. In 2008 having deteriorated I was then granted the middle rate for help with personal care indefinitely.
Two years ago I received the letter telling me to ring the number to start my claim for PIP. I had deteriorated further by this time. The forms arrived, I completed them absolutely honestly within the time limit and waited. I’d included copies of letters from my consultant to my GP And one from the community occupational therapist.I was not filled with much confidence when I noticed a spelling mistake on the form! I was called for a face to face assessment which took place in hospital premises less than two miles away.
I had been advised by a local disability charity worker that if they tried to send me miles away to tell them I was not able to travel so far.
The assessor was a female Occupational Therapist by profession so at least she had some awareness of MS and its impact on daily life. She asked me to go through my day, getting up, showering, washing, dressing, eating etc. She went through questions on computer and input the answers directly. Some of them seemed to be the same as I’d answered on the form. She explained it was not her decision. She asked about hobbies, pastimes etc.
The only physical tests were to squeeze her fingers, to place my heel across to the top of the opposite foot and slide it up towards my knee - both legs. Couldn’t do that at all. She asked to see me walk. I try to get about at home on crutches, but with dropped foot and now unable to raise either leg from the hip she was satisfied with watching just a few steps.
i got a letter telling me I’d got enhanced rate for both mobility and help with care for three years. The whole process took about six weeks.
About a month ago, possibly because I’d rung the DWP with an enquiry, I got a letter telling me they were looking at my claim again, another form to complete and another deadline. The form went over all the previous questions asking if it was easier, the same or harder than last time. Mostly it was harder. I got a phone call from a very nice lady who wanted to clarify what I’d said.
She then said she has enough info to make a decision and would be extending my PIP payments. I got the letter yesterday telling me I’d got highest rate for both "ongoing. This took about four weeks. Presumably they’ll contact me from time to time to make sure I haven’t made a miraculous recovery!