Help and advice needed please

Good evening all.

My sister in law was diagnosed with MS in 2009. She is active still but when she has a relapse it knocks her for six and I have witnessed several times when she has been curled up in the sofa unable to move. She is active to an extent but can’t walk too far before she is flagging and really struggling.

She was knocked back by PIP a few years ago as she is able to still do most tasks in the points score however she really isn’t coping to well. She was made redundant from a part time job a couple of years ago and is currently working 12 hours a week. 3 hours over 4 days.

Her MS nurse is useless and doesn’t offer any help or guidance and she is now in a financial crisis only earning about £100 a week.

Is she entitled to any help or financial support? She is mortgage free but cost of living, food, bills etc outway her income.

any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

tell your sister to get in touch with welfare rights (usually based in the town hall) or CAB and ask them for help.

they can help her to appeal the PIP decision and have loads of knowledge about the benefits system.

the self care components include questions on eating including “are you able to make and eat a nutritious meal”, well yes if i could afford to buy the food!

when they send her another PIP application form, as they will if she appeals, welfare rights/CAB can and will help her.

www.benefitsandwork have a helpful guide that costs £20 but by all accounts is worth every penny.

so get her to make an appointment with welfare rights asap.

wishing your sister good luck and better health.

Hello Dave

I suggest your sister-in-law reapplies for PIP.

This time do it differently. If you see the PIP points table:

She should think about each of the activities in turn, consider which descriptor fits her best. But she needs to consider that she should be able to do each activity reliably, repeatedly and safely. This means for eg, she might be OK to walk 50 metres, but does she stumble, or fear falling, can she do it again immediately or need to rest, does she stagger? She should do the same honestly and carefully with each of the Daily Living Descriptors too.

Then add up the points total. If she scores at least 8 by her own honest evaluation (or does it together with a good friend who can help her evaluate her capabilities), for Daily Living and/or Mobility, then she should reapply.

But, she needs to be able to a) write the information down in such a way that the assessor understands her capability, and b) prove it by means of written evidence. This could take the form of letters from neurologist, MS nurse, physiotherapist, OT, anyone who can write a letter and state exactly how she meets the criteria. She could also attach photos of aids and adaptations within her home, showing how she manages to live.

She should approach it by thinking in terms of helping the assessor understand her MS and her life. So not assuming that the assessor is an adversary, but instead like they are working cooperatively to work out where she fits in the PIP table.

For help with this, she could get assistance from the CAB, or look at their guidance: Personal Independence Payment - Citizens Advice or consider joining Their guides cost money, you have to become a member and that costs about £20 per year, but they are excellent and very helpful.

Best of luck to her.


She should be able to apply for Council Tax relief.

Again, the CAB can advise on this, or contact your local council directly