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I need advice please

I have to change my DLA to PIP and I need to know is it easy. I depend so much on my money, is it true I may get less ? We spend so much helping people abroad but what about US! at home in this country

Hi Derekch, I haven’t gone over from DLA to PIP yet… but when I do I will use the Benefits and Work website. It costs about £20 to join for the year… but it’s worth every penny. It has step-by-step guides to filling out each of the benefit forms so that you have the best chance of describing how your MS affects you.

I think you can still get the same amount of money but the form is harder to fill in and they need more details.

You could also ask Citizens Advice to help you with the form.

Also, remember if you don’t get the award you think you should get, appeal. The Benefits and Work website will tell you how to do that as well.

Make sure you send in all your supporting evidence… letters from neuro etc. The more information you give them, the more chance of getting the award you’re entitled to.

Good luck,

Pat xx

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I would second (and third, fourth and fifth!!!) everything that Pat says.

A subscription to Benefits and Work was the best money I ever spent.

Send copies of EVERY bit of supporting evidence you have. Don’t automatically assume that the person reviewing your application will understand MS and will know what you mean.

Don’t be restricted to the spaces on the form - if there is more to explain then explain it on a continuation sheet.

Good luck with your application If you are entitled to something you should get it so make sure you do.

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I recently got upgraded from standard rate to enhanced, and I think the additional info must have helped. I sent a letter from my GP and one from my OT but I wrote to them first and basically suggested what they should write. You have to give your worst case scenario not how you manage on a good day. It’s a demoralising task, but worth it. Each answer you give is awarded points, and you have to clear 11, I think. Good luck.

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I moved to pip from DLA a while back now, and went to my local council Benefits advisors, you have to make an appointment, but for free, they will sit and be your representative, between me and the DWP. The lady knows all the ways they DWP try to trip you up, she prompted me when I gave her my major aids, wheelchair, crutches, stairlift, wet room etc, she was promoting me to remember the little thing like special cutlery and trolley to carry things through, and bed hoist. So basically her job is to help the properly people in need to fill in these forms the way they need to be read if that makes sense. She actually took it and done the majority of it from all notes from our meeting and she interacted with GP and OT and hospital and everything!

I got the decision without appeal, and if it had went to appeal, she would have come with me as my advisor/representative. It’s always worth seeing if your council has a similar Thing?

Polly xxx

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I would like to know how you prove you can’t do something !!

Benefits and work give good advice but wont comment on personal circumstances. Dont bother with CAB, I know someone that has fibremalgia , can barely stand got CAB to fill in DLA for him but he only got lower rate mobility and no care. CAB seems to be a bit of a lottery if you get a good advisor or not !!

I recently changed from DLA to PIP. I had deteriorated significantly since being granted highest rate for mobility and middle rate for help with personal care. From first telephone call to decision was around eight weeks. Having heard lots of terrible stories of people being turned down I was understandably anxious like you are.

We have a charity locally championing the rights of the disabled so I enlisted their help when it came to filling in the form.

Some of the questions seemed irrelevant, more concerned with psychological or mental health issues, but I suppose the form us one size fits all.

I was completely honest about the impact on my daily life. I didn’t have much in the way if professional medical evidence having been discharged by my neurologist three years earlier, but I was able to provide a copy of that letter discharging me. I was also able to provide a report from the community OT who had visited when I was trying to get help to get my home adapted, and a repeat prescription list.

The chap from the disability rights charity advised me that if I was invited to interview away from home, to ring immediately and say I was not able to travel that far.

I attended a face to face interview locally, the questions I was asked were very like those on the form, and the assessor, who in my case was an NHS OT typed the answers straight in on the computer. I attended in my attendant push wheelchair and my husband accompanied me. I took my crutches too.

She began by asking me to describe my day from the moment I got up. Managing washing, toilet, showering, dressing. Preparing and eating food. Hobbies, interests, social life. Was I able to use a laptop and/or tablet and mobile phone. How I got around, whether I was able to use public transport. That sort of thing.

The only physical part was having to demonstrate how I walk - badly, wobbly and slowly with dropped foot. I had to squeeze her fingers and I was asked to put my foot on the opposite ankle and slide it up towards my knee - IMPOSSIBLE! The interview took about an hour and I was offered a form to complete for expenses. I’d only travelled about two miles so I declined.

I hope the process goes as quickly and smoothly as it did for me. Feel free to pm me if you think I can help any further.

Oh, I forgot I was granted the enhanced rate for both mobility and help with personal care, but only for three years. DLA had been granted indefinitely.