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Newly diagnosed and struggling with pip forms Help...

Good evening
My name is shelly I’m 33 years old and have recently been diagnosed with newly diagnosed relapsing remitting M.S in April 2021.since April I have had two relapses and am currently off work sick since I first became unwell in March.
I have the forms to claim for Pip but I am unsure if I should even try and make a claim or not as I am hopfully due to go back to work on a phased return basics and am nearly back to my old self, however the last few months have been financial difficult as I have only been receving SSP and my worry is if I have another relapse this may cause me to be off work again and cause more financial distress.
Looking through the forms it’s freighting me as I’m not sure how to word or fill in correctly the form has to completed and returned by the 8th August. I’m not sure where to start is there any help or advice any one could give me
Thanks
Shelly xx

Hello Shelly

Welcome to the forum. I hope you find it a friendly and useful space.

The world of MS is tough to get your head around. Being newly diagnosed takes its toll on you mentally and emotionally; that’s without getting over physical problems.

However, the world of benefits is another minefield altogether.

PIP is designed to help people who have mobility and / or personal care needs. The forms are long and complex. The rules are tortuous. And that’s if you have a background of working within the benefits system (ie, like me!).

There are a few things you can do to a) decide whether you are likely to qualify at all, b) figure out what the rules are and how you might fit into the framework, c) some useful sources of information, and d) how to complete the forms and what evidence you will need.

First of all, have a look at Check if you're eligible for PIP - Citizens Advice Here you’ll find some basic rules. If you read that first page and decide you won’t qualify just now, keep it in your mind for later.

If you are going to make a claim, have a look at and consider joining https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ It costs about £20 for a year but it’s worth it. They have brilliant guides for members only.

Benefits and work also have a free PIP test for you to work out if you’ll qualify. The way the PIP system works is that for each component (ie mobility is one and personal care is the other), a list of ‘Activities’ has been drawn up. Within each activity are a number of ‘Descriptors’, you score points depending on where you fit in to each descriptor. You have to score 8 points for the low rate for each component and 12 points for the high rate.

Many people are turned down for PIP, but huge numbers win on appeal (or the preliminary stage to appeal - mandatory reconsideration). The way to approach each section of the form is to really think about how you fit the descriptors and try your best to explain it so the benefits assessor gets a good understanding of what your life and illness/disability are like.

People often suggest that you should: describe how you are affected by your illness ‘as if it’s your worst day ever’. I disagree with this approach. If you write as if it’s your worst day, then you have to have a one to one assessment and you’re having a better than the worst day, the assessor is likely to think you’ve exaggerated everything you wrote.

The last and very important thing is to get written evidence of how your illness affects you. This can be copy letters from your neurologist, a letter from your MS nurse, copy letters from any other health professionals you see (eg physiotherapist) and any other written evidence you have.

Whatever else you do, when you have finished your claim, photocopy it, sent it recorded delivery and be prepared for a physical assessment.

Good luck.

Sue

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Its great having someone on here who knows what they are talking about with benefits @Ssssue

Firstly Shelly really sorry you have been so poorly but good too your on the mend.

For what it is worth…the PIP form and arena is a minefield and hugely stressful. its not necessarily the way to put more money in the coffers IMHO, as one can be refused and the toll it takes both physically and mentally can be very hard.

Before you start look at our outgoings first and see if you can make savings on stuff your paying out.

Its amazing what you can save. when i went off long term sick i actually was better off. I wasnt using petrol to get to work, didnt need to grab lunches which were costly, and had more time to shop sensibly lol.

back then it was DLA. PIP stands for Personal Independance Payment.

How independent are you, do you need help showering, personal washing, cooking, food and nutrition, taking meds etc etc.

Mobility. Can you plan a journey? How mobile are you how far can you walk unaided before appliances etc etc.

take the PIP test i tell everyone to take this test it gives you an insight into what they are looking at.

its changed in the time i applied and i feel its got harder.

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/pip-test

Also make sure your not missing out on other benefits ok.

Check for any insurances your paying out like appliance insurances, Paypal make sure there are no rolling payments from companies your not aware of it is suprising how many people have no idea what payments are going out. We helped a lady yesterday who didnt understand why her money was depleated and she showed us her bank statement she had 5 different appliance insurances going out. we found out 1 was for an old washing machine, she had 2 on the new one, and 1 on old T.V. and 1 on new t.v. the older ones were still being collected.

sorry i digress but just keep on eye out on your outgoings it all helps. I dont have a T.V., i just watch a bit of Amazon at night for an hour. i have no interest in T.V. that saves me a lot of money lol.

anway with PIP you need PROOF. every bit of paper you can find, physio reports, doctors, care supporters did you go into hospital for relapse paper work is really important.

I had mine filled in from age UK and it was a lady who used to work for DWP. it wasnt about worse day but ALL my days. each one being slightly different then the other. I even took photos of all my appliances and wrote why i needed them.

I had a supporting letter from my MS nurse who was amazing and she even helped me move into sheltered.

Try PIP why not but do it with no expectations. Then if you get turned down, you go for a mandatory request etc, and some people do get it on that.

I hope you continue to improve. xxxx