PIP Applications – Do’s and Don’t and Recipes for Success

PIP Applications – Do’s and Don’t and Recipes for Success

Lots of confusion surrounding PIP and apparent differences in handling on the parts of firstly our MS Consultants and secondly the assessors. Check your entitlement.

In terms of a multi-point plan, here are my thoughts on PIP pass/fail and the best ways to avoid disappointment.

  1. Have a realistic expectation of your actual physical condition, as distinct from the MS label. Do you deserve yet? Really, be honest. Obviously we all want free money but stay objective.

  2. The questions are about the way you live and the adjustments you have been forced to make - the MS label means nothing on its own for the assessment process and PIP is not a substitute for employment!

  3. Are you Progressive (aka “Worsening”) or RR-MS? It’s easier to be assessed on the permanent aspects of your condition, if you have any.

  4. Let’s face it, Relapsing-Remitting MS is not favourably considered under current arrangements, though lots of lobbying going on by MS Soc and others. One can understand the problem. Put yourself in the Government’s shoes: it would be open to so much abuse if an award was made based on worst-case relapse conditions if the pwMS is spending 99% of their life in remission. How should it be policed, in a way that makes it fair to both sufferers and also to tax-payers?

  5. Do you know your EDSS score and how was it built up? Not sure if anyone with MS has had a PIP award with a score below 6.0 - please advise if you have…

  6. If you have a poor or non-useful report from your MS Consultant, have the cheek to ask them to re-write it! Make sure it includes your EDSS score and plenty of “which means that” ends to sentences. A diagnosis or measured score in isolation gives little or no guidance to an assessor who has to assess all sorts of people with all sorts of reasons for applying for PIP. The assessors are NOT MS specialists.

  7. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your MS Consultant or MS Team, then get a second opinion. Start with your GP and get them to re-refer you - ideally to a different NHS Trust rather than just a different consultant. I have changed Trust and so a whole new team. Necessitates more travelling but the care is like chalk & cheese!

  8. When filling out your PIP form, attach many “proof source” documents and reference them. So your reply to question X will include a description by you, followed by a “see document A paragraph N” which may be a report from your MS Consultant to GP, or from Urologist, Physiotherapist, Osteopath, Ophthalmologist etc. Without corroboration from an expert source, it would be your unsubstantiated claim against their guidelines and that’s likely to end in disappointment.

  9. The PIP application process is two stages. The form is part one. Part two is the phone assessment. Make it easy for the assessor who is likely not to be an MS expert. Feed them lines from your application and attachments (so make sure you made a copy before sending it off…). It will give them confidences to put ticks on the assessment report. Fairly obviously from feedback, “Not sure” counts as a No, so be thorough.

Let’s keep this going and build up the knowledge bank!