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PIP decision

Hi everyone, hope you are all well.

Rachael had her PIP home visit late September, she was already in receipt of it so this was just a review. They have decided she has no issues and therefore she is not getting it anymore. She fully expected this decision so was not too disappointed. I am not sure what issues you would have to have to get it but apparently her neuro confirmed to them she was fine and the fact that she works 25 hours a week means she is good so no PIP.

Anywhoo, hope you all have a good weekend.

Linda x

Oh dear! That`s bad news, especially as Rachel was already on the benefit.

pollxx

Hi Linda,

APPEAL APPEAL APPEAL!

After reading your message, I was compelled to reply. I work as a support worker in social housing so although I don’t know everything about benefits, I know enough as part of my role is to help people apply for benefits and fill in forms.

I would personally say that you should appeal the decision (but I know there is a time limit to appeal from the date of decision, if you have missed this then you would need to do a new application). I know this is a lengthy process that requires personal strength but I would say from the little I know about you, you have a good case. PIP is not a means tested benefit which means that your income and whether you work is irrelevant as its there to help you with costs relating to your MS such as increased days off sick which result in SSP or increased travel costs to get to appointments etc or paid help from family or friends or even natural led or medical expenses that help YOU manage your MS. You should always fill the form in based on your worst day - i.e. I work, but I also have relapses or days that mean I can’t do anything or have noticeable limitations which affect my ability to provide my own personal care and support and that’s what you need to try and get across to the DWP. I also can’t work above certain hours sometimes which has a strain on my finances. You don’t have to provide neuro reports to them although they can access your GP/Specialist but you will get assessed by a medical professional and need to write your own case…you can even base this on mental health issues such as depression or self neglect during periods of being low if you are affected in this way. I would suggest you appeal their decision or do a new application and Google the ‘PIP indicators’ as this will tell you how many points you get for each section and if you can imagine your MS on your worst days then you can see where you fit into the indicators and give examples to back them up - you ultimately fail for PIP when you can’t demonstrate how you meet the points system, but if you have MS (no matter how bad) then I would imagine you do have days when you can’t do many of those tasks, even if its not every day and you go though remitting and relapsing periods.

I hope that helps in some way. Your local citizens advice bureau or disability advice service can help you with completing forms too.

Ami x

Hi Linda

Ami is right - Appeal the Decision. I work full time, 9 - 5.30 pm 5 days a week - and - I have been awarded the base level PIP for personal care side of things because, as I told the Assessor, I have good days when things are running pretty smoothly but there are also Bad days on which getting dressed turns into some form of Krypton Factor challenge and food is whatever doesn’t come in any form of packaging.

Hi

my understanding of PIP is that you must ask for a reconsideration before an appeal.

a decision maker will look at your claim again and look at whether the decision can be changed.

after this, if not happy you can initiate an appeal.

regards

neil

Hi everyone,

Thanks for replies. I think part of the decision must have been based on the fact Rachael is a teenager and lives at home. I cook and clean, do the shopping, take her to and from work to help her manager her energy and as her mum it is what is expected. If she lived on her own things might be different. There are still days when I have to help her shower, get dressed and even feed her on her worst days. These days don’t happen too often now thank goodness but they still happen, even on a good day Rachael is exhausted and is in bed for 7pm every day. She hardly goes out apart from to work, she maybe goes out socially once a month, this is to the shops on a weekend day which she pays for by spending the rest of the weekend in bed. She is doing so much better than she was when she was first awarded this ie. she was bedridden, could not shower, dress or feed herself at all, could not work or leave the house due to vertigo, sickness and fatigue.

She is also learning to drive and should hopefully be able to drive herself to and from work soon.

I believe because I do everything for her that is the reason she no longer gets PIP.

It is what it is. She has MS, her life is limited, she does not live the life of a carefree teenager, she hurts everyday, she is fatigued everyday and gets a scary treatment every month so I don’t know what more she would have to suffer to get some form of benefit.

Linda x

Hello Linda

I really think your best bet is to contact citizens advice after the weekend and seek further advice, regarding the claim.

Good luck

xx

Hi linda

i think you are mistaken in thinking that your help has precluded Rachel from PIP. Cleaning, shopping etc are not included anyway it is only personal care that is assessed. It does not matter if you get help or not, it’s to do with your ability to perform the tasks independently. I might say that I have no trouble with certain things because my daughter helps me but that would be wrong - I DO have difficulties if I have to do it by myself.

I understand what you are saying that some things are expected of a mum but what healthy teenager is helped by mum to dress, shower and even eat? It would be different if Rachel was a child but she is a young woman and there must come a point when a young woman is assessed as being expected to do things for herself.

With the greatest respect I think you have failed at PIP because you have been too positive and dismissive. Filling in these damn forms is like taking a bath in misery because you have to concentrate on what you cannot do and not what you can. The contrast with your earlier situation when Rachel was very bad must be profound but do not let it blind you to a normal benchmark. What would a healthy person do? Then look at your own situation. If it is different you must stress this both on the forms and at assessments.

I am not a fan of the worst day scenario. It is not helpful to imply that the highest level of need exists ALL the time but if it exists at all you must describe it - in detail.

If you are not already a member please join benefits and work and download the PIP help guides. They will help you get to grips with what is being looked for.

You have one month to ask for a mandatory reconsideration which you must do before and appeal

jane

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The only advice I can give is as others have said, appeal it. there is a website called Benefits and Work that has guides to claiming disability benefits and how to appeal them. It is an excellent resource to have and as a result of what they have taught me means that I have only ever one medical for ESA. Claiming DLA has been too problematic except when it took ;em 6 months to sort out me last claim.

When the time comes for me to have to fill in the PIP as they swap me over from DLA, I for one, will definitely be using this resource to help me claim it. The other thing that I have learnt is that you need to get the relevant medical evidence in with the claim form. If the report is accurate and unambiguous then it is much easier to avoid even having a medical as they have all the medical evidence they need.

Andy

Ps the annual subscription is £20, Definitely money worth spending in my book

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Hi all,

Jane - I think you may be right about being too positive and dismissive as I don’t want Rachael to think of herself as someone who needs help, and I find myself sometimes celebrating something so small that she has done I end up hiding out in the bathroom crying that things are such as being able to dress herself and go to shops needs a celebration at all. She is so limited in what she can do I think for our sanity I have become a cheerleader for everything she does and ignoring what she can’t or maybe not ignoring but pretending it’s not that important as I can do it for her. I don’t limit her by doing things she should be able or can do for herself but when she struggles or breaks down I usually get her laughing about it and make jokes to diminish the impact on her while inside I am screaming at the injustice of it. When the assessor was here I found myself being positive about everything Rachael could do and how as a mum I just took up the slack. I never want Rachael to see herself as a burden to me so when asked about her worst days, we did tell her about Rachael not being able to even go to the bathroom unaided, wash, feed herself but I made sure she understood it was not really a problem for me as her mum I was more than happy to do this for her and it caused me no problems. Rachael can only manage to shower 3 times a week as it takes all her energy and a long time to recover from it that when she asked about showering I just joked that she was a soap dodger.

Thanks Blossom, will check the CAB out tomorrow.

Andy - will also check out the website to see what is what.

I find this so hard to get my head round she has this disease and am so scared for her future that for most of the time I am in denial for the rest of the time I am frozen with fear and anger.

Thanks again for replies.

Linda x