Hi All, Hope you are all doing as well as can be expected. Given this heat. The day has come. The dreaded Pip letter. Could anyone please give me some advice on how to proceed. I had to appeal my DLA first decision. So I am not expecting this to be easy. No wonder I am already rattled ! How dare we have to fight for money to help us. Money we have paid I all our lives… Any help greatly received. Good Night All. X
get help from welfare rights, CAB, DIALS or similar.
i had help from welfare rights.
the lady who helped me was wonderful, although when i first met her i thought she looked a bit too much of a drip.
i’m so ashamed of that now.
she didn’t write my application for me, just dropped hints when i wasn’t wording it right.
such as, can you give a more detailed explanation of why you feel x.
i replied that i had already gone into detail on why i felt y.
i learned that you have to keep repeating the information.
basically assume that they don’t have a brain!
i was turned down and sent a request for mandatory reconsideration.
they sent me another application form which was also rejected.
i wrote to them saying that i disagreed with their decision.
they replied that it would have to go to tribunal.
by this time i was a nervous wreck and rang her at the last minute to say that i just couldn’t face going to a tribunal.
she asked for my permission for her to represent me, which of course i agreed to.
the tribunal accepted the same information that the DWP had rejected twice.
i got my full benefit reinstated with back pay.
so fight it anne.
you are in the right, fight it and win it.
Specific advice is hard to give and not terribly useful I think. But here are some general guidelines:
- Learn the basic rules, even if you find it difficult, get an understanding of where you score points for mobility and care. Have a look at Personal Independence Payment - Citizens Advice and perhaps https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/Migrated_Documents/adviceguide/pip-9-table-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf Even if you do have help, you need to understand where the points come from, this will help with a face to face assessment.
- If you can, get help with the claim form, from the CAB, the councils welfare rights department or some other welfare rights advice service. Whatever they say on the claim form, make sure they’ve covered all the points you think they should, don’t over exaggerate and that you agree with everything they’ve said. (I had my MS nurse help me fill in my original DWP claim; I didn’t think she had included enough examples to illustrate what I was saying, plus there was one point that I thought she was exaggerating. I phoned the DWP, got a new form, did it myself and was awarded the full amount for both care and mobility.)
- If you don’t have help, consider joining https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ They charge about £20 for the year, but it’s worth it, because their members only guides are excellent, up to date and accurate. If you take your time, follow their guide, do it over several days, either type your answers or write them in rough first, read it through carefully and edit it, it is possible to do it for yourself. Make sure examples are included of what you can or can’t do and why.
- Remember that for each activity, you need to be able to do it safely, reliably (ie that you’re not wobbling all over the place, taking forever to do something, or a danger to yourself or others) and repeatedly (this means that if you can walk 20 metres, do you need a long rest before doing it again? Or if you can wash yourself, maybe you can’t do it everyday because it’s too exhausting.)
- Evidence is absolutely key. Whatever you say on the claim form, you should be able to back it up with written evidence. This can take the form of letters from your neurologist, MS nurse, bowel and bladder nurse, physiotherapist, your GP or any other professional you see regularly. Or reports from the same or a care plan from the council or your GP. Even personal letters from carers who you rely on for help.
Good luck with the claim.
Great advice from Sue,
I keep a diary of symptoms, appointments and their outcome, e.g. fitted for a FES, one weeks trial no good and reasons why. I photocopied pages and included those.
They don’t like copies of appointment letters though they prove nothing.
My left hand sometimes can’t straighten so took a photo and sent it.
Receipts for equipment I’ve had to buy and reasons why- bath step, rubber handled knives, perching stool, kindle (can’t hold a book) card holder for playing bridge etc.
I just threw everything at them.
Hope you get the award you deserve.
Excellent points Jen. I’d forgotten to mention that you can send photos as part of your evidence. So I took photos of my wetroom with shower chair, grab bars etc, and bedrail plus walker showing how I stand up and lean on a walker so Mr Sssue can help me dress. That kind of thing.