I am currently receiving the standard rate of PIP for help with daily living needs, however, I always get confused with understanding and explaining my mobility problems due to the nature of MS. As most of you understand, if not all, MS can work like an on/off switch. This is how it is for me anyway. I can walk for a short while with a stiff leg and mild discomfort, but after a certain distance my symptoms intensify and I cannot walk without having a rest due to paralysis, pain, foot drop and balance problems. However, I know the PIP form asks the classic question “how far can you walk”, and I answer truthfully, as sure, I can walk more than 50m after having a full night’s sleep. But if you was to ask me that question after walking to the corner shop, my answer would be “I can’t put one foot in front of the other”. So, how do I answer this question?
The first time I answered as if I’d just got out of bed and for that reason I was not awarded the mobility component. But now, when I’m outdoors and my MS symptoms kick in, I could cry as I’m falling over and am in severe pain, yet let me sit down for half an hour and I could walk a little further (although it would still be uncomfortable and I wouldn’t be able to walk far).
Also, there’s the added issue of the medical examination. I’ll walk into the office near enough able bodied as I’m not in a wheelchair and I have both legs, but if I was to exercise before hand it would be another story. This illness is so annoying as in trying to prove disability. Maybe I’m being ungrateful because I can initially walk 50m, and hence, I don’t qualify for mobility, but it seems unjust that I am considered of equal fitness to a person without MS who can walk for miles.
Thank you for listening.