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PIPs stress

Having been waiting for my PIPs assessment for nearly 8 months, I’ve now been assessed. Despite struggling with my RRMS, and suffering from some incontinence (I’m still waiting for a bladder scan), using a stick to walk, struggling to remember meds, another relapse in the last few months, and needing counselling to try and help me deal with my diagnosis…I’ve been declared ineligible for support. I’m working part time, but this support was going to help me when unable to walk well or needing to get home when I have flares and can’t use public transport. I feel like I’ve been told “it’s not as bad as you make out it is”. I know I can appeal, but I honestly can’t face it. I feel like I’ve wasted all these months hoping for support that I’m not even meant to have. It’s made me feel very ashamed and burdensome to ‘the system’. Anybody got any advice on how to deal with this?

It is really hard to be declined when you apply for benefit. You have described exactly the reaction most people have, however and I stress this in 10 foot high letters - it’s not that you are not worthy just that you didn’t explain it properly. There is a knack to filling in benefit forms - you have to know what they are looking for and make sure that you describe your condition/symptoms in those terms. You must not give up - the first step is to request a mandatory reconsideration. This can be done on the telephone but I would always suggest putting it in writing so there is no confusion. I would request a copy of the written report upon which the decision was based. It will take 2 weeks but they extend the time limit 2 weeks to allow for it. When you have read the report you can highlight any inaccuracies. It will give you the chance to describe more fully areas that you feel we’re misunderstood or misrepresented. I would also recommend joining Benefits and Work (£20.00 per anum) who have good guides to the appeal process. Access to Work may be able to help with some of your work related difficulties, including transports I understand fully the knee jerk reaction to hide away and not challenge this decision but really you must. The DWP are rubbish at getting it right - 100s of people get the origional decision changed at appeal and there is no reason at all why you can’t Jane

Hi Est1982,

For information. - Mandatory Reconsideration.

You should formally request that they look at their decision again. This is known as a “mandatory reconsideration”. You have One Month from the date on the orginal decision letter to ask for one. ( IMPORTANT -Do Not talk about your case on the phone - only by paper, so you have a record of what is said.)

When requesting a mandatory reconsideration you have the right to ask for copies of all the evidence that was used in making the decision. You can also ask them not totake any further action until you have hadthechance to respond to that evidence.

If you ask for a mandatory reconsideration, theDWP will look at the whole award again. In theory, this could mean that they decide to turn down a claim they previously granted.

Appeals.

You have One Calender Month fromthe date on the mandatory reconsideration notice tolodge an appeal to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). The form you need is the “SSCS1”. The mandatory reconsideration notice will have details of how to get this form.

You cannot make an appeal unlessyou have first asked for a reconsideration of the decision. You will need to attach acopy of the mandatory reconsideration decision to the SSCS1 form before you send it off.

On the SSCS1 form you will give your name and address, details of the decision you are appealing against, including the date of the decision, the name of the benefit, and what the decision is about. You must state clearly why you disagree with the decision. State what rate PIP you consider that you should have been awarded and your reasons for this.

" MY ADVICE" - is to keep fighting and get in touch with your local MS Society, as soon as possible.They may be able to help you , or supply you information for the task ahead.

Yours Andy

Hi guys, Thanks for all the advice; the truth is that the report overview has made me feel like a huge liar. There are lots of “you say you struggle with x but at assessment you seem able to do x”. I’ve spent the day feeling like shit and crying, because of how the report makes me sound. I just feel terrible and sick all the time. I can’t see how going through a reconsideration will make me feel any less shit-and if I’m rejected again, I think it will just reinforce this shame I feel. Honestly, I can’t even handle talking over it again with another stranger from the centre. I wish I could stop feeling like I’m a faker with MS. ATOS are b@stards.

Hi Est1982,

I am sorry you feel like s–t.

But you need to challenge their decision. - Most cases are being proven when it goes to an appeal decision.

If anything, the more who draw out this horrible/horrendous procedure of PIP Assessments, the more expensive and time consuming to the DWP. They will have to cope with all the reconsiderations and appeals !!

Then, Ian Duncan Smith can explain whats gone wrong on questiontime !!

It is already causing them endless problems.

Andy

It’s even more ironic that I work part for a consumer champion that works to represent patient voice in the health and social care sectors. And since dealing with ATOS, I’ve never felt more powerless.

*part time

I found that getting the forms filled in for DLA and ESA at Citizens advice bureau helped tons and i did have to appeal my ESA but coz loads of people are doing ut at the mo the wait was 2 years for me, so good idea to re apply aswell as appealing it was what i did on ESA so rather being without benefit for two years it was one because they saw the state i was in so when i won they back paid the year i missed out on, good luck i am nit looking forward to PIP either

I think a lot of people have been through this (including myself), so we can truly empathise with how you are feeling. It’s not right, but I’m afraid it’s quite common from what I’ve seen/heard, especially if this is your first application.

The benefitsandwork site that Jane mentioned is very good, and has guides to the appeals process. I used them when I received my rejection letter (first application for DLA) and I went from nothing to high rate mobility + low rate care on reconsideration (they looked at the application again).

If you can face it, it really is worth going through their reasons for rejecting you, and if you disagree then ask for a reconsideration. If you have evidence from a health professional to back you up (even if you’ve already sent it) then even better. If you think you’ll be able to get more in writing, then you can put in your request that you’ll forward more evidence as it becomes available.

Please don’t give up, that’s what the DWP are hoping for. They must save a fortune by doing this, while depriving people of the support that they need.

Mags :slight_smile: xx

Hey! First off hunny, YOU ARE NOT A LIAR! NOR ARE YOU A BURDEN TO ANYONE!

There, deep beath taken.

As everyone else has said, this wrong decision MUST be overturned.

I was once knocked back on a claim and got the DART people in to help. They filled my appeal in an I won. Us mere mortals dont always know the rigth words to use, like the advisers do.

Please appeal and dig deep inside yourself for some strength and confidence.

I am sending some across the cyber space to you.

luv Pollxx

Just wondering myself if anyone can help, I am getting DLA low level, applied because could only do part time work, now not working but is it worth the hassle, if its only going to pay an extra (£1 a week,) for instance, if I’m getting say £70 per week now, what is possible? I know it won’t pay all the bills that’s why I tried to keep working a bit,

Sorry forgot to say change from DLA to PIP. Thanks

[quote=“Anonymous”] Just wondering myself if anyone can help, I am getting DLA low level, applied because could only do part time work, now not working but is it worth the hassle, if its only going to pay an extra (£1 a week,) for instance, if I’m getting say £70 per week now, what is possible? I know it won’t pay all the bills that’s why I tried to keep working a bit, [/quote] Hi anon, Not really sure what your question is. Are you wondering about reapplying to try and get a higher rate DLA now that your condition is worse. The difference between low and middle is more than £1 .00 so it’s worth it in that respect. However, depending on where you live if you ask for a reconsideration due to change of circumstances you may be moved onto PIP. some areas of the country would still get DLA until 2015 Are you claiming ESA now you are not working? Jane

Hi Jane. Not claiming anything but DLA it was the point of do I change to PIP, only just read about ESA, can you get that as well as the DLA payment, didn’t need when I could do a bit, self employed, haven’t been able to work drive walk since may, so panicking a bit now. But would rather work again, not sure what to do, think if I phone to ask I will prob loose the bloody lot with my luck. Lol

I got turned down for DLA when I applied in 2007. I appealed it and was told that I wasn’t looking after myself because I “lacked motivation”.

I am now in a total mess. I work full time and it leaves me so drained that I’m not looking after myself or my house. I’m falling further and further down the spiral and I am drowning. I have a house that is so much of a mess that I’m ashamed to have friends visit. I’ve been left so miserable that I am in counselling.

I can’t afford to drop hours at work because I have a mortgage to pay and I can’t afford a cleaner to help me out round the house. I live alone so can’t evidence that I am getting everyday care. It’s not because I don’t need it. It’s just because it isn’t there.

If you get anywhere then please let me know. I am lost.