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Relapse remissive MS and the PIP (personal indepence payment)

Hi I am a full time working 33 year old who was diagnosed with MS 6 months ago. I have struggled for years and got branded the “unluckiest son of a b***h” at work due to all the health problems I was getting over the years. Now I was looking at the DLA as it mentions getting help for my disability even if I am in full time employment. But seeing as it’s all changing I want to know if anyone with RRMS has applied and how it is tested etc I pretty much suffer from brain fog on a daily basis and every 2-3 weeks have a period of exhaustion that keeps me in bed for over half a day at a time. I don’t get a chance to sort the tidying of the flat out and my wife works full time and struggles to also look after the living environment when I get these bouts. I sometimes find the energy to move from bedroom to living room but don’t get much further than the sofa. It’s depressing as I used to go to the gym regularly and prided myself on my fitness levels. Has anyone with RRMS applied for the PIP and if so, how did you find applying for it? Am I eligible? I can still walk and if push came to shove I could walk and have never needed walking utilities like sticks and wheelchairs to get about. Work have been supportive as it is a public sector role but I can’t help but worry that even they can’t put up with this for too long with my on-off switch that seems to fluctuate daily. I don’t want to apply just for them to say “no you can’t have this you lazy git” (male pride and all that) Please help if you can I would appreciate it Thanks for reading Billy

Hi,

I haven’t applied either - not out of pride, but simply because it’s not worth all the stress and hassle of applying for something it’s perfectly clear I won’t get.

The tick-box style test is applied purely on abilities (or loss thereof), and not on whatever it is you’ve been diagnosed with, so, in this context, having a firm diagnosis of something that is (a) serious, (b) incurable, and (c) progressive (even in its RRMS form) makes not one jot of difference. It’s only on what you can do or can’t do.

DLA has been abolished, but its successor, PIP, still has two components: mobility and care. If you can still walk unaided OR with a stick, crutches etc. for at least 200 metres, you won’t get anything at all for mobility. The care component is to do with activities of daily living, such as dressing, caring for yourself, preparing simple meals. Housework does NOT count as an essential part of daily living, so: “Can’t manage to tidy the flat” would score nul points - there’s not even a question about that.

For any activities you can’t do, the rule-of-thumb is whether you would be unable to do them “more often than not”. The advice that used to be given was always: “Describe your worst day”. In my opinion, this advice is outdated, and could be construed as incitement to fraud. If your “worst days” are only once every 2-3 weeks, and on those days, you can’t get up, dresssed, and prepare a meal, you still can’t represent that you face those problems “normally” - or a majority of the time. If it were the other way round, it and it was only once every 2-3 weeks that you could get up and about and start cooking dinner, then I would say yes, you have the limitation a majority of the time, so it’s worth claiming. However, I don’t believe you will succeed with a claim based on circumstances that apply less than half the time. I know spending half the time in bed every 2-3 weeks is certainly NOT trivial, for those of us who suffer this (I myself spent ALL of yesterday in bed), but they will only be interested in how you are “mostly”. If having to stay in bed is the exception (even by a small margin), rather than the rule, you’re not going to be awarded any points for it.

I’m sorry to sound so negative. Of course, there is nothing to stop you applying anyway. Perhaps many people will think I am silly not to have tried. But I couldn’t see how I could get anywhere near the required number of points, without grossly exaggerating (aka lying), and pretending things that only ever happen occasionally were a regular thing. If I did that, I might be successful, but I’d have to live with the stress and fear of being snooped on - potentially seen out walking long distances (which I try to do to preserve my range), or carrying the shopping home (there’s nobody else to do it!), and being deemed a fraud.

It does seem crazy that there’s no longer any diagnosis deemed serious enough to automatically qualify for anything! The current eligibility criteria are also particularly harsh on people like us, with fluctuating conditions, who can have severe problems at times, but cannot prove we have them “usually”. Even as frequently as a third of the time won’t count. :frowning:

Tina

Hi, it seems Tina has covered all the angles.

What you could do is google the PIP test and score yourself. No-one will know you`ve done it.

That way you`ll have a good idea about whether or not you should apply.

pollx

I tried the online test and did not score enough points to qualify for anything. People who see me struggle into work every day and sleep a lot when I get home often ask why I am still working so much. When I tell them I can’t afford not to, they always assume I will qualify for loads of benefits thanks in no small measure to the government’s tactics of labelling the disabled as scroungers and responsible for the huge welfare bill that has apparently put the country in such a deficit (nothing to do, of course, with wars, banks etc). The masses really do think it is that easy. If only :frowning:

Tracey x

Couldn’t agree more, Tracey!

Many people still believe MS is an automatic qualifier - regardless how badly you’re affected. They say things like: “But you must get benefits, of course…”

Erm, no. No “of course”.

Even people who can see I manage pretty well are flabbergasted I wouldn’t get anything at all.

“But how can you have anything as serious as that, and not qualify?”

“Just don’t. That’s the way it is now.”

I don’t honestly believe things would/will be any better under the other lot. Unless they think they’re going to find a magic money tree!

Tina

x

I have applied for PIP am now waitin for there ddecision. I am not sure what the outcome will be but thought it was worth applying as you won’t know unless you try. I hav been totally honest wwith my answers and iignored the thought your worst days. I agree that it is not sensible to use that approach. Barney

First of all Billy I wouldn’t let anyone make you feel as if you are a “lazy git”. That is just ridiculous. You are struggling to hold down a full time job for one thing and even if you weren’t working because of your illness you shouldn’t be classed as a “lazy git”

I won’t be applying for PIP til 2015 as I have been was awarded DLA many years ago for life.

I will be applying in 2015 though when DLA is ceased.

I would definitely apply. I was awarded high rate for both mobility and care while I was still working.

Take care.

Shazzie xx

I applied 3 months ago and have yet to hear anything, very much doubt I will get anything but you never know. As for things ‘not getting better under the other lot’ what nonsense, the sooner we get rid of the current lot the better as things with them can only get worse.

I applied 3 months ago and have yet to hear anything, very much doubt I will get anything but you never know. As for things ‘not getting better under the other lot’ what nonsense, the sooner we get rid of the current lot the better as things with them can only get worse.