Thursday, 24 May 2018

PIP success!

And so ends the most stressful game of chicken I've ever played.

Yesterday I had a text message from the DWP which said they had received a written report of my PIP assessment. It took a good while to realise that this referred to a letter which my MS Nurse Kate had written – outlining all the ways in which my MS affects me.

This very morning I've just had a phone call from the DWP, saying that based on Kate's letter I am now entitled to PIP – Standard level award for the Daily Living component and Enhanced award for Mobility.

So completely overturning the outcomes of two seperate applications, two assessments and two Mandatory Reconsideration requests. And obviously halting the tribunal process.

This decision is based entirely on a one-page document written by somebody who has known the ins and outs of my health, almost since my diagnosis in 2005.

If the rationale for this ludicrous and invasive process is to save money (and not, y'know, to harass and victimise the vulnerable in society), here's a way it could be achieved.

Listen to the people who know the applicant.
The health professionals we are asked to include on our PIP forms.

It's not that complicated.

On my last application I included my Neurologist, MS Nurse, GP, Physiotherapist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and two further Community Physiotherapists. As far as I can tell, NOT ONE of them was contacted with regards to my application, despite including full contact details for all.

Seven medical professionals who could have filled in any gaps and confirmed (or denied) the details of my claim form, either verbally or in writing.

Following this a decision about whether a face-to-face assessment was required (or not) could've been made.

I'm not going to question the professionalism or otherwise of those carrying out the assessments. But the assessment should focus on checking the details of the application form and ensuring that nothing has been missed off – that is, if the point of the system is actually to give people the support to which they're entitled.

As far as I know the application process currently goes something like this:
  • Firstly, an application is made and submitted to the DWP.
  • Then an assessment is carried out (by a third party contractor) and the subsequent report is sent to the DWP.
  • Finally, a person at the DWP looks at both reports in isolation and comes to their decision.
It doesn't seem very joined up does it? At the very least, there's little consistency of contact.

As it is, applicants seem to be penalised for the Independence which is purportedly what the Personal Payment is for.

This is opposed to the previous Allowance doled out people Living with a Disability.

As rebranding goes it's a masterstroke of marketing, isn't it? A payment seems so much more positive (and less patronising) than an allowance.

If only people weren't being driven to despair and suicide by this damaging process. 

I know full well that I'm one of the lucky ones, with people supporting me and refusing to let me give up.

After the best part of a year it is such a relief. And proof that with persistence we should all get the settlements we're entitled to - IF we have the strength and can bear to go through with it.

If anyone is reading this and going through a PIP application at the moment, genuinely do get in touch if I can be of any support.

And don't let the bastards grind you down!

1. Bide your time... 2. Keep your nose clean... 3. Don't let the bastards grind you down.


honeysuckle said...

What a relief.
Brilliant news.
Etc., etc., etc....

swisslet said...


stevedomino said...

I didn’t get a notification for this comment for some reason!

Thanks A LOT for your support and advice throughout, HS.


stevedomino said...

gaaah - didn't get a notification for your comment either, ST - thanks as always! x