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Not sure where to put this, so placing it in familliar stomping ground for traffic...DLA to PIP.

(194 Posts)
OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 15:22:44

So...The Dreaded Letter came through.

I was awarded indefinite DLA about 1000 years ago. Now it's our postcode's turn for The Big Swap.

That 40 page form is horrendous! Also feeling crappy because I'm so independent, and it was headfucking to document- especially in front of DH (he filled it out for me) exactly how much help I need... we usually take the piss out of it (Oh, Orange could get lost in an alleyway, etc). Mentally draining.

Anyway, that's the "woe is me" shite over. Is anyone else in limbo atm? Can anyone give me positive stories about the process? And a ballpark timeline, please? I have all documentation to send off today- how long before the ball starts rolling? (Need to know so I don't trip up over it 😂😂).

What happens now?

Ps, I'm an absolute SWINE for unintentionally drip-feeding, so feel free to flame. Happy to give details etc.

TitaniasCloset Wed 12-Apr-17 15:35:17

My form just arrived today. I'm so stressed out I'm exhausted at the thought of it. Currently laying on the sofa too tired to move. And I haven't even filled it out yet. Why are they doing this shit? I'm so worried I will end up on much less money than I have now or no money at all and need to appeal it. Ffs. I might have a nap. Plus I'm going to have to get supporting letters etc and what if they write the wrong thing? I might have a vodka and juice before I tackle this fresh hell.

StillMedusa Wed 12-Apr-17 15:36:53

We found it surprisingly painless! DS2 (nearly 20, autism, mild learning disability, mild physical disabilities) was on DLA. Ours moved over in November and I was dreading the forms, as he is difficult to categorise... Rainman in many ways...clever in some ways, totally dependent in others (will never live independently)

I sent in his reports (which have all but diminished since post 16) and sent in his Social Services adult assessment and wrote a lot... giving examples of how and where he needed help. I didn't exaggerate, and didn't under sell him...just stated the facts.

To our surprise he was awarded the same rate as his DLA and without a Face to Face assessment..and it's 'ongoing' which is their longest award (actually means 10 years..there is no longer an indefinite award)

It only took a month.

I think that in his case having a social services assessment which showed clearly that he needs help with nearly all activities of daily living and is someone else's assessment, not ours, is what helped.

Good luck... it seems to be a bit hit and miss now as many people have lost their awards entirely but some come out 'better'.

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 15:43:38

Titania do a draft first...so much crossing out on ours! 😂

Still I'm wondering about the ftf appointment myself- I don't know what they could possibly "prove" with it in my case!

Birdsgottaf1y Wed 12-Apr-17 15:44:09

My DDs took months for her assessment and although awarded it, they would only back date it so far, so she lost out on benefit and so did I on my HB.

I applied, was turned down and my appeal took a few months, then was turned down and it's taken a year to get a tribunal date (later this month).

I'm using the CAB, my advisor says that it's anything from three months to a year.

The shock for me was how unsupported I was by my Consultants/Clinic. It was actually said to me that although I've been seeing them monthly and reporting my symptoms, they don't know that I can't walk far etc. I drew a blank when I asked for a physical assessment, even in a hospital based gym.

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 15:50:25

Birds did they not pay your DLA while you were waiting for the switchover/outcome?

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 15:59:46

I do welfare advice.
Firstly, the time line is about months usually. Sometimes a little faster, longer if you need an extension on the form or a home assessment. A month to phone up, 2 weeks for the form to come through, a month to fill it in, a month till the f2f, 6 weeks for a decision and then DLA gets paid for a another month after the PIP decision is made to avoid overpayments. DLA keeps being paid throughout the transferral process.
Secondly, the statistics are quite good. 76% of people on DLA are successful at DLA-PIP transfer at first attempt, 85% if LRC is discounted. 22% are successful at MR and 65% at tribunal. Most people have absolutely no issues at all. This whole furore was supposed to save the government money and generally considered to have resoundingly failed-except for the High Rate Mobility transfer which is fast becoming a bit of a scandal.
Thirdly, please get help with the form. The criteria are quite different from DLA and many of the people who get rejected don't realise that the form requires quite a specific type of language and way of presenting the claimant's disabilities. PIP is a functional benefit and so evidence has to be functional (ie how you are affected day to day). Things like OT reports, physio reports, letters from cpns and support workers depending on your disability. Your area might have a welfare charity or contact Fightback4justice. They have 95% success rate over the last few years, almost 100% success this year.
I hope this helps. I have a lot of experience and am happy to answer any questions.

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 16:02:53

@OrangeIsTheNewPop f2f assessments only happen if there isn't enough functional evidence to reliably place someone into one of the criteria. The thing is, most people's evidence is medical rather than functional and it's very difficult to make a decision on that. For example, for my disability, some people can work full time, some are in wheelchairs and limited, some are bed bound and need care and feeding tubes. The name of a condition can only tell you so much, iyswim.

Happyhippy45 Wed 12-Apr-17 16:03:57

I applied for PIP for the first time in November last year.
The forms are draining. Took me a good while to fill them in.
I did a rough copy in a notepad and copied in from there.
I also made a copy of what I'd sent in.
Unfortunatly I had to go for a face to face assesment where by the assessor made untrue statements about the physical assesment and then put me in the category for "mixed psychological disorders" when the reason I'm claiming is because of MS and Intercranial Hypertension!
Anyway, I went through the "Mandatory Reconsideration" process. Got a letter from my neurologist and got a copy of the health assessors notes. Picked through them and with help from my DH compiled a document highlighting what they had gotten wrong. Not great having DH go through my every symptom with me.
I did get awarded standard rate for daily living but not for mobility, which really surprised me as I thought it'd be the other way round. Not decided yet to appeal their decision this time around. There was loads wrong with the decision makers notes. I just don't have the energy.
Good luck with the switch op xx

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 16:03:58

Thank you! It's for sight impairment, and my condition won't change. It's been constant since birth.

What are the ftf meetings like?

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 16:15:21

It depends. Very mixed-for some people it's fine, others awful. The one I attended with my DH who is autistic was quite odd. She spoke to me rather than him and generally treated him as if he was stupid-but he was awarded enhanced rate care a less than a week later!
For your sight impairment I would suggest it's unlikely that you will have to attend a f2f, especially if you're registered blind. Is much of your evidence functional? How well you can read or see to cook, things like that?

TitaniasCloset Wed 12-Apr-17 16:20:42

I have schizophrenia/ schizo affective disorder and am a bit acrophobic. How tough is it for mental health claimenrs? Is there anything I should know?

TitaniasCloset Wed 12-Apr-17 16:21:44

Agoraphobia I mean! I'm not afraid of acrobats.

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 16:23:20

I have an optcians' report outlining how bad my sight actually is. I have speech software on my pbone etc. I've been officially registered blind since 2001, although I've had it since birth.

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 16:26:56

@TitaniasCloset are you under cmht? do you have a cpn/care coordinator/support worker? If yes, a letter from them, a copy of any care plan, a letter from your psychiatrist, a copy of your repeat script. CMHTs are pretty good at this now. Most mh claimant's get pretty much all their points through "prompting" (needing someone to tell them/encourage them to do things like eating, dressing, washing) and maybe some "supervision" points. Your letter from cpn needs to state your day to day difficulties with eating, dressing, washing, cooking, budgeting, taking meds plus any risk of suicide/self harm/delusional behaviour. Does this make sense?

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 16:31:05

I'm worried about lack of evidence, too. As I mentioned, my condition will never change, so I haven't had to have assessments etc.

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 16:36:50

Orange send a copy of your CVI, a letter from your gp explaining any aids you use (white cane, guide dog, magnifier, text to speech) and what useful/functional vision you have and the most recent specialist report explaining your visual limits. That will be plenty, especially if your vision doesn't change.

TitaniasCloset Wed 12-Apr-17 16:37:19

Yes that makes sense, thank you. I have a cpn and a psychiatrist.

Devilishpyjamas Wed 12-Apr-17 16:41:46

My son's (17 severe autism, severe LDs, severe challenging behaviour, 24 hour 2:1) was fine. PITA as I was about to order a new mobility car then that had to wait and the advance payments went up.

I sent in piles of evidence, told them someone may get injured if they insisted on face to face - it was fine

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 16:43:17

Titania most people I am aware of under cmht have had no real problems. The cmhts are really good at supporting benefit claims now and the dwp seems to take being "under a specialist" and "on the strong drugs" as evidence enough of being "really ill". If you see your cpn regularly then you will have access to good quality functional evidence. If you really think that you can't manage a f2f then a letter from a HCP requesting a "paper based assessment" can be useful. It doesn't always work but is worth a try.

OrangeIsTheNewPop Wed 12-Apr-17 16:43:27

Aha- now this lot I have...although it's an optician's report, not from a gp.

TitaniasCloset Wed 12-Apr-17 16:48:41

Thank you so much for your advice. I feel like crying because I'm a little bit less stressed now. I didn't realise how much this is getting to me. I have a friend who constantly wants to discuss pip because she is anxious too bit she also has lots of physical problems. Mine are just mental health related. I had to tell her to stop discussing it as she was stressing me out.

The old benefits were fine the way they were.

unweavedrainbow Wed 12-Apr-17 17:10:58

Titania, i agree. However, one of the positives of PIP is that it is a lot easier to get Enhanced Rate Care for mh problems compared to HRC DLA so if you don't get HRC already your benefits might go up, I've seen a lot of this. Shorter awards (so, 3 or 5 years instead of indefinite) but higher awards. It still sucks that we have to go though the process though, it's so stressful. I'm still waiting on my transfer letter.

strawberryspice Wed 12-Apr-17 17:19:35

I was transferred from DLA to PIP a few months ago. I went from HRC/LRM indefinite on DLA to ERC/ERM ongoing on PIP. So it resulted in a higher award for me. I get it for autism and MH problems. I am quite obsessive with keeping letters and evidence so I had a ton of things to send off, plus I wrote out detailed answers to all the questions. I was fortunate that the form arrived shortly after I'd had a SS assessment and I'd recently started therapy, so I had lots of very recent documents to show.

Make sure you keep a copy of the form and all the original copies of your evidence. I sent mine special delivery as I left it late for the deadline so I had to make sure it would get there on time and I would have proof it had arrived. It took 7 weeks from sending the PIP2 to get the award (I didn't have a f2f as my psychiatrist wrote a strong letter arguing against it).

HelenaDove Wed 12-Apr-17 18:02:01

DH got his form in Feb We sent it back in early March and are still waiting to hear. Hes 67.

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