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How scary is a PIP appointment?(28 Posts)
I have a meeting tomorrow to see whether I can claim PIP. I'm terrified. I know it is going to be a difficult meeting as technically I am not disabled but my health is really affecting my life. I am worried that not only am I wasting my time but theirs too!
I have heard from 1 other person who said that their person who interviewed then was really unfriendly and not helpful. I have just read through the booklet and thought they sounded okay and were non biased. Trouble is I keep thinking about what this person said.
What are your experiences especially if you are not disabled but needed it for health.
On a Sunday? Odd.
My experiences were terrible and I am a disabled wheelchair user who is housebound and mostly bedbound. I scored zero points despite not being able to to anything for myself (dress, cook, walk etc).
As things are at the moment, claiming PIP for anything is difficult. Claiming PIP if you aren't physically disabled will be a tough old fight.
Chronic sinusitis, have had this infection for 2 years, 4 operations, up to London every 4 to 8 weeks to have nose suctioned, low immune system and on immunoglobulin therapy and this week they have fitted a picc line for IV antibiotics. Have missed lots of work, I am contracted to do 27.5 hrs, was on a temp contract for just over 30 hrs but that has been taken away so I now get no help from WTC and I am on my own and on a low income and really struggling to make ends meet especially travelling to London.
That sounds horrible. How does it effect you?
Just doubled checked in case I had made a mistake which I knew I hadn't as they rang me on Friday to ask if I was attending.
It's the luck of the draw I'm afraid. I was terrified before mine, really anxious about it because of the horror stories I had read
and I am "properly" disabled but the woman who turned up was lovely and I was allowed my DP there to support me. It went fine. It was probing and I found it painful to discuss the things I can't do, but ultimately I was awarded a PIP and that was that. I think being honest and factual helps.
Fair enough! I've never heard of one on a Sunday before but it does differ by area AFAIK. In my area they only do home visits!
To be honest it doesn't really sound like you'd qualify. The mobility element is based on walking, so if you can do that, you won't get any points. The care element is based on what you can't do for yourself, such as washing, dressing, eating, managing money, planning a journey etc. If you can do all those things, you also won't score anything.
Daily living is based on Preparing a meal, taking nutrition, managing therapy, bathing, toileting, dressing, communicating, reading, mixing with others & budgeting.
Mobility is based on planning & following a journey & physical walking
Illness that can put me to bed for a week, nose constantly running, blocks at night and really hard to sleep (tiredness), can wake in the night to green muck over my face, awful smell which has a massive impact on work, going out (have become quite reclusive) etc... Affects my ears - intermittent pain, blocked ears that need suctioning, tinnitus, sore throat, ulcers on throat, snoring (when finally getting to sleep) heavily so throat is very sore, ABs causing thrush, sickness, diarrhoea. Cost of travel to London, it's normally 4 - 8 weeks but at the moment it's weekly (£44)
The condition has to impact more than 50% of the time for you to qualify. I don't know how you'd make how the effects you meet the criteria?
You will be assessed against the criteria and given (or not) points. They will then decide from the points which level of PIP you qualify for (or not). From what you have said, it is not clear how your difficulties meet the criteria, but they will ask you questions to determine that.
The actual interview I went to was OK. The person was pleasant and seemed kind. But afterwards, the report did not represent what was said and the interpretation was inaccurate. I had to take it to Mandatory Reconsideration, but then my appeal was upheld and PIP was increased.
I've attended PIP assessments to support my mum (who has dementia) as well as for ESA etc. The assessors were always supportive and I found them fair and understanding. Location was a bit of a nightmare (1.5 hours away on bus plus a taxi for the last bit) but she was always successful. However I'd be quite surprised if you get PIP based on how your condition affects you tbh.
TBH, I am applying for anything that may help me, I've had my hrs reduced at work so not able to claim WTC that I was able to claim for. I just don't know what to do for the best. I've worked with this company for many years and was honestly struggling working the 31 hrs. Reducing my hours gives me 3 afternoons off. At the moment I am not entitled to anything - well that's not quite true, I could get £3 a month off my council tax.
They reduced my hrs due to my health.
Have you looked at the criteria. You need to be struggling with specific daily loving or mobility criteria. Look this up as all the things you mentioned in the thread are not relevant. You need to talk about how your difficulties mean you meet the criteria. The costs you incur are also not relevant.
Remember though that you only need to meet the criteria 50% of the time to it to count. And you also need to be able to do the activity safely, to an acceptable standard, in a reasonable time period and repeatedly. So for example if you could prepare a simple meal once a day but then couldn't prepare any further meals for the rest of the day you should be said not to be able to prepare a simple meal.
If your difficulties are affecting your mental health then make sure you consider how this affects you meeting the criteria. If you have days when you can't get out of bed the you aren't able to get washed and dressed on those days. If that's more than 50% of the time you should get some points there. If it's affecting you socialising and/ or going out you should get some points there.
Do you need help or supporting or promoting by anyone? If so make sure you say so. Do you use any equipment such as a chair to sit on to prepare a meal perhaps because of fatigue.
Are you able to administer or organise and take your meds yourself or do you need help or use a pill box. A pill box is an aid and will get you a couple of points.
Have a look at the following:
Remember even if the assessor seems nice they are not your friend and they are looking to catch you out. Make sure you focus on what you can't do rather than what you can. And remember the Assessment starts Before you even get there they will watch you get up out of your chair in the waiting room and come to the assessment room they will ask you about how you got to the assessment so did you park your car along way away and will quite happily if you have said that you've got problems with your mobility and you've driven all gone to a station and had to walk quite away then you need to explain whether you had any pain and fatigue and/or had to take breaks etc on the way don't assume that they will know that you've had to do that.
Be prepared and remember you can challenge the decision if your app is declined. And appeal if your MR is declined. Most decisions are overturned at appeal.
Have you read the official assessment criteria? If not I would do that ASAP.
Also if you have independent information to support your case make sure you tell them and provide it, as they won't necessarily contact your Dr. So consultants' letters, scan results etc.
I would also covertly record the meeting. Even if you don't need it, good to have.
Don't be tempted to minimise, or to try to be friendly to the assessor, as they will state that you engage well and are able to socialise.
Tbh from what you describe, awful as it is, I don't think you are likely to be eligible. Inability to work in itself is not counted as affecting daily living activities, as they say not everyone works. Hence the importance of reading the guidance.
If your work reduced your hours due to ill health, wouldn’t you get sick pay? If not you may be better off on ESA doing permitted work
“Any job can be permitted work as long as each week you're working under 16 hours, and earning up to £131.50.”
Maybe ask citizens advice?
The actual assessment is no big deal, but keep in mind they'll be watching everything you do, including outside the assessment room.
But expect to be refused whatever happens at the assessment. As former employees confirmed (in another thread today), the Crapita staff are looking for any excuse to deny the benefit. Even if the person you meet would deem you eligible, their superiors will overrule it as it were. And as many claimants have reported, Crapita's staff are not above outright lying to do that.
Essentially, the appeal is part of the application process, and that's the stressful part that the government knows a lot of claimants give up before.
Yes, I agree with Safari. They watch and notice EVERYTHING.
If you make eye contact, they will mark you "down" for it. If you communicate directly. If your hair is neat, your clothes are smart. It was commented on that my nails were painted (my Mum came to the house to do them to cheer me up as I'd been bedridden for three months). It was commented on that my speech was articulate. That there was a book on my nightstand. That I had a television in my bedroom. A bottle of perfume on my dressing table. That my cup had no lid. These were all things that stood against me.
Tbh it sounds like ESA is what you should apply for, not PIP. It's unlikely you will be awarded PIP and certainly not without a fight.
None of the things you have said about your illness indicate you will score any points under the criteria as they are set out.
I'm not saying that to be mean, rather realistic.
I attended with DS and was very worried but it was straightforward, not unpleasant and successful.
And be very careful with the smiling enquiries such as what you do in your spare time. Anything at all will be twisted to portray you as being the life & soul of the party, or able to concentrate for extended periods.
I accompanied my DSis to her interview, and she said that she was no longer able to socialise due to her condition (true), and the interviewer asked if she spoke to the Mums at the school gate. My DSis replied not really, as she didn't have anything to say for herself and that discussing your medical condition becomes boring and repetitive. The report stated that she enjoyed socialising with parents from school.
Same with watching TV - will be twisted into 'enjoys watching TV' or MN 'socialising with others online'.
My DSis' experience was brutal and humiliating. They turned her down first time, and I appealed on her behalf.
The staff member outright lied at various points. That's why I would record it on your phone.
Well its done now, I was so nervous. She seemed nice but who can tell. I was honest with her. Just a waiting game now.