Embarrassed if i can or should claim :( — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

Embarrassed if i can or should claim :(

Lr1234 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello everyone, i hope this is the right place to post this but i'm looking for advice if i do or can qualify for help.

I'm 29 self employed male who i would describe themselves as just a normal bloke. I dont think i've claimed anything of the system ever but the last few years have built up to where i feel awful. Health and mental wise.

I wont dive too much detail but short summery of what I suffer with is essential tremor (since i was 16) and its gotten worse to the point some days i cant even text or eat with a fork properly. Asthmatic, Have really bad IBS where somedays if i eat i have to run to the toilet within minutes (sorry!). i'm b12 anemic which causes fatigue and i've just finally started injections. Suffer with severe stress and now depression after caring for then losing some loved ones the past few years also to top it off Covid almost killed my business as the goverment in all their wisdom barred Company Directors from meaningful support. Then the cherry on the cake is i now have Alopecia Universalis (Full hairloss everything from top to toe).

Of course this has absolutely killed my confidence and motivation to do anything. Leaving the house is impossible without a hat and phone for my anxiety. Somehow i still manage to keep my business going with help but i'm missing alot of work due to feeling bad.

I feel a huge amount of embarrassment trying to talk to my gp & social prescriber about this. Even typing this i've gone to delete it multiple times. I was recommended to try calling pip to get some help till i'm back on my feet but i dont want to pick up the phone and they laugh at me not being disabled. I dont even know how to start as my gp isnt very good and i have no idea what evidence i can provide.

Does anyone else experiance the same feeling? Do or should i contact Pip as i'm struggling but not sure i even qualify? Is pip even the right place to find help?

Many Thanks and look forward to any advice!


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,593 Disability Gamechanger
    PIP isn’t awarded based on any diagnosis. What they consider is how your conditions affect you against the 12 PIP activities. 

    It wouldn’t be possible to tell you whether you would qualify because no one knows exactly how your conditions affect you.

    The best thing to do is do some reading of the descriptors and what they mean and hopefully it will give you a better understanding. From there it will give you some idea whether enough points could be scored for an award.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello and welcome @Lr1234 and well done for reaching out, thank you for sharing how things have been for you. I hope we can help support you :) 

    I think there is a lot of pressure on people to be doing certain things and appear a certain way, and disability can feed into this too. I think a lot of our members might be able to resonate with the feeling of 'not being disabled enough' for something, or to claim certain benefits. 

    And indeed, as someone who has been living with CP my whole life, I wasn't always happy identifying as disabled. There's a lot of stigma around age and disability too. Talking about ourselves in terms of having a disability can be hard, but most importantly, it's down to each of us how we choose to identify, and it's valid. For more on this you might find Scope's page on talking about disability helpful. 

    It sounds like you've been through a lot recently, is there another GP you could speak to about how you've been feeling, and about the dip in confidence? You can get a referral for mental health support, and you can also self-refer, without having to speak to a GP.

    If you'd like help with applying for PIP, you can call or email the Scope Helpline, or reach out to your local Citizens Advice too. 

    If there's anything in particular you'd like more help with, you're welcome to post here too, of course :) It can be pretty daunting if you've never applied to PIP before, but we can help support you, if you decide that's what you'd like to do. 
    Online Community Coordinator

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • flour
    flour Community member Posts: 65 Courageous
    edited May 25
    Hi @Lr1234

    It sounds like you've been though the mill and despite that still managed to be self employed and run a business and you must not be embarrassed or ashamed about where you find yourself now. Asking for help is the hardest bit and you've done that already on here and a very warm welcome too.

    You have paid tax and national insurance. The clues in the name 'insurance' just like any other insurance policy now it is time to claim on that policy.

    The claim will give you benefits and theres a few you should look in to beyond just PIP.

    If you have the strength to, please call your local citizens advice and have them do a full benefits check as there is plenty more out there available to you. 

    Off the top of my head I can think of New Style ESA possibly with Universal Credit as well as council tax reduction.

    ESA (+ UC)
    The new style ESA you can claim if you've paid your class 2 NI for the 2 previous tax years ending 22 and 21 through self employment. But it may be complicated if, as a company director you haven't had SSP from the company yet through Class 1. Or if the company can pay you SSP. Or if you haven't been paid enough from the company to qualify for SSP.

    Theres some useful information here

    Because it may be more complex I'd give citizens advice or another welfare rights organisation a call. They will be non judgemental and open to helping and can work out the intricacies of being a director and claiming new style ESA. They won't be bothered that you're a director.

    You should also claim UC if you can. Citizens have a dedicated department called UC help to claim, who will tell you if its worth claiming (because its means tested unlike ESA).

    I would look in to ESA and Universal Credit as soon as possible as they will start paying out a lot sooner than PIP. ESA and UC are 'income replacement' benefits which have to pay out by design to support your day-to-day living expenses and money will be paid in around 1 month.

    PIP on the other hand is the 'extra costs of disability' benefit which means it does not have to pay out immediately. You could be waiting 9 months before getting any money from PIP.

    If you dont want to call PIP you can claim by post by sending a letter with your name and address and NI no. to PIP new claims and deal with them by post  (it takes longer this way but can be easier than calling if your not up to it). Their address is Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.

    Phone calls
    You can also claim ESA/UC mostly online if you prefer to. A phone call may be needed to verify information. Later on you may need to go to an interview about your health but if you're not well enough to do the interview the DWP have to do it by paper instead (being unwell includes mental health). Citizens Advice can support you with this. Some people find dealing with the DWP too much for their mental health completely and welfare rights organisations such as Citizens Advice act as a go between if you've given consent.

    For evidence for both ESA/UC and PIP it mostly comes from you when you fill out the forms. Not long letters from your GP. Lots of people keep diaries as well which can be invaluable and send them in.  The forms will come in the post later on after you've applied.

    Council tax
    Call or write to the council and ask about council tax reduction.

    Hope this is helpful and take things bit at a time, you're dealing with a lot as it is. The best thing you can do is slowly start the wheels turning with the DWP and get things in motion by making that first contact with them. Then you'll be waiting to hear anyway so can have a break afterwards. Plus, when they do owe you money they'll pay it all the way back to the date you first claimed.

    If you've any questions please feel free to post on the thread. 
    Remember that people come on to this forum who may be in a vulnerable state and kindness goes a long way. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
  • Lr1234
    Lr1234 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi everyone and thanks for the warm welcome.

    Thanks for all the advice and kind words too, I've been reading and looking into alot of things.

    I took the plunge and rang pip after another unhelpful conversation with my gp surgery.

    I couldn't of got through to a nicer guy who listened and advised me really well. He believes I've got a good case for pip and has started my claim especially with my tremors being as bad as they can be.

    It makes a difference when someone who deals with multiple cases day to day listens and helps. So fingers crossed I can get alittle support to help me even if it's just to get back on my feet. 

    Journey starts today so fingers crossed for some good updates 😊 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    Hey @Lr1234. Thank you for reaching out to us and keeping us informed. That takes a lot of courage! 

    Really glad to hear you managed to get through to someone supportive who listened and advised you really well. How are you feeling about the idea of applying for PIP at the moment?

    Listening and helping are more powerful than most things! Hopefully, you can get some support to at least get you back on your feet.

    Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, wish to talk about this further or if there is anything we can do to support you  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.