Be aware !!
Hi everyone, I really wanted to share this with as many people as possible as what has transpired this week for me with regards to my pip claim. My journey from the DLA to PIP started in May of this year when i was invited to decide if I wanted to see if if i could claim PIP . After several days i decided that yes , id like to try . The first point of origin was to call the 0800 number they give n if my memory serves me right i had to have my details, my bank account and my GP's and consultant details . I just want to clarify that upon giving this information that I was led on that phone call that the health professionals ive got dealing with me would be contacted with the start of my PIP claim. I received my 'how my disability affects me ' form with only a few days to fill out before the cut off date ( as they send ALL our correspondence mail 2nd class to us ) so I didn't have time to get in to my CAB for some assistance to word it all properly. It was around 4 weeks later I got my appointment through for my face to face assessment, not going to lie i lay awake for two nights before my appointment worrying about the journey and the actual meeting itself as it is for so many of us the unknown! I had no one that day that could attend my appointment with me n rather cancel n possibly lose money ( as in a letter from ATOS/CAPTITA/MAXIMUS it states those on other benefits may have their benefits stopped!) I reluctantly went, now here's what ive found out for those that haven't got to this stage yet , those ' health care professionals ' are told to 'informally observe' us . Which in laments terms means watch us walk into our appointment, they look for how easily you can walk , they note down how far it was ect n it's actually THAT information they all use on their assessment, now going back to the beginning of my journey i told you that id given GP , CONSULTANT details ect . At the face to face i was also led to believe that the DWP had medical information about me , I found out that this in most cases is a complete lie ! In actual fact NO information is gotten from anyone, it is in fact YOUR responsibility to provide up to date information regarding your own health ect. In only rare cases do the PIP assessment actually request medical information, they do not write to anyone who can collaborate your evidence ect. In fact it is your 'how your disability effects you ' form that marks you for the precious points! And unfortunately if you're like me that has got adaptations to help you cook n I mean that in the loosest of terms , or can pull yourself up out of bed or bath bar to be able to sit under a shower n easy clothes to put on , then im terribly afraid you will not get ANY points whatsoever! Also definitely, definitely ask for the health care professionals assessment on the day as mine had dates that were wrong, apparently no significant pain relief was observed ( id taken pain relief as id got out of my car as I knew that id have to do something in regards to a physical medical) . To add insult to injury my motability letter came before my actual decision, to which caused such distress as i cannot walk the desired 2 or 3 bus lengths very well at all and also to inform you that the 'reliability criteria ' that is set out in government guidelines isn't being used correctly. Look it up , it states that we have to be able to walk that criteria every day and in all weathers and situations. How can that be at a face to face ? They see us in an appointment for what is normally around an hour! So my advice to all the lovely ppl just about to start your journey, don't be fooled by all the lovely ppl behind the phones, nor the what seems to be pretty basic form they send out. Inform your GP , CONSULTANT ect that you need up to date information about YOU, go to CAB n get help filling out the form , take someone with you to the face to face and definitely challenge your award if like me you are ill n got not one single point! I've now as of yesterday started to appeal , after a very lengthy phone call to the PIP department manager i raised my disbelief and concerns to he's sent a MR email to said department, he was quite abrupt and im unsure whether im to fill a form in ect ? However after looking in the CAB website it tells us to put everything in writing that im opposing, this will be attempted over the weekend now n also on Monday morning im straight to my GP about getting a statement from him n my Nuerologist. I've got until the beginning of September to get the information in for my supporting evidence. Which I really think is so wrong because if the DWP had been upfront from the beginning i would have gotten all information, including up to date information, and secondly they should have been honest about it actually being us that had to get our medical information too . Apologies for waffling on but be aware n don't make the same mistakes myself and probably lots of other ppl have made thinking that the PIP process is the same as the old DLA process!