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Invisible mobility issues and PIP

Griffin Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello All,

Am not sure if I should apply for PIP

I have osteoarthritis and missing cruciate ligament (ACL) - this causes me pain, instability when walking more than 20 meters but I just get on with it and push through.

Am lucky enough to have a desk job that I can sit at most of the days and don't have move more than 20 meters.

I do try and keep moving because I want to keep as independent as possible I have a walk around the museum or shopping centre once a week maybe more if I feel good on the weekend.

I do gentle exercise some days maybe out with friends to the pub, have a dance with the other half or go to a dock sports centre to do recreational kayaking no weight barring.

Technically I can walk further than 20 meters even 200 meters just lots of pain, and I fall over maybe once or twice in a week just gives way.

But if an assessor or undercover looked at me I'd look fine and as if I could do the activity.

Suppose my question is as my condition is very invisible but it does effect me 90% of the time pain, discomfort but I just get on with it, is worth applying?

Be interested to hear comments or if anyone else has osteoarthritis and has been sucessful at PIP



  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    It's how you are half the time, the manner and speed (if it takes you double the time it takes a non-disabled person, you get points) and you must be able to repeat the take in a safe, reliable manner. 

    Also, is that 20 metres before you stop because of pain? Because that's what matters.
  • Griffin
    Griffin Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I don't stop I just grin and bear it,  the pain is high after 3 or more meters, but I just push through it.

    It does not seem reasonable to have pain after walking only 20 meters but am not sure if that is enough. 

    Would the assessor or DM think it normal to have pain all the time when walking?

    For example, if do go to the pub and dance and not drink I can't walk at all the following day due to the pain.

    After a day in the office even though am seated most of the time, and get a taxi to work bus home (easy to get a seat)  I stay in the house because muscles and bones ache and feel fatigued.
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    @Griffin If you check out the PIP points system which it sounds like you have already done you will see pain is not mentioned but of course pain does come into it as this is the reason most people have difficulty walking. The criteria is how far you can walk before you need to stop for a rest. If this is within any of the distance ranges to qualify than you should get points. However the reality is that if you were still doing all the activities you are telling us about within 3 months of your assessment the assessor will ignore your pain and how far you say you can walk and use the other activities you do against you. You are a good example of what is wrong with PIP. It doesn't make any allowances for people who want to improve their condition or even to be the best that their disability allows, rather you have to be as bad as you can be to get PIP and then remain in this state or get worse to avoid losing what you've got in the future. This is only my opinion and based only on my own experience. Other forum members may disagree.    
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger

    I entirely agree with what you have said in your latest post.  You have summed up the position very well.  You only continue to be eligible for PIP at the level you are receiving as long as you remain as bad as you were at assessment or Tribunal.  If your condition improves, you should tell PIP and almost certainly will lose benefit.

    However, PIP have to assess you according to how you have been for the previous three months and are likely to remain for a further nine months.  So, there's no point reporting an improvement that has lasted less than three months.  I would assume that claimants are not obliged to do so?

    And some conditions can go into remissions that can last for months, or even years, and then suddenly revert to being bad.  One day you're in good health the next you can hardly move.  I don't think claimants should have to report remissions as, if they do, by the time they are re-assessed their condition could have reverted to type.  Even if a remission has lasted three months, the next day it could go back to normal.

  • Griffin
    Griffin Member Posts: 3 Listener
    edited August 2017
    @wildlife @matilda

    interesting read and take. 

    I was was under the impression it was based on reliability from what I have read and not simply completing a task - as am sure most in disabled community push past limits to have some life.

    Also impact more than 50% of the year.  From what I read it sounds like an HP or DM would look at in the respect of well if you didn't have that occasional dance with your other half at the pub you'd be able to do things the next day or if you just slowed down a bit didn't push too hard then you'd meet the 0 point descriptor.

    and as such it's not so much the condition it's how you are managing it that is causing the problem.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger

    I started to explain to the Atos paramedic that I had five bad days a week - on average - and her eyes begun to glaze over so I kept it at five days per week, and she seemed content.  A paramedic has very limited medical knowledge and is unlikely to understand fluctuating conditions.

    Proving inability to meet reliability criteria for some activities can be difficult.  Is a claimant pushing through pain after 20 metres to walk 40 metres - or are they easily able to walk 20 metres?

    The Tribunal were much more informed assessors than the Atos paramedic.  The latter didn't seem much interested in reliability and gave me two points for food prep because I used aids.  But the Tribunal gave me four points because, even using aids, on the majority of days I couldn't complete chopping/peeling veg; therefore I needed someone to do it for me.  That my hands are deformed helped, too.  People can't deny visible disabilities.

  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Hi @Griffin

    As you say, 'reliably' is very significant in assessing PIP i.e. safely, within a reasonable time-frame etc. However your actual ability to perform the task is also very relevant, and from my own experience individuals who have pushed themselves and as such remained more mobile as a result (even though they have the same condition as some who simply give in to it) can lose out as a result.

    As for whether you in particular should claim - I'd say give it a go, it's no harm for you to make a claim, but if your disability is not apparent either from physical examination or from examination of your daily routine, then you would be well advised to get some medical evidence about pain and instability if possible.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards,

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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