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Hi, my name is sob15! Looking advice on a pip appeal in NI

sob15 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited September 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA

Appeal date - 2/10/18

Hi everyone  I am currently awaiting my appeal for PIP  in my face to face assessment I was awarded 4 points for both care and mobility but think it isn’t right  I have forwarded this letter via e mail to the appeal service to read my reasons why I think the decision is wrong  just wondering if anyone has any idea if think my appeal will be successful or not


I am sending this letter to say why I am appealing my PIP decision. I can’t write for more than 2 mins without getting unbareable pains in my hand so sending it via e mail instead 

I am appealing as I feel I should at least be offered the normal rate for both care and mobility or perhaps even the enhanced rate of care. 

Without my family’s support who are with me 24 hours a day 7 days a week I wouldn’t be able to cope. I suffer from epilepsy which was well controlled up until the start of December 2017. Now I suffer small seizures practically every week. I get no warning when a seizure is going to happen which is the scary thing for me. One minute I could be reading a book on the sofa with my daughter sat beside me and the next I take a seizure which normally lasts from 30secs to 2 mins. I am petrified I don’t know when a seizure will take place. After suffering a seizure something happens your body that only someone who suffers from epilepsy would understand. You feel as though your limbs are made from lead they’re so heavy to lift, you are forgetful, have a fog that kind of descends on you brain that last for a couple of days. No recollection of taking a seizure other than waking up with someone watching over you asking are you alright and all you can think is not again seriously please.  

I zone out several times a day from 10 seconds to a minute which can be dangerous if I’m in a room by myself. I don’t know I’m doing it either. This along with the lump I have on my foot which is also attached to a nerve is one of the main reasons I don’t go outside anywhere. I don’t go anywhere by myself someone is always in a car park waiting or with me. I’m petrified that I will take a seizure while I’m out or people will look at me limping. One of my biggest fears is taking a seizure in the bath and drowning or the shower and banging my head so thank goodness I always have at least one person in the house with me who’s assisted me to get undressed to wash incase this may happen. I am still awaiting my appointment with the neurologist despite ringing numerous times to see if I’m anywhere near the top of the waiting list but unfortunately the list is very long. 

The consultant I saw about the lump on my foot and the one in beneath the skin on my right hand has referred me for surgery but there’s a risk the nerve could be damaged in my foot. As the lump is so painful I struggle to walk about 100m at a time without having to have a rest the pain is really that bad. 

I constantly need reassurance to go somewhere new even with my family. I can’t deal with strange places, crowds of people, unfamiliar surroundings and things like that. It makes me feel so so panicked that something is going to happen me and I wouldn’t know where I am. I feel really insecure about this so anywhere new or unfamiliar that I go takes a lot of planning and persuading from my family. I get really disoriented in strange places so I very rarely leave the house. 

I do get really down about not being a proper Mammy to my children and that I can’t do anything for them by myself without the help of my family but I really can’t do anything to change this with my conditions. 

I have 2 very painful wrists. My left one has been operated on many times and as such I have no feeling in 2 of my fingers and the side of my hand. I wear a splint every day for support and because I have muscle loss in the arm. I can’t do anything with this arm with the pain I experience 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The weakness means it is more or less useless as I can’t even lift a pint of milk with it. My right arm also has nerve damage as a result of getting a ganglion removed several years ago. The ganglion was deep and resulted in the nerves in the middle of my hand and 2 fingers also being damaged. I have very little power in this arm also. 

As a result of this and the danger with my epilepsy I cannot prepare or cook a meal at all by myself. Either my mother, son or sister prepare and cook all my meals for me. I can’t peel potatoes/veg, lift saucepans, the kettle any thing like that that is heavy. If I attempted to lift a boiling saucepan off the cooker I would end up roasting myself as it would land on the floor or worse I could take a seizure during this. I also can’t use a tin opener, open a sealed bottle or anything like that. I don’t have the strength to pull a ring top on a can to open it, I use a straw to drink my cans of coke when someone opens them for me as some days I couldn’t even lift can. 

Once my family have a meal prepared for me they then may have to cut my dinner into bite size pieces depending on what was being made. Things like chicken fillets , roast dinners, pork chops for example are difficult for me to cut with a knife and fork. 

I can’t lift the dinner plate from the bench to the table cos my hand goes into spasm and also with the weakness in my arms I drop the plate so even pre preparing dinner for me isn’t an option as I can’t lift a plate from the microwave. 

My mother washes and dries my hair for me every couple of days. She also brushes and ties it up for me every morning. I can’t lift my arms to do this without it causing me severe pain. The same when it comes to taking tops off from the top half of my body I need assistance to do that. The nerve pain is so intense. Mammy also assists me in getting dressed in the morning. She buttons and zips whatever clothes I need fastened, closes my belt, laces my shoes and when anything needs undone should it be my trousers to go to the toilet or change into my jammies at night her or someone else if always there to help me. 

I am unable to open child proof bottles, take tablets out of blister packs so without someone sorting my medication into a weekly pill box and leaving the box open in a high cupboard I wouldn’t be able to take my medication. I have alarms set on my phone as reminders as to when I need to take them because of the short term memory problems I have after a seizure. 

On top of all this I suffer from debilitating migraines. I suffer these at least 2/3 times aweek and have gotten worse since my seizures have gotten more frequent. These migraines leave me with double vision, dizziness, vomiting and a sensitivity to lights. There’s always a fear when I’ve a migraine that there’s more chance of a seizure occurring. Some days when they’re really bad I spend the day in bed as I can’t make it out of bed through no fault of my own. 

I hope you consider all these points I have made as I really feel I deserve a PIP award of some kind. Living with my disabilities isn’t easy at all and yes if I’m honest most days I’m really down and annoyed with the hand I have been dealt in life. As you can see without the help of my mother, sister and son I honestly wouldn’t be able to cope day to day with the illnesses I suffer from. My mother really is an angel in disguise and no matter how sore or down I feel she tries her hardest to put a smile on my face. 

As my Mammy is looking after my daughter, my sister has to work and my son is at uni I have had no option but plan to come to the appeal myself. My father will be waiting for me in the carpark but as he’s a COPD sufferer he will be unable to walk the distance into the court with me. This alone is causing me a lot of stress at present having to come to a strange place by myself by I know it is essential to get my claim sorted. 

Thank you for reading this and hopefully considering all my points. 


  • nagillum
    nagillum Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi sob15,
    I'm sorry to hear you didn't get the required amount of points for PIP, I myself have a face to face assessment this week and I can't function properly at all with the worry.

    I know someone who went through a mandatory reconsideration and then a tribunal, the mandatory reconsideration was unsuccessful but the tribunal awarded them enough points for standard rate PIP.

    Apparently it was a judge and 2 others on the panel with 2 others, 1 from DWP and another person, the claimant was allowed someone from citizens advice and a another person for support, it was held in the spires conference centre in Wellington Street /Great Victoria Street in Belfast city centre. It lasted about 20 minutes in total and the judge asked if they needed a break half way through. 
    Please get yourself some further support if you can, I sincerely hope you get the benefit you are entitled to, fingers crossed for you, I know it's daunting but hopefully it all works out, it's disgusting that you have to go through this to get the benefit you deserve, good luck 
  • Sob98
    Sob98 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thank you nagillum. I couldn’t access my other account for some reason. I am terrified about this appeal hearing next week. I have no one to come with me. CAB can’t attend unfortunately and all my family members are busy. Honestly can’t believe it’s came to this as I was entitled to unlimited dla 
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    It's awful to hear of the effect this is having on you. I can only emphasise the importance of you attending the hearing so you can give a full account of your situation and answer the tribunal's questions. I hope you get a sympathetic tribunal chair and that you get the outcome you would like. And if you can access a local advice service that would be all the better even if after the hearing.
    Best wishes
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
    Try and get someone to go with you 
  • Sob98
    Sob98 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi everyone. Tribunal is in the morning and I must say I’m feeling sick with worry about the whole thing. Can’t get anyone to go with me so it all lies on my shoulders. The stress of it all is having a debilating effect on my life. Found out through the appeals service of Northern Ireland I don’t even get the decision tomorrow it is posted out within a few days. Anyone any tips on how to get threw this all tomorrow 
  • nagillum
    nagillum Member Posts: 8 Listener
    HI Sob98,
    I can only imagine how you're feeling right now. I don't have a great deal of advice for you unfortunately but you need to believe in yourself at this appeal, from what you've said it sounds like you are genuine and entitled, hopefully the panel will be able to see this. 
    With regards to not being able to go out alone, I fear that if you are alone that is a point you may struggle on, it would be reassuring both mentally and during the tribunal if someone could attend with you.
    I hope someone will have proper advice for you on here but I sincerely wish you every bit of luck in the world.
  • Sob98
    Sob98 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thanks nagillum. My daddy will be in the car in the carpark as he’s copd and can’t physically walk too far and my mothers phone number is written at the top of my papers should anything happen. Such a daunting experience to have to go through when you are genuinely ill
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,799 Disability Gamechanger
    Wishing you all the best for today, @Sob98!


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