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Epilepsy and PIP

s_harias_haria Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi, I was hoping for some advice. I have epilepsy and have had uncontrolled seizures for the past 15yrs. I was receiving DLA at the lowest level, and when I applied for PIP in 2016 I received no points. I appealed the decision but it was unchanged. I didn't take it to tribunal as I had no confidence it would be changed. My seizures vary in severity from short periods of confusion to blackouts and usually occur a couple of times a month in clusters over the course of a day with no warning. Due to this I do not cook, iron or bathe without supervision of a family member (I have burnt my hand with an iron, and boiling water while having seizures). I do work and travel on public transport alone as there is no other option, but I do not feel safe as I have had seizures on buses, trains and while walking which would have resulted in injury if it hadn't been for the help of strangers. The seizures and medication have also caused problems with my long term memory and tiredness. I have recently been considering applying for PIP again, but is there any chance I would have a successful claim? I do not really want to go through the stress of the process, as stress can aggravate my seizures, if there is little hope of success. Help!


  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,355 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome, the criteria for claiming DLA and pip are totally different from each other the latter pip is not award on a diagnosis, disability, illnesses or the amount of medications you are prescribed. PIP is awarded on your abilities to function preform reliable, repeatedly and safely the pip descriptors in your daily living activities for most of the time. And any mobility issues you may be having problems with.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    PIP is about how you're affected at least 50% of the time over a 12 month period and you would need to prove that this appplied to you. You said that blackouts occur a couple of times a month but this doesn't qualify you under the 50% of time, at least not for the safety part. However, no one on an internet forum knows exactly how your conditions affect you and we couldn't tell you whether you would be successfully awarded if you applied again.

    You would need evidence to support a claim and this should be relevant to how your conditions affect you.

    People do work and claim PIP but if the work you do contradicts the reasons for your claim then that will go against you.

    The last time you applied you didn't take it to Tribunal but had you done this then appearing in person would have been your best option. If you have to request the MR for any decision then the chances of success at that stage is only 18%, which mean most people have to take it to Tribunal.

    Have a read of this link and it will help you have more of an understanding of the descriptors, what they mean and the criteria.

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,141 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019

    There's a section in the Benefits and Works Guide June 2018 pp16-17 below, which may prove helpful:

    'Safety and supervision
    Until now, the DWP have argued that a claimant can only score points for being unsafe if harm is
    likely to occur on more than 50% of the occasions on which they attempt an activity.

    So a claimant with epilepsy who has seizures twice a week would not get points for needing
    supervision when cooking. This is because they could not show that it is ‘more likely than not’ that
    they will have a seizure on any given occasion when they prepare food.

    However, on 9th March 2017, in CPIP/1599/2016 a panel of Upper Tribunal judges held that the
    DWP were wrong.

    Instead, they said, the decision maker should look at whether there is a real possibility that harm
    might occur and also at how great the harm might be. The greater the potential harm, the less likely
    it needs to be that it would happen on any specific occasion.

    So, if there is a real possibility that a claimant with epilepsy might have a seizure whilst cooking then
    then they reasonably require supervision for this activity, even though the chances of a seizure
    happening on any specific occasion may be quite small.

    They should score points for needing supervision even if they don’t actually have anyone to provide

    In the same way, someone who is deaf may be unable to hear a smoke alarm if a fire starts when
    they are bathing and so may reasonably require supervision.

    But the Upper Tribunal went even further than this.

    They ruled that where a claimant is at risk all the time, then they may also be at risk when carrying
    out PIP activities that do not carry any additional likelihood of harm.

    So, a claimant may not be at any additional risk of harm if they have a seizure when using the toilet
    or taking medication, for example. But, because they are at risk whatever they are doing, then we
    would argue that they still reasonably require supervision during these activities, because they
    cannot do them safely without supervision.'

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    ilovecats said:
    @poppy123456 You might like to know that the 50% time rule does not apply for seizures because of the increased risk of harm.

    Thanks for that. You learn something new everyday.

    Good to see you post and hope you're well?
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,599 Disability Gamechanger
    Search further in this specific forum and you’ll see a long thread on this whole topic, 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,457 Disability Gamechanger
    I transfered from DLA to PIP this year, DLA I was mid rate care lower rate mobility on PIP it went to standard care enhanced mobility, I also have epilepsy, I get no warning of seizures and have 4-5 petit mal every day and 2-3 grand mal per week, I also take 19 different meds which mess with my head,I would suggest OP that you do some serious research on PIP and epilepsy before applying again.
    Good luck
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,141 Disability Gamechanger

    Hi again @s_haria

    Putting this all hopefully together:

    Please look at the link of the 'descriptors' that Poppy first mentioned.

    Then look at the Benefits and Works PIP Guide's section on 'Safety and supervision.'

    Read ilovecats' comments about 'variability' in epilepsy.

    See a previous long thread as mentioned by mikehughescq: https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/64646/pip-and-epilepsy#latest - This, together with woodbine's comments, shows the experiences of at least 3 other epilepsy sufferers, which I'm sure may prove helpful.

    Having looked at all this, I hope you can then make an informed decision as regards PIP, & if you do decide to re-apply, where you may be awarded points.

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @s_haria, how are you getting on?

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