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PIP for social anxiety/agoraphobia?

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CuriousPea
CuriousPea Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi, I do apologise if this is the wrong topic for this thread, I'm not too familiar with this stuff.

I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of claiming PIP for social anxiety and/or agoraphobia - how much evidence is sufficient?

I've read it's VERY hard to claim for mental health conditions, as you normally need "overwhelming" evidence, but with my severe social anxiety and agoraphobia my evidence is sadly very limited. 

I had a few face-to-face appointments about it in 2021 with a GP, was prescribed a couple of anxiety medications and referred for talking therapy. However I didn't go through with the therapy as it was over the phone and I struggle with phone calls.

Since then my condition has worsened - I haven't been out in public once, I can't even go in my own garden anymore, or even open the front/back door. Face-to-face appointments with GPs/therapists wont be possible and I'm really struggling to speak on the phone because the anxiety is so bad.

I'm just not sure if I have "overwhelming" evidence for my condition, because of how it makes me avoid talking to/attending appts with doctors and therapists.
I feel like I'm in a catch-22 situation.

Would the appointments I had in 2021 and my anxiety medication prescription suffice?

If there is anyone out there who could possibly give me any kind of advice on this situation I would be so grateful.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,004 Disability Gamechanger
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    Lots of people claim PIP successfully because of mental health conditions and how they are affected. Remember, it's perfectly normal to only read the bad stories on any internet forum because if someone's had a decision they are happy with they have no questions to ask, so we don't hear their story.
    Medical evidence is only useful if it states exactly how your conditions affect you. It's not really needed for a successful PIP claim.
    The best evidence you can send is your anecdotal evidence. A couple of real world incidents of exactly what happened the last time you attempted each activity that applies to you. Include detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequnces were. You should aim for at least half an A4 side of paper per descriptor that applies to you.
    You should expect an assessment which would be either through telephone, video call or face to face at an assessment centre. Paper based assessments are possible but rare.
    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.
  • CuriousPea
    CuriousPea Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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    Thank you so much for your response, Poppy.

    But they CAN reject you based solely on insufficient medical evidence? Is that true?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,004 Disability Gamechanger
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    But they CAN reject you based solely on insufficient medical evidence? Is that true?
    Anything is possible but as I advised you don’t need medical evidence to successfully claim PIP. 
    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.
  • gemmagee
    gemmagee Community member Posts: 7 Connected
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    Hi, I'm waiting on my claim for that exact reason!! I'm praying hard it goes in my favour but who knows. I never sent any evidence and had a phone assessment over 2 weeks ago. As poppy said... anything is possible:)
  • nasturtium
    nasturtium Community member Posts: 376 Pioneering
    edited August 2022
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    Hello CuriousPea

    Like poppy said the best evidence is the evidence that you put on your claim form. If you want to include more evidence to support your claim then you could have a go at keeping a disability/mental health diary for about 7 to 10 days and make notes on the problems you have on those days according to the PIP activities and descriptors. You can use your diary to help fill out your PIP2 claim form and include it as supporting evidence. Another idea for supporting evidence would be a supporting letter from a family member or someone who knows you or looks after you because they see you and know the problems you have. If you request a supporting letter then ask the person who is writing the letter to say how they know you/related to you and how many times or how long they see you or care for you. They need to give there observations of the problems you experience according to the PIP activities and descriptors. You can send more than one supporting letter if you have more than one person who helps/cares for you.

    With regards to your claim being rejected. The DWP can reject a claim for any reason no matter how much "medical" evidence or how little "medical" evidence you send in. If you are rejected then you will need to do a Mandatory reconsideration then if that fails you submit your claim for appeal. The main thing is not to give up. Take it through the system all the way to appeal. Like Poppy said many do get accepted and you only hear the bad stories on forums and the internet.

    To add further... If you are required to have a assesment and you would not be able to have a face to face assesment because of your agoraphobia then you can request your assesment to be done over the telephone. You can include this on your claim form in Question 15 "Additional Information" and explain why you would need a telephone assesment and why you would not be able to have a face to face assessment.

    You can get advice on how to fil out the form from the Citizens Advice Site using this link https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/fill-in-form-pip/

    You can also get more information about PIP from https://pipinfo.net

    Also information on the most important word in PIP and that is "Reliably" https://pipinfo.net/issues/reliably

    Hope that helps
    Nasturtium




    How to challenge a PIP award that has been reduced at Review https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/696285#Comment_696285
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