PIP, DLA and AA
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Suggested for PIP by CAB

JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
edited April 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Hi - Apologies in advance for this stupidly long explanation (I'm a worrier)

I've been on Universal Credit for a while, started working part-time September, but due to pregnancy symptoms in November, was off sick until Maternity started in April. The past 6 weeks I have had awful back pain, which I know is common in pregnancy, but for 3 weeks I wasn't able to leave my flat, barely able to leave my bed it was that bad. I missed university classes, an assessment (which luckily my doctor wrote a letter to the uni to excuse me from consequences for missing it). A midwife suggested it was the baby laying on a nerve in my back. Since then, the pain has changed to constant ache in my back, groin, pelvic area, right bum cheek, right hip and all down the right of my leg and occasionally my left leg also. It is constant and I can't walk around my flat easily, I can't stand up for long and have to sit on a stool to cook, I can't take a shower for longer than a minute and when I had a bath my partner had to help me out.

I'm now using a wheelchair to go out, which my partner pushes me in. Although I can walk for a couple of minutes at the time, I am considerably slower and it's painful with every step. This wheelchair was not given to me by a health professional as they have tended to brush everything off as normal with pregnancy (I know that it is, but it doesn't change the fact that for almost 2 months now I have suffered in a great deal of pain)

On top of this, I have a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and a long term shoulder injury. My anxiety causes problems in any setting around strangers. Public transport, meetings, talking to strangers. Despite being diagnosed with this and seeing various mental health professionals about it, people who aren't MH trained don't believe me because over my teenage and adult life I have learnt skills to pretend and show others that nothing is wrong. But inside my body is heating up drastically, my heart rate increases and after I leave I begin to panic. I do have various medical evidence for this and to show I am unable to get public transport on my own without being at risk of passing out or having a panic attack.

I am however concerned about applying for PIP as recommended by a CAB advisor because my physical problems are new and assumed to be due to pregnancy and I'll just get over it (although I have physio tomorrow to get this fully assessed) and my mental health issues are so easily masked that I worry they will think I'm lying or that I don't really suffer that badly.

My mum who is on DLA suggested requesting they do a home visit with my local centre being a 40 train journey, then another 10 minute train journey, then a walk away from my home and with my conditions, would be severely difficult to get to. Is this something they would consider with my above conditions, as well as depending when they appointment is, I may be days from giving birth or having given birth and in no state to travel. Also anyone had any experience claiming for injury caused by pregnancy when they haven't had mobility issues before? Is my social anxiety enough to be considered for pip?

I also have learning difficulties, outlined by a need assessment for my university and a psychologist report taken when I was 18 - I struggle with written expression, processing complex information and short term memory issues.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

JazCo

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @jazco
    As you suggest, it may be difficult with PIP as the eligibility is as follows:

    You must be aged 16 to 64 and have a health condition or disability where you:

    • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
    • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @jazco
    As you suggest, it may be difficult with PIP as the eligibility is as follows:

    You must be aged 16 to 64 and have a health condition or disability where you:

    • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
    • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months 
    Thanks for your reply Sam!

    I've spoken with my physiotherapist, who said she can recommend long term issues if month or two after I give birth, I still have severe issues.

    After talking to an advisor, I have been told that I could qualify for the standard rate of both for my social anxiety. So I have applied under mental health difficulties only. This has effected me quite seriously for several years so no qualms with timescale at least.

    It was suggested that my partner apply for carers allowance if I am awarded it. But the 35 hours care, to us aren't too clear. He often has to remind me to shower, get dressed and take medication if I am having a particularly hard week. He goes the shops for me a lot of the time because I have moments where I just can't muster up the energy to leave the house. He frequently cooks for me, and I imagine with the birth of our child all of his caring roles will increase. He is always available for emotional support and escorts me to places like the doctors whenever he can to support me. But these are all different days and times.

    He feels like a paid carer role is something more structured and with him working part time he doesn't think it would include the things he does for me that he doesn't even think of as carer roles.

    This is just all such a new concept to us both I have no knowledge of anything.

    J
  • lillybellelillybelle Member Posts: 458 Pioneering
    You are carrying your child on the sciatica nerve. I know only too well as I suffered the same with my first child 30 yrs ago, and there is nothing that can be done.
    i feel for you.
    i also have extreme sciatica pain now due to falling on a bus during a seizure and hitting the windowscreen . I now have a back injury that affects the muscles that caused it
    tbh when I had my assessment she wasn’t really bothered about the problems I have ( again it’s a condition that can’t be seen)
    in fact I told her that I needed help dressing my bottom half. I can’t put tights or socks on without help. But that was dismissed on the report.
      And beleave me they will really play on the fact that you have a baby. It’s disgusting I know, but please be prepared for a hard time.
    i wish you all the best with your baby and your claim
    please keep us updated
  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 368 Pioneering
    To get carers allowance you have to be claiming a disability benefit , you are looking after that person for at least 35 hours a week and earning no more than £120 per week after deductions
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