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PIP Claim, Should I bother making it at all?

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I've been on benefits due to health issues for quite a long time now,

I was on Incap Ben until Oct 2013 when they moved me to ESA and that's been static since then.

Not had any kind of increase in 4yrs.

 

In 2014 I finally had a diagnosis of one of my health issues that had been ignored for years by doctors...

Dismissing my issue as weight related when it was in fact a condition called Spinal Stenosis...

which is 'made' worse by being overweight.

 

This explained the shocking spasms in my lower back which could turn my legs to jelly and make me slump to the floor at any time and I couldn't walk more than 20-30yrds without getting one.

 

Since then I have lost over 140lbs

 

the condition has remained and not gone away as previous doctors claimed.

I have also been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees which is further impacting my.

 

the small increase in the distance I could walk has been decreased again by limited movement and pain in my knees.

I've also got early stages of the condition in both shoulders and struggle to lift my left arm above my shoulder but can rotate it,

whilst my right shoulder doesn't rotate properly but my arm can be lifted above it.

 

Back in either 2014 or 1015 I got the forms for PIP but never sent them in...

to say it was a confusing mess of questions that repeat themselves over and over again

and with reports that the vast majority of claims are simply dismissed anyway put me off ever sending it in.

 

I'm not getting any better and losing over 10st hasn't had the kind of impact that I had hoped it would...

I admit that my weight was out of control due to severe depression and 19 deaths of family and friends between 2008-2016...

In short I was broken and whilst I'm still broken, my financial situation continues to deteriorate.

 

I can just about cover the rent due to the fact I rent from family (all legal, proper tenancy agreement in place and council know everything) at a rate well below average (they're doing it to give me a safe place to live not to make a profit).

 

I can just about cover utilities and household expenses,

but there's not enough for anything else and although I do have a car it's 12yrs old

and I limit how much it's used due to the cost of diesel, insurance and car tax.

 

Without transport I would be housebound and unable to get out and about on my own...

I can't even make it to the local corner shop which is about a 300-400yrd walk.

 

On a very, very, very good day...

I might make it to the corner shop,

but would then struggle to get back carrying anything I bought.

 

By the time I got back (after stopping repeatedly to sit and let the pain subside) it could virtually incapacitate me for hours

and I'd be unable to go out again for a few days at least.

 

When I am able to go out to do shopping (once every 2 weeks on average)

I have to normally go with some one and require a trolley to hang onto to support myself.

 

Even then after doing a small amount of shopping,

we stop at the supermarket cafe for a rest and a drink before carrying on.

 

I tend to load my shopping in small amounts into multiple sturdy bags with handles, so I'm not carrying heavy ones into the house.

I can park on my drive so the boot of the car is no more than 6-8ft from the front door and it's an estate so a low tailgate means no bending to lift things up.

 

I know I could do my shopping online but I actually look forward to doing mine as it gets me out of the house for an hour or two.

The arthritis needs me to keep moving more not less,

but I can't do that where I live due to the area, hills and so forth...

 

it would be nice if I could drive down to the lakes nearby a couple of times a week and do a little walking there,

as they have benches and rest points all around them...

But parking isn't cheap.

 

After reading so many threads on here about people applying for PIP and being refused...

it's making me wonder if I should at all...

 

I'm not asking for expecting a disabled badge or motability car...

I desperately need a little extra help so I can perhaps pay for a little more fuel each month, or parking charges...

an extra £20 a week would have a huge impact provided it wasn't taken away from my other benefits like ESA/LHA.

 

If I get the forms...

where can I get help to fill them in...

a lot of it seems designed to confuse and deliberately make it as hard as possible to complete.

 

I think doing it my own will only result in me not bothering like I did last time...

which is what I now think is the main objective of the form.

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Not being flippant, but if you don't apply you definitely will not get it.

From what you have posted, it sounds to me as if you are likely to be awarded PIP.


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Yeah that's very true...

But I find filling in those types of forms to be quite daunting and intimidating...

I'm constantly afraid that I'll say something slightly different to virtually the exact same questions that are repeated over and over,

worded it in a different way or in a way they can interpret differently to contradict what I've said previously...

 

I want to apply...

I really 'need' help to fill in the forms...

 

I have no idea of any services locally that could assist.

CAB closed their offices in my town years ago

the nearest one is about 8 miles away and only open a few hrs a week,

parking is too far away for me to walk from the car to their offices (not to mention uphill)..

. and getting an appointment is almost impossible anyway.

 

If I can get some help to complete the forms,

I WILL apply..

and I'll probably be back a few weeks later for advice in how to appeal the inevitable rejection.

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You need a welfare rights person, Heckler. Is there anyone near you?

 

Or would a charity dealing with your condition be able to help you?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Have you got a support worker?

 

just a thought.

 

But it sounds as if you have supportive family.

 

Would they take you to CAB?

 

I really do think you stand a good chance.

 

I have OA in my shoulders & knee.

 

I feel your pain.

 

Congrats on the weight loss by the way x

  • Haha 1

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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@honeybee - No support worker, not aware of any welfare rights service in this area... Will look into it further.

 

@shoelover

- What little of my family is left, none live close to me.

My nearest family member (Mum) being 71 and 25-30 miles away and unable to drive...

In fact I'm their support and help them do their errands, as I was practically a carer for my father who passed away last summer.

 

I've put my own health issues aside for so long now because others were far worse of than me, and I kinda loathe depending on benefits..

But if not for the support in the past I'd still be stuck in a small one bed flat with neighbours that were making my life hell...

At least I have a house, spare rooms and all for the one bedroom LHA rate for my area.

 

that's kinda the limit of support I can get,

my sister isn't much help with anything and she moved 75 miles away a long time ago and only comes to see my mum every few weeks for a few hrs.

She's got far better things to do with her time it seems...

 

What free time I do have I spend helping out my mum,

even if it's just keeping her company or taking her out and about...

I'll drop her off, go and get a coffee and pick her up a little later.

 

I lost my brother, dad and 90% of my aunts and uncles in recent years, not to mention cousins, friends and family friends I've known my whole life...

I try to help out with the Parkinsons support group that helped my dad once a month too...

It often feels like I'm the one who needs support but am still giving it to others whenever I can. :)

 

I try to downplay my health issues as much as possible,

but my knees are a constant pain and crack/pop & send sharper pain spikes out every time I try to straighten them..

Pain is a 3-4 constantly... 7-8 spike when I move them.

 

I need to be a little more selfish and focus on getting myself sorted first.

Once I'm not so worried about myself and paying the bills, I can focus on others again.

 

I already apply for the warm home discount each year and have had that for the last 3yrs running...

which really helps with my winter heating bills.

 

But the cold & damp play havoc so I'm really looking forward to this week as it's supposed to be warm and sunny all week...

which increases my movement and lowers my pain a little.

 

TBH, it's just nice venting all of this a little anonymously..

I don't discuss it with family much because I try to avoid them worrying as they already have enough on their plates.

 

My mums had this same kind of arthritis for a long time and I never realised how much she was playing it down and powers through it..

. I'm trying to follow her example as much as I can.

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I get you.. until you have lived with chronic pain you have o idea how it grinds you down. You become so careful about not wanting to be seen to moan all the time you don't mention it unless you are in agony.

Vent away lovely if it helps.

It really does sound to me as if you need a full benefits check up- ifbyou care for your Mum over 35 hours a week you may be able to get carers allowance.

Search for advice centres locally- lots of areas have advice centres which are not CAB. Your local council website may well have details


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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I was of the understanding that because I got ESA with the sickness component, I wasn't able to apply for carers allowance... Otherwise I would have applied years ago, it would have made such a difference to my folks as I was spending 2 or 3 days a week at my folks when my dad was alive. I'd take them on days out, even on holidays for a week.

 

My mum isn't ill as such just suffering from age related conditions, in fact since the stress of caring for my dad 24/7 for years (she used to get the CA until she retired) has been lifted she's feeling healthier than before... I mainly go to keep her company and to help with errands, shopping and so forth and days out... Taking her on a day out this Friday as I have a hospital appt in Birmingham and it's a 150m round trip, so I'm picking her up on the way, doing the appt in the morning and then were going somewhere for the day... weather depending either indoors or out... Black country museum or Warwick Castle, Art Museum or Botanical Gardens... something like that.

 

I'll give the council a call tomorrow and ask about welfare rights groups in my area... see if I'm getting what I should be. I've never bothered checking as I expected to be told no for everything... But I've had two conditions diagnosed since then that could make a difference.

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For you to get CA your Mum will need to be getting AA- if she's not then maybe she should apply.

 

You sound like you have a lot on your plate x


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Roughly where in the UK are you? Someone on here may know of an organisation in your area who can help you with the forms.

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Great minds think alike!! I was about to ask the same x


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Be extremely careful about applying for carer's allowance as you are then saying you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week which DWP automatically assumes means you are fit for work

 

- there is a thread on here somewhere where someone had that problem.

 

It is possible to be a carer and be on ESA,

but it may be more hassle than it's worth to convince DWP.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Great minds think alike!! I was about to ask the same x

 

I don't really like giving out personal info on a public forum...

I did do a bit of searching and found a charity that does welfare rights and has an advice shop on my local high street.

 

Going to call them and see about making an appointment in the morning.

I'm also going to see if I can get the forms sent out to me online rather than calling.

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Good luck. I truly hope it works out for you x

 

Be extremely careful about applying for carer's allowance as you are then saying you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week which DWP automatically assumes means you are fit for work - there is a thread on here somewhere where someone had that problem. It is possible to be a carer and be on ESA, but it may be more hassle than it's worth to convince DWP.

 

That really does depend on the nature of the care given and the carers own illness.


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If you're single and have no other income, income support with carers would be another option.

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Bringing an old thread back to life... I kept putting it off month after month... But I finally called and started the process this month.

 

In the interim I had been advised about a local service that helps with these things, so I had an appointment with them and they filled out the form, asking me specifics about each question and making sure my answers were clear and concise on the form. They then gave me a photocopy of the form and sent it off for me.

 

Since I started this thread back in May, I've actually had another diagnosis in August that's new.. in addition to the spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis and severe depression/anxiety/panic attacks.. I now have an unstable kneecap which dislocates and goes out of alignment. Currently awaiting physiotherapy for that as it's possible it could be muscular rather than skeletal.

 

The knock on effect is that it's made things worse, and prompted me to finally put in a claim... I've also applied for a blue badge today (as I thought you could only do so if you were on disability benefits) as I'm virtually housebound without a car, and if I can't park close enough to where I'm going... I'll turn around and leave and try elsewhere.

 

I'm still half expecting them to refuse the application without even seeing me, but if they do I fully expect them to refuse the application after the so called 'assessment'... But I will be making sure everything is recorded so they can't claim they did things they haven't... After reading some of the threads on here, I'm horrified at they way they treat people.

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Take someone with you, if you can.

 

In regards to the blue badge - the moving around part of PIP / higher rate mobility DLA automatically entitles you to one.

You may have to have an assessment if you're not on these benefits and don't qualify under other criteria.

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I applied ro PIP about 2-3 months ago... An assessment was scheduled at my home on the 20th Oct but they never turned up.

 

The following day I got a letter saying my assessment was on the 27th Oct... No apology, no warning of cancellation or anything like that.

 

On Friday 27th Oct the assessor turned up, already had a bit of an attitude when I answered the door slowly.

 

Told her that the dining room chair set out was for me, as the other chairs in the room are too ow to get in and out of comfortably at the moment... hence the reason I no longer use the lounge at all really. The whole house is a mess because I can't clean it properly and I have zero help.

 

I set up my recording device and she threw a wobbly... even after I told that it was fine and that she could have a copy of the recording as per their 'demands'. It just had to be transferred to my computer and burnt to disc, or could be immediately transferred to her laptop from the digital recorder I have.

 

She then started making excuses, 'oh I have to call my manager' and so forth... after a few minutes she started making more demands that I had already answered (she could take a copy with her either as a digital file or on a CD)...Continued to make excuses and then decided that she couldn't wait for the CD to be made as she had other important appointments... made her last excuses and left.

 

Never asked me a single question, couldn't answer any of mine.. such as why they wanted the assessment in my home when my last one was with them... Claimed it was because I requested it, which wasn't true and I have a full copy of my pip claim form to prove it.

 

She was there for less than 10 mins, and since then I have heard nothing... 5 weeks later and nothing to reschedule the assessment.

 

Due to my physical and mental health issues... I struggle to even make phone calls at times, and trying to deal with the obnoxious jobsworths at capita actually causes my stress and anxiety levels to rocket.

 

I'd much rather write a complaint about it all... but no idea where to go. My local welfare rights service said to wait a couple more weeks to see if they contact me... but they're stretched thin already and the last time she said they'd contact me in 2 weeks it actually took almost 5 weeks... So realistically I'm not expecting to hear from welfare rights in my town until the new year.

 

What happens to my claim... is there a time limit in which assessments have to be carried out.. will they close my claim because they refused to carry out the assessment unless I stopped recording it?

 

My stress an anxiety levels are through the roof, I'm also struggling to deal with this whole ESA issue that apparently had me put on the wrong benefit for over 4yrs.. and I've just filled out an ESA form to have me moved from the Cont based ESA support group into the IRESA group and backdate that for something like 215 weeks.

 

I've got a funeral to attend on Monday and then help out my elderly mum all next week... that's going to raise my stress and anxiety even higher and I'm worried how I'm going to cope... I feel on the edge of a breakdown right now and the thought of having to deal with people is making me physically sick.

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threads merged for history of the advise already given

 

dx


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Seems that getting help on here has become very hit and miss these days.

 

Any one know where else I can get help?

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Have you tried somewhere like CAB?

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They closed the CAB down in my area years ago,

I found a local community welfare rights service but they're over stretched...

and it's a week before xmas,

so are nothing I can do there before the new year now.

 

Just need to know what to do about making capita arrange the damn assessment...

it's been almost 2 months since they failed to turn up with no warning,

 

then rebooked it for a week later without telling me (I got the booking letter the day after they failed to turn up)

and when they did turn up they left after less than 10 mins because I was recording it,

even though I told them they could have a copy of it...

She just kept making excuses and saying she had to leave.

 

She wouldn't even answer simply questions about what the assessment entails, what her qualifications were and so forth.

 

The whole system seems rigged to make it as near to impossible to proceed with a claim at all...

No wonder I've been putting of making one for 3yrs.

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Did you inform them beforehand?

 

They can stop the assessment / refuse to do the assessment if you plan to record without getting their permission before.

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The problem isn't that I was recording it, it's that they left and haven't arranged for a new assessment to be carried out 2 months later...

they've not written to me at all since... and trying to speak to some one with my issues is problematic.

 

I tend to get annoyed very easily when people refuse to give answers to simple questions.

 

calling them becomes almost impossible when you've navigated the ridiculous IVA and are already angry before you've even got through tom some one.

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Hi

 

I do think you need to clarify whether you asked their permission and signed an agreement before the assessment or you only informed them that your were recording when they arrived to carryout the assessment.

 

Have a read of this link and go near bottom of webpage and read 'Audio Recording': http://www.capita-pip.co.uk/en/assessment-process.html

 

Now due to above this is just me assuming what happened, they stopped the assessment due to no previous notification or signed agreement of recording (if incorrect please clarify) and your medical assessment case for PIP has been referred back to a DWP Decision Maker to decide your case.

 

You are doing the correct thing in trying to find out what is happening with this.

 

What I would also suggest in the meantime is that you have a read of this CAG Mandatory Reconsideration link while awaiting their written decision: https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?251737-Mandatory-Reconsideration-Appealing-or-going-to-a-Tribunal-Some-useful-information

Edited by stu007

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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