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Category: Personal Indpendence Payments

Personal Indpendence Payments (PIP) is a governemt benefit that pays money to help you with everyday life if you’ve an illness, disability or mental health condition. You can claim on top of Employment and Support Allowance or other benefits. Your income, savings, and whether you’re working or not or social status will not affect your eligibility.

Feeling Suicidal

Blood Out Of A Stone!

Feeling Low – Cry For Help!

I need to share this to get it off my chest, yet I prefer to stay anonymous.

I am self-employed and disabled. I have lost a couple of good-paying clients in the last couple of months.

I am getting housing benefits, working tax credits, and pip and have only a few clients that pay me but not enough so that I can live on, the money I get from my business just about covers my outgoings for my business. I was showing a loss last year on my tax return.

My Incoming Per Month:

£590 Housing Benefit

£400 Working Tax Credits

£240 Personal Independence Payment

Total £1230

My Outgoings Per Month:

£655 Rent

£181 Utility Bills

£80 Telephone & Broadband (Without Broadband I cannot work)

£200 Food

£91 Insurance

£165 Debt Repayment/Loans

Total Per Month £1372

This means I am short by £142 per month not to include new credit cards I have taken out a further £100 repayments. Ideally, if I could make another £500 per month I would be in the clear.

I am trying every which way I can to get more business in and with only four clients on my books, I am struggling.

I know what I do works but it is convincing the tyre kickers that is the problem. Believe me there any many tyre kickers and scavengers about, simply trying to get as much information out of you for free and then going cold on you. I once contacted a whole suburb that only had Facebook pages and not one of them came back to me even though my prices are cheap, but not that cheap that people think it is too good to be true. So I know it’s not me but society in general not wanting to spend.

Support.

I need someone to help me. I do not need pep talks I just want to get out of the financial dilemma that I am in. I do not need a friend, I do not need a counselor, I just need more work.

I am fed up with having the same heartache day in and day out.

I am feeling very low right now and fighting my hardest to keep my thoughts at bay.

I have no one that can help me, believe me, I have tried reaching out to my family and they won’t help me. I have asked them to share my business on social media, it is not as if I was asking them for money and it went on deaf ears.

They are just waiting for me to fail, just so that they can say “see I told you so”. Anyone that says they are supporting me or have supported me needs to put their money where their mouth is because otherwise, they are full of 💩. I have not been well for some time now and as the month’s progress so does my depression.

Sympathy – Asking For a Period of Grace.

I emailed the electricity company (EON Next) yesterday 15/04/22 that I would be late paying my £34 (they never had a problem during Covid Lockdown).

It is not that I have defaulted yet at the time this gets published and was told that my account has gone to a debt collection agency. I tried phoning them today but conveniently they only operate Mon-Fri, which is causing me so much anxiety as I now have to wait until Tuesday after the Bank Holiday to contact them.

Even looking at my account I am in debt by – £22.84 so is there any need to be so “God Damn Dramatic” as this person has been to make me feel like 💩?

I hope their fate is worse than mine; so that they can experience depression firsthand like I am feeling.

The person that replied to my email was Anisah Hussain (E.ON Next)

anisah.hussain@eon-next-cabac46b5ea2.intercom-mail.com

I hope this person reaps what they sow and that goes for any corporation or person in charge reading this.

I am feeling extremely anxious right now and I can feel my heart racing really fast. My stomach well let’s just say I am running to the toilet every few mins.

Nobody should be put in the position to make them unwell or even worse than what they were already feeling.

I do not own anything other than my laptop and my phone which I use for work as I was robbed a few years ago and anything of value was stolen, hence there is nothing anyone can take from me.

I feel so low right now and not sure what to do. My GP is totally useless although I am on medication there is little more they can do for me, to top it all I have a very sick child I am caring for and I am worried about her well being, mental and physical state, so pushing my buttons is only making things worse and causing more anxiety and distress.

You cannot get blood out of a stone!

“I am at the lowest I have been for a long time and it only takes one person to push me over the edge”.

I am not crazy and I do not need to be locked up, I am just feeling really low.

I am not feeling suicidal I am just feeling extremely unhappy right now and I do not want to have any worries. I want people to be understanding and not critical of me or superior to me. I want people to support me.

This email I received just shows that people do not care unless it relates directly to them. I just want to be happy for a change and not have to worry about anything. I want to live a happy carefree life.

Update 19/04/22

Considering they, in theory, were closed yesterday I did get an email from the same agent in relation to my reply and I assume the person is a (she) asked when is a convenient time for her to call me. Why does anyone need to speak to me, do they not understand written English…I replied I would be paying on the 9th of May 2022.

However, my gut feeling told me to phone them today and this is how it played out.

Phone Call No 1. I spoke to an agent that put me on hold and we get cut off

Phone Call No 2. I spoke to a different person who spoke to me as if she was talking to a first-grader. She spoke to me as if she owned the company and kept saying I have never paid my payments on time, blatantly scolding me before putting the phone down on me. She said I did not have a payment plan in place. So what are all my £34 per month payments then?

Phone Call No 3. I told the person I would be paying on the 9th of May 2022 and he said he would put it on the system and I would get a confirmation email, which never transpired.

Two things spring to mind:

Harassment:

What’s the effect of or the intention behind the harassment?

The Equality Act says it’s harassment where the behavior is meant to or has the effect of either:

  • violating your dignity (I felt like I was a nobody with no self worth)
  • creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment (the agent spoke to me in a way like she was disciplining a child or someone of no importance).

This means it’s harassment even if the person harassing you didn’t mean to offend or intimidate you, as long as the harassment has one of the above effects.

If you go to court, the judge may have to decide if it’s harassment or not. They will look at how the behavior made you feel and whether it’s reasonable for you to feel this way.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination/harassment/

Emotional Distress:

The fact is all I owe is £22.84 and they are making a big deal about it. I was spoken to as if I was something someone had stepped in, which is downright disgraceful.

The Damage Has Been Done!

The problem is because people are working from home they will not necessarily have the calls recorded and they literally can speak to you like sh#t, hence I will never be able to prove that the woman I spoke to on my second call spoke to me like I was a nobody. I hope karma pays her a visit and her husband/partner cheats on her or she has a similar fate to what I am going through.

Who the hell did the woman I spoke to think she was talking to? I am not a piece of sh#t to be spoken to this way…

And you wonder why I hate life? when I have to contend with people like this woman this afternoon and then the man that blatantly lied to me about sending me a confirmation email.

I pay on the 20th of the month at £34 a month or adjust my bill so that I pay once a month to include my arrears, which I can pay on the 20th but at a slightly higher charge. It is not exactly rocket science.

I have purposely published this as evidence and compensation for emotional distress which far outweighs the cost of my electricity bill should it ever go down that route, do not tempt me.

#feelingsuicidal #suicide #suicidalthoughts #depression

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) Renewal Assessments.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) Renewal Assessments.

My daughter has just had her Renewal Pack not so long ago and although it is nothing to do with me so to speak, I hyperventilated the moment she told me. I am not joking I started gasping for air.

Both my daughter and I agree that the amount of humiliation we ate whilst we both went through the last assessment we have agreed we are not going to through this again.

Who is eligible for PIP?

You do not need to have worked or paid National Insurance contributions to qualify for PIP, and it does not matter what your income is, if you have any savings or if you’re working, you could be on a low income or on a high income it does not matter.

You must have a health condition or disability where you:

  • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months (this needs to have been documented with your GP)
  • expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months

You usually need to have lived in the UK for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when you apply.

If you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying for PIP:

  • preparing, cooking or eating food (my daughter cannot stand for long lengths of time preparing and cooking so I do it for her but I have to set timers as I tend to forget if there is someting in the oven and have a few times burnt my food to a crisp)
  • managing your medication (I sometimes forget if I have taken my meds, and if that happens I avoid taking a second dose just in case I overdose)
  • washing, bathing or using the toilet (both my daughter and I have problems getting in an out of the bath and I have fitted a bath hand rail)
  • dressing and undressing
  • engaging and communicating with other people (with nearly 10K connections on LinkedIn I have no problems connecting virtually and have major anxieties physically).
  • reading and understanding written information
  • making decisions about money
  • planning a journey or following a route (my daughter cannot walk long distances and I do not go out because of my OCD)
  • moving around outside the home (I have trouble going down the stairs with my bad knee).

In my opion the DWP should have a set of questions for each disability and not every disability is equal.

Some people have more than one disability (such as myself). Some questions are humiliating such as “how do go to the toilet?”

Also some people will go to any lengths to get an Oscar and the face to face assessment proves nothing, it needs to be based on your GP’s consultations and correspondence.

I wrote a letter to my GP in May and I still have not had a reply even though the practice manager read my letter and so did the cluster pharmacist.

I have redacted some of the information for data protection purposes.

What are the PIP payment rates?

PIP is made up of two components – daily living and mobility. Whether you are awarded one or both, or a combination of the two, depends on how severely your condition affects you.

You will receive the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:

Daily living

  • Standard rate – £60.00
  • Enhanced rate – £89.60

Mobility

  • Standard rate – £23.70
  • Enhanced rate – £62.55

How do you make a claim for PIP?

You can make a new claim by contacting the DWP, you’ll find all the information you need to apply on the GOV.UK website here.

Before you call, you will need:

  • your contact details
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

Once you’ve contacted the DWP, they will send you a document called ‘How Your Disability Affects You’ to complete which consists of 14 questions and a section for any additional information.

The questions focus on how your condition affects you – put as much relevant detail in as you can to help the assessor understand your physical and mental health needs.

If you have difficulty filling in your form or understanding the questions, contact your local council and ask for help or Citizens Advice.

Stress & Anxiety

My daughter is so stressed out over her renewal I am worried she is going to have an MS relapse. Stress can be a cause of relapse. As her carer, I am very worried about the implications of her health.

My daughter has a friend who is a PIP assessor who basically said that her condition should be reviewed every 10 years as it is a progressive disease. The assessor’s friend even said she personally has no formal qualifications.

I have written about PIP before and here are some of the earlier articles. I also write in the category online journal my actual health conditions as and when they occur.

I wrote to my GP via email on the 27th May 2021 and the practice manager replied back saying they had received the email. So although every Tom Dick & Harry read my 9-page in-depth letter including the cluster pharmacist I have not heard from my GP which is very concerning and I do not see why I have to chase after them considering I wrote in plain readable English what needed addressing and they have totally ignored me.

According to the renewal, they will expect the applicant to have a face-to-face assessment. I personally have not left my home for 2 years and only meet and greet the delivery drivers. I am not going to be forced into a situation where I have to meet other people. I do not have anyone visiting my home either other than couriers and delivery drivers. This is my choice and it is against my human rights to be forced into a situation I am not comfortable with.

Furthermore, the DWP does not take into account that printing and sending out paperwork costs the government money so why on earth do they not have an online version similar to HMRC self-assessments and Tax Credit Renewals? imagine how much money they would save simply doing it online, not to mention saving the planet with carbon emissions. The DWP is not Eco Friendly.

But there are also the other problems and that is people like me do not like handling things that have been touched by someone else. I have difficulty touching envelopes and letters and insist on people emailing me. I bet you are wondering what about food. Food which has been pre-prepared in a factory only the outer packaging is touched by humans, everything else is done by robots.

I had this post in draft mode but I feel that every time I see it unpublished it gives me anxiety as does the PIP assessment.

My anxiety levels fluctuate from day to day and today I am feeling unwell.

Not only have I a list of business things to do which is causing me anxiety I also have to contend with the up and coming assessment. The sheer thought of intermingling with humans the more anxious I get and am more at ease in my own surroundings.

I am trying not to think ahead and need to cross each bridge as I come to it. There is no point in worrying about something that may not even happen.

Today I am feeling depressed and tomorrow is another day!

#personalindependancepayments #pip #depression #ocd #anxiety

Personal Experience with claiming (PIP)

PERSONAL INDEPENDANCE PAYMENT

When does reform become dangerous?

Over three years ago the Conservatives began to roll out personal independence payments (PIP) – in essence, the mandatory, mass re-testing of disabled and chronically ill people – and the answer is getting stark.

Are you entitled to Personal Independance Payment?

You can appeal by writing an in-depth letter and collecting all the evidence to help with your claim. My evidence is my online journal on this site which I own.


Personal independence payments assessment is designed to punish the poor and ill, regardless if it is a legitimate claim or not. Everyone is thrown into one basket.

A report released by the Muscular Dystrophy UK is the latest piece of evidence to expose an administrative catastrophe: appointments canceled at the last minute, lost applications, year-long delays.

Two in five respondents report being sent to an assessment centre that wasn’t accessible for disabled people. This is designed purposely to save the government money as the people that genuinely want help may give up in the process of fighting back. Not everyone knows how to appeal and if the government makes it hard for them to claim and appeal, the disabled person will just simply just give up. The assement is designed to break you down.

Since the pandemic interviews have been suspended but prior to the lockdown and my own personal experience once you manage to make it inside the building, the picture is as dire: widespread reports of assessors – employed by private firms hired by the Department for Work and Pensions – who showed no respect for disabled people, (this is especially true in my case and the humiliation I personally felt and the length of time I had to stand ), while some didn’t even understand the condition they were testing (one man, with muscular dystrophy, pointed out that the word “progressive” means “muscles don’t come back”).

Once you are at the interview you will be asked to answer a series of questions and perform endurance manoeuvers to see if you can balance on your feet, walk or how mobile you are etc. My daughter’s neurologist wrote in his report my daughter has a spastic gate and the assessor undermined the neurologist report saying my daughter could walk fine.

You will also be asked questions about your finances and if you are coping or if you are in rent arrears and credit card debt to mental health issues. I was asked what I do for a living and did not elaborate on it other than to say I do web design.

I think this form of questioning is to intimidate and degrade you.

Just because one can manage finances does not make you a healthy person. Even if you spend 60 hours or more on the internet working as some entrepreneurs do will not make that person any less disabled.

Even if the person who is an entrepreneur but disabled could successfully trade online would not mean that because they are successful at what they do that there is nothing wrong with them.

I just have a problem with interacting physically and germ contamination, I have no problem being online.

I was personally asked about my toilet hygiene and routine and if I sat on the toilet and how I wiped my you know what and how I maneuvered around in the bathroom. I felt humiliated and felt the whole ordeal very upsetting and I still have anxiety about it to this day. So you can imagine my fear and anxiety of another assessment next year.

One woman, with a muscle-wasting disease, said that she developed panic attacks after her assessment. She is now under the care of a mental health team and doesn’t leave her house.

That the government deliberately built PIP with tightened criteria – and is sitting by as the system descends into disarray – becomes grimmer still when you consider that this is being done to a benefit tied to other essential disability services that people cannot live without.

Without PIP a disabled person can’t access anything from carer’s allowance to severe disability premium. If that isn’t enough, anyone who is rejected – or bumped down to the standard rate – is also barred from the Motability scheme for an accessible car or powered wheelchair.

Sarah, a nurse with progressive muscle wasting and weakness, was seven months pregnant – and was forced to hand back her Motability car. The 29-year-old had been receiving the higher rate of disability living allowance (the predecessor to PIP), but after being reassessed she was knocked down to the standard rate – despite her condition deteriorating.

Sarah could not take her fatigue medicine without affecting her pregnancy, and her disability meant she was at risk of falling when she walksed, and permanent damage. “That vehicle was a lifeline to me,” she says. “I’ve lost my independence.”

Sarah appealed and was due at a tribunal but found it was canceled with just two days’ notice – and no explanation.


The government is skewing benefits appeals against disabled people.

It took the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and a budget hole of billions to get the mainstream media to shine a light on the disaster of PIP – or many politicians to find a conscience. One cut to the benefit is stopped. A new secretary of state is hired. And the news cycle moves on. The disabled can’t. For many, things are only getting worse.

Between 400 and 500 adapted cars, powered wheelchairs, and scooters are being taken away from disabled people every week. Independence went – with a maximum of seven weeks to hand your lifeline back. As an insight into the logic, let alone empathy, in this system, that’s notably less time than it takes to go to appeal or even to get the results of mandatory reconsideration – meaning the DWP’s ruling can be overturned, but the disabled person’s car or wheelchair will already have been taken. (At the last count, 60% of appeals against PIP were successful).

Darran uses a wheelchair – and has a degenerative muscle wasting disease – but last year was downgraded on PIP and lost his car. In his own words, it left him “housebound and isolated”, and he scraped together the deposit for another accessible vehicle. The DWP later informed Darran that its decision had been “mistaken”, and his old car would be returned. “My £2,000 deposit is non-refundable,” he says. “I’ve lost that money.”

This is starting to look like a game played by the ‘Dr. Evil’s’ of this world with repercussions on ordinary disabled people’s lives. Take away benefits and the sick become destitute. Remove a car or wheelchair and disabled people become housebound. It’s happening right now – and what’s worse, most of the public won’t even know it, not unless people fight for their rights and have advocates speaking on their behalf.

Note From the Editor.

For me I have severe OCD I cannot be around people and my symptoms have only got worse since the pandemic.

I am paranoid about germs“.

I even registered a domain name www.germawareness.co.uk as I think Saliva, Postal System, and Cross Contamination play an important role in spreading germs.

I also have severe depression and the only way I manage is if I self isolate. The only person I can be around is my daughter and she too is disabled with MS.

I can understand why the government has put a tight reign on the benefit and that is to stop people scamming the system. I know of one person personally, that would walk with a walking stick for show but when he was drunk he could walk perfectly normally. The government needs to send out spies on scammers that claim to have bad backs but go grocery shopping when they think no one is looking.

I am the modern-day female version of ‘Howard Hughes’ he suffered from severe OCD and self-isolated.

“I can function to a certain degree, but only in my own quarantined environment and if I have surplus disposable gloves and litres of Dettol Disinfectant on hand if I have intrusive thoughts and my OCD is playing up. I also have a designated area no one can enter or touch”.

I used to be able to venture out but now I have anxiety and panic attacks at the sheer thought of seeing other people. I am fine online but physically is a no-no for me. I used to enjoy going out with my daughter once a month when she had her monthly blood and urine tests done but that all stopped not only because my OCD has worsened but because the hospital has strict rules and that the patient should come in on their own unless they are severely disabled.

Obviously, if my daughter needed urgent emergency assistance outside of my home I would have to bite the bullet and no doubt in my mind burn all my clothing when I came home. My daughter’s being is a high priority to me so I would have to sacrifice my own just to help her, knowing I had a counteracting measure in place to ease my anxiety but that would be in exceptional circumstances.

I remember when I had my last assessment and the assessor claimed there was nothing wrong with me. She insisted on touching my photo ID even though I told her I had OCD and I had to stand for one and half hours as I did not want to sit down on public seating (This is humiliation, discrimination and if it causes harm under duress is also against the human rights act).

She also asked me if I had any suicidal thoughts, well in my opinion that is like handing someone a loaded gun. You simply do not put those thoughts into someone’s head if they say they have severe depression. Whatever is in the medical notes should suffice and some unqualified assessor should not plant a seed into someone’s head. Even if I had suicidal thoughts I would not admit to them, not that I have had, just saying.

(I have a reason to live and hopefully, there may be a cure for my OCD someday). I have set goals and am doing my best to achieve them.

But for someone more vulnerable than myself this is highly unprofessional to ask about suicide.

(I should have recorded the interview).

Imagine the applicant going home after the interview and then attempting their own life all because the assessor gave them the idea.

My assessment is up for renewal next year and there is no way I am going to go as I cannot venture out because of my mental health. I also found out that the DWP Agency Capita employs school leavers who have no professional qualifications. I know this as a fact as my daughter as it happens, knows one of them and they are really good friends. The other thing is this particular person actually spoke about people she had assessed to my daughter.

One can obviously see I am stressing about it a year ahead of my time but if I had enough money and I would not depend on PIP to help me buy disposable gloves and disinfectant at alarming levels.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/07/pip-disaster-disabled-access-report-benefits

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/philippa-day-inquest-dwp-overdose-benefits-b1793424.html

#personalindependancepayment #pip #disabilityallowance #mobilityallowance #tribunals #pipassessment #pipassessor #capita