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

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