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Confounded and afraid to rock the PIP boat 1 month 2 weeks ago #249999

I have numerous debilitating and degenerative conditions and my disability benefits began in the mid 1990’s with incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disability allowance (SDA), disability living allowance (DLA) and finally personal independence payment (PIP). The journey consists of many assessments, diagnoses, appeals, tribunals and awards that had led to the higher rate care and higher rate mobility of DLA for an ‘indefinite’ period of time.
I had a Motability vehicle for over 15 years (the charity even put me through driving lessons that catered to my disability) and I had just moved into a bungalow in a semi rural area when the change over to PIP swooped in and destroyed my life as I knew it.

The PIP award only gave me the standard mobility rate (by 1 point) and was for less than 3 years, which - after the mandatory reconsideration and tribunal failed - meant handing back the adapted Motability car I’d had for just 11 months. This left me with no transport in an area where transport is crucial.

I now had to buy an automatic car with the crucial features needed for my disability and cover the associated costs. The size and age of the car dictated the shockingly high tax and insurance levels, and I’ve had to change the car twice due to unfeasible running costs. The financial burden was sudden and unprepared for; more than tripling my weekly outgoings and bringing me now to the brink of bankruptcy. The biggest cost however, is to my mental health and anxiety levels. My GP has increased my antidepressants twice in this time and I am so fearful of knocks on the door that my husband locks the door if he goes out, so bailiffs can’t make peaceful entry! The stress exacerbates my conditions and I’m bedridden more often than not.

My review was due around the end of this month (August) but, due to the pandemic, has been extended for 6 months. For the last year or so I have wanted to submit a change of circumstances to hopefully reinstate the enhanced mobility rate but was petrified that I would lose the award altogether! I can’t endure another 6 months in this constant state of fear, anxiety, pain and depression, but I don’t want to rock the boat either, as losing any part of the current award would trigger an unbearable series of events.

So, has anyone had experience of applying for a change in circumstances, or can offer me some advice?

Many thanks in advance x
Dawn.

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Confounded and afraid to rock the PIP boat 1 month 2 weeks ago #250002

Hi DM

Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explains where everything is.

Welcome to Benefits and Work

In case you are not aware, your real name appears to be showing in the forum, if you want to change this then follow the instructions in the following FAQ

My full name is showing, how can I stop it?

Sorry to hear about your plight, unfortunately we do come across your situation quite often.

The way DLA was awarded is different from how PIP is awarded.

PIP was engineered to be a more difficult to award than DLA, many DLA claimants will receive vastly reduced awards or even no award at all on transfer.

DLA looks at generic care needs in regard to bodily functions, PIP looks at the claimants specific ability to carry out an activity such as eating. DLA was awarded because the claimant needed an amount of care (in time) during the day, the night of both, to help them with that bodily function. PIP looks at the claimant's ability to complete specific tasks within the activity and is points-based, these are clearly defined and it is easy not to score points because the claimant has not shown that they meet those specific criteria.

DLA treated the use of aids as a reason to reduce the amount of care needed, PIP treats aids as an indication of disability and in general they score extra points.

DLA's care need was reasonably generic, PIP treats prompting, assistance and supervision as different activities and as a result, they can score different points.

DLA required that the care was required for the majority of the time, for PIP it is the majority of days.

For PIP activities must be completed reliably, this means:

• Safely – in a fashion that is unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person.
• To a necessary and appropriate standard – given the nature of the activity.
• Repeatedly – as often as is reasonably required.
• In a timely manner – in a reasonable time period.

Although DLA considers these terms, they are poorly defined as they are implemented through Case Law rather than being defined in the legislation as they are for PIP.

Referring to any more recent evidence you have is more useful.

Do go through our guides and make sure you have answered the questions pertaining to the PIP criteria because it is harder to be awarded it than the old DLA.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/help-for-claimants/pip

Your primary task is to show that you meet the criteria for PIP.

If you have any further questions then do come back to the forum.

Gary

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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