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PIP Result - Thank You 5 years 10 months ago #152204

This is a BIG thank you message for everyone on the forum who have all been so supportive of me (even when I have been lurking - just reading posts & other people's problems has been of great help) and also a BIG thank you to the mods and everyone else associated with benefitsandwork.

I had a home visit and I got the enhanced rate for care which was amazing - thank you. I got nothing for mobility, though I think I should have. I do see where I went wrong with my application. Given what I have read here about how harsh they are with assessing PIP, I am just thankful for getting enhanced care. I could not have carried on without it, and I am so grateful for the advice I got here. You genuinely saved my life.

I know from reading the forum I made a lot of mistakes with my application as I was too depressed to do otherwise, e.g. I sent no supporting evidence at all. However other things I did manage - mainly showing things as they actually are and not pretending things are ok, which was how I was brought up. For example I was mortified at the thought of anyone seeing the way I live. If I could have afforded to, I would have wanted to pay someone to come in and do a deep clean/tidy the house properly before the assessor arrived and also switch on the heating ( I can only afford to put it on if it goes below 10 degrees) . I didn't do either of these things so everything was the way it usually is - cold, dirty and untidy. I also forced myself to show the assessor my self harm scars. Usually I NEVER show or even tell anyone as I am so ashamed, but my therapist told me I had to show them. Normally I would have bandaged my arms and pretended I had fallen and cut myself.

The assessor who saw me was very nice and not at all threatening. However, she did ask a lot of leading questions to try to trick me into giving the answers they wanted - so I would say if at all possible, try to have someone else there with you (I could not) or even a checklist so you know to remember to link relevant things. It is easy to say 'tell the truth' but even telling the truth 100% (which I did) you can be tricked by missing out some relevant piece of information. For example, the lady wanted me to repeat after her that as I can spread bread on butter (which I gave as an example of what I was currently eating) that means I can make a sandwich - and she said that a sandwich is the same as a cooked meal. It would have been very easy to just say 'yes I can make a sandwich' which I presume would have meant I would have got no points for preparing food. Instead I made sure that my reply was 'I cannot cook but I can spread bread on butter 2 days a week' I emphasized that 5 out of 7 days I am too depressed to get out of bed, so my bread buttering ability (bread & butter is very different from a posh deli sandwich) was irrelevant since I cannot keep butter and other perishable sandwich making materials (e.g. ham) upstairs un-refrigerated in my bedroom. The days I can't get out of bed are the critical part - but the lady did not bring those days up - I had to remember to bring them up, which is hard when under pressure.

The lady did very much try and put words into my mouth. I think by the time we got to the mobility questions I was so exhausted and stressed, that I allowed her to lead me into giving a false impression that I was coping with mobility (I only cope by not leaving the house at all). She also asked questions that were unexpected - e.g. did I own a car. Did I have a driving licence and when was the last time I drove. Also how did I manage to look after my cats when I was too ill to get out of bed, so I described how the cats are looked after. She told me that physical pain caused by mental health problems did not count for mobility and were not relevant which I am not sure if true e.g. I have panic attacks outside so the pain of not being able to breath means I can't walk . She said this wasn't relevant and only back, knee injuries etc were relevant.

I wasn't sure if she would want to look round the house, or ask to see things e.g. the pill organizer, look in my fridge etc. She didn't, though she asked me to stand up, stretch above my head etc.

Thanks again, and good luck to everyone

PIP Result - Thank You 5 years 10 months ago #152240

  • Gordon
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  • Posts: 49398

Congratulations on the award and thank you for posting your experience of the process, it really helps other members to see how others have managed.

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

PIP Result - Thank You 5 years 10 months ago #152245

Well done SadCat!
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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