Many people are put off applying for PIP because they have heard that it is very difficult to get an award for their particular condition.  Yet Benefits and Work research shows that in some cases pessimism about the outcome is not supported by the statistics.

Last month we published an article entitled Revealed - the hardest and easiest conditions to claim PIP for which looked at some of the conditions with the highest and lowest percentage success rate for PIP claims.  We compared these to the overall average for successful PIP claims, which is 52%.

We asked readers to tell us which conditions they thought were particularly hard to claim for.

One condition that came up repeatedly was fibromyalgia.

Lorraine told us:

“Fibromyalgia is a hard one to claim for as it is quite a complex condition with no definitive diagnosis. If you dare to say you have good days, you are doomed to failure.”

Whilst we agree that saying you have ‘good’ rather than ‘better’ days is unlikely to help your claim, the reality is that the success rate for PIP claims for fibromyalgia is 62.7%, considerably above the average.

Similarly, ZuluAssegai believed that ME/CFS was one of the harder conditions to claim for:

“The condition ME/CFS is very hard to get DLA/PIP for as it is a disabling, fluctuating condition and it is a hidden disability.  It doesn't fit the tick box format.”

Yet the success rate for chronic fatigue syndrome is 54.8%, slightly above average.

Osteoporosis was another condition a number of readers mentioned, with Anne telling us “It doesn’t even seem to be recognized.”

In fact, 67.6% of claims where the primary condition is osteoporosis get an award, again considerably above the average.

Autism is a condition that some people felt would not be easy to get PIP for.  But the award rate is actually very much higher than average, at 72.3%.

Yet for Asperger’s syndrome the award rate is just below the average, at 51.1%, even though,

as Porridge explained:

“ . .  any of us with Asperger Syndrome will already be aware our lives are very tough, especially if you are quite far along the spectrum, and it is a fact that we are just as autistic as anyone else with autism and we are also likely to have other problems like dyslexia, dyspraxia, severe anxiety and other significant difficulties.”

Other conditions also present a mixed picture. As kysgillett explained:

“Epilepsy is invisible (most of the time) and fluctuating (all of the time).  It is also a complex condition with many different types of seizures. It is very difficult for someone who may be unconscious to explain how being unconscious affects them.  It is difficult to get any award without having to go to a tribunal.”

Our statistics don’t tell us how many people had to go to a tribunal before getting their award, but our reader’s opinion that it’s a complex situation with many different types of seizure was borne out by the statistics. 

Generalised seizures (with status epilepticus in last 12 months)  attracted a higher than average award rate at 58.7%.

But partial seizures (with status epilepticus in last 12 months) was below average with 47.6%.

However, there were four other classifications of seizures, with some getting awards above and some below the average:

  • Partial seizures (without status epilepticus in last 12 months)  40.2%
  • Generalised seizures (without status epilepticus in last 12 months)  50.1%
  • Seizures – unclassified  54.1%
  • Non epileptic Attack disorder (pseudoseizures)  59.2%

Diabetes is another condition where award rates vary depending on the type of diabetes, although all of the awards are below average.

Reader CP explained that:

“It's generally accepted by parents of children with Type 1 diabetes that, whilst their children will be entitled to DLA at at least middle rate, the chances of them getting PIP when due to transfer is virtually zero.  Apparently, all the ways in which diabetes affects their lives magically disappear in their 16th birthday!  It would be interesting to see what percentage of T1 diabetics do qualify.”

Whilst the award rate for type 1 diabetes is not zero, it is still very low indeed:

  • Diabetes mellitus Type 1 (insulin dependent) 28.2%
  • Diabetes mellitus (category unknown) 45.6%
  • Diabetes insipidus  45.7%
  • Diabetes mellitus Type 2 (non insulin dependent)  45.8%

Kim warned that you:

“Cannot claim pip for Crohn’s disease!! They totally disregard this disabling condition.”

Again, this isn’t quite the case, but it definitely is far below the average with a 30.7% success rate.

Nika1000 suggested endometriosis as a hard condition to claim for, in spite of the fact that it is:

“A life limiting disease. Truly heartbreaking to see my daughter rolling on the floor with pain with frequent flare ups and totally depleted of energy and fatigued the rest of the time, not able to study or work.”

And indeed, the award rate for this condition is very poor at 34.5%.

But whilst there is no question that some conditions are very much harder to claim for than others, it’s definitely worth considering making a claim even if yours is one of the least successful health issues. 

The likelihood is that you will have a better than one in four chance of getting an award and, for most conditions, it is likely to be better than a 50/50 chance.

And some of the conditions which it is assumed are the hardest of all, such as ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, actually have an above average success rate.

Members can download the full list of conditions and percentage success rates in a pdf file entitled ‘Success rates for PIP claims by condition’ from the ‘Claims’ section of the PIP guides page.

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    Carol · 11 months ago
    Both my Sister and I are due our PIP reviews this time next year and already we are worrying about it. It's just so stressful as so much hinges on getting it right first time and not having to go through appeals and what have you. Don't know what we'd do without B&W to be honest. I will definitely subrscribe for the PIP training in addition to my membership when it's next due. Thanks to the hard work of the teams x.
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    Jenny · 11 months ago
    I've got my medical phone assessment on the 21st of this month first time applying for depression agraphobia some after effects of a ruptured brain anyuresum constantly in bed or being ill with migraines I pretty worried as I've put it off for so long after being told how difficult it is to get accepted 
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      Karen · 9 months ago
      @Liz I have had my phone interview today for chronic migraine. Really hoping that I get an award as I have been unable to work since October.  Can I ask what rate you were awarded ? Also I just saw that someone has commented about Botox on the NHS. This is true but only  IF and WHEN you can get a to see an NHS neurologist. The waiting lists are incredibly long ( 69 weeks in my area ). Hoping you are already seeing a neurologist and able to access this though 
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      Vgm · 9 months ago
      @Liz Have you tried Botox? It is available on NHS for chronic migraine and has a wonderful success rate. 
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      Lorraine · 10 months ago
      @Liz Good luck, I tried and didn’t get it but I am interested if you do though x
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Karen · 11 months ago
      @Jenny Best of luck to you.:)
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      Horrifying · 11 months ago
      @Jenny They don’t care , don’t believe what success on claims or reassessment. The dwp won’t more people off it and in work.
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    Nanamoo · 11 months ago
    I've had Fibromyalgia for at least 20 years now and since I 1st tried to claim DLA around 2008/9 I've had to fight tooth & nail for it. Every single time I've had to take it as far as a tribunal to get an award, which was usually only for about 2yrs of an active award due to how long it took each time to get to a tribunal.  Only once have I had an award for longer than that and that was after  my last renewal in 2020, that time they had taken my award of enhanced mobility & standard care away. I asked to take it to a tribunal. Before I got a tribunal date, I got a call from a DWP decision maker asking for more info before it went to tribunal, to see if they could change the decision from the mandatory reconsideration. 2 days later the same person phoned back to say that after looking at all the info they had from previous awards/tribunals and what I'd told them over the phone, that they couldn't is good conscience go against what the last tribunal had decided and they would be reinstating my award in full. This time for a lot longer, 8 years!! 
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    Wendy · 11 months ago
    Guess these findings reinforce that it’s the impact on everyday life that matters most. Applying for PiP made me realise how much I can’t do because of my osteoarthritis, whereas my vasculitis has been the condition that turned my life upside down. The harsh strong treatment is hard to live with, but difficult to articulate on the application form. I was intrigued to discover my lifelong hearing impairment didn’t count for anything because I can lip read and use hearing aids. But in future reviews I’m going to emphasise the combination of all three issues on my everyday life. An ear or respiratory infection, which I’m prone to because of the vasculitis treatment, can make hearing aids useless, fatigue much much worse and increase joint pain so it’s difficult to communicate with people that help me.  
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    N H · 11 months ago
    The success rate for "Asperger's" should be 0 given it doesn't exist. It's Autism. DSM5 doesn't recognise the Nazi originated condition, nor should it.
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      Vgm · 9 months ago
      @Simon NH isn’t denying the existence of the condition, it is the name Asperger’s, they are saying doesn’t exist as a condition. Since 2013 it has come under the Autistic Spectrum Disorder umbrella, distancing it from Hans Asperger once thought the pioneer of autistic studies but who was later found to be a paediatrician working for the Nazi party. He worked identifying children with disabilities and sending them to their deaths. 
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      Simon · 9 months ago
      @N H Not sure your choice of wording is the best. Quite aggressive in fact.
      Aspergers existed for some time because of its very specific set of traits. When you live with people with it you come to understand. My nephews are autistic and in the very true sense of the understanding, in that they are pretty much locked away in their own world. My son and 2 of my daughters are what was previously known as aspergers, very high functioning but with so many difficulties with social aspects and the chaos of life.
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    Julie · 11 months ago
    I managed to help my friend win her appeal.  
    She suffers with primary progressive MS and had to reapply last March ( I didn’t help her with that) she had an assessment over the phone with a non medical professional who had never heard of MS.   When she finally got the decision back they said nothing had changed so she was going to continue getting the lower rate care component and nothing for mobility.   One letter had awarded her points for mobility but then a letter few days later another letter turned up saying she had zero points.   That’s when I stepped in and set in motion the appeal she put me down as someone they could deal with so I was able to do the mandatory reconsideration part over the phone for her nothing changed so we then took it to tribunal before the day of the tribunal my friend received a phone call from DWP saying they could award her the higher rate for care but still nothing for mobility, my friend can’t speak when she gets upset or worried it’s part of her MS it affects her speech so she asked them to ring me about it, I’d said to my friend that we would go to the tribunal if nothing was changed after I spoke to the lady from DwP the next day they awarded my friend the higher rates for both.   I must admit I burst into tears then as I knew how much it would mean to my friend she’d be able to get the extra help she needs.   I wouldn’t of been able to do it without the guidelines here and the fact I was doing it for someone else gave me more confidence. I’m visually impaired myself so do struggle with a lot of things myself.  But whole point of her story is don’t give up take it as far as you have to and ask for help if you need it.    
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    Isla · 11 months ago
    Migraine seems to be difficult; they totally ignored most of how it affects me four days a week, and the assessor made things up as she went along, recorded incorrect information and missed some.
    The system is set up for you to fail.
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    Heather · 11 months ago
    Grump. Laptop broken, and Success Rates... is almost impossible to navigate on a phone. Can anyone tell me if there's a chronic pain. Primary CP, secondary CP, chronic back pain, chronic lumbar pain, or anything involving radiculopathy in it?

    Laptop requires £50 to take it in, w/ no guarantee it'll work on the other end. More charges may apply. Thus I'm unlikely to be computer-enabled for the foreseeable future...

    Ty all!






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    wibblum · 11 months ago
    This is a long post, but bear with me.

    I was recently diagnosed as autistic after a lengthy assessment process. I had always felt 'different' and suffered with various forms of social anxiety since childhood and was persuaded by medical professionals that I might actually diagnose as autistic. I had long considered that I might have Asperger Syndrome (believing myself too 'high-functioning' to be 'fully autistic' from a diagnostic standpoint), and so when offered the chance to finally find out, I agreed to be assessed.

    I have been proved wrong about the Asperger's, largely because (according to my assessors) 'Asperger Syndrome' now no longer exists as an official classification on the autism scale, having been 'folded into' a more general diagnosis of 'Autistic Disorder'. There is some controversy in this development in that some 'Aspies' understandably consider less specificity unhelpful. But in terms of PIP success, it means I will actually stand a better chance of receiving an award - so perhaps the chances of those already diagnosed with Asperger's (51.1%) could increase with a new diagnosis where it would now be reclassified as Autism (72.3%)?

    I also suffer with chronic lymphoedema - and was amazed to find it scores so highly (71.6%), particularly as my own specialist advised against claiming for it at all as in her words "the DWP don't even recognise it as a medical condition"! Luckily, I ignored that advice and am likely only in receipt of full Mobility now because I did!

    Of course, all of this is could be up in the air now with the tories' desperate exciting new plan to 'transform' the WCA in order to 'help' the disabled back into work, so it might be best to see what changes are imposed before making any important decisions.
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