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Thread: Hearing Impaired and PIP?

  1. #1
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    Hearing Impaired and PIP?

    My husband has struggled with a number of issues over the years but was too 'proud' to claim DLA. I wish he had, but he wouldn't.

    We recently went through the saga of DLA -> PIP with our son, who has a form of autism as well as several other health issues, and were lucky enough to get an award for him. Whilst doing my son's application (I'm his appointee), we came across more and more stories of other people that ade me think my husband she really have been claiming DLA for years and, despite the 'lottery' aspect of PIP, and the sheer idiocy of the process, I decided enough is enough and husband should claim for PIP as well.

    He has a range of difficulties but the three main conditions that impact his life as he is severely hearing impaired (and degenerating); has asthma fairly severely and is also dyspraxic with all the motor skills problems and organisational difficulties that entails.

    He recently went through Access To Work where they have given him about £2000 of support to get the things in place he needs to do his job (due to the hearing loss). He's worn a hearing aid for a few years, now. His hearing has really deteriorated in the past year.

    I have looked online and am not finding much info about PIP for the hearing impaired (except the usual negative stuff that people who did get DLA for hearing impairments, are not hitting the descriptors for PIP). Although I have finished filling in his PIP 2 form and in fact he does seem, to me, to hit quite a few of the descriptors.

    His GP says he will support him. His dyspraxia is severe but has never been formally diagnosed (we have 2 kids who do have diagnoses and basically, they are exactly like him in their difficulties but my husband was at school in the 60s and 70s when dyspraxia wasn't yet recognised). His asthma is fairly severe - my mother died of it and my brother has been hospitalised with it. Husband's isn't so bad but he is on some fairly heavy duty drugs and, combined with his other issues, it makes getting around difficult. I have seen online that people with asthma also often don't get PIP if it's their only condition - unless they have a nebuliser (he doesn't) and hospital admissions (he hasn't) but again, combined with the other issues (he also has - diagnosed years ago - IBS and a spastic bladder and depression for which he has been medicated and was retired early from another job), everything together does impact him.

    Despite the help from Access To Work he is struggling with his work now and he wants to go down to 4 days a week, as he is just making his hearing worse (he works with kids - and they are incredibly loud!) If he got even Standard PIP he'd be able to cut his hours a bit, before he does himself more damage.

    So this is important to him.

    I have filled in almost all the PIP2 form, for him (like many dyspraxic people he is also dyslexic and struggles with forms). But I'm wondering if anyone else here has experience of applying for PIP with these kind of conditions (especially the hearing impairment) and how you got on, whether you got an award, etc?

    His hearing loss is fairly bad and getting worse - his other conditions may or may not come in under the radar for PIP (I feel sure he would have got DLA, at some level, had he applied - those forms were actually far less rigid in their criteria). Anyone else applied with several, interacting conditions, like this?

    I am finding so little info online about the success or otherwise of hearing impaired applicants...

  2. #2
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    PIP has only two rates for care needs (the daily living component), whereas DLA has three. This means that if you currently receive the lower rate of DLA care component for your hearing loss, you will now have to score 8 points under the ‘Communicating verbally’ activity to qualify for the standard rate of PIP. You can only do this if you need communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. Therefore, if you do not rely on sign language – for example, if you lipread – you may not be eligible for the standard rate of the daily living component unless you have some other additional need.
    The new points system also means that if you use British Sign Language (BSL), you may only be eligible for the standard rate of the daily living component of PIP, which may not reflect your needs. You can only score the 12 points needed to qualify for the enhanced rate under the ‘Communicating verbally’ activity if you cannot express or understand verbal information at all, even with communication support. Of course, you may still qualify for the enhanced rate if you score points across other daily living activities.
    If you are severely or profoundly deaf, you may no longer be eligible for the mobility component of PIP (DLA currently takes account of the needs of people with hearing loss when travelling someplace unfamiliar).
    By introducing PIP, the government set out to reduce spending on the benefit by 20%, saving more than £1 billion. However, to achieve this target, a substantial number of people who are disabled and who currently receive DLA, including those with hearing loss, will lose that support. Many see that as a step backwards, not forwards.

  3. #3
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    procedures and asked to apply for PIP from October 2015.

    Members of the deaf community have voiced concerns about the changes. Crucially, applicants applying for PIP will be graded by a points system; depending on their ability to perform daily activities and ease of mobility. The introduction of PIP will also disband the lower rate of benefit for care needs, as issued under the DLA.

    Keith Venables, Welfare Reform and Benefits Appeals Adviser at the NDCS said the removal of the lower rate will make it highly unlikely for around 25% of deaf people to qualify for PIP:
    “We also expect that many of those who currently get the middle rate of the DLA care component, around 70% of awards, will not qualify for PIP, although we will have to wait to see how this works in practice.” He added.

    According to the NDCS, around 90% of young deaf people rely on verbal communication, such as lip reading. A key concern is that those who need communication support but do not use interpreters, will not qualify for PIP.

    The DWP defend the move as one which will provide a more up-to-date picture of the needs of the country’s deaf and disabled population.

    “We have already written to all 3.3 million claimants of DLA to explain how the new benefit might affect them” said Alison Clarke, Press Officer, DWP, adding: “We are introducing a new assessment with a face-to-face consultation and more systematic reviews – something missing in the current system - to ensure the correct support is going to those who need it most.”

    Yet the NDCS have had reports that the Department are reluctant to issue forms to apply for PIP, preferring applicants to apply via the telephone, a method not viable for many deaf people. They are also concerned that PIP awards are likely to be shorter than DLA, with re-assessments every 3-5 years.

    Currently claiming DLA, Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, art psychotherapist and lead trainer with Deafax, has received a letter stating she is due for re-assessment in 2015, “I am born deaf as stated in my medical records and it cannot be cured, therefore I should not have to go through it”, she said.

    Like many others, Rubbena is concerned that her benefits, a vital £120 per month towards to cost of interpreters and travel, will be cut under PIP.

    “The information is still not clear” she said, “They expect deaf people to understand media interaction when English is often not our first or preferred language.”

    Assessments of those applying for the PIP will be conducted by Atos in Scotland, the North East, North West, London and Southern England. Capita will assess those in Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland.

    “Their assessors do not have full understanding of deafness” said a member of the UK Council on Deafness, who wished to remain anonymous. “Often, there is no communication support requested and deaf people are forced to take part in assessment that is clearly not suitable for them.”

    Another DLA claimant, who has asked not to be named, underwent a degrading assessment led by Atos in a mix-up for a benefit she was not even claiming for.

    “To assess my deafness, it involved me having to face a window, while the Atos nurse was behind me. She had to shout out numbers and names and I had to say whether I could hear what she was saying. She then got closer to judge my hearing ability.”

    “I find this very worrying and that many deaf people who have different hearing abilities will be re-assessed unfairly and their individual needs won’t be looked at in depth.

  4. #4
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    deaf

    procedures and asked to apply for PIP from October 2015.

    Members of the deaf community have voiced concerns about the changes. Crucially, applicants applying for PIP will be graded by a points system; depending on their ability to perform daily activities and ease of mobility. The introduction of PIP will also disband the lower rate of benefit for care needs, as issued under the DLA.

    Keith Venables, Welfare Reform and Benefits Appeals Adviser at the NDCS said the removal of the lower rate will make it highly unlikely for around 25% of deaf people to qualify for PIP:
    ?We also expect that many of those who currently get the middle rate of the DLA care component, around 70% of awards, will not qualify for PIP, although we will have to wait to see how this works in practice.? He added.

    According to the NDCS, around 90% of young deaf people rely on verbal communication, such as lip reading. A key concern is that those who need communication support but do not use interpreters, will not qualify for PIP.

    The DWP defend the move as one which will provide a more up-to-date picture of the needs of the country?s deaf and disabled population.

    ?We have already written to all 3.3 million claimants of DLA to explain how the new benefit might affect them? said Alison Clarke, Press Officer, DWP, adding: ?We are introducing a new assessment with a face-to-face consultation and more systematic reviews ? something missing in the current system - to ensure the correct support is going to those who need it most.?

    Yet the NDCS have had reports that the Department are reluctant to issue forms to apply for PIP, preferring applicants to apply via the telephone, a method not viable for many deaf people. They are also concerned that PIP awards are likely to be shorter than DLA, with re-assessments every 3-5 years.

    Currently claiming DLA, Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, art psychotherapist and lead trainer with Deafax, has received a letter stating she is due for re-assessment in 2015, ?I am born deaf as stated in my medical records and it cannot be cured, therefore I should not have to go through it?, she said.

    Like many others, Rubbena is concerned that her benefits, a vital ?120 per month towards to cost of interpreters and travel, will be cut under PIP.

    ?The information is still not clear? she said, ?They expect deaf people to understand media interaction when English is often not our first or preferred language.?

    Assessments of those applying for the PIP will be conducted by Atos in Scotland, the North East, North West, London and Southern England. Capita will assess those in Wales, Central England and Northern Ireland.

    ?Their assessors do not have full understanding of deafness? said a member of the UK Council on Deafness, who wished to remain anonymous. ?Often, there is no communication support requested and deaf people are forced to take part in assessment that is clearly not suitable for them.?

    Another DLA claimant, who has asked not to be named, underwent a degrading assessment led by Atos in a mix-up for a benefit she was not even claiming for.

    ?To assess my deafness, it involved me having to face a window, while the Atos nurse was behind me. She had to shout out numbers and names and I had to say whether I could hear what she was saying. She then got closer to judge my hearing ability.?

    ?I find this very worrying and that many deaf people who have different hearing abilities will be re-assessed unfairly and their individual needs won?t be looked at in depth.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2016
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    Thanks for the info.

    I guess we will just have to send it off, and report back here what his experience is - hopefully that will at least give some insight to other hearing impaired people.

    I was surprised how little info I can find about how many hearing impaired people are even getting PIP at all.

    If he gets called to a f2f - when he does, it will be interesting to see if they try that degrading sort of test on him.

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