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Thread: PIP Review and Evidence

  1. #1

    PIP Review and Evidence

    Hello, I'm new to the forums, I'm looking for a little bit of advice. I have depression, severe anxiety (agoraphobia and maybe social anxiety) and fibromyalgia.

    I've just gotten my PIP review a year early, which I've asked them about, it's apparently normal. I was awarded PIP enhanced for both and carers for my Son.

    I'll try and explain the best I can, my anxiety is pretty bad atm and my FM has flared up so I'm not feeling great and my concentration isn't brilliant.

    I have an appointment with Welfare Rights on the 3rd, while I was speaking to Welfare Rights I asked about evidence because I'm pretty worried about the lack of it (I'll explain below) he told me that I wouldn't need any because it's a review? but to be fair he doesn't know the extent of my health problems and how little the last person that did my orginal claim wrote on the form. My Son did try and call to speak to him about it but he was out of the office and my Son was told that the person is very good at his job and will ask for any relevent info he needs at the appointment.

    The evidence in regards to my mental health is old, but I'm told it's ok as long as nothing has changed, which it hasn't, but the problem is the evidence I have for my FM, it's pretty much none existent and the reasons for that is because even though I've been diagnosed by three different GP's with FM they've never referred me to anywhere, no rheumotologist, no pain clinic, nothing, and yes I did ask, it is on my medical summary obviously and I don't think there's any point in asking the GP's for a letter because firstly they don't really know me (GP's keep leaving), last year when my Son asked for a letter to support a home assessment the receptinist was moaning and saying the GP won't like this and they are always busy, 3 - 4 weeks wait for appointments. The only things I have in regards to my FM are from when my previous GP tried to help me move home, I also have paperwork from the council assessor who assessed me for a ground floor property (I now live in a bungalow) and I have two recent letter from the sleep clinic, one says that my fatigue is probably because of my FM and that I no longer have aponea.

    The only perosn that knows how my health problems affect me daily is my son who is also my carer. I was thinking about asking my Son to help me write a diary?

    So I'm really worrying and making myself feel ill and don't know what to do in regards to evidence.

    I hope I've made sense above, my headache is bad today.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Hi Amathyst,

    It is normal to get a PIP review for a year before you old award runs out.
    This is to make sure there is plenty of time to get a new assessment done before it does run out.

    I don't get PIP myself so will let others who do get PIP advise on the rest.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
    I find this forum is more useful for ESA and Universal Credit than PIP. I would strongly recommend looking at this forum for PIP help: https://community.scope.org.uk/categ...-about-pip-dla

    I have had to go through two PIP Mandatory Reconsiderations and two PIP Tribunals. Winning both times at Tribunal. The big mistake I made in both PIP reviews is I ticked the "no change" box and left it at that. Instead, write all your problems again, even if there's been "no change". PIP isn't so much about your conditions. It's the effect your condition has on your daily life. There are many people who claim PIP successfully that have no diagnosed medical conditions. Make sure for each descriptor you're claiming for, to have one or two good real-life examples of why you can't do it. Be specific and don't sugarcoat it. For example, I receive 4 points for the descriptor "Preparing food". The reason I get it is that I can't cook a simple meal without supervision. I said something like the following at my Tribunal "I'm unable to cook food by myself due to my autism. When I've tried to cook food by myself in the past, I've set off the smoke alarm. I have also accidentally cut and burned myself when attempting to cook by myself". For me it's autism. But you could easily replace that with depression. The key is to show that you can't reliably do the descriptor without some kind of help. I also receive 2 points for the descriptor "Washing & bathing" this is because I need to use a handrail in the shower due to balance issues. They class the handrail as an "aid" so I receive 2 points because I can't safely wash myself without the help of an aid.

    I should also warn you that even if you fill out your PIP review form well. You may still need to go to a reassessment with a "Health Professional". In my experience they will do whatever they can to trick and confuse you. If you fail, don't give up. Go through the Mandatory Reconsideration and then the Tribunal if needs be. Don't let these monsters take away your entitlements. I wish you good luck.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Fight4Justice View Post
    I find this forum is more useful for ESA and Universal Credit than PIP. I would strongly recommend looking at this forum for PIP help: https://community.scope.org.uk/categ...-about-pip-dla

    I have had to go through two PIP Mandatory Reconsiderations and two PIP Tribunals. Winning both times at Tribunal. The big mistake I made in both PIP reviews is I ticked the "no change" box and left it at that. Instead, write all your problems again, even if there's been "no change". PIP isn't so much about your conditions. It's the effect your condition has on your daily life. There are many people who claim PIP successfully that have no diagnosed medical conditions. Make sure for each descriptor you're claiming for, to have one or two good real-life examples of why you can't do it. Be specific and don't sugarcoat it. For example, I receive 4 points for the descriptor "Preparing food". The reason I get it is that I can't cook a simple meal without supervision. I said something like the following at my Tribunal "I'm unable to cook food by myself due to my autism. When I've tried to cook food by myself in the past, I've set off the smoke alarm. I have also accidentally cut and burned myself when attempting to cook by myself". For me it's autism. But you could easily replace that with depression. The key is to show that you can't reliably do the descriptor without some kind of help. I also receive 2 points for the descriptor "Washing & bathing" this is because I need to use a handrail in the shower due to balance issues. They class the handrail as an "aid" so I receive 2 points because I can't safely wash myself without the help of an aid.

    I should also warn you that even if you fill out your PIP review form well. You may still need to go to a reassessment with a "Health Professional". In my experience they will do whatever they can to trick and confuse you. If you fail, don't give up. Go through the Mandatory Reconsideration and then the Tribunal if needs be. Don't let these monsters take away your entitlements. I wish you good luck.
    Thanks for your reply. I have been on that forum and they kept saying it needs to say on the form how it impacts my daily life which is fine but I explained to the same person numerous times after they told me that I need evidence to say how I'm impacted, I told them I don't have any evidence like that in regards to FM but the person had no suggestions, just more or less kept saying the same thing over and over but in different words, it was nice of them to advise me, I can speak to the Welfare Rights officer about this and make sure he knows that he needs to add more info than he thinks, the last form had limited info on it and it was pre FM diagnoses. However, I was awarded PIP, enhanced rate for both and my Son is my carer. I'll see if I can get the Welfare Rights officers email, both me and my Son have anxiety so it's sort of hard to explain over the phone.

    What my main concern is as I've said before, I don't have any evidence to say how my fibromyalgia impacts me on a daily basis, I have NEVER been referred to anywhere and yet three different GP's have said I have FM, the first was in 2014, she said I had pretty much tried everything they would offer for FM, counselling, CBT, anti depressants/anxiety meds, painkillers, physio, acupuncture, none of it worked in all honesty, she did no blood tests to rule out anything else, the second one at a different surgery just agreed with the first one WITHOUT reading my medical history and the third one which was this year actually had blood tests done to rule out other things, they came back normal, so she also agreed with the diagnoses, asked if I had seen a rheumotologist and when I said no she said they would do pretty much the same as she's done and that's to rule out other issues *sigh*

    I even said I would TRY and ask my Dr for a letter, the person more or less said it wouldn't help because my GP wouldn't know what sort of impact it has on me, so isn't that the same for any health care professional then? Our conditions affect us in different ways.

    To be very honest, the only person that knows how I'm impacted on a daily basis apart from myself and he doesn't know everything, is my Son, who is also my carer.

    So does the welfare rights officer need to state I have no evidence as such in regards to my FM and say why? or will a letter from myself and my Son help?

  5. #5
    A letter from your Doctor would help as even though the Doctor can't comment on the effect on your life, they can confirm the diagnosis. That proves you have the condition and is necessary as otherwise, anyone could try to claim PIP by just saying they have this or that. It's then up to you and your son to explain how that confirmed condition actually impacts you.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoodle View Post
    A letter from your Doctor would help as even though the Doctor can't comment on the effect on your life, they can confirm the diagnosis. That proves you have the condition and is necessary as otherwise, anyone could try to claim PIP by just saying they have this or that. It's then up to you and your son to explain how that confirmed condition actually impacts you.
    When I suggested that somewhere else they told me it was no good, that it's nothing to do with what you are diagnosed with but how it impacts you, I can easily prove I have FM, severe anxiety and depression via a patient summary from the Dr's surgery. (sorry for repeating what I said in my other post).

    I was saying the same to my Son earlier in regards to me and him maybe having to write a letter each, the problem is for me, I don't have very good concentration, same as my attention span, when I type these posts it takes me a bit and I constantly delete what I've typed unless it's a short post.

  7. #7
    Proof of the diagnosis is required - evidence of the effect on you would be good if you can get it - evidence of aids and appliances being provided for instance, but if you can't get that a description of the effects is acceptable. I also have FM and ME along with some mental health issues and arthritis. The diagnoses from the relevant specialists or GP prove that I have those conditons and then mostly it's my own descriptions of the effects on my life that are needed to gain benefit. This is because even with confirmed diagnoses, the DWP need to know how it affects you as two peope with the same condition may be affected very differently.

  8. #8
    Hi Amathyst,

    Firstly, my sympathies to your conditions and worries.

    My father has very severe conditions and is unable to look after his own affairs. It appears to me you are in the same situation. Therefore, I now deal with all his DWP affairs on his behalf. It is called being an appointee. If your son is willing to do that for you then he justs needs to contact the DWP & someone will come out to interview both of you to ensure you both agree to it and you are truely unable to cope with the DWP yourself because of your conditions. The people that come to do the checks are usually very nice & you don't get a "Spanish Inquisition" - nothing like DWP medicals! Your son does not need to do everything himself concerning your benefits. He can get advice from other people or agencies to help him. He just has to be the contact for you concerning your DWP affairs. If he is willing and able to do that for you it will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Alternatively, you could ask another family member or friend to be your appointee if your son will not or cannot take on the responsibility. They may be organisations in your area that also do this, but I advise you to choose somebody that you know well and trust if you can.

    In my experience I wouldn't worry too much about getting letters from Doctors at your surgery - especially if they are not too willing & especially if they charge. The DWP will contact your Doctors for verification of your conditions if they want them. As long as you have seen one or more Doctors at your surgery about your conditions then it will be on record at the surgery. They are legally obliged to record all consultations, so even if Doctors have left your medical records will still be available for your new Doctor. They are also obliged to fill in any forms the DWP send them and you may challenge anything they put or omit on the forms. If your review goes badly make sure you get a copy of everything the assessor used from the DWP so you can appeal.

    Hope my experiences with your worries are of help.

    Kind regards,
    RedFox

  9. #9
    Thanks @noisynoodle I'll speak to the Welfare Rights officer about it or my Son will and see if it's worth asking for a letter from one of the GP's, My previous Dr when I asked for info for the ESA50 would just do a short letter because he thoughts on it were that the people performing the medicals aren't properly trained medical people. I shall also get an up to date patient summary. I've actually been waiting a year for a WCA home assessment... I'm in no hurry though lol. I have a couple of aids, I can't remember where the paperwork is for them though, one of them I'm sending back because I can't use it and the shower chair I still use, I bought the walking stick myself.

    Thank you for the info @RedFox I only really have my Mum and Son and I would have to speak to my Son about being an appointee because he also has anxiety himself and hates the phone just as much as I do. The problem is conflicting information when trying to get advice, for example, when I was speaking to Welfare Rights, the person who has been appointed to doing my form pretty much said it would be "quick and easy" and said I didn't need evidence, even after I told him since my PIP award I've been diagnosed with FM, but I don't think he realises just how little info the last person that filled my PIP form wrote on my last form and that I have other problems now. I'm going to have to try and contact him before my appointment with him just to clarify this.
    Last edited by Amathyst; 11-24-2018 at 12:32 PM.

  10. #10
    Hi again Amathyst,

    Yes, you are right that advise varies because people have different experiences.

    As yours is a reassessment, the DWP are really looking to see if you are any better or worse than your initial assessment. So as long as your conditions have not improved you should be fine with your award.

    You can be assured that the DWP contact your Doctors when you first make a claim if they thin there is insufficient medical evidence that you supply, so I doubt if they will bother again unless they want an update from them about your conditions at present.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Kind regards,
    RedFox

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