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Thread: Tips for applying for PIP when you have mental health problems

  1. #1

    Tips for applying for PIP when you have mental health problems

    Hi

    I have lived with OCD, depression and memory problems for a decade. I also have Raynaud’s Syndrome. I have been on ESA for the last several years. I finally decided to apply for PIP because I have found it increasingly difficult to cope with life during the last few months.

    I have the PIP application form and after looking through the questions, it seems as if PIP is primarily for people who are physically disabled.

    In my view, it doesn’t really seem to be for people with mental health problems.

    Therefore, I should be grateful if I get could get some general advice on how I should go about answering the questions.


    I’m happy to provide more information if necessary.
    Last edited by Retrofuture; 16-07-20 at 22:37.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gus607's Avatar
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    Obviously you have not done enough research on this. I would suggest you get advice from welfare rights or similar organisations.
    Call me Mike.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gus607 View Post
    Obviously you have not done enough research on this. I would suggest you get advice from welfare rights or similar organisations.
    Harsh.

    I agree the questions are worded towards physical disabilities. But the fact is, most can be answered from a mental health perspective and your mental health issues will probably cover a lot of things. Mental health does affect how you behave and what you can do physically at times. So, things like preparing food - how often do you cook a meal from scratch? Does your depression limit this? Does your OCD make it so it takes you a longer time? Do you need to do things a certain way or in a particular order? Does this affect your concentration and are you therefore more likley to burn yourself?

    Try not to get bogged down too much on the wording they use. If you have issues with an activity, go into detail about why and how you're limited. In hindsight, I'd pick an actual descriptor for each question and explain why you believe your limitations satisfy that descriptor. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by quest View Post
    Harsh.

    I agree the questions are worded towards physical disabilities. But the fact is, most can be answered from a mental health perspective and your mental health issues will probably cover a lot of things. Mental health does affect how you behave and what you can do physically at times. So, things like preparing food - how often do you cook a meal from scratch? Does your depression limit this? Does your OCD make it so it takes you a longer time? Do you need to do things a certain way or in a particular order? Does this affect your concentration and are you therefore more likley to burn yourself?

    Try not to get bogged down too much on the wording they use. If you have issues with an activity, go into detail about why and how you're limited. In hindsight, I'd pick an actual descriptor for each question and explain why you believe your limitations satisfy that descriptor. Good luck.
    Hi quest

    Many thanks for your suggestions - it has given me some things to think about. The OCD in particular is restrictive as my life revolves around the rules and routines. I'm just concerned that the OCD rituals and the time it consumes won't really be seen things that limit me because a daily task such as preparing a meal or showering eventually gets completed (it just takes me much longer because of the rituals and repetitive actions).
    Last edited by Retrofuture; 16-07-20 at 22:38.

  5. #5
    Every descriptor/task must be able to be done safely, reliably and to an acceptable standard (for most days). As an example, taking 7 hours to take a shower gets done but not to a reasonable standard (of time) that is acceptable to most people. Only being able to go outside during darkness is going out... but again not to an acceptable standard to most people.

    There are not hard and fast rules for every single thing and that is why you should detail the things which affect you and how (and then most likely appeal them lol). Definitely get advice if you can, keeping things clear, consistent and concise helps smooth the process.
    Last edited by grrrrrowl; 17-07-20 at 04:54.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrrrowl View Post
    Every descriptor/task must be able to be done safely, reliably and to an acceptable standard (for most days). As an example, taking 7 hours to take a shower gets done but not to a reasonable standard (of time) that is acceptable to most people. Only being able to go outside during darkness is going out... but again not to an acceptable standard to most people.

    There are not hard and fast rules for every single thing and that is why you should detail the things which affect you and how (and then most likely appeal them lol). Definitely get advice if you can, keeping things clear, consistent and concise helps smooth the process.
    Hi grrrrrowl

    Thank you for the replying.
    That makes things a lot clearer. I can see how the effects of my OCD could apply to the questions. I think I am overthinking it (I suppose it is a symptom of the OCD). You're right it's best to keep it clear, consistent and concise.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Retrofuture View Post
    Hi quest

    Many thanks for your suggestions - it has given me some things to think about. The OCD in particular is restrictive as my life revolves around the rules and routines. I'm just concerned that the OCD rituals and the time it consumes won't really be seen things that limit me because a daily task such as preparing a meal or showering eventually gets completed (it just takes me much longer because of the rituals and repetitive actions).
    If you go through an MR and appeal, you will find that how you argue your case is important. I would suggest looking on the gov.uk website for published handbook the DWP assessors use to score things - there are examples and that will give you an idea how things are scored and what descriptor would suit best.

    The 50% rule - can you do something more than half the time - is the one that assessors refer to most. But as someone else said, you have to be able to do it 50% of the time at an acceptable standard. So for example, someone who takes more than twice as long to walk up a flight of stairs is seen as not being able to do it in a reasonable timeframe. There are exceptions though. For example, someone who cannot go outside because it is dangerous for them to be alone (perhaps suicidal or memory issues mean they get lost). The greater the risk to safety, the less the 50% rule applies, and weighing that balance is a matter of opinion. The courts are far more reasonable on the issue of safety than the DWP. Most of the time the DWP will underscore you, saying they think that given your condition you can do things that you can't. Prepare for that so you don't get too upset by it.

    Ask people who know you best to write a letter - anyone who lives with you or helps you - as well as nurses and doctors. Consider writing your own letter too if you think it could help to give them a fuller picture.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by quest View Post
    If you go through an MR and appeal, you will find that how you argue your case is important. I would suggest looking on the gov.uk website for published handbook the DWP assessors use to score things - there are examples and that will give you an idea how things are scored and what descriptor would suit best.

    The 50% rule - can you do something more than half the time - is the one that assessors refer to most. But as someone else said, you have to be able to do it 50% of the time at an acceptable standard. So for example, someone who takes more than twice as long to walk up a flight of stairs is seen as not being able to do it in a reasonable timeframe. There are exceptions though. For example, someone who cannot go outside because it is dangerous for them to be alone (perhaps suicidal or memory issues mean they get lost). The greater the risk to safety, the less the 50% rule applies, and weighing that balance is a matter of opinion. The courts are far more reasonable on the issue of safety than the DWP. Most of the time the DWP will underscore you, saying they think that given your condition you can do things that you can't. Prepare for that so you don't get too upset by it.

    Ask people who know you best to write a letter - anyone who lives with you or helps you - as well as nurses and doctors. Consider writing your own letter too if you think it could help to give them a fuller picture.
    Hi quest, thanks for the suggestions

    I wasn't aware of the public availability of the assessor's handbook. I will definitely look at it. Your explanation of the 50% gives me a better understanding of how my answers will assessed.
    I live alone at the moment and I don't get any help from anyone, so writing my own letter will be my only option. I will consider it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Retrofuture View Post
    Hi quest, thanks for the suggestions

    I wasn't aware of the public availability of the assessor's handbook. I will definitely look at it. Your explanation of the 50% gives me a better understanding of how my answers will assessed.
    I live alone at the moment and I don't get any help from anyone, so writing my own letter will be my only option. I will consider it.
    In respect to living alone, some questions ask about an aid or assistance. If you need help from someone to do things but don't currently get it, and muddle on through not doing things safely, reliably etc, you still answer yes to those questions. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by quest View Post
    In respect to living alone, some questions ask about an aid or assistance. If you need help from someone to do things but don't currently get it, and muddle on through not doing things safely, reliably etc, you still answer yes to those questions. Good luck.
    Many thanks for the tip, quest. I'll keep it in mind when answering the questions. Will keep the thread updated on my progress.

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