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I have Ostioarthritis it started in 2015 when l was 42. I first was told l needed both hips replaced and got these done and when l applied for a blue badge the woman told me that l would be getting badge for 3 years and be assesed again but also told me about pip. I have worked full time all my life then suddenly my life was turned upside down. The pain just moved its way to my knee's and spine. At this point l was in constant pain and was told both knee's needed replaced. I had to give up my position as bank manager and go part time as the pain was to much and getting worse. I could hadly drive. I applied for pip and the form was a nightmare. I read a lot into it and Denise on here also advised me a lot on it. I got my 1st f2f which l must say was ok compaired to some of the stories l had heard about ATOS. The woman was fair and full of empathy and a few weeks later l was awarded standard rate for both catagories. I made sure l sent in loads of evidence like letters from my consultants, xrays and a letter from the lady who assesed me for blue badge. But as time went on so did my OA is spread to my ankles and feet and my back was sore constantly. So l sent in a change of circumstance. Well doing the form again was hard enough but my f2f this time was awful. She was meant to be a nurse and tbh l think she had made up her mind before l entered the room. She did the trick about getting me to walk to the very end of corridor. I had just had ankle surgery and was in crutches with a moonboot on. My husband had to basically help he all along and l stopped in middle as l was struggling and eventually got there but was in tears. She was the most unpleasant lady every. I suffer from anxiety because l an rarely out the house now and have been off my work so long because of diffrent operations. She never gave me a medical exam and there was no bed in the room. I was crying most of way through assesment but she never once asked if l would like a break or water or if l was ok. She would not let my husband answer questions even though l was struggling. I never once looked up at her but had a hankie in my hand. I did not do well in the memory tests as l am on high levels of morohine and get mixed up. Everything l told her was true that l could not get in and out bath even with bathboard and my husband washed me upper and lower half and my hair as the pain in my back was to sore. I told her l had slept on my couch for 2 years and things were just getting so much worse. I provided more evidence from my consultants. But it was like the fastest she could get through it the better. I said l was unable to drive now as concentration had gone plus l had a manual car and my ankles would not allow me to drive it without severe pain. She got to end and handed my husband a leflet and said l should not be telling you this but to appeal and win get a nore detailed letter from doctor to say tou can't do tasks. I just wanted out but my husband said to me walking out well thats us either getting the same or less because of how she was. I called and got a copy of my report. Well to say it was a total farse is an understatment. It was full of lies and contraditions. I worked it out l had scored exact same as first one......2 points of getting enhanced. I though about it for a while and again got some advice from Denise (thank you). I went to citizens advice where they done my MR letter for me. I got another 2 more detailed letters from my surgeons. I also went to my local MP and asked for her help. She was brilliant. Firstly she pointed out that this nurse had puta detaied medical review for me which never happened and found all the flaws. Like her saying l did not have anxiety yet cried. There was loads. She wrote a letter of complaint to ATOS and to the DWP. A month or so passed and my mum was terminally ill in a hospice and unfortunatly died last week. But l got a call on friday to let me know l had got my enhanced rate without going to appeals. Although the news came at such a sad time for me and it has took the feeling of achivement away it just shows you what you can do if you don't give up or give in as thats what they want you to do. I went through every channel to get help and back up and it worked. Now l have no job as my OA it to bad and my husband has to work part time from home to be my carer. I have lost most of the income coming into my house.
I just wonder now l have no job because of my illness l would be entitled to any other benifit or would pip be my only one.
My advice don't give in and get a copy of the report and check it again and again. And get as much evidence as you can. I just wish my mum was here to see that l had got what l deserved.
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