Just received PIPletter and feeling suicidal

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hi, I have a range of health issues, fibromyalgia, long term mental health issues, bowel problems, keratoconus and asthma among others, and was getting DLA. Filled in PIP form and had so called assessment, and just received the letter saying basically I have no disability, and everything I put on the form is a lie. Of course Saturday so I can't even talk to them, plus I find phones really stressful. I am currently going into free fall mentally, I feel more paranoid and stressed than I have for over a year. It's not just the money, though my life will be hard without it, but the fact that they are pretty much calling me a liar and a cheat. How do other people cope with this?

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  • Posted

    How do other people cope you ask?

    Well I was on DLA since 1995 receiving an indefinite award of High Mobility & Middle Care. I also had many reviews which agreed with that award.

    My turn came at age 67 to move over to PIP. Basically I thought about the implications and half heartedly made the phone call to start the transfer off.

    I couldn't get it out of my mind that with PIP it was a certainty that I would have to have regular re-assessments until the day I peg it. I was honest with myself when I did the on line PIP test and only managed 4 points.

    So the choice was made - did I think that I could cope with the re-assessments, face to face medicals. looking for evidence, possibly having to cope with an MR and then a Tribunal hearing every couple of years and the answer was no.

    So I allowed the DWP to close down my DLA award because of my failure to co-operate with their sick system.

    Yes we have lost over £250 a week in benefits (40% of our income) because of this and whilst we are now free of the DWP it has left us in financial difficulties which we will eventually over come.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, might be the best choice, poverty over the trauma of being called a liar. It's a great choice
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    • Posted

      It's a bit more than being called a liar - it's having to prove to the DWP and the Tribunal Service on a regular basis that you are not a liar!!!

      That is what I call a continuing trauma - whereas with poverty, at least no one can take away the bit we have left coming in - our state pensions.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes I take your point, and proving you're not a liar again and again is the hard part, and the thing that destroys you. Part of my disability is a major depressive illness, and after a while I will believe them, and drop into a spiral  of illness. But as for poverty, my situation is that I currently have a capital sum over the limit, inheritance money, so I cannot get any means tested benefits. I am currently working part time, but the things I used the DLA for enabled me to work, without them I really don't know if it is possible. So, they are pushing me into the situation of using up my capital- this is money that I had hoped to keep for boiler replacement, or other repairs that my home is bound to need over the ne 30 years- then, when it is gone, go back onto benefits. So, for a short term saving on PIP they push me back into long term benefits dependency. Which doesn't make financial sense, plus of course I don't want to be on benefits, if it wasn't for my health conditions I would have been able to work full time, not have any gaps in my career, and be earning a lot more. As it is, with DLA I am otherwise living independently, have my self respect, and of course pay council tax etc into the public coffers.

      the best would be of course that I could earn enough not to need anything from them, but this is unlikely.

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    • Posted

      I cannot understand this sick system - the government say that the population at large demands that those claiming sickness/disability benefits should have to prove their entitlement at regular intervals. The government also have said that DLA was too outdated, far too expensive and did not target those with most need.

      So when you are getting older 65+ it should be common sense that health is going to deteriorate - so why should they have to prove their entitlement as would someone in their 30's?

      For goodness sake the government are still pedalling Attendance Allowance which is far easier to get and it does not come with the regular re-assessment regime.So what is the difference between PIP and AA for those who are now at least 68 and waiting to be transported to PIP from DLA?

      The problem I have found out is that the government will not allow the over 65's to claim AA if they have had the opportunity to go for PIP from DLA.

      I made a claim for AA recently and have been told by the DWP that the claim is not valid as I still have the option of appealing against the refusal to migrate from DLA to PIP - I don't want PIP, I want AA!!

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    • Posted

      The system doesn't work. Yes, DLA cost a lot, and it would have been better if there was some scheme of assessing and helping people who could work to get back into work, either paid or unpaid, but in general it meant people who were disabled got the money they needed to live. I don't think, from my experience that many people were cheating the system.

      now, as you say there's this strange system where some older people can get AA and others are trapped in the PIP shambles, and for people like me who want to work but need a bit of support, there isn't anything. I know several friends who are suicidal because of the way they've been treated- how come we have gone from being disabled one day getting high rate DLA to suddenly being not disabled at all on PIP? 

      The tragedy is that like lots of others I'll end up having to stop work, use up my capital, then going back on benefits, costing the state more money! Plus, I'm in my early 50's, I'm not yet ready to retire

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    • Posted

      Thanks, I'm 68 in June and don't (can't) want to work - been there done that for 44 years with no breaks!

      All I want is what I believe I should get - an amount of money per week that will go some where to paying for the extra costs I incur because I am disabled.

      Why can't I claim AA? Why do I have to go back to the beginning and appeal the decision made months ago that as I failed to claim in the correct manner for PIP, they closed down my DLA claim and ironically I am now too old to start a new claim for PIP. It seems that as it was my fault for cocking up the system by not following their stupid rules for claiming PIP I am being refused the choice/chance to claim AA instead.

      I don't want PIP - I don't want the aggravation that goes with it and I am too old and knackered to keep having to fight the DWP!!

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    • Posted

      Hi,  les                                                                                                              Don"t think i can tollerate this nonse much longer myself. like you say never ending appeals,f2f, mr"s. Going through it now. Having hard time. ESA got red marker on me, PIP talking nonsence. Didn"t feel like i do now Having to go into the coal face. Best part about this is, I"m only where i am now through an industrial injury.   TaKe care.                                                                                                        
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    • Posted

      Les I just wish you would finally understand that there is a procedure in place for claiming benefits and if we want to access those benefits we have to follow that procedure and playing the Martyr benefits no-one apart from the DWP.

      The simple fact is we don’t have the right to pick and choose our benefits we receive what we are entitled to by the rules laid down.

      In your case when you reached the end of working age your DLA/PIP continued providing you followed the procedure and you didn’t have an option switch to Attendance Allowance. There is actually good reason to keep your DLA/PIP as that keeps the mobility element which is not the case with AA.

      Honestly if you have still got an opportunity to appeal THEN DO IT!!!! From what I remember there were grounds for disability discrimination as the DWP failed to provide someone with a hearing impediment a paper application.

      Also second guessing the re-assessment criteria for those over working age is a bit of a gamble as the likelihood is the DWP will be looking for their savings in the working population as they always have. In any case 5 years worth of PIP is better than 0 years of PIP.

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    • Posted

      My mental health problems are also, like you, related to an industrial accident for which I receive a lifetime award of Industrial Injuries Benefit.

      I have had, for that award, seven face to face re-assessments up until November 2011 when it was made 'lifetime'.

      But as they say, none of those reports (all completed by the DWP doctors) mean anything to a PIP claim. It was not even accepted as evidence in an ESA claim back in 2010 where I was informed by ATOS that I was not and never had any form of mental health issues.

      The thought of PIP re-assessments every two years and everything that goes with it for the next possible 20 years (at age 88) is not worth thinking about! Christ is this what is expected of the future older generation?

      It seems that the DWP are of the opinion that failing to claim a benefit and/or not going through the appeal process would preclude me being able to claim Attendance Allowance.

      I'm jacking the whole lot in as I cannot cope with all of this any longer.

       

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    • Posted

      I do appreciate that there are procedures to follow. One of them is that you are entitled to start the transfer from DLA to PIP by way of a from PIP1. It is not a laid down fact that you must use the telephone to start the claim. The DWP don't like issuing the form and would much prefer if you would use the telephone - but that is their interpretation of the law, not what the law (regulations) actually say.

      Knowing this I sent them a letter requesting form PIP1 this was then followed up with a reminder letter saying that I had not received it - all of this took place welll within the 30 days allowed and they don't deny receiving my letters.

      Why the form PIP1? First it gives more info, secondly it gives you rights that you are not told about if you claim over the phone, thirdly there is a copy of what has been said and finally I am moderate to severe deaf in both ears and find using the phone difficult.

      The DWP closed the transfer down as well as my DLA award because I had not followed 'their interpretation' of the regulations.

      That was nearly four months ago.

      So I never got past GO in the transfer from DLA to PIP.

      According to the regulations that if there is no valid DLA/PIP award in place and the claimant is 65+ then they can claim AA.

      However the DWP now say that I am intentionally refusing to claim PIP and as such cannot claim AA. 

      The only decision that I can see that I could appeal against is the one where the DWP have stopped the transfer and closed down the DLA award. What grounds do I have - even if it is a decision with appeal rights? I must admit that I intentionally put the DLA/PIP claim in danger as it was a way of claiming AA instead.

      It appears to me that the DWP are suggesting that I have turned down the opportunity to go for PIP with the intent of claiming AA. This they will not allow.

      My greatest fear is that if I had have gone for PIP - it is quite clear that the DWP seek to review ALL awards on a regular basis. There is nothing to suggest that they will give special consideration for those over 65 over those who are under 65. If they did I would imagine that there would be an outcry.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Newbury-rat

    It is not unusual for claimants to be frustrated and bemused by the PIP claim process, because frankly beneath the surface it was designed to do that in order to cut down on the number of claimants who would fit it’s criteria.

    Your question is how do you deal with the outcome of being rejected?

    I would advise making an appeal and studying the rationale behind the thinking of the DWP and how it awards points = to the descriptors which fit your disabilities/illness and how they affect you.

    However, you have to understand that it is not an exact science. For example one of your conditions is Keratoconus. Obviously I don’t know your full history but as an example you could suffer from a very severe form of Keratoconus in your left eye, but the right eye might be decease free. The way the DWP would literally look at it is you have one perfectly good eye which is enough to wipe any possible points you could score from the disability in the other eye, unless for example you had to wear an eye patch which would be counted as an ‘aid’ and would score points.

    So it is how your disability affects you rather than just having a disability or illness.

    You seem to suffer from several conditions so opportunities to score more points may exist there. Fibromyalgia is a very painful condition and can be debilitating. However, there are affective pain killers these days and again the DWP might rule that taking medication nullifies the effect of the condition on you. To counter that you could score points by needing prompting to take that medication due to your mental health issues.

    Mental Health could also score points in other descriptors due to prompting for preparing meals, washing/bathing, dressing, social interacting and budgeting.

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    • Posted

      I would advise making an appeal and studying the rationale behind the thinking of the DWP and how it awards points = to the descriptors which fit your disabilities/illness and how they affect you.

      I'm not saying that you are wrong, but your suggestive actions are maybe OK for someone that is fairly healthy to take onboard that fight. I work on the basis that if it is difficult for qualified welfare rights workers to deal with a Tribunal hearing (see the many posts on that subject on the Rightsnet discussion forum) how on earth are people who are already struggling with day to day life be expected to prepare and present a case at a Tribunal?

      Doesn't there come a time when you have to pick your battles for the ones that you are able to cope with and have more than a 50% chance of winning?

      I'm fairly well versed in evidence gathering, preparing submissions to court and arguing my case, but if you don't really understand the case law or what the regulations actually state (instead of what the DWP guidance rules state) for a start - you are not going to do yourself any favours. 

      Only once have I argued my own case at a Tribunal and that was in respect of Council Tax Benefit. The case went on for over 18 months with three adjournments, directions to provide on both sides leading up to a hearing that was allocated half a day. I had to have a District Judge hear the case due to the many complexities involved. I spent dozens of hours preparing my submission linking all of the arguments to cases that had been previous stated at much higher court hearings. My submission was 7 pages long and it took me 30 mins just putting forward my opening statement to the Judge. Half a day later I won but I said to myself - never again!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Anthony, useful hints, the problem is that you need to be strong enough to cope with challenging the decision, which at the moment I feel too weak, all sorts of paranoid stuff flaring up in my head. The result of this is that I feel more fragile than I have for a couple of years.
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    • Posted

      I fully understand that and indeed your fragile mental health should in theory strengthen your argument that the DWP have made a mistake.

      Go to your local Citizen's Advice they have paid case workers who specialise in helping vulnerable people challenge benefit decisions.

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    • Posted

      Les I don't disagree at all with the points you are making. For me challenging decisions is second nature and I hold no fear in taking on just about anyone. I have gone to Tribunals, County Court. High Court and Appeals Court for various different matters over the years

      However, I'm the exception not the rule and it is hard for me to know the difference when posters ask for advice so I just post the advice and signpost them to the CAB if the complexity is too much.

      But still I think posters benefit from being told how the rationale of the DWP works and they can then make an informed decision on what to do next.

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    • Posted

      Yes I agree they are very useful hints and excellent advce.

      However like you, myself and many many more people who are already tired, lack motivation and ability as well as trying to already cope with the normal day to day things that a disabled person has to cope with, fighting the DWP is a task too far. I know that I feel that way - the thought of a Tribunal again not even considering what the future holds for PIP re-assessment after re-assessment for the rest of my life, will, if I give it any thought, make me ill.

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    • Posted

      Les obviously your wellbeing comes first.

      With regard to Attendance Allowance when does the period for appealling the PIP/DLA run out and is there anything then stopping you from making a fresh application for AA?

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    • Posted

      Hi, I really do agree with you, but please remember that if you are that fragile the last thing that you feel like doing is taking the DWP to task. 

      As for the CAB, obviously each office will be different across the country. I can only talk about the ones that are within a 5 mile radius of my home. Both are in large towns. I have seen the difference since before they cut the Legal Aid budget and after it was cut.

      In both offices they now have to rely on volunteers which is fine but they can simply do not have the ability and training to do what the full time WRO's used to do. Given also that what they have and do is now more spread thinly, getting in there is a work of art.

      The last time I went with a problem regarding benefits it took three visits (one to sort out an appointment and two appointments thereafter) to actually give me no advice at all.

      I knew what I wanted and I knew where I should be with the claim, but getting there was the problem. Both offices admitted that they simply did not have the expertise to help me.

      I was signposted to a solicitor who would give me 30mins free. I knew that the case would take hours + representation so I gave up.

      It's a lovely thought that there is an organisation that would pay for case workers who specialise in helping vulnerable people, challenge the DWP. Unfortunately the reality is that it no longer exists thanks to the government cuts. You know the argument - why should the taxpayers pay professionals so that people can get more out of the benefit system.

       

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    • Posted

      I too used to have that attitude. However as my difficulties increase so has the inability to fight.

      As an example, I received through the post a few weeks ago a Fixed Penalty Notice in respect of littering. The date and time was given on the ticket.

      I knew that it wasn't me as I was in the hospital 10 miles away. However the ticket is one for an absolute offence and therefore carries no appeal rights other that defending it would have to take place in a magistrates court. I paid the £80 as there is no way I would have the strength to fight them in court even though I knew that I wasn't guilty.

      I sent the cheque off together with a letter asking how on earth had they got my name and address. The reply came back saying that an enforcement officer saw the driver throw a cigarette butt out of the car window as it went past. They obtained my details from the DVLA (I am the registered keeper) and assumed it must have been me!!

      I know who it was, it was a friend that had borrowed my car after dropping me off at the hospital then went shopping 10 miles away where the offence took place.

      Like the DWP you are guilty until you prove that you are innocent/genuine.

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    • Posted

      Les you’re correct the CAB was dealt a heavy blow by the legal aid cuts imposed by the Con/Lib Dem Government and some had to close.

      However, others found ways to cover the gap and some now run at the same level as before and that is especially true where I live in Wales where the Welsh Government really values their contribution and gives vital funding. I was a volunteer at the CAB for a couple of years and I was amazed at what they achieve will little resource. The one I volunteered in had 4 benefit case workers who were salaried and did a fantastic job. I can’t remember the exact figures but the benefit’s which were reinstated or applied successfully for reached a total in the £millions in 2014.

      The level of support does vary hugely from office to office that is true but they are worth a punt when it comes to benefit or debt issues.

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    • Posted

      Ah good old wet wales!!

      The Assembly seems to have done something good then?. Over here on the South Coast, we might be one of the areas that has the most expensive homes in Britain, but as for Welfare Rights it really is a struggle to find anyone that has anything more than a passing interest in the subject.

      I agree you can try them out, but it all depends on where you live as to the quality of advice available.

      Mind you I was up in Liverpool recently and I noticed that there were as many welfare/law clinics on the street corners as there were pubs!

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    • Posted

      Also too under the disability act 2010 any mental health problems are dealt with on the basis of how you are without taking your medicine.  Ie meds are disregarded in that case.  x
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    • Posted

      Hi Hypercat, thanks for the info, because without my meds I wouldn't be able to function, I wouldn't be able to wash, dress, get out of bed, prepare meals, leave the house. I would also b a danger to myself, and because of my paranoid thoughts a potential danger to other people.  I hate having to admit it to myself but it's my medication that makes me a functioning person. And it took about seven years of tweaking and trying different things before they got the right mix.
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