PIP or Attendance Allowance?

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I was awarded the minimum care component of DLA, indefinite, a year or so before PIP. I am now a few months off 69 and received the dreaded PIP form in July. I had help from a charity to complete it (lady completed the form but left a few things out). 

Although I receive very little DLA my conditions have increased since the original claim. Then I had sciatica, a herniated disc, and depression. Now I also have anxiety, panic attacks, atrial tachycardia, enlarged lungs (COPD?), vertigo and quickly get very tired. I rarely go out as I no longer have any living friends or relatives and can't stay out for long, or go anywhere I don't know without panicking.

I only found one consultant's letter, about my heart. Although I received others (MRI results for disk, three cancercares and several visits for a prolapse that left me incontinent after the last treatment, but I do have a summary of my medical record (not necessarily everything) on my EMIS web page.

It has been several years since I've been able to have a GP consultation of over 5 minutes so I've never mentioned some of my problems, and now my GP does same-day telephone consultations with face to face appointments being very rare, so getting evidence would not be easy. Age UK put on my form that I needed a home assessment and if I can't get one I don't think I can get to wherever they do them. I have a car but have driven under 1000 miles in the last 5 years.

I'm assuming that I'll get no PIP, and won't be well enough for frequent assessments in my 70s and maybe later.

My PIP form was received a week ago so I'm waiting for another letter that either calls me for assessment or just turns me down.

If I receive no PIP should I apply for Attendance Allowance?.  

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    You should just apply for attendance allowance instead of PIP, my Dad was advised that when he turns 65 apply for it rather than the PIP and that they are more sympathetic to your conditions than PIP is.
    • Posted

      Attendance Allowance doesn't have the mobility part, like PIP does. The criteria for AA is completely different and can also be a very difficult benefit to claim.

  • Posted


    If you're refused PIP and apply for AA then the chances are, you'll also be refused AA because DWP will know you've recently applied for PIP. Being refused a disability benefit and to keep on re-applying is not the way to go about it. If you're refused PIP the best thing you can do is to appeal the decision by first asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration, then Tribunal if that fails.

    You can request to see your medical records and they will give you a digital copy of them all for free. What you see online is very limited and you won't be able to see everything. They are not allowed to charge you for digital copies anymore. If you're refused then this is what i'd advise you to do. You can also write a diary or a letter about how your condition affects you.

    Expect a face 2 face assessment as most people have them. For a home assessment you'll need a letter from your GP stating the reasons why you can't attend one of their assessment centres but even then they can still refuse.

    Good luck.

  • Posted

    lisa27226, I was initially advised to not claim PIP but cancel it and apply for attendance allowance. Of course that would mean a period with nothing, although my indefinite DLA was the lower care rate. I found that it's not easy to go from DLA to AA, you have to cancel the first before you can apply for the 2nd unless you were born after 30th April 2013, where you keep DLA. In fact I was awarded the DLA a few months before PIP so I was no more than 2 years too young for AA then. I'd probably never have reported worsening in my conditions plus a few extra ones if I hadn't had the PIP letter and, before that, I thought I'd not be told to apply for PIP as I am now almost 69.

    Denise, the AA form looks much simpler and I'm fairly certain I'd not get mobility allowance as I can walk over 20 meters. I didn't know which benefit to apply for and went for PIP on the advice of the DWP, who told me to claim attendance allowance if I was turned down for PIP.

    The Age UK advisor told me that I should get PIP, at least for my mental conditions as there are medical records for decades on that. I've been given the ATOS number to ask for a home visit as it would be impossible for me to travel alone, and there is nobody to go with me, I'm alone and isolated.

    So I'm going to try not to think of it until the time comes as I have a panic attack every time I do, and can't talk to anyone about my worries.

    I remember that, many years ago, I had a visit to an ATOS office in London (60 miles away) paid for by the company I worked for after my first severe bout of depression. Back then I'd never heard of them as they had no government contracts.

    So now all I can do is hope for the best, and if I'm rejected I don't get much now so could probably wait a few months and then apply for Attendance Allowance as I have several problems that will only get worse.


    • Posted


      For a home assessment a letter from your GP maybe needed, stating the reasons why you can't attend one of their centres,  if the evidence you sent isn't enough to prove it's needed and even then it may still be needed. Did you ask for a home assessment on the form you sent? if they send you an appointment for a centre and you have to cancel it, remember you can only cancel an appointment once.

      PIP mobility isn't just for those who are unable to walk. The following and planning a journey descriptor is aimed at those with mental health, autism, those that don't have the capacity etc. Moving around part of PIP is for physical disability and no more than 20 metres is Enhanced and between 20-50 metres is standard mobility.

      AA forms are much easier yes but it doesn't mean it's an easier benefit to claim. It's much more specific and is about the help you need during the day and or night. If you don't get the help you may still qualify, but it's not guaranteed.


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