I have been grappling with the dreaded PIP forms as Peter is being moved from DLA to PIP. They seem pretty unfair to me and the 20 metre rule for qualifying for enhanced mobility and therefore a Motability car is simply wrong!!
Anywhoooooooooo. I digress but feel better for venting my frustration with a system that assumes that all disability benefit claimants are frauds until they can prove otherwise.
The real reason I am posting is that I discovered a really helpful site that is a HUGE help when completing the forms. It guides you towards getting the best result and helps you include the things that the adjudicators are looking for so you get the most points you can. It explains the legal definitions and the members PIP guide talks you through each question and suggests things you should include that you may not have thought of. So good. I thought it might be useful to others too. Lots of free info but if you need specific help or help with appeals it pays to join (£19.95 a year).
Now if someone would only post a similarly helpful link for the US. It seems our insurance system is constructed to prevent common citizens from finding out the benchmarks required for receiving specific services. The US system reminds me of the classic comedy movie, The Pink Panther, in which Peter Sellers has ordered his male house servant to keep him ever vigilant and on his toes by perpetrating surprise attacks. We just never know when our insurance system will "pop out" and surprise us with cancelled services, etc.
If anyone from the UK has been through this process and has any input/advice, I would be very grateful to hear about it. Especially if it is positive. I've heard some real horror stories. We don't want to fib - seems morally and probably tactically wrong too as I am sure we would be found out at the face to face assessment. But equally I want to present the full (and very variable) picture.
I just realised that maybe an update might be helpful to anyone still going through the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) machine. Not much comment here but I know many people read without adding to the comments. Peter got awarded higher level care and mobility (the latter means that he can claim a motability car). Excellent outcome for us. It was a weird process and we were expecting all sorts of hassle, having heard many horror stories. However it was pretty plain sailing in the end. After me filling in reams of paper forms the PIP assessor came to do the necessary medical checks at home and went through the same questions as on the form. She clearly did not understand SCI (her background was in mental health). She didn't ask Peter to demonstrate his walking and declined on his behalf some of the standing part of the examination ("oh you wan't want to put yourself through that"). Weirdly he would have been able to manage the simple standing and knee bends! The award is for 10 years (most of them are for 1 or 2 years, even for progressive illnesses like MS or Parkinsons). She said that Peter is "unlikely to improve". Now this is nonsense as he is still improving (we told her this). As I say she didn't understand SCI. All brilliant for Peter. PIP money enables him to have some private therapy that the NHS won't supply. If you are still being assessed the key seems to be to answer honestly but remember to qualify your answers. For instance - "can you walk more than 20 metres?". If you answer "yes", you will automatically disqualify yourself. If you answer "indoors on a flat surface but not outdoors on an uneven surface and not in the morning or evening as I am too stiff and fatigued", you should get the right result. Sorry for wordy post but I spent ages trying to get this sort of info when we were going through the process and thought it might be helpful to others.