aka Personal Independence Payment (the new DLA).
I previously wrote about my experience of the PIP application process and how I found filling the form in. Post can be found here. Then the second step was the face to face consultation. This post can be found here.
The third and final step of the PIP process is the result which is decided based on the evidence the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has collected from your form, the face to face assessment and the various healthcare professionals looking after and managing your conditions.
It was a nervous wait to find out the result. During my face to face assessment the nurse who I saw said she would be recommending that I should be awarded PIP but did say that because she thinks I should be awarded does not mean that I will be awarded anything. It was in the hands of the DWP now and I just had to wait for the letter which would say yes or no.
I didnt know how long it would take for a decision to be made on my application so there was a bit of an anxious wait and coming home from work each day to see if there was post and what post was it. After about 10 days I think it was I came home to find a brown envelope on the floor along with a whole lot of junk mail and take away menus which drive me crazy as end up with so many which I never use!
I really didnt want to open the envelope because there was a fair bit riding on it, incase it was bad news. I did know that if I was not successful I would be able to appeal the decision (I guess it is handy having a Mum who works for the DWP on the appeals tribunal as a judge- she was a little worried as I filled in all the forms myself without her input so she was worried I wouldn’t say exactly how my asthma effects me on a daily basis as I have adapted a fair few things so I can manage and get by ok!
I did finally pluck up the courage to open it. Which is silly to need to do- its not like I was opening exam results or anything.
PIP is awarded in 2 parts. There is the care component which is awarded based on your activities of daily living such as washing, dressing, eating, drinking, managing your medications, reading etc and the second part is mobility which is awarded based on how far you can walk and what aids you need to walk comfortably.
When I started this process out I was doubtful about even being awarded anything but as I have had my hours reduced at work and needing more and more help to do basic things like keeping my flat clean, changing my bed and using the cleaning products it would be very helpful to have PIP to help with extra costs I need to spend because of my health which I would not have to do if my health was ok- or even how it was 5 years ago.
I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I opened the envelope. I had been awarded both care and mobility components which is fantastic and I am really relived as it will make things a lot easier. I have been awarded it for the maximum time allowed now before you need reassessment which is 5 years. The old scheme of DLA you could be awarded it indefinitely and not need any reassessment but since the switch to PIP they are being more rigorous and stricter with the criteria for being awarded PIP but also the time limit on the award. I think this is because so many conditions are variable and with new treatments being developed for conditions which previously would have not been able to be improved. So I am hopeful my health will improve with new medications and I won’t need PIP long term!
The is the relief at being awarded PIP but at the same time I can’t believe my asthma has had such a detrimental effect on my health that I need to be applying and being awarded PIP. It frustrates me that a condition like asthma can be so devastating that it has led to this.
The whole process has actually not been to bad. The horror stories you read in the newspaper and on TV have been polar opposites to the experience I have had during the process of applying for PIP.
My main piece of advice to anyone applying or thinking of applying for PIP is being honest about what you can and can’t do as they will find out if you try to make your condition look worse than it is, and also the evidence you get from your medical team will not support what you have said. They did comment in the report that what I wrote matched what they saw in my assessment which matched the various letters the received from the different members of medical professionals who manage my care and condition.
Feel free to ask any questions if you need help or advice about PIP and what to do.