PIP or Personal Independent Payments is the UK’s disability payment scheme for those who’s life is affected by their chronic condition.
I wrote a few years ago about the different stages of the PIP application process which can be found here: Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. These posts were written back in 2017 when I was first awarded PIP. However and those of you have that have read my blog for a while will know that this last year my life has changed beyond all recognition.
The end of last year it was clear that issues with my leg were not going to resolve so I decided reluctantly that I should fill in a change in circumstances form. I don’t know what I expected but I thought it would be all done and dusted by now however COVID-19 hit so everything is a bit up in the air.
I am going to do this post in 2 parts. The first I want to focus on the form filling out and the second post will be focusing on the telephone assessment compared to the face to face assessment that I had previously.
I am not sure what I expected but I did not expect the process I went through which was basically the same as the first time around even though my current award is not due to expire yet it feels like I went right back to the beginning.
As with everything with the department of work and pensions (DWP) you start with a game of guess the right number on the telephone options which will get you speaking to a real human as quickly as possible, then there is a the 30 minute hold time minimum followed by the 5 minute chat with a call handler who will send you out a set of forms.
For a change in circumstance I was expecting a form titled change in circumstance form but I received a whole new pack as though I was starting from the beginning and it was a whole new claim.
The forms take so long to fill in as you they look at every aspect of your life. It is fine when you only have one main condition like I did before as there is really one main contributor but now there is different aspects for each section that are impacted due to difference in the different conditions. Part of me felt like asking for a second form so I could do one for my asthma and all that it entails and then one for my leg and all that it entails because there was just so much to write.
Everyday we live and adapt our life when living with chronic conditions. To enable us to live we need to do that and often we do it without thinking because otherwise you would be left at home on your own with the world continuing around you and for me that is just not an option. If I could slow the world down to accommodate my life that would be great but I cant.
A piece of advice I would give to anyone filling out the forms is to take your time but also get someone you know and who has quite a lot of input in your life to have a read of the form once you have done it. I found this was good because they had suggestions of things to put in that I didnt because I thought it was just normal but compared to them it is not normal.
When collecting my evidence to send in I was not sure what to include and what not to include. I figured the more I put in the better it would be so I think there were a combination of 16 different letters from across all the different specialists I am under. I also included my repeat prescription list, my anticipatory care plan, a few discharge letters and a copy of my blue badge.
Once I got everything together I sent it all off. Even though the pack comes with a stamped pre addressed envelope I decided to send mine recorded delivery as I wanted to make sure it arrived, and arrived on time. Sending it recorded also meant I had proof it had been posted but also when it had been delivered as there have been stories of the DWP saying that peoples forms have not been sent back or not been sent back by the date specified.
The next post will focus on how I found the telephone assessment vs the face to face assessment I had previously.