So I finally received the dreaded brown envelope from the Department for Work and Pensions – DWP with a decision on my PIP award. Whilst I am happy I have been awarded it, they say my mental health doesn’t affect me which couldn’t be further from the truth.
After an agonising wait the DWP finally gave me a decision on whether they would award me Personal Independence Payment. I am happy to report that I was awarded the enhanced rate of mobility meaning I will not lose my motability car. This is a huge relief to me.
In regards to the “daily living needs,” I was awarded the standard rate. Whilst I am certainly not complaining, I do take a major issue with their assessor stating that my mental health doesn’t affect me at all.
Points based system
If you don’t know, when you are assessed for PIP you are given points for different categories they have set. To get the enhanced rate of each component you are required to accumulate 12 points. I automatically got 12 for the mobility section as I cannot walk. I would have been surprised if I hadn’t, although it does happen.
For “Daily Living Activities” I scored 11 points. I thought ok that’s nothing to complain about. That was until I looked at their scoring.
I’ll outline what I got:
- Preparing Food (scored out of 8) = 4
- Eating and Drinking (scored out of 10) = 0
- Managing your treatments (scored out of 8) = 0
- Washing and bathing (scored out of 8) = 3
- Managing your toilet needs (scored out of 8) = 2
- Dressing and undressing (scored out of 8) = 2
- Communicating (scored out of 12) = 0
- Reading (scored out of 8) = 0
- Mixing other people (scored out of 8) = 0
- Making budgeting decisions (scored out of 6) = 0
My Mental Health is finally apparently
“The mental state examination showed you were adequately nourished, have no signs of cognitive impairment, had good rapport and eye contact and were not anxious at all.”
“This is not consistent with what you put of the initially form. I note that your health professional states you have issues mixing with people however I am basing my decision on what the face to face assessment report states.”
Basically my doctor and I are lying is what they are trying to say.
I can tell you one thing now and that is that anxious does not even come close to how I felt. That assessor arrived early, banged on my door and I was there alone. I was a stuttering mess.
How they ascertained I mix well with other people I do not know. My psychiatrist’s secretary confirmed that the report he submitted to them noted my anxiety attacks and the lengths I go to, to avoid large crowds. eg; shopping at 3am.
The communication section is meant to cover people with mental health difficulties too. I am very anxious when going to new places and when I do it doesn’t usually go well. It took me three months to visit my new GP just because of sheer fear, irrational as that sounds.
I asked Citizens Advice for their thoughts and they have told me to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. It is purely that they have discounted my mental health something that significantly impacts my daily life.
They have basically called me a liar without directly saying it and have even gone against what my psychiatrist of 6 years has reported.
Apparently 25 minutes with me and the assessor is now an expert on my mental state.
The government have been shown to be discriminating against those with mental health conditions and Esther McVey has tried to call the Tories compassionate because she dropped her appeal against that ruling.
I am in no doubt that nothing has changed at the DWP despite the numerous lost court cases and that unless a change in government occurs, nothing will.
I will as always keep you up to date on how things progress.
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