Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PIP Assessment Time

I have a dreaded PIP assessment on Friday this week. I can assure you it will be much less fun than the dreaded 'Dance Off' on Strictly!

My MP Stephanie Peacock has recently spoken about the numbers of decisions on PIP and ESA which are overturned on appeal.  It seems that in Barnsley two-thirds of people initially refused these benefits are granted them after appeal, but this can take fifteen weeks!
Advice on Appeals from the charity Scope
I received a form from the PIP people in the post in June this year. I have been getting the benefit for around two years and it seems it is time for them to check up on me. I rang around trying to find somone to help me fill it in and was lucky enough to get an appointment several weeks later with the Citizens Advice Bureau. In 2015 I received help to fill in the form from Age UK, but it due to cut backs they cannot assist me now as I am only 56 years old. It seems unwise to assume that because I qualified for the benefit in 2015 that my assessment will be plain sailing. I have been reading the supplied leaflet and online advice to make sure I have covered everything.

In the last year my health and mobility has declined to the point where I don't go into Barnsley by myself except in exceptional circumstances. I haven't driven for years, and in June, following a seizure, was officially told to stop driving by my consultant. The bus ride into town is long and tiring, and everywhere I need to go is a long way from the bus station. I do still manage to get to our local Co-op on a good day leaning on my Sholley. I don't go to the Archives any more, partially because a snub by the Council last year caused me to lose a lot of confidence and as a consequence I have lost touch with fellow researchers.

My mother in law has become my lifeline. Despite being very poorly herself she always comes to my rescue by booking a taxi to get both of us to places. I confess to being scared to get in a taxi by myself, I can't pin point why, but probably connected to my long standing dread of having workmen in the house. Sadly I always assume they are casing the joint for a later burglary. When I lived on the Manor in Sheffield we were burgled, that must be more than twenty two years ago as I remember Persephone was a new kitten at the time. We were very, very poor. All they got was our tiny rented tv and some dvds which they carried away in my first mother in law's borrowed shopping trolley!

We went to see Citizens Advice with my form in July. My m-in-law booked a taxi to pick her up and then me.  She came with me into the interview room and was able to contribute to the form filling by recalling things I had forgotten or had thought were not important enough to mention.  Both she and the CAB man told me several times to stop saying that I worked around a thing or could just about manage, because as that was only applicable on a good day what was I doing the rest of the time?

Yes, on a bad day (like today and yesterday) I stay in bed in my nightclothes all day and eat toast, cheese and crackers and instant porridge. I am too tired to read and writing this post has been taken in short spurts over the last two to three hours. I either sleep a lot, or watch tv, often both at the same time!

At the end of the session in July, which took several hours, the man said he thought I should be getting more PIP.  I don't quite know how to take that, I know I'm worse than I was two years ago, and add on the escalating knee problems and the epilepsy ... I do spend more now on the taxis, and tins of soup and ready meals. I have even arranged a deal with the hairdressers a few yards up the road. They will wash, but not dry, my long hair for £4. Which is good as bending over the sink is getting very difficult. Oh, and I'm not supposed to bath or shower when I'm alone - that's the epilepsy again.

My m-in-law has booked a taxi for this Friday. Cross your fingers for me. That's more than two whole days away, and I am going to worry every second of it.


Digger said...

So sorry to learn about your continuing health problems and lack of help and understanding from local authority...it's clear there is a fundamental fault and issues with local services viz connection/medical assessment information being not

Sincerely hope that someone who knows of your circumstances locally can help

Will continue to follow your blog


BarnsleyHistorian said...

Thank you Richard, I have had my assessment now (20th October) and am nervously awai5 the outcome. It could take 6 to 8 weeks!