Tory Majority Day 79: CFSME and Applying For DLA and PIP – Seeking Advice

2 years ago I applied for Disability Living Allowance.

I had help – my then disability rights and welfare support worker, the “First Julie”, was exemplary in taking me through the forms, guiding me to what evidence to collate, how to fill it out and what do to to appeal.

She lost her job before the end of the process so she didn’t see that my first application was turned down,  after I appealed it was turned down again and finally I was given a Tribunal date.

Unfortunately I was in the middle of a huge crash at the time and was very unwell.

The tribunal was on the other side of London. I do not have a carer and cannot drive and didn’t have the money to catch a cab to the tribunal. As The First Julie had lost her job I didn’t have anyone to advise me, so I declined to attend the tribunal.

After I got better from the crash I was told I could have allowed the tribunal to proceed in my absence. Bollox. I didn’t know that. You live and learn.

It was so stressful going through the process: I had to find all the medical evidence myself and every time I was told by the DWP that it wasn’t successful it really took it out of me. The process itself put me off trying that ever again!

What I do remember was a line in an official letter from the DWP saying: “Just because you have a long term health condition, doesn’t mean you are disabled enough to receive DLA.” 

I was also worried that if I attended the Tribunal and again it was rejected, it would set a precedent for the DWP in a Work Capability Assessment. I might be wrong about that, but I thought it was a risk not worth taking.

Applying for PIP 

I’m considering whether to apply for PIP.

This is a big deal because I imagine it will be similar to DLA. So I’m asking for any advice about how to approach this with a fluctuating condition like MECFS. I’m already on Benefits and Work website and know there are problems with delays etc.

Here are some of my questions, feel free to answer them or give your own advice

  • How’s the process been for you?
  • What evidence did you have to produce?
  • Did you have any advice and what was said?
  • Have you attended your PIP assessment?
  • What happened then?
  • Is there anything you’ve learned from the process that you’d like to share?
  • Was it successful?
  • How long did it take?
  • What level of PIP were you awarded?
  • Did this take you over the Benefit Cap of £26,000 or £23,000?
  • How did you manage your health while you were going through the application?

Thanks so much to anyone who answers!

© Lindy 2015

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