Beggar In Disbelief

beggarThese PIP (Personal Independent Payment) forms really do beggar belief.

I’ve finally finished a first draft to all the questions and I am an utter wreck.

To steal (may as well, nothing to lose) a phrase from Simon Cowell, ‘it’s been an emotional journey.’ But there’s no z-list stardom and a double-page spread in ‘Heat’ magazine at the end of it.

Perhaps ‘traumatic’ would be a more adequate word, because it really is. I’m sure they probably do a similar tactic when you join the SAS; breaking you down until you’re snivelling on the ground. But then! You rise up, invincible, ready to take on the world.

However, in my case, the opposite is true. They’ve broken me down. And that’s it.

I’ve taken a week off work to fill in the forms and because I’ve got a pesky MS flare-up plus a rotten, stinking cold. I’ve got a Rudolph nose, and am running out of tissues and energy.

The more I read, both in the media and in online forums, about people with MS having to go through this unnecessary process yet again the more angry I become. To put it this way, I work, and I receive Working Tax Credit, to allow me to live above the poverty line. I fill in a fairly basic form every year, stating my wages and that’s pretty much it.

However, with PIP forms, to receive additional money to pay for the extra costs attributed to disability (one like MS, as yet incurable and as yet, degenerative) I have to literally bare my soul – and my bottom.

Yep, for those unfamiliar with these forms, there’s a whole section on going to the loo. And another about personal hygiene, i.e. how well you can wash yourself.  Are disabled people really reduced to these facile benchmarks?

A single form to cover every single possible disability ever recorded is ludicrous.

According to Scope, there are 13.3 million disabled people in the UK, all filling in the same form, but all expected to depict their own unique disability experience within it.

Further, you spend £550 a month per average more if you are disabled. Which is the very reason this benefit exists. And for doubters out there, disability benefit fraud is 0.5%. The lowest level of any ‘benefit’.

Makes you wonder how much is siphoned away in tax evasion?

Jus’ sayin’…

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4 thoughts on “Beggar In Disbelief

  1. Joan (Devon) says:

    As anyone with any sense will know, different disabilities have different symptoms and the outcome for each differing disability IS different.
    The trouble though Barbara is that MS is degenerative. Therefore when we fill in that first form to claim benefits and our symptoms get worse or new symptoms begin to appear they will not be mentioned on the form nor to the extent that they are affecting our lives.
    I believe that people who suffer from MS or any such degenerative disability should get yearly amendment forms to record how their lives are continually going further downhill. Just a thought for what it’s worth.
    I know that when I filled in the first form claiming DLA, with my husband’s help, we made out that I wasn’t that bad. (I think it was wishful thinking for both of us.) We didn’t know much about MS, or that it would get a lot worse.
    Consequently when I sent in a second form for my symptoms which had got worse and new ones which had appeared I was unsuccessful. That was due to my age primarily because I was over 65 and DWP believe that anyone that age or older are jittery and suffer with some form of mild disability anyway.
    I would urge anyone not yet 65 or in their dotage to complete their claimant forms truthfully because you may not get a second chance.
    I apologise for this lengthy comment, but once I start I have a hard time stopping.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Good point. However, I do think a 14 question form for every disabled person is very restrictive. I also wouldn’t want to go through this process on a yearly basis!! We already have the option to update the DWP should our condition deteriorate badly.
      The inherent problem is, the changes to the DLA/PIP forms are solely a cost-cutting exercise and we need to keep this in mind. It’s not to make the system fairer or more accessible. And so millions of disabled people don’t suddenly find themselves cured, they just find that the goalposts have changed, as with the 50m rule being downgraded to 20m.
      It’s interesting that last week the government spoke about getting 1 million extra disabled people in to work. At the same time as removing thousands of Motability cars. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad. x

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