Moving from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) was always going to be difficult, given the current climate.
Like most of us with MS, I had a lifetime DLA award.
Because, in simple terms, – MS is a lifetime, incurable, degenerative illness – and one which we would probably all willingly give up, should a cure be found?
After filling in an interminably distressing form – which took weeks – and and after enduring a ghastly face-to-face meeting with someone who would later blatantly lie about me in her report, I submitted a mandatory reconsideration.
The odds are heavily stacked at this stage – over 80% fail.
However, should you go to appeal, the odds are in our favour; 67% of awards are overturned in favour of the defendant.
So, basically, get ready for a court case. A court case! To prove you have MS.
As if we don’t feel battered enough?
The form itself was a kind of reverse-therapy; focus upon every single tiny thing you now cannot do that you perhaps once did. In the process, write numerous essays highlighting these points in excruciating detail. Nothing is off limits.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was traumatised and utterly broken after filling in the form.
And then there was the rejection, and the reasons for them. Every single point seemed to be refuted as I seemed healthy and happy, dressed appropriately for the climate (I kid you not) and was able to put my fingers through my hair. Oh, and I laughed (with my witness, my mum, nervously).
I sent in a mandatory reconsideration, and now I have found out my claim stays the same, so my only recourse is an appeal. Which could take well over a year. And I’m to be ‘reviewed’ every three years.
It’s a legal nightmare.
What should I do?