I woke up today feeling as okay as I can feel okay, the postman delivered some mail and then 20 minutes later, he called again as he had missed some mail and delivered a brown A4 envelope, yep a PIP form!
Suddenly my day is not so good!
Even seeing that envelope sitting in the post box sent me spiralling downwards. My wife was in the shower and so I wheeled through to the bathroom, held the envelope through the shower curtain and said “It has happened!”
I knew it was coming, in fact because of lockdown my PIP (Personal Independence payment) had been extended, but that didn’t stop the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and the descending cloud.
What makes it worse is that I had previously been given an indefinite award for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) but the majority of people were moved onto the newly created PIP.
PIP was created in 2013 when David Cameron was Prime Minister as part of the welfare reform that sought to reduce welfare spending by 20 per cent less each year, however figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) have shown PIP has instead cost as much as £1.5bn to £2bn more a year!
Today is the 16th October, the form has to be returned by 10th November.
Anyone who knows about this will realise that it is not as easy as just sitting down and filling it in, the 24-page booklet of questions requires careful and exact responses and you have to know how to word it in order to stand a chance of getting the award that you should get.
This form is difficult to fill in, this is especially true if you have a health condition and or disability that is not constant. Many people are left unsure on how to respond because they have good or okay days and days when they are laid up unable to do anything.
One day a person may be able to make a simple meal, they may be able to shower, they may be able to go out socially and then the next day they are unable to do any of these things and this applies both physically and cognitively.
The form also fails massively in section 3 – 10, where it asks about how far we can walk, and the box to select with the minimum is ‘less than 20 metres’. It has no mention or the ability to check a box as someone is unable to walk at all!
Many years ago, we were told by an Occupational Therapist to answer the questions as if you are at your worst!
The PIP form consists of 4 sections which are;
Section 1 – Read and Sign
Section 2 – About your health condition or disability
- Name, profession & address of main health professional
- Consent to contact health professional
- List health conditions and or disability and start date
- Current medication
- Name of treatment, therapy or operation (since last PIP assessment)
- Hospital admissions (since last PIP assessment)
Section 3 – How your health condition or disability affects you
1. Preparing food and cooking
- Tell us if something has changed and approximately when
- Tell us how you manage this activity now, including the use of any aids that you need
- Tell us about any changes to the help you need or the help you get from another person (these questions are also asked under the following sections)
2. Eating and drinking
3. Managing treatments, taking medication and monitoring your health condition
4. Washing and bathing
5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence
6. Dressing and undressing
7. Speaking to people, hearing and understanding what they say and being understood
8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and written words
9. Mixing with other people
10. Making decisions about spending and managing your money
11. Planning and following a route to another place
12. Moving around
- How far can you walk
- Less than 20 metres
- Between 20 and 50 metres
- Between 50 and 200 metres
- 200 metres of more
- Do you need to use an aid or assistance from another person to help you walk (tick boxes)
- I sometimes need an aid
- I always need an aid
- I sometimes need assistance
- I always need assistance
The following section asks if you wish to be sent details about motability scheme.
13. Is there anything else you think we should know about your health condition or disability?
Section 4 – Final Checklist
If you are unsure how to fill out this form in a way that gives you the best chance of obtaining the award you deserve for your level of health and or disability, please seek help.
I suggest joining The Disability Union that has been created by George Baker as a way to help disabled people get proper advice and representation.
You can keep up to date with The Disability Union on