PIP Assessment Experience

Here we go again. I’m sure this is some sick, perverse game that the Tory Government have designed,  to strip  disabled people of the benefits they should be awarded and entitled to.

I had to face one of these so called assessments on 12th October 2017. I’m sure the assessor has already made up their mind before you even arrive at the centre.

I met my assessor and he seemed really nice. (they must be very well trained in order to appear like this). I suppose it’s to give you a false sense of security.

I’m just someone trying to get along in life, in spite of disabilities, some of which you can see, and others that are “invisible”.

Even though I have such things as Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease (following a heart attack in 2013), Ulcerative Colitis, which keeps me at home during flare ups. I also suffer from depression, anxiety and panic disorder, as well as horrendous pain throughout my body and fatigue from the Fibromyalgia that can floor me for days after a flare up.

Most days I can hardly walk, and need to hold onto various items of furniture to support myself as I shuffle from room to room, all the while feeling as if someone is repeatedly bashing your legs and arms with a baseball bat. After I’ve done that, I’m no good for anything else apart from sleep, which is another of my problems. I also have insomnia, for which I take Zopiclone which helps a bit. My brain will not shut down for sleep which is why I take Zopiclone every few nights.

Trying to cook a meal or take a shower is impossible. I can’t stand for very long and my concentration is all over the place so I tend to give up and let Stephen do it for me. Showers are particularly bad as I can’t manage to wash the upper part of my back and waist as my arms hurt too much. Stephen is also a Godsend for these times.

The fairy story I received from the DWP following my assessment, suggested I was in good health. I held eye contact with the assessor, showed no breathless or pain or anxiety.

My partner went to the assessment with me. When he read the report, he couldn’t believe what he was reading. I showed the letter to my parents on Sunday, and even they just laughed in disbelief. My parents were very shocked. Even family on Stephen’s side who have known me very well for many years say it’s disgusting.

The Assessment

Stephen and I arrived very close to the assessment centre by bus. We don’t drive, and walking or hobbling there would have been extremely painful and would have had me in tears by the time we got there. You can only get a taxi if they think you need one and you tell them in advance.

We got off the bus just before the Central Station and we walked the shortish walk to the centre. I had to keep stopping to get my breath back and rest from the pain.

Arriving at the centre, I handed in my appointment letter and ID, and was told to take a seat. Thankfully, we didn’t have very long to wait until my turn came.

For a start I walked very slowly to the assessment room in a LOT of pain (like hammers being constantly struck against my legs arms and feet).

I sat down slowly in the chair, and looked at the floor the majority of the time I was there. I struggled to think what my favourite food was (I always forget to take my medication and would not take it if Stephen didn’t prompt me). There was very little eye contact, as I don’t even look people I know in the eye because I get paranoid otherwise. I sat the majority of the time fiddling with my fingers.

I was very hot due to stress. I started sweating profusely and panting and shaking. The assessor offered to switch the fan on which he did. It made no difference to me though.

As we left the room, he observed me walking at a slow pace and I showed slight pain apparently. (If only he knew the reality). I’ve had to learn to hide a lot due to past bullying.

 

I received my letter from the DWP around 6 weeks later

They awarded me 4 points only for moving around as I showed a little pain and walked slowly. Zero points for everything else. Absolutely Zilch!

I will not just lie down and accept this lies and shambles of an assessment. I intent fully to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration, and if that fails, I’ll take it to Tribunal.

I had been in receipt of DLA for a number of years due to my health problems. It would seem these assessments magically cure you of all ills. 

My list of Medications

  • Sertraline
  • Aripiprazole
  • Pregabalin
  • Bisoprolol Fumarate
  • Losartan Potassium
  • Fultium – D3 800IU
  • Mirtazapine
  • Tramadol
  • Codeine

I’ll update this blog as things unfold.

  1. I’m currently waiting for the assessors report so I can start ripping it apart, explaining where they are wrong,  so I can then ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration.

Getting Closer…

I spent hours yesterday updating three of my websites, even though it started out as a rough day anyway.

The new medication my psychiatrist prescribed really knocks me out. I can’t remember what the medication is called, but it’s an antidepressant that I take alongside my other antidepressant and mood stabiliser. I went to bed at a decent time (for me), and slept solidly right through until 2:30pm.

It takes me ages to wake up, and even then I’m still not quite there. It’s very difficult to get out of bed. My whole body hurts like hell and my legs can’t support me properly. I have to hold onto furniture to steady myself. I go to the kitchen and make some coffee and then take my medication.

It still takes me quite a while before I’m actually able to do anything. My head feels as though it’s stuffed with cotton wool and my eyes don’t focus properly.

By around 4:30pm, I felt able to load up the laptop and get cracking with my websites. I’ve neglected my websites for too long. I’ve just not been able to do anything with them. It’s very hard when you’re battling pain all over your body and trying to cope with constant fatigue.

I had to do something. I intend getting back into Tarot readings. I also have a sewing machine and an overlocker sitting doing nothing in my bedroom. There is also a collection of card making stuff and pencils that are seldom used. I can’t draw by the way, but I bought a set of 120 Faber Castell coloured pencils anyway. This bipolar disorder really screws up the way you think. I thought I’d be the next Van Gogh or something. How stupid is that?

I’ve also saved a few YouTube videos of guitar lessons so I can pick my guitar up again. I was just messing around with it for ages, never really bothering to try and improve my playing.

Now I’m rambling. I recognise the fact. It’s getting late so I’m heading off to bed.

See you soon!