Most Disabled people dread a Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, DWP, landing on their Doormat ,as they know that it’ll probably contain a notice telling them that it’s time to move over from Disability Living Allowance, DLA, to Personal Independence Payment, PIP. Well I successfully went through the process a couple of months ago, and after being awarded the higher payment on both Living and Mobility, I thought that I would share a few tips that I managed to pick up along the way.
Anyway, that’s enough of me rambling, here’s five tips for anyone applying for Personal Independence Payment.
1. Don’t take the questions too literally.
The questions that the application form asks you are strangely very specific, but after quite a long chat with someone from the RNIB, both me and my Mum realised that the questions are expecting every disabled person to never leave the House again. So even though a question might ask you something along the lines of, can you make a meal by yourself?, ask yourself if you will also be able to do this whilst you’re out and about too. For instance, can you read the Menu, find the Table Number, or place an order in a Restaurant without any assistance?
2. Be prepared to be totally confused.
Some of the questions that the application form asks you can get very confusing, and if you can get advice from any outside sources, take it! Both me and my Mum were very confused by one of the questions that it asked me, as even though the application form was meant to cover every Disability, it only really contained a couple of questions relating to being Visually Impaired. The question that we both got stuck on was something along the lines of, can you get around without using any Mobility Aids? Which I thought had something to do with whether or not you needed to use a Walking Stick, a Walking Frame or a Wheelchair. But after a quick chat with someone from the RNIB, it turned out that I was totally wrong.
3. Only give yes or no answers.
As strange as it may sound, only giving yes or no answers to the questions that it asks you with no extra details is the best way to go. It’s up to them to ask for more information if they need it, and as long as you’re totally honest about what you can and can’t do, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
4. Be prepared to be asked to do random things to prove that you’re entitled.
Even though I sent a copy of my Certificate of Visual Impairment, CVI, and a copy of a recent Opticians Prescription to prove how much I could see with my application form, the gentleman who came to my House to do the Face to Face assessment had absolutely no idea about being Visually Impaired, how much I could see, and even commented that he thought all Blind people owned a Guide Dog . I ended up having to do the Letter Chart Test in my Living Room as he had no other way to assess how much I could actually see, which as you can probably guess, was extremely awkward.
5. Be patient.
The guidelines say that you should receive a decision within six to eight weeks, but you’ll probably have to wait a bit longer than that. It’s also very confusing as to when the six to eight weeks wait actually starts, and is in fact not six to eight weeks after you’ve had your Face to Face assessment like you would think, but is instead six to eight weeks after they’ve sent a message saying that they’ve received the report about your Face to Face assessment. I ended up waiting just over ten weeks, which in the grand scheme of things wasn’t that long, but when you’re wondering whether or not your claim is going to be denied, is actually quite a long time.
There’s a few more tips that I managed to pick up whilst I was applying for Personal Independence Payment, but I thought that I would just tell you five of them.
Have you applied for Personal Independence Payment yet? How did you find the process? How long did you have to wait for your decision? Please let me know down below.
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