Your Disability Living Allowance is ending

Your Disability Living Allowance is ending

Your Disability Living Allowance is ending

It was the usual brown envelope from the DWP with a return address of DWP PO Box 535 Belfast. It’s never an expensive white envelope and it’s never by first-class mail. Their letters always arrive on a Saturday morning just like this one, 21 April 2018. I opened it, the message was very simple, Your Disability Living Allowance is ending.

Short sharp and to the point

It’s a bit like catching a Mills hand grenade and DWP have already removed the pin. I knew this little bomb with my name on it existed. It was just a matter of time until it found its target. Well now I have it in black and white.

Your Disability Living Allowance is ending

“Please don’t ignore this letter. You need to decide if you want to claim Personal Independence Payment”. Of course I want to claim this state benefit.  I have advanced multiple sclerosis. It is an incurable disease and it slowly gets worse and worse. I am disabled. I cannot walk and of course I do not have a job.

The computer says ‘no’

In the letter there is a sentence which goes “If you want to claim PIP call 0800 917 2222 by 15 May 2018”. I phoned this number up on Monday 23 April at 9.30 in the morning. The woman who answered said “The computer is down at the moment. You must phone back a couple of hours later”.

This was not a great start. “It’s got to get better from here on” I said to myself.

Your Disability Living Allowance is ending

Letter from the DWP

Text Messages

I did finally manage to talk to someone at the DWP and told them I wanted to claim PIP. This phone call lasted about half an hour and now the process was underway. At least the DWP understand mobile phones. I receive text messages telling me the progress of my claim. I am impressed but will the rest of my claim be equally straight forward?

The latest text tells me the form “How your disability affects you” is in the post. They also tell me that I must fill it in carefully and then return it to them by the date printed on the front page. Ummmm, sounds interesting.

Problems

Claiming PIP is fraught with problems according to articles I have read in the press. This is just the start but I can feel stress and anxiety levels building up.

The Wife said “Well you are disabled. You can’t walk, you’ve got double vision and you can’t drive. So there should be no problem”. Is this realism, naivety or optimism?

Lap of the Gods

I think the whole issue is a bit of a lottery. The area that concerns me is being able to recollect and put down on paper all my MS problems. I might find this difficult because I do not remember the bad times. It’s far too depressing.

I only remember the good times. Let’s hope this is an easy, painless stress-free process

Let’s hope “Your Disability Living Allowance is ending” moves seamlessly into “Your Personal Independence Payments are starting”.

Well, hey ho, it’s onwards and upwards.

Associated articles

Department of Work and Pensions invite me to a meeting

.

.

.

.

.

.

Capability of work questionnaireCapability for work questionnaire

.

.

.

.

.

April 2018

10 responses to “Your Disability Living Allowance is ending”

  1. Laura B says:

    Good luck Patrick – the MS society here in York has produced a leaflet about claiming PIP and filling in the dreaded form. I can’t think that the leaflet is exclusive to York ?!?
    My little piece of advice (I was one of the earlier switchers from DLA to PIP) would be to ask the name of your assessor when you have the face-to-face and definitely ask for a copy of the report -as has been mentioned already – so that you have an idea of the result, can deduce whether the report is accurate and therefore you can accept it or plan an appeal – I hope this isn’t the case! As your wife said, it should be straight-forward ?!?. Don’t get too stressed about it (easier said than done!) and don’t read too many of the numerous horror stories (I started to wonder whether or not they were all genuine). I feel you’ll be an expert (!) by the time the face-to-face appointment arrives!!

    • Hello Laura,

      Thanks for the very sympathetic reply. I do wonder what percentage of the PIP applications actually hit the news because of errors by the assesors.

      I will take your advice on names and copy of the report. Any chance you could send me a copy of the report for the York MS Society.

      My idea is to try to demystify the whole PIP process and give other people some important information and ground rules. There is no doubt it is a stressful time and there does not seem to be much information on paper to help people and give them confidence and assistance. Too much is done by word of mouth and how much of it is poor quality information?

      I’m sure it will be OK but meanwhile its a case of OMG what does this mean cos there is so much bad news in the press.

  2. Paul Steiner says:

    Hi
    I am just in the final stage of this tedious process (I have done all the form filling and have had my face-to-face interview and am awaiting the final result – but I have obtained my interviewer’s notes and she has recommended the same level of benefit I currently receive – standard rate day-to-day care and higher rate mobility). I recommend having a look at http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk (I have no connection with the site other than being a user). For a small subscription you can get a very detailed and helpful guide towards the entire process and particularly filling in the 40 page form. Focus on the fact it is entirely points based and the criteria for points are quite clearcut – so lots of stuff you may think is relevant will be ignored. Use the words ‘reliably, safely, repeatedly and in a timely manner’ as your mantra – that is a key criteria. So, whilst I can walk more than 20m occasionally I cant do it ‘reliably……etc’ so can pass the higher rate mobility test of 20m. Also be aware you can and should get the assessor’s report (mine was full of minor errors) and that if you dont like the result you can appeal but DWP routinely reject appeals, then you can apply for a tribunal – and DWP often cave in before it gets to the hearing. They seem to just want to create as many obstacles as they can to deter you – but if you are persistent (and deserving) you can get what you deserve. Good luck!

    • Hello Paul,

      Thanks for the tips and pointing me towards the website. Is it really a 40 page form, that will be fun cos I cannot write more than a few words thanks to MS. To be honest I am hoping for the best but anticipating the worst.

      How log has it taken you to reach the face-to-face interview from official notification

      • Paul Steiner says:

        Hi Patrick. Yes, afraid it really is 40 pages and I think the more you can write the better. You must assume whoever reads it knows little or nothing about MS. There will be a deadline to return the form and I think in my case it was about 4 weeks later that I had my face-to-face. And then about another 4 weeks to getting my assessment which was 9 points for day-to-day care (which qualified to standard rate, you need 12 or more for higher rate) and 12 points for mobility (the minimum needed for higher rate). Both exactly what I received under DLA! So could argue the whole exercise was a waste of everyone’s time!

        • Hello Paul,

          I’m hoping to get the same as I have on DLA which is same as you are on. I can’t write cos of MS so usnng Word and hope CAB will do the writing or maybe cut my answers out and paste them onto the form.

          Just takes so long to organise it

  3. MC Black says:

    The MS society have probably helped other people and may be able to assist you to complete the paperwork. They may have advice about phrases to include and to avoid.

    MC

    • Hello MC,

      An excellent idea. Actually I’m using the Chilterns MS Therapy Centre. They have known me for 20 years and seen how the disease has changed me and can see its effect upon me.

  4. mick says:

    I’m waiting for the brown envelope !. FORWARNED IS FOREARMED

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *