Ataxia UK
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Applying for PIP, whether to or not?

I just don't know whether I should apply for PIP or not. I really don't want to claim anything that I'm not entitled to, and don't want to exaggerate my problems, but at the same time I wonder if I should? I work for myself, doing transcription work, and look after my elderly mum (my own children are in their twenties now), but I certainly wouldn't apply for an employed full or part time position, because I wouldn't want to encounter stairs or stagger around an office! I have actually looked at positions recently, and applied, but then come to my senses and withdrawn the applications. At least, working for myself I can take work on or not, as the case may be. But obviously doing this, I feel it might be difficult to get benefits. I understand the PIP isn't related to income, so wonder if I could apply for this, so that on those days when I don't take work on, I have a bit of a boost with the PIP, does that make sense? I don't walk with a stick at the moment, but having said that, rely on my 83 year old mum linking my arm (!!) when we go out, and I cannot cope with stairs without handrails, and am beginning to find that 'there's lots going on' when I'm driving, so maybe that will be the next thing to go. Sorry, this is a bit rambling, but basically my question is, do you think I should be applying for a PIP. I don't want to feel a fraud, but feel it MIGHT be beneficial to have some extra help.

3 Replies

Hi Jill,

I see you are still not using a stick ( naughty lol ! ) Suffice to say that if I did not use mine and had to rely on other's availability to get around, I would have a rather limited life. I love the independence it gives me.

Pip does not give extra points for using walking aids but rather goes off how much ground you can cover, repeatedly, in a reasonable time, safely, before pain, breathlessness, fatigue etc get you ! This same applies to the way in which all questions should be answered - taking safety, pain, fatigue, ability to repeat etc into account. However, if walking may be improved/made safer/easier by use of an aid not currently used, they may use this against you ! I'll pop a link here to the test questions - answers score different points and points are added up at the end to decide if and what rate ( higher or lower ) you may be entitled to. It replaces the old Disability Living Allowance benefit. Click on the ' Start the Pip self test here ' link at bottom of page :

I too am self employed but only do 3 afternoons a week for a neighbour these days. Have you looked into the possibility of ESA ? Citizen's Advice could help. This link allows you to check if your circumstances will make you eligible for other means tested benefits :

Best of luck !

Angela : ) x


Not being British, I have no idea what PIP is but I gather from previous posts that its a kind of aid. The way you describe yourself, stage wise, you sound like me although I gave up driving and working some time ago. I really can drive so I dont know why I do not.. (Probably because my car became hopelessly old; my husband's car does not have an automatic transmission-- a nea 4 me-- and taxi's here are cheap.)

I, too, was/am reluctant to use the "stick" and prefer/ed an arm (its somehow better than a stick.) Anyway, if I were you, I would apply for this PIP thing. The 83 year old might not be around or a willing crutch 4-ever. (Reminds me of my 86 year old mother in law! ) Finally, everyone screamed at me, "Use a stick!" (even my 92 year old Mum who was the most anti-stick person, 4 herself ) I started to use one periodically. I dont find it hugely beneficial although people do respect it. Anyway I vote "yes" to use of the stick and the PIP, whatever it is. You r entitled. You are not cheating anyone, its created f or u with your tax dollars.... Either way, feel good N

1 like

Hi,i have CA2..i am 67 and was diagnosed 17 yrs ago, i have just been granted PIP, i was on DLA before PIP was introduced. I cannot walk without a frame and have problems with chocking when eating,also i can only dress the top part of my body and need help with the lower half. PIP is judged on how your condition affects your day to day living and not on the condition itself,although progressive conditions tend to get through easier.I found my interview with Atos to be much less scary than i expected it to be.I also have the full enhanced payments and a scooter on the Motability scheme.


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