BRONCHIECTASIS AND PIP: Hi all - this... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Hi all - this is my first post so I will start at the beginning. Mum of 3, age 43.. the youngest is 4. I have been suffering the effects of bronchectasis since 2013 and diagnosed Aug 17. I also have asthma, allergies and nodules on my vocal cords. I have had chest infections every other month for the past 8 months. I’m currently off work atm with a selection of chest infection and /or anxiety. I do my nebuliser and acapeller twice daily and take all tablets (time consuming and the nebuliser makes me gag sometimes 😩). I work as a behaviour support assistant in a school on a 1:1 basis. I have applied for PIP (I would like to reduce my hours slightly as If im not suffering from coughing, pains it’s fatigue). I have had my interview and I was rewarded 0 points. Obviously I have requested the first appeal and I am looking some good points to add, help me to obtain the desired result. My employer has been fab so far and has offered me less hours and hopefully a less complex child.. but unfortunately I still have a house to run and kid to look after. Thanking you all in advance 😁

23 Replies

Welcome to the forum. :) Try this:

Bertie50 in reply to mrsmummy

Thanks I’m in it now 😄

pixiewixie in reply to mrsmummy

Thank you so much Mrs Mummy, I had no idea this site existed! X Pixiewixie

Usgang in reply to mrsmummy

Wow Thankyou this is ace xx

Hi you get PIP not for what illness you have but how it affects you. I would get help in completing the appeal form as they can be tricky to get right. You need to describe your worst day and avoid saying well I have to just get on with it because of the kids. One of the criteria is that you can do things safely and in a timely manner. So for example if you go shopping but it takes you a long time and/or you have to rest for hours afterwards you might get some points.

I presume you have looked at other things such as child tax credits, working tax credits if your hours are 30 or more and you earn under a certain amount, housing benefit, and council tax rebate. You might get those if your income is low. You can also apply for help with healthcare costs ie prescriptions, glasses, teeth etc. x

Hi thanks for your reply .. I’m on the ‘advice now’ site and it’s fab! All I have to do is fill out the blanks .... I’ve 3 weeks to do so and preparation is obviously paramount. Unfortunately I can’t get other benefits as jointly we are over the threshold 😳

mrsmummy in reply to Bertie50

We also have a benefits advisor on the helpline provided by BLF. If you want to discuss anything do give Biddy a ring. 03000 030 555 during office hours. If she is busy she will ring you back.

Hi Bertie50 .

With PIP it is not what you have got, it's how your illnesses affect you. You get points for help with bathing. getting dressed and managing to prepare a cook a meal for you. comunications skills andmore.. I think you need to convince them on 4 reasons you need help as you need 12 points for standard personal care and each compnant is worth 3 points.My sister in law has just won hers after a face to face with ATOS who are inpatrial.

You peobably will have a face to face with ATOS and you will be asked how you manage to work, when you need help with personal care. You are allowed to work, but you have to convice the assessors that does not conflict with your claim. There is also help for mobility, again how do you get to work, the criteria is strict for the high mobility comonent..

As mrsmummy has pointed out, there are appeal systems in place and many more people win appeals than they used to do...

If you don't get it first time, you can ask PIP to look at your case again and I think you can provide extra evidence. If thar fails then you can appeal.

Whatever if you are refused, get help from Welfare Rights or Citizens advice - it's how you present your case that matters.

Best of luck...

Good morning Bertie from the frozen north of Scotland, I read your post with interest as I too have had a battle with the powers that be, my 1st and best advice to you would be the Citizens Advice Bureau who usually have a Welfare Rights Officer/Advisor who deal with this type of case every day. After failing at every appeal last year, almost zero points, a combination of a case put forward to an actual Tribunal, along with previously ignored medical evidence, I won my case within 10 minutes on the day, Secretary of States previous ruling overturned with immediate effect, and indeed several thousand in back payments. With expert advice on wording and form filling I do hope you are successful too :)

You have already received excellent advice. The only thing I would add is, don't give up!. I was turned down in 2010 for DLA , which was what we had before PIP, I get PIP now. I went to tribunal and lost the appeal, the whole process was exhausting and I was so depressed. After three months you can make another claim, but I felt I couldn't face it. A very good friend of mine gave me a talking to, and with her support,my husbands and professional advice, I did go ahead. I went through another face to face interview, to my great relief and surprise I was awarded high rate care and mobility. That was eight years ago and my award is now till 2020.

Good luck, keep going!


I am so sympathetic to you, having been in education myself I know what a difficult and tiring job you do. I tried for PIP and got no points for having severe emphysema and finding it almost impossible to cook and eat. I also definitely move a lot slower than normal. I am in the process of appeal and have found that the following government assessment guidelines provides me with some ammunition.

This is the site:

This is some of what I have written, as an example to you, using jargon from their own criteria:

'However, I am puzzled by the DWP and HP response, as in the Government's Assessment Criteria 2.1.3 it states ' it is insufficient for the HP to argue just from the general principle when justifying descriptor choices' It also states in 2.1.4, that the HP should take into account the impact of carrying out a task, which includes breathlessness, pain, discomfort, fatigue and anxiety. The HP has also not considered the impact of completing one activity on the ability to complete others. The HP has also not taken into account that I cannot cook on any day, without severe consequences. It states further in the Government Assessment Criteria 2.2.18, that symptoms such as breathlessness should be considered as,

'While these symptoms may not necessarily stop the claimant carrying out the activity in the first instance, they may be an indication that it cannot be done as often as is reasonably required.'

It states further in the Government Assessment Critieria 2.2.19,

'• A person who is able to prepare a meal, but the exhaustion from doing so means they cannot then repeat the activity at subsequent meal times on the same day. This means they cannot complete the activity repeatedly as it is reasonable to expect people to prepare a meal more than once a day. '

I believe the DWP and HP have ignored the guidelines as set out by the government, regarding my ability to prepare food.


Do write a mandatory reconsideration and good luck to you.

Bertie50 in reply to anng1814

Thank you for your reply. Have you had any response back yourself? Good luck also x

anng1814 in reply to Bertie50


I am at the appeal stage, so at present I am waiting for the DWP response to what I have written. I am unlikely to receive that for at least 2-3 weeks, but will let you know how they argue against their own criteria. What I have found is that they repeat themselves without actually responding to what you have written and appear to be very unsympathetic to breathlessness, although this is a criteria for being awarded PIP.

I will let you know!

Bertie50 in reply to anng1814

Fingers crossed x

You are not able do do all the things you should be able to do without your illness, therefore you are disabled. Start to think of it that way. It's hard but you have to fight for your rights. Good luck to all fighting against injustice bureaucracy.

Hello Bertie50

Firstly warm welcome I'm foxy79

RE- PIP Appeal as you should know there is 2 section standard and high you need at least 11 points to get high and 8 for standard I would like to say what ever you say will make a difference more exegeration better it is cause it's early days as time goes passes you will see its a bad disease. I'm 37 years old and I have copd respiratory type 2 asthma broncechtisis emphysema I'm on oxygen nebulizer and bipeb machine everyday with lots of tablets as you can see things can get worse if you have this and better to express everything in pip application to get the numbers sorry if it sounded harsh cause you have kids to look after as well hope it works out for you 👍

Lots of great advice have been offered by blf online support group already. I would just add to that - that you must take the 'worst day scenario' and refer to that when you are answering their questions. Also, as a consequence of your lung and health conditions, if you have severe mental and emotional/anxiety problems, leading to depression with poor motivation and self neglect, this should also be emphasized.

Wishing you and your family all the very best


I wish you the very best in your quest for help. Good advice has been posted. From my own experiences with PIP and ESA try not to big yourself up as that will go against you. Only talk about your bad days and never say on a good use better. The question are weighted to see how you are and cope. But we often put a brave face on it, this loses points.

Be Well

Thank you all for the fab advice.. I am nearly on the ball. Obviously this will take time to construct and I better stop saying ‘I’m fine’ 😀

Ern007 in reply to Bertie50

Bertie, an extension to my previous post.

Don't fall for the old track, for example " How are you on a bad day comared to a good day" - The simple answer is, you don't get good days anymore. The reason is you are supposed to need help 7 days a week 52 weeks a year..

Bertie I must stress this is just my opinion, but based on experience. Again good luck..

Hi Bertie50,

I wrote to you yesterday, however I just wanted to add that when I got the HP's report through, I noticed several sections were copy and pasted and not unique to my own situation. This applied particularly to the musculoskeletal tests, half of which had not been carried out. It was also full of typing errors!

Hi all...I hope you are all well 😄 again, thanks for all the fabulous advice. I have been working on my appeal letter and was wondering do I write a personal statement about how my days have changed, from what I used to do ie fitness and job to what is achievable now. Also should i mention what I want pip so I can reduce my hours as the hours I was working is not sustainable. I am also being redeployed to another school/child. Thanks all😁😁

Hi .. hope your as well as can be 😷 can’t believe it’s been a year since I joined. Just wondering did you have any joy with your claim? I’m still waiting to hear re a tribunal hearing... I’m going to get friends and family members to construct a statement of me.... any other advice would brill xx

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