PIP Assessment

Does anyone get panic attacks every time a letter comes through the post? I do, I am actually relieved on those days when there are no posts.

I finally got 'the letter' summoning me to attend the PIP medical assessment, and my anxiety has gotten worse. Please has anyone been to a PIP medical assessment before? what is it like/what can i expect?

Is it anything like the ESA medical assessment ('lamb going to the slaughter house')? even with all the evidence - diagnosis, treatments they still refused me ESA.

If you have been to a PIP medical assessment please let me know how it went for you.

thank you so much

27 Replies

  • You and me both, I dread the brown envelope dropping onto the door mat, I hate that fact that they have the whole of your life in their hands and they don't even realise just how stressful it all is.

    Why can't they just leave things alone?

    They seem to like change for changes sake, I have yet to meet anyone who has come out of either of the current reassessments (ESA and PIP) better off then they where before they started . I filled in my ESA form before Christmas and have still not heard any thing from them, I am dreading the medical and if they say I need to start looking for work I will just give up the will to live. I have been out of work since 1985 and claiming IS and IB for the last 15 years after my relationship broke down and I was left with 2 children to bring up and an X who left the country never to be seen again.

    So who is going to give me a job with out all of my medical problems?

    When there are so many young people looking for work.

    I have yet to hear about PIP but I live in fear of it, I do hope that you get a good result at your medical, do you have a friend who can go with you? as I always get so confused I forget who said what at any medical appointment let alone something so important.

    Try not to worry to much about it easier said than done I know but it really doesn't make it any better in the long run.

    I will be thinking of you and lets hope that just for once it goes your way

    love and hugs Karen

  • thank you so much karen for your message, that is exactly how i FEEL they do 'have my whole life in their hands' and I felt that even more when they refused me ESA a couple of years ago and cut off the standard benefit amount they used to give me, which was the same amount as the JSA, I didnt have anything to live on, it was awful.

    I don't have anyone who can come with me, even my close friend is not available and don't really understand really what it means to have fibromyalgia, even I myself struggle to get my head around it, when I think I am beginning to understand it, it changes on me, another severe symptom comes up or a symptom that i thought was treated comes back again

    It feels good to be on this forum, (thanks to Emma who recommended me to join).

    Today is my first day on it. Its good to find and speak to people who understand and have similar problems

  • I know exactly what you mean about no one understanding what this thing called Fibro is like to live with, as you say one day you can think yes I might just be able to do something normal like meet a friend for coffee and the next you can hardly get out of bed.

    I have only been a member here for a week and it is great to know that the people on here just "get it".

    I think that if we didn't have to live with the constant worry about money and benefits we would all sleep a little bit better and so manage our lives better as worrying about money is the one thing apart from the physical pain that we all suffer from.

    I would like just one M.P to live my life for a week and see just what it is really like to be in constant pain and constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul and there NEVER being enough left for things like heating.

  • Just to say a welcome to you too. I know when ESA first came in and I went to our MP for help with my husband's claim (he was very helpful but even he couldn;t beat the system and said it had not been intended to affect people like my husband who had worked continuously for one company for 38 years before he became too ill to work). When he investigated it more I think he too was aghast at some of the decisions and how they came by them and I know he took his concerns forward as he copied me in to some letters. It is the old adage never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. I don't think even my OH who is lovely can really understand how I feel but at least on here everyone can understand. x

  • Hi Elisi

    I am so sorry to read that you are suffering in this way, and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to this issue. I have pasted you a link below to the ATOS Website and PIP, so I hope that you find this useful:


    I want to wish you all the best of luck with your assessment.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • Thank you so much Ken

  • Like you all, I have been waiting for 'the brown envelope', my life has been on hold for over ten months, until today!! Got the envelope and I have got the pip, the instant relief is indiscriable! I wish you all the luck in the world and hope the brown envelopes bring good news for you. I have found the whole experience stressful, exhausting and has made me feel even iller, if that is possible. Can't believe it is finally sorted,but.......I'm already stressing about the next one in three years time. Should I start that one a year earlier, so the decision is made by the time the benefit runs out?!!!:-))))))

    Wishing you luck and hope you feel as well as you can. Take care x

  • That is absolutely wonderful and fantastic news! Well done and Congratulations!

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • I had pip assessment they came to my house has I don't go out and the nurse who did the assessment was lovely. I pass it. I got a esa one coming up and I am dreading it has they wont come to the house to see me got told of them I needed a doctor note which I got and then got another letter from them saying I didn't go and sent me another appointment to attend at the medical centre I dont go out so I am having panic attack and not sleeping.

  • Hi there! Just a thought...I too am awaiting the dreaded letter but I'm pretty lucky to have my" bestest friend in the whole wide world " with her teeth clenched at the ready!!! She saw what it did to me having the ESA tribunal!!! and is ready for war!! Hahahaha.. But really...on a serious note... The Citizens advice beaurea are fab when it comes to things like this and will often go with you for moral support!! Also...I have recently moved and my housing officer offered a support worker to help with forms/debts/benefits etc and he has also said he will attend if I needed him! There is help out there...it's just finding the right people to point you in the right direction!! So.....pick up the phone...ring C.A.B.....and get the ball rolling!! My best wishes for a positive outcome!!...much love...ninja...xxx

  • Hello Yes I know exactly how you feel. I am self employed cleaner in my first year, and this makes me very anxious that I am doing everything right. I do not like the post either. I used to be a carer too, but had a panic attack when I was trying to do too much. The only reason why is that I was frightened to give up the care. I am on my own too, and was worried financially. However, I did give up the care job, and advertised myself as a cleaner, and hoped and prayed it would work out. One year later I have eleven customers, and today going to see a new one. The reason why I choose cleaning is my memory is hopeless, and I thought I would not be any good at any office job for example. But I thought of what I could do, and that makes my happy with an income. We all have something we are good at, and we are all special. Take care Karen xx

  • Thank you everyone, your feedback is of great support to me.

  • Can I just say welcome to this site and I am sure that you will get the support and friendship you deserve as it is a wonderful site. I think if everyone is honest they will say the same about the dreaded envelope as we all have that awful dip in our stomach. I know when both my husband and I were on ESA we would pick the envelopes up and put them on the table and just look at one another neither of us wanting to open them. The whole system is really humiliating and with fibro which is such a strange illness to describe it can be so hard to get across who it affects us as it is not what I call a static illness but I liken it to a firework display that is constantly changing. I won't have my PIP assessment until next year so unfortunately I can't be of any help to you there but some of the others members have given you good advice and excellent links. Just to say you are in my thoughts.x

  • Hello Elilis

    you have summed up how I feel brilliantly

    I had to try and fill the dla form in whilst I could n't sleep it took me months as they want all details from the beginning which is just stupid . I only managed about 20 mins each time sometimes just felt to ill to do it which meant I kept going over the time frame and then despite explaining they just kept saying you need to get the form in .it would be difficult if someone filled in the form sometimes just being awake is a nightmare and there is no way I could tell them everything . oh well I'm due to be PIP 'd at some point I'm really dreading it. oh and the Esa in case I don't get the support group there is just no way I could meet up regularly most days I can't most days get out of bed due to the pain .

    I'm looking forward to reading the reply you get . The ladies and gents on this site are fantastic so practical and supportive and a massive knowledge base but they also make me smile and laugh on a regular basis

    good luck love please let us know if you want to of course how it all goes

    best wishes love SQUEAK

  • Its not the end of the world to receive a brown envelope- Nor to have someone tell you to go to work.. I have-:- Crohns, Fibro, Constant Migraines, Sacroilluitis, Metatarsalgia, White Finger, Raynaud's, Allergic to -:- Milk in anything, Caffeine, Wine, Strong Sunlight, Strip lights, I've had skin cancer and other problems.. but- if I'm told I'm fit for work, then work it would be.. no other questions asked, just one, help me find the right job.. don't be scared of the unknown. Be prepared to change yourself for the better.

  • hi kazzgirl

    I can understand what your saying and of course your right .What I should have said is that i know myself well enough and I am clearly not ready for work however your dependant on someone who potentially has less knowledge about my health and ill health to decide if I am fit for work and if I can receive any money . as a previous senior ward sister my job was a vocation to me and I would gladly work again if I was fit .I would do anything cleaning shop work anything if I was well enough to do a job . sadly the system is not fair my money was cut drastically despite me having more major illnesses than before and getting worse but because I no longer lived with my husband due to my illness I had to move at age 39 into shelter housing and the reason for them reducing my money was because the flat had more aids. I tried to make them understand but I could not as I have very rare disease. I asked for help from WELFARE RIGHTS but I felt unable to fight as I felt to ill . This is why I dread the envelope honey because yes I am grateful for what they give me and if I was well I would be working immediately

    All the best love you really have some terrible illnesses I hope you feel as well as possible love Squeak xx

  • Hello Kazzgirl,

    Thank You for sharing your opinion, however there are 3 points I'd like to raise.

    In my personal opinion;

    1) Many people with Fibro have severe symptoms that means they are unable to work yet assessments by certain outsourced companies for what ever reason are saying they are 'fit for work' I would say that in this situation it is very upsetting & stressful to receive the brown envelope as you are worried about the decision to be made to sign up for JSA. Many go onto JSA expected to attend interviews for jobs they cannot do and face sanctions on their payments.

    2) Being assessed as 'fit for work' means you are judged as being able to maintain a job when some disabled people need certain support & jobs that are suitable for them. Many feel this support isn't available to find appropriate jobs even if they are considered needing support for their disability to be able to work within their limitations. Therefore feel abandoned by the system.

    3) Many people experiencing disabling symptoms would feel better supported if while unable to work they had the safety net of benefits so they can try to new treatments, pace and work towards a part time job. The stress of being pushed to work when clearly not able can have devastating effects on the individual and could potentially cause deterioration in their condition meaning their physical & mental well-being may be seriously affected. This could ultimately lead to the person needing support of disability benefits for a longer duration and affect their confidence at feeling able to work with their disability in the future

    I think when it comes to people which are individual with varying degrees of health & symptoms a one size does not fit all and a black & white approach of assessments cannot be used effectively as there are many different circumstances.

    Best Wishes

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • You have described the whole procedure so well.

    Thank you for that Emma.

    I was found fit to work and was summoned to the JobCentre where the lady I saw was completely incredulous to understand how on earth I'd been found fit to work.

    She's advised me to appeal to be put into the Support Group.

    All of this is so stressful it's untrue especially when you're very ill, rarely sleep and in constant agony.

    If only the DWP could see how much we all struggle on a day to day basis and understand just how stressful it is waiting for that dreaded brown envelope.

    Lu x

  • The Gov't are not interested in helping disabled people of any sort.. it don't pay to be nice if your rich.. or hold the purse strings.. if the Tories get in next year- they plan to stop all benefits "Ad-Hoc".. then wait to see who comes complaining, interview them and see if they are genuine or not- also; they are employing private detectives to routinely follow disabled people and record (Video) if they really are as bad as they say.. if they suspect for one second they will pull the plug and start an investigation.. How's that for a caring warm hearted vote winner.!!! I'm sure the BBC would be only too happy to show so many disabled people being outed as con merchants like they do on a certain morning show..

  • I know stress is a major factor, its what nearly killed me- literally.! And I don't want any more op's for crohns again. But I'm not gonna stress out whether they want to pay me my rent either. if you have a voice and use it, some one will have to listen. it is possible to sue for medical neglect, so its possible to sue the dss. I've actually threatened to take them to court for their actions in the past and they smoothed the path quite quickly- Getting angry is good for the soul, and helps to resolve inner frustrations from people who don't give a fig.

  • I like this quote "My uniqueness - Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else".

    It basically sums it up, everyone have their different problems and even similar problems but it affects us in different ways individually, due to our backgrounds, situations we have been in and all kind of different things. Some of us have illnesses and organ problems mental health problems traumas that we can list, but I don't wish to do that, because that is personal to me and I'm deeply weary of talking about them. Let's just bare in mind that things are different for everyone

  • Thank You for your very balanced response & a very good quote which I think is from 'A letter to the healthy world from the land of chronic pain & fatigue'

    Here's a link to a post which cites this letter, for anyone wishing to read;


    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • Thank you Emma,

    Thank you also for your comments, it is true, I have been in that situation: the jobcentre saw my situation and spoke to me about ESA I've never heard of it before. So I went on to the ESA and had the medical at all this point I was still get the standard amount which was the same as JSA, that was all I was getting, one day the decision letter came saying I wasn't entitled so without giving me enough notice they stopped the £70 or £71 they used to give me. My world came crashing down. That money is all I had, I had no savings nothing, my bill was due to be paid. I got even more ill I started blacking out more than usual. i went through the whole process - appeal - tribunal and then back on JSA again, the jobcentre saw my situation and told me no! You have to go back to ESA I begged them saying I couldn't that it has been awful, but I wasn't meeting the requirements and what I had signed and agreed to do while claiming JSA, I couldn't so they told me to go back on ESA.

  • Thank You for sharing, yes they are many with invisible illnesses experiencing this hence recent campaigns against the WCA especially War on Welfare.

    More info here;


  • It is so true we are many and varied but the single thing that joins us all is Fibro. At the end of the day we are all fighting a tremendous battle and may you all have many hours that are pain free or pain mastered.

    We are all in this boat sharing and caring :)


    Administrator Fibroaction

  • I dread that envelope even when i'm not expecting one because it always means something's up but that is my own personal experience based on many many brown envelopes over the years and it doesn't matter how ill you are, or, what we think it still causes us unwanted stress.

    Stress is known to be a factor behind many illnesses but for my experience with Fibro it makes the pain worse, Chronic anxiety is something I have been receiving treatment for a long time and it all began with a dreaded brown envelope telling me I'd failed my medical and stopped my money six weeks before Christmas and it was freezing and I was having to choose between topping up the gas meter or eating :(

    Both of our parents brought us rescue hampers and also some of our friends would buy extra when they went shopping to give us. It was 23rd December when we finally got a payment at reduced level while the appeal was going through and the nightmare continued for 8 months. When we went for the appeal I was too distraught to enter the tribunal hearing so sat outside and our representative from CAB came out in less than 5 minutes and said we'd won :)

    The doctor who performed my medical had told me that if the physical part of the medical was going to cause me unecessary harm I could opt out and not do it. So I opted out!! I was black and Blue from a nasty fall and could barely move which is why the doctor said I could decline however, the result was I failed the medical because the doctor had said that and it had then made it ok for me decline doing it, meaning they had broken the Law when they stopped our money and it is also why it took less than 5 minutes. Nine and half months of stress for a hearing that took less than 5 minutes!!

    Of course I dread the brown envelope I fear the stress it brings with it. The above scenario was third time we'd gone to appeal within 5-6 years and I was worn out having to defend myself for so long and I am now to try and avoid stress if at all possible as instructed by my GP.

    That's my snippet of real experience I still have chronic anxiety and have a counsellor to call upon when I need to let off steam as it were :o If you do find yourself in a similar situation to this please try to get help from an advisary service such as The Citien's Advice Bureaux or Welfare Rights straight away and gather as much information as you can to back up your claim. Get yourself prepared and try to be positive even though it's stressful and painful.

    Remember here at our friendly fibro forum there is always someone just around the corner that might be able to help you or point you in the right direction. If you go to our Mother site fibroaction.org there is a wealth of information and downloadable factsheets regarding many things from benefit advice to our Expert Patient Articles which are very interesting and informative.

    Here is the link for citizen's advice:


    Here is the link for Welfare Rights:


    Another good place to get benefit advice from is gov.uk

    Remember we are different so our experiences will be different good luck to anyone going through the process and sending positive fluffie cuddles and smiles to you :)

    xxx sian :)

  • Thanks for all the info I am so pleased your claim was sorted! gins

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