Fibromyalgia Action UK
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PIP, again

I have read so many posts on here and in other places about people trying to claim PIP so I thought I would share a little of my experience. I applied for PIP in January 2014 because my employers were starting to talk about medical retirement and I would need something to live on. I had been off sick sine September 2014 when I was unable to evacuate the building fast enough during a fire drill. At that point I realised that I was being unfair to my boss, my colleagues and the pupils as I was unfit to be at work, despite all the allowances that had been made for me. My partner is self employed and work has been very slow over the past 2 years so we relied on my income.

In June 2014 I was classed as medically unfit to teach and dismissed from the job I loved. I was heart broken but I knew that it was the right decision for my employer. In time I came to terms with the fact that it was the right decision for me as well. By this point I had to change my car to an automatic as I didn't have enough strength some days to change gear. I bought a recliner that tipped me out as getting out of an ordinary chair was becoming too difficult. I needed increasing amounts of help round the house, despite a truck full of gadgets from the occupational therapy dept. I was walking with a stick for short journeys but using a rollator for anything more than 100 yards, with a built in seat so I could have frequent rests. There were so many things I found I now couldn't do such as hold my beloved dslr camera, go to the shops on a whim, play with my grandchildren at the park etc, etc.

In July 2014 I had an appointment in Glasgow for my PIP assessment. I took my daughter with me. The 60 mile round trip left me in agony for days afterwards and I was awarded 4 points for mobility and 7 points for personal care. I was devastated. I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and got the same result. By this time I was attending a pain clinic every Monday which left me wiped out till at least Thursday each week.

I asked my local welfare rights group to help me with an appeal. In December 2014 I was asked to attend an ESA assessment in Edinburgh, only a 30 mile round trip this time. The lady could not have been nicer, she never asked me to do any of the physical tests as she could see I wasn't able. She even arranged for a taxi to pick me up and take me to the train station. In January 2015 I got a letter which stated the the Secretary of State for Scotland had asked for more time to consider my PIP appeal but was turned down and arrangements had to be made for an appeal date to be set. I also got a letter to say I had been awarded ESA and put in the support group. As my ESA is contribution based and runs out in March 2015 I will have to ask my local benefits advice centre about what happens then, but it was still a relief to know I did not have to actively seek work.

Today I attended my PIP appeal along with a representative from the welfare rights group. It was exhausting both physically and emotionally. I have been awarded 11 points each for mobility and care so standard rate for both and awarded for 3 years. I am delighted by this obviously but at every opportunity I have railed against the system that puts people through this kind of trauma and stress. I know I am one of the lucky ones, to actually get an award, but like many of us on this forum, I would far rather be able bodied and fit to work. The physical and emotional toll this has taken is beyond words and I can totally understand those who cannot cope with the thought of appealing simply because of this. I could not have done this without support and the people who work in CAB and benefits advice centres, welfare rights group etc deserve a medal but we shouldn't need others to advocate for us, the powers that be should be getting it right in the first place.


20 Replies

I am so pleased that you have now received you PIP and agree that you should not have gone through the whole exhausting and draining experience. Sending you best wishes xx


Thanks Teddy x


Oh Linda i am pleased for you and well done for not giving in. I am still waiting to hear what was decided last week in my absence.

Lots of hugs sue xxxx

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Linda, I am so pleased and happy that you were given this award. just so unfair that they make us jump though such emotional and physical hoops to do so. Why on earth, can't they get our GPs to assess us as they have the most info about us.



Laurie, I agree wholeheartedly, but it would probably be too costly.


Sue, I hope you get good news. The stress of waiting to hear won't be helping.


I am very pleased for you. It took me twelve months to get my PIP, the sad thing is that we have to go through it all again, I think it morally wrong that after being awarded it, it can be taken away again at a later date. Enjoy it and maybe by the next time a new Government will have made the system a bit more humain. Gentle hugs.

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Thank you Linda for being so brave to share your experience with us all. I am glad after all that you have been through that you get the award you deserved and I only wish it could have been for a longer period of time but at least for the next 3 years you can relax without that worry hanging over you. Having helped my OH with his appeal some years back when he was turned down for ESA and it taking nearly 2 years (yes 2 years) for us to win (I won't bore you with the details) I know what stress all this causes genuinely ill people.

I do hope that in the future a fairer method of deciding disability benefits can be devised. I am quite positive trying to implicate all these new measures and the mess that has been made of it has cost the government far more than it has saved.

Anyway I hope that this extra money can help a little.x


Thank you Rosewine. I totally agree with you about the cost, from paying 1 person to assess and then another to check and then a further 3 quite expensive people to judge at a tribunal it is far from a cost efficient service, or even just an efficient service.


Hi Linda :)

Thank you for much for sharing your story with us to show that it can come good in the end despite what hoops they make you jump through. Congratulations :)

I agree that you shouldn't have had to travel so far like that!

It's disgraceful really isn't it!?!

Many soft healing fluffie hugs for you {{{{{{{ Linda }}}}}}}

xxx sian :)


Thank you Sian x



A tough way to get your PIP and so pleased you got there in the end.

I think you said your Contribution Support Group ESA runs out after a year. In support group it is on going, important you are aware.



Thanks for that info, I did not know about that. I think I need to go to my local benefits advice place and make sure I am not getting anything I shouldn't or if I am entitled to anything I currently don't get. I am finding the whole benefits thing a bit of a minefield, to be honest.


If you are in the Support Group of ESA then your award may continue for as long as you remain in the support group; it will not be limited to 12 months as it is with the Contribution Based Work Related Activity Group.

My hubby is in the WRAG and due to his Service Pension we no longer get any benefit apart from getting NI stamp paid. We still get the brown envelopes from DWP though and still have to inform them of any changes and go and have assessments if they say so . . . there's no escape!


Thanks for that info Lima, I certainly didn't know about that. I also get a small pension from my previous employment so I will need to go and check I am not getting anything I shouldn't as I would have no way of paying it back.

I find it crazy that you still need to jump through all the hoops if you are not actually getting any money. The whole system is nuts.


what is this country coming too we are made to feel like employers really wanted to finish me with ill health but what would become of me as im single and have a mortgage xI have just asked for a mandatory with pip but am not holding my breath.when im turned down I am going to get in touch with our mp a labour man as im going to fight it all the way, I work with disabled people and my employers say im worse than all f them with my fibro says it all.


Nettybetty I wish you good luck, both in your PIP application and holding onto your job. I don't think I ever realised how tough life could be until I lost my health. I try to keep positive and not let depression get a tighter hold but it isn't always easy. I am fortunate in that I have a partner who can help me but without him I would be an even bigger burden on the state as there are so many things I can no longer do.


Hi just to say that had you not been placed in the support group but were put in the WRAG you wouldn't have had to seek work..So many people get upset about this and think it's what they will be forced to do which I think is what the tories wanted..

You basically have to take the road with a view to preparing for work, my advisor at the job centre says that having meetings with my support worker is part of that, taking my meds is part of 'preparing for work' even having counselling could..

It does depend on the state of your health though, I've been in the WRAG for six years and my gp is being a sod so I can't fight for the support group right now, but if you get a good advisor at the job centre it doesn't have to be to bad..they have the power to do phone interviews if you are too unwell and she literally sees me every six months, and I make sure I don't look too presentable!

I too am waiting for a pip decision, I don't hold out much hope, but I won't let them get off with it and will fight them all the way...

Well done for getting what you deserve, this illness is debilitating and we certainly shouldn't have to fight so bloody hard xx


Thank you so much for sharing your experience of the system. I am so pleased that you have finally managed to receive PIP albeit at standard rate.

Good luck



Congratulations Linda im over the moon for you ,at long last you got what you so rightly deserve ,well done.Best wishes.


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