Hi, just wondering about other people's experience when it comes to the DLA To PIP changeover at present I get the medium care rate and upper mobility rate of DLA. I have been suffering badly with fibromyalgia since my hysterectomy in 2010. On top of this and previous to the actual fibro diagnosis I was diagnosed with spondyloarthrapy (seronegative) and hypermobility. Until 3 years ago I worked as a marketing manager, a high pressure job which I loved immensely, but after the diagnosis and added complete exhaustion I basically went on sick pay as the pain, exhaustion, insomnia and anxiety became too much. In 2012 whilst still working I was assessed by ATOS and awarded the medium care rate and enhanced mobility for 2 years. I also claimed ESA and was put into the support group after my advisory at the job centre recommended to the dwP that I should be in the support group not the wrap. I, sadly, was then made redundant from my position, and I can't at all blame my company, they couldn't keep my job open forever. In 2014 my case was reviewed for DL A and I was yet again given the medium care rate and enhanced mobility rate until August this year. Then my postcode was in the area that are now switching DLA To PIP and I was notified that I had to change to PIP, so I applied via telephone to switch, waited 2 weeks for the forms, and 2 days after the former arrived, I was sent both texts and mail informing me I should send it back ASAP. After waiting 2 weeks for the forms to arrive, then they wait 2 days for it to be returned is just so unfair. Anyhow, after taking a week to fill it in, bit by bit owing to severe pain whilst writing, I sent off my claim just before their deadline, it was 4 weeks before they sent me another appointment with ATOS for yet another interview and physical exam. This happened this morning. The examination centre has switched address, it is now in an area with excessive traffic, 5 steps to get in the front regular entrance, alternatively you are sent through a maze of car parks to arrive at the back entrance that has very limited parking facilities. Slightly, the back entrance to the reception is a long measured out corridor, I was totally exhausted just by walking half way but there are no seats to rest. The receptionist was kind and sympathetic but kept me standing for a while chatting. I Told her that I hated to be impolite but I needed to sit as soon as possible and keeping me standing meant I was in excrutiating pain. She gave me an apology and took me to another waiting room where there were seats. It took me over 10 mins to walk with my crutches to the waiting area. I was lead into another room at 30 mtrs away 5 mins later, another ploy, no doubt to test my mobility, but I did take my time getting there being totally and utterly exhausted and near to tears with pain by the time I got in the examination room. The examiner was very nice, but also a speed talker, and I had to ask him to repeat several phrases as he sped through my questions. He more or less asked me the questions on the forms but weirdly also read me my answers more or less, but he also switched names on my for to test me, he actually said, "so your daughter prepares your breakfast because you can't do it yourself" what I actually stated on the forms and more importantly, the truth, was that I stated my son or my husband prepare breakfast. (My daughter goes to work two hours after I get up at 6 am my husband or son leave for work about 7am, so they do my breakfast, hubby does fruit, yogurt, cereal, son does scrambled eggs as hubby as an egg phobia) then he said "and your husband prepares your lunch, is that right? I replied, no that's incorrect, My daughter prepares my lunch, she is the only one that returns home at lunchtime. After that the rest of the questions he flew through at an astounding pace, he just basically read out my form. Meanwhile, I was sitting in the hardest chair ever, and every 2 mins kept having to stand up with the help of my crutches to alleviate my back and buttock pain. After whizzing through the rest of the form, he then did a short and very painful exercise with my hands and knees, I actually cried out, I was in so much pain. He didn't press me to do more, he said that he wasn't the decision maker and would pass his observation on to the decision maker and the final decision would be the DWPS. He then virtually marched me out of the room, but I took my time, and wouldn't be pushed into rushing. I worked out that the entire "interview" took around 35 mins, this includes the excrutiating walk to and from the waiting area to the car. I have no idea whether my interviewer took any notice of the pain I was suffering whilst being interviewed, he came across as very caring but didn't really take on board my anxiety or pain issues. I'm now worried sick that he skipped through my form because he didn't believe my condition was that severe. He said that the outcome isn't his decision and that it will be 8 weeks before the DWP will give me a decision either way. I Returned home and slept for the rest of the day I was so exhausted. Its now 12:30 am and time more midnight dinner, if anything Positive has come of this it is that I have slept solid for 6 hours this afternoon, best sleep I've had in ages on the downside, my fibro is in RAGE mode now. AGONY. Just hope the whizz kid that inerviewed me is on my side, fingers crossed, i'll keep my fellow sufferers informed ( special thanks to my friend Freddy for typing this for me - feel a bit like Matt Lucas in Little Britain as Barbara Cartland, on my couch dictating my memoirs) Cheers Freddy ☺
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