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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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You look well nourished so you can't have Fibromyalgia...

My wife has Fibromyalgia and was awarded the standard rate of PIP in September last year. Her condition has been getting steadily worse since then & as it states that any changes to your condition must be reported we sent off a note to the DWP. We had to go to a face to face assessment again and even though she is far worse than when she was originally awarded PIP they decided to completely take away that award & give her nothing.

The decision letter included a statement that said: "At your assessment it was reported that you were well nourished and of average build." When my wife read this it upset her terribly. We both read it as though they were saying that she was fat so must be able to cook for herself & feed herself.

I wanted to know what others think about this comment and if you would read it in the same way we did.

(We asked for a mandatory reconsideration, which was again declined, even though the decision quoted things that either weren't true or completely out of context, and we have just sent off a Tribunal Appeal form.)

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This is what gets me every time, “ well you look well “ people say but Fibro Cfs etc is not like having a broken leg or arm etc it is not always visible to others, I’m so sorry to read this comment, I could say well I look well fed but it’s because now I cannot swim etc I’ve put on weight because of my Conditions, il post a link which also has a helpline as well. healthunlocked.com/fibromya... although I have no experience of this yet members will give you helpful tips of what they have experienced or at least some advice, also a link to lock your posts as normally gets more response if a post is locked. healthunlocked.com/fibromya... Give your wife a gentle hug from me , so nice to see a husband posting because he’s truly upset and wanting to help his wife, take care

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I am shocked to read this and I agree that her nourished state however it may be and build doesn’t equal as evidence to prove anything. Next they’ll be saying the claimant looked ‘nimble’ so cannoy struggle with things! Honestly the system and assessors comments are worsening since the shake up for mental health issues not being more understanding at all!

This summer there is a PIP campaign , more about this below;

healthunlocked.com/fibromya...

You may wish to add your story and voice as part of the campaign

Do consider as Yasmintina has mentioned contact the FMAUK Benefits Advisor

All the very best with your appeal

Emma :)

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I get the impression from reading people's experiences and subsequent results, these assessors probably have to follow quite a narrow and rigid set of guidelines therefore this is likely to be something standard they have to comment on. As such if I was your wife, I wouldn't take it too personally. However it is worrying if their view is that you have to look emaciated for them to accept you are struggling and if someone is a little on the bonny side (I mean this in general and not specifically your wife by the way), they assume they are able to feed and look after themselves. I know from experience, I have put on weight in the past not because of overeating but more as a result of under-activity due to my pain levels. As Yas says, it is the same tedious view of the ignorant to say you look well so you must be okay so if this singular view of her appearance has played a part in the decision, then that needs to be challenged. Best of luck with your appeal and keep us posted on how you get on. x

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That's a ridiculous statement!!! Lack of mobility thru pain & my many meds have led me to gain 6 stone in 6years😳, but it doesn't mean I sit & stuff my face all day!

To take away what little benefits she got is awful. Maybe get your local MP involved coz their name usually helps the cause... Well wishes to your wife & to the majority of pip assessors 🖕🏻

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Hi robin sorry to hear terrible. It shouldnt be like this at all it shows you you should do absolutely nothing at assessment so they cannot comment on things ..can you try get a representative to represent at appeal try if you can .if not study hard or join benefit and work to get right information and points etc as I would imagine you will have a strong case at APPEAL .Do not worry about MR 80 %fail there .it is about procedures and points to raise at appeal from medical report to MR and all the questions you can get points on and all the previous evidence ..Do not wanting you loseing only on procedures. Try get advice and help or benefit and work.i would consider making 2 complaints against DWP and assessors only way to stop this take care

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Hi

That's how thay are trained

Thier not saying she doesn't look ill so cannot have Firbo as PIP is not awarded on your health condition but on how it effects you .

Thay also look at a lot of other stuff

But yes basically thay are saying she did not look as if she had a problem taking nutrition and she was average size for her Height .

Not saying its fair

Google PIP Guide for assessors lots of reading but will tell you all you need to know

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WOW, I should be ok then as I'm a skinny 8st, that's unbelievable , are they saying your wife is well enough to cook and look after herself but how do they know that you aren't doing all the cooking or someone else, as I always say when someone says you look well, I say it's not my face that's Ill 😳👎

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Absolutely disgusting - so so glad you are going to Tribunal. You been given sound advice from someone on here, go to your MP. Your wife may say she doesn’t want a fuss, but you must. How can someone be awarded standard Rate, condition get worse, then have it take Away!!! Good luck to you lovely people x

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Hi when I had my assessment I lost points for being clean and tidy and not smelling of wee !!

At the time I couldn't decide weather to laugh or cry .

This was written in the paperwork that I got sent before my tribunal .

I won my appeal so keep on appealing it's worth all the tears in the end x

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forgive me if I am wrong, but it sounds like assessors are using tick boxes for assessment?

That is a bad method on so many levels, but can be used IN CONJUNCTION WITH free flow writing, and should be discussed with the client as it is written, so that the client can agree to statements at the time. This method would reduce so many appeals and release money for payments. Face to face interviews are good because you can tell if someone is telling porkies (mostly).

Perhaps I should shut up now because I am probably totally wrong!

Good luck with all doing appeals, hope you win. xx

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Porkies work two ways - what they write is often porkies but you dont know that until you receive assessors report. Your whole decision is then built on their lies

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very true!

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So sorry to hear that; hopefully the Appeal will correct the appalling mess up. Your build and apparent state of nourishment should have absolutely no bearing on the result. It isn't relevant.

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Keep going. They don't respond at the Appeal Stage? I had 10 errors on Medical but still got refused twice. I even have broken bones which break when I work (broke 3 when trying to work). Went to Court and won easily. They put you through it hoping you will give up along the way although they have no basis to refuse your Medical in the first place!

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Mine said I was well dressed and well kept!!!!! I have suffered with fybro depression,raynards,and a few other bits for about 15/20 years so

Sorry next time I'll come with matted hair,stinking,and dirty clothes,who the hell are these people!! Sorry when I do get to venture out,I am like many of us in constant pain just because I feel s..t on the inside I don't want to look s..t on the outside or you look to healthy to be ill that one gets me every time be safe XX💜XX

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I was the same refused because I looked clean so could wash and dress myself although I had already told them I needed help everyday they just don’t listen

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I'm disgusted at what that assessor said! If she knew anything about fibromyalgia she'd know that the pain is so bad that physical exercise is nigh on impossible most days, I can't even walk my dogs anymore my hips are so bad. Also many of the meds they pile nto us also put on weight, it's in the list of side effects!

I too have got considerably worse since I was awarded standard living pip, I can't walk without a stick and then not far at all, but I'm terrified of losing the pip I have as I rely on it, so am very reluctant to apply for any more. If I got mobility pip award I could apply for a blue badge for my car which would be a godsend, but I'm just too scared of the whole process. My son lives with me and does nearly all the cooking, I am lucky. Your wife is fortunate to have a caring hubby to fight her corner with her. I wish her all the best and a good outcome in the tribunal. It's so unfair we have to fight so hard for every little bit of help. Gentle hugs and best wishes. X

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Hi Hollypop66 having a quick read through posts this case is really terrible sad.for the blue badge for yourself you should maybe just apply for it direct a lot of people do get it without pip after a quick interview with doc o would maybe do that. I do understand about your pip it should not be like that .if you wait for your renewal then go for it or if you change your mind. The criteria for PIP and usually blue badge is walking upto 20 metres enchanched rate and upto 50 metres standard rate both get blue badge .if you do not apply just now .do apply for blue badge though

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Thank you kindly. Maybe I will apply for a blue badge, I can but try.

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Hi I'm new to this site. Am I allowed to recommend

benefitsandwork.co.uk

They are of great help and support through the minefield of claiming pip/esa.

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Hi yeh .cab .wellfair rights and FMAUK all use them .and you do have access 24/7 etc if you join them they are very good

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I got awarded standard in May as i had to put in new application I was up for review.I was getting higher rate and lower mobility for 3 years but in those 3 years i gradually got worse an was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I appealed and I have my tribunal in 2 weeks but what was wrote in my 1st assessment was complete lies as my sister went with me she said the same i got no points on 2f2 hence tribunal but solicitor put in new clain hence standard rate It's all wrong ive waited 12 months for my tribunal date hope you get yours sooner and wish you luck.

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