I give up!!: So I popped into CAB today... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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I give up!!

Jeskin profile image
27 Replies

So I popped into CAB today and they took my details to make an appointment at a later time. The woman asked me what the problem was and I told her I have been denied PIP and wanted to appeal. She asks why was I applying for PIP and I told her because I have Fibromyalgia . She then sort of laughed and said’ oh the unseen illness’ so I said yes and her reply was well you won’t get it because your mobile and can do everything. I was a bit taken aback by this!!

I was under the impression you could still work and apply for PIP.

All their negative feedback from UC, PIP and now CAB have really got me down.

27 Replies
CM1EDSUK profile image
CM1EDSUK

Hi - I'm sorry you were met with such negativity.

You certainly can work & claim PIP. Many people have indeed been awarded PIP & work, so long as the work you do doesn't contradict why you're claiming PIP.

Have you written a Mandatory Reconsideration? If not, you might want to check here to see if you could get some help from a Welfare Rights Office instead: advicelocal.uk/

You should identify where you feel you ought to have been awarded points & give a couple of detailed examples as to the difficulty you face in doing each of these activities 'reliably' i.e. safely, to an acceptable standard, be able to repeat such an activity as often as it would be reasonable to expect, saying if it takes you more than twice as long as someone without your disability.

Do keep on fighting if you can, as, if it gets to a Tribunal stage, approx. 70% of claimants are successful.

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to CM1EDSUK

Hi , thank you for your reply. I have asked for a mandatory reconsideration just waiting for them to reply.

I do feel like I’m fighting a losing battle 😔

nomoreibsc profile image
nomoreibsc in reply to Jeskin

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Please keep trying. It's not an easy process. Have you thought of getting a charity that understands disability to help you? They won't be judgemental and understand exactly how difficult fibromyalgia is to live with.

Ajay575 profile image
Ajay575

HI have you looked for to see if any welfare rights in area some through council They go to appeal with you etc and unlike cab they get a lot of the dirty work from them after failures

Or any other local charity

Im pretty sure the dwp and assesors are still biased toeards fibromyalgia as mud does stick .

Try not forget the majority of time rule lots going down that route and many advisers

Also If you cannot do any criteria just once yes just once a day that counts as unable to do that (task ) criteria for the whole day and counts towards your majority of time

The washing bathing etc and other critera xsample you may be Exausted in mornings and takes you 2 to 3 hours to function and cannot bath etc in the mornings

Good luck with your mandatory and appeal if no offers made

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed

Terrible reaction , I'm sorry you had to experience it . Unfortunately, that sort of treatment is all to common and something we are all forced to deal with when trying to get help or benefits.My daughter also received 0 points in the last week , the explanation for this again , contradicts the apparent ethos of the system that you should be able to claim for help while still in employment or trying to manage to do some normal daily activities.

She was basically told , she works and hasn't had enough time off for illness ( now only two shifts a week which she then recovers from in bed in the days between) , she can walk without aids , she can hold a conversation, she can make a meal ( on a good day , apparently living on packet food heated in a microwave when you can manage to get up to do it is enough ) she can shower and dress herself (yes , but a shower can only last five minutes because of dizziness and not more than once a week in the shower and having to lie down to recover from it for a few hours afterwards). Apparently, if you struggle to do a little that means that is enough to say you need no help at all . It's a vicious , cruel joke which basically implies that you need to give up trying altogether if you want any help .

ablest profile image
ablest in reply to Blearyeyed

I have a friend has ms, very few symptoms as yet but was advised to write down what she can/cant do on her worst day. she got pip and works 3 days a week.

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to ablest

Good to hear your friend had a positive outcome. I did all that and still got told no. I think it also depends on the assessor at the time . I will keep trying

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to ablest

That is the root of our issue with PIP. With illnesses they understand , or know more about like MS, RA and Mental Health disorders they have better guidelines and give points in a more logical way allowing people the ability to get the points to receive PIP but still allowing the fact that they can work too.With Fibro , just the fact that you can work or do some daily things despite struggling with them you are more likely to get 0 points without them giving consideration of the known impact of the illness itself.

It's a type of disability inequality that really needs awareness and some action to change it.

Glad to hear your friend us getting what they are entitled to though without the need to fight for it.

Ajay575 profile image
Ajay575 in reply to Blearyeyed

Or it could also be Mud sticks

Dwp and assesors where saying in their rounds

They called fibromyalgia

Fibromyars_

was on panorama a few years ago

Our local adviser does not use word fibromyalgia

Instead the severe symptoms

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to Ajay575

Hi Ajay thanks for your reply. You replied to another member explaining about the aids . I didn’t realise an electric tin opener was classed as an aid. I do use one of these and I have a tassimo which I fill using a small jug, a jar/bottle/packet opener, a non slip bath mat and handrails in the bathroom. None of which I put down as aids as I use them as every day things!!

Do you know if I need to give photo evidence and how would I send it?

And is it too late?

Thank you

Lisa

Ajay575 profile image
Ajay575 in reply to Jeskin

Hi yes you can use these aids And they all corrospond as well

Hand rail is vital do tell them you get points for that

For toilet and shower etc

Yes take photos and send you dont need photo evidence

But send photo helps

And if any came from an ot or council send as these are strong evidence if from them

Id phone them for address to send to

Put your name and insurance numer on each sheet you send do phone them

Mind aids are good for 2 points

Questions tasks over 2 points is likely youd get as well on some Give them all the options to consider

Good luck with claim

Give them a phone and send additional information in

Also if applys

If you cannot do tasks on a daily basis

Only 1 time a day

That counts as unable to the task for the whole day

I.e

In morning unable to bath

Exsausted in pain take 2 3 times as long

Only once a day on any thing

4 days a week

Im sure lots cant do task 7 days a week once a day

If apply

Send that in as well and put you cannot

Do majority of time

If refused

Least the appeal they will look at it for you

Good luck with claim

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to Ajay575

thank you Ajay

Ladygelf profile image
Ladygelf

Hi, so sorry you experienced this ignorance.I won my mandatory reconsideration with help from fightback4justice. There is a cost involved but without their expert help and advice I would never been able to tackle it on my own.

Good luck with it all

LG x

Mgt8 profile image
Mgt8

Try this website for help with pip claims.

benefitsandwork.co.uk/

It helps at each stage of the proceedure.

I went through all the stages of mandatory reconsideration and 3 days before I was due to go to appeal in person, they rang to say they had reconsidered again and I was entitled to pip after all.

I believe their remit is to stop as many claims as they can instead of filtering for genuine claims. Don't give up just because one person tells you you won't be successful. Someone from CAB should not be putting you off like this. Especially as they do not know all your claim details yet; you only went in to make an appointment!

It's a great feeling when you are finally accepted for the truth of your situation so good luck and stay strong...

Best wishes,

Mgt

Cat00 profile image
Cat00

Every time I went to the CAB in the past they would always be very encouraging and say oh you'll points for that etc and then every time I'd get turned down by PIP. Maybe they're adjusting their approach bc it differs so much from the results they get?I couldn't believe what I heard on the tv two days ago that since Covid 70% of PIP claims are successful?! Given how hopeless it's been for fibro people I presume they're are getting awarded PIP for actual Covid then bc it isn't for us?

I would put a complaint in about the adviser at CAB. She sounds like she was very dismissive and ignorant with regard to Fibromyalgia. Regardless of her opinion, she should have given you guidance on what to do next. My sister and I both have Fibromyalgia and have both had to take the PIP decision to a tribunal. Once for me and twice for her! Its wrong. Once it's been to a tribunal once then why should you have to prove it all over again if nothing has changed in three years. We both have PIP now but there have been plenty of tears along the way with regard to PIP. She actually had to buy a car on higher purchase only to have the decision overturned a few weeks later. For me, it's the feeling that no-one believes how unwell you feel. That feeling of being totally alone and left to rot. Specialists, GP's, DWP...they have all been dismissive over the years and it absolutely makes you want to give up on hoping to have some kind of life quality. My advice is DONT GIVE UP. Push back until someone listens. It's stressful but worth it. Hugs xx

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to Just-keep-swimming

Thank you, I do feel disbelieved by them and other people. I will continue to fight for some help but it is so stressful .

Sarahvit profile image
Sarahvit

Hi Jeskin, I’m so sorry that she treated you that way. One day she will learn how her comments made you feel. As my ex said “what goes around comes around”. In the states applying for disability if we get turned down by social security then we hire a lawyer how specializes in social security disability and the lawyer only takes a percentage of the back pay when they win the case and if they loose then they don’t get paid. In the words of my lawyer “if we win we eat stake and if we loose no stake for dinner. I don’t know how things are handled in the UK but if you have an option to hire an attorney I would go that route. Fibromyalgia is a very debilitating condition that likes to bring along other health conditions. I hope I was able to help. I was turned down the first time and had to get a lawyer and she was able to win the case back in the mid 90’s. Keep pressing forward there is a lot more research done on fibromyalgia and more known about it now. Praying all goes well for you. 🙏🏼💕

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to Sarahvit

Thank you x

Jint71 profile image
Jint71

have you thought about seeing welfare rights? Drs and other professionals can refer you to them. Also the benefits advisors at the job centre too. Don’t be disheartened that receptionist is in the wrong job, they were very unprofessional in their attitude towards your enquiry and maybe a complaint about this person should be happening too?

Hazel_Angelstar profile image
Hazel_AngelstarAdministrator

Sorry you have had such a negative experience. Pip criteria is based on how your symptoms affect you not the diagnosis.

You could contact our benefits team on 0300 999 0055 (Mon, Wed, Fri 10.00-12.00) or email benefits.advice@fmauk.org

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to Hazel_Angelstar

Thank you I will.

Jan1964 profile image
Jan1964

Hi Jeskin,Don't give up, hugs xx

You can write to the DWP, the address should be on the assessment letter they sent you, ask for a mandatory reconstruction and clearly write what you don't agree with. They have someone independent look at it and make a decision. If they decide against you, then ask for the appeal paperwork. Get help from a friend if you need to complete the questions, but it is quite straightforward.

Every one has different pain levels and restrictions, be clear about your restrictions in day to day activities. You can get PIP for symptoms of Fibro whether you work or not. (As long as your not a can can dancer or acrobat that is lol). Hugs and good luck 🤞🤗

Cotswolds25121 profile image
Cotswolds25121

Hi Jeskin, as others have said I am truly sorry to hear how you were treated 😡unbelievable behaviour and I am sick and tired of people who have no idea what it is like daily to live with fibromyalgia or any other health conditions. It is relentless. It’s repeated over and over again such as with ME condition, how many years did people have to be constantly judged, ridiculed and humiliated because of people calling them liars! When we humans 🤔ever learn not to dismiss people just because they don’t understand something! It’s so draining, exhausting and downright miserable living with long term health issues without ignorant people thinking they have the right to tell someone who is suffering that they ‘haven’t got this or that’ I know and understand how it feels to be constantly undermined but if you have the strength please try to continue with your application and do not let these selfish, ignorant people get the better of you. I know it’s easier said than done when you’re feeling bad, in pain all the time and so very tired and down it’s asking an awful lot but you know what support you need so please don’t let them defeat you 🤗🤗🤗and ❤️

CM1EDSUK profile image
CM1EDSUK

As mentioned by Hazel, your diagnosis will not be in dispute; PIP is about your functional ability to perform the activities looked at reliably.

As Ajay mentioned, you should say how you are the majority of days. You should not just describe how you are on your worst days as that could be considered benefit fraud.

All aids will be considered, e.g. I wear a silver ring splint on my right thumb, which I bought myself & wear 24/7; I gained 2 points for several activities as I needed this aid to perform them reliably.

The following guide for assessors is well worth carefully reading, noting especially the section on reliability.

gov.uk/government/publicati...

Jeskin profile image
Jeskin in reply to CM1EDSUK

Thank you I will have a read

DodgeDhanda profile image
DodgeDhanda

Hi J.

Firstly I'm sorry U've been treated like a nobody by the CAB.

However as they get all their funding from the government I doubt they wany to bite the hand that feeds them so to speak.

Now ur local council should have a welfare rights officer who should be made available for U to get the best advice.

I've recently had to reapply for my PiP & they gave me about 3 weeks to get it filled in & send them all the details of my meds & luckily my older brother filled in my form but there is no where for the person filling out the form for U to sign but it was the case pre 2017 which was the last time I had the form filled out for me.

Persevere & make sure U attend any & all appointment or even tribunal & don't go alone as U may need a helping hand in case U have a panic attack as its very stressful.

On a side note & I believe that the DWP are on a mission to boot as many people off legacy benefits as they can & migrate them onto Universal Credit as that's 1 payment to cover everything.

Good luck & I hope U win & remember CAB are just people who aren't truly skilled in anything & I would complain about the service or lack of service U recieved from the CAB.

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