To pip or not to pip.. that is the question???

I really don't know what to do, I am at one of those crossroads.with regards to my health, or what's I feel is the right thing to do .. I have somehow decided to appeal my pips decision, and looking through all the paperwork, I have realised that ESA and pips don't share. Inadvertently I have informed ESA about my mental health problems (ESA is for my stamp only as I have ended up moving into my partners home because it is easy for him to care for me) and I have informed pips of my physical health problems, I have only now realised that I need to inform pips of both,.... thing is it's court next and I am too scared to bring up the remaining problems of my mental health and there is a chance that I will break, very messy.. and I really don't think it's worth it, but I don't know what to do ?

I'm not sure what I am trying to achieve by writing this post but this is the 4th attempt,( all 3 previous attempts were far to long) I do find it helpful just to put words to ? ? ? Print.

Any thoughts??? Much appreciated

Pol x

22 Replies

  • can you take a support person with you? The best thing you can do is "be messy" and tell them exactly how you are, but with a supporter so that you don't feel alone and too vulnerable.

  • Thank you for your reply, I think that my problem is that my carer is also my partner, sounds idealistic I know, but I he has been placed into a situation, which I find unacceptable, I have to admit that I was 85% perfect when we met, and started a friendship, I was mentally strong and had all my monsters under control, I worked 60+ hours a week (self-employed) and had as fit as an athlete. 3 months later, the trouble started, 4 months later I had no business, no income, a few months later I fell off my perch, a year ish later I have an accident, and living alone I would have gone to bed till I was better, by my partner was visiting and he looks me to hospital 2weeks stay 6 broken vertebra and and a little internal damage, leaving me needing complete care. 2 years on I still haven't got pain under control, although I have great expectations from pain clinic.

    Mentally, I thought I had everything under control, and on the back burner so to speak, once I had my physical self sorted ( and lost the 2stone I've gained) I would then address my mental health, and until then I would ' fake it till I make it ' .. I would stay safe by never going out, or taking to anyone about anything deeper than the weather, I hide from anyone who isnt close family or anyone who knows me. Not really the life my partner signed up for ... He is quite sociable. (I used to be) I am scared that if he knows how bad I am he will either feel more trapped than he already is or just through the towel in .. and who could blame him .. I contemplate suicide if he is away for an afternoon.

    Pol x

  • Your support person for the hearing doesn't necessarily need to be your carer.

  • You have taken the first step with opening up to me a complete stranger. I will reveal to you for the first time on here my husband committed suicide 25 years ago and for my family and neighbours were dashed into a feeling of desperation. I have had lots of help from professionals but we in the end had to learn to deal and live with it one day at a time. I learned that the pain of living was so great my husband could no longer deal with it and needed to stop the pain by taking his life. That is not what I would want you to do. But I understand from my experience it is not the only way,as I read your Last post I feel you were putting everything right your mentalhealth slipped through the cracks. Please forgive me if what I have said has offended you in anyway but there is help out there for you if you may be able to reach for it and yes that is a big reach. Sharing how you feel with someone is a brave step

  • Hi thank you for care, and sorry to hear about your husband, I can understand and having lost someone very close to me in the past, I can also understand how hurt and the damage it dose to the people who are left behind who loved them. I have done a lot of thinking, and have been to make an appointment today to see a doctor... Not one that I have seen before, which somehow makes me feel braver, unfortunately, I do have to wait 2 weeks, it will give me time to write something down at least.

    Pol x

  • One thing i was taught some time ago was to think about what you are saying or asking from the point of view of the person of whom you are asking the question. What you are actually asking is should you raise your obviously frail mental health at a court tribunal?, a court tribunal designated in part to considering your mental health capability, because you doubt that your mental health can cope with the tribunal.

    The very fact that you have failed to fully grasp how your mental health affects your claim and that you are considering not raising it because of how frail you are answers your own question. Without knowing anything more about you that tells me that you MUST raise it, but that you cannot do it alone.

    You have an obvious need for support with your issues, allow me to ask you this, if you were unable to walk would you ask to be put in a chair in the room before the tribunal entered so that they didnt know you couldnt walk?, of course you would not. The difference between a health issue that outwardly only affects your physicality and one that affects your mental health is visibility, or rather invisibility. The different health issues equally prevent you from functioning without help.

    The tribunal is there to decide if the DWP is making the correct decision in denying you support for a disability, the decision that you do not need support is wrong.

    BUT they can only make that decision based on the information the DWP is presenting and that you are presenting, if you have stated in your application that you do not have problems then the DWP will disregard that factor.

    There is nothing to stop you withdrawing your application and starting the whole process again stating what you have left out, but that would be putting yourself through the whole process again. The way i see it is this, you have to decide whether you are seeking the right outcome or the wrong outcome.

    I feel that you should do everything you can to present the information that you have left out but with the support of someone who is able to present that information with you and for you, that is the only way that the correct decision can be made in respect of your application.

    But only you can decide if you feel that the right decision is important to you, or you withdraw because although you do need help you cannot cope with the process of asking for it.


  • Thank you leonwp, for your reply, I am struggling at the first hurdle, 'thinking of what I want to say, I think that because I don't talk to anyone... Well until I found this site, I have too much in my head and it just gets jumbled up .. I either can't talk at all or I do talk well make noise, but don't make sense, I confuse whoever it's to .. doctors nurses, physiotherapy, ESA, pips my partner, hell i even confuse myself when it comes to anything to do with me. I think I just can't believe that I am who I am now, it's like a never ending nightmare.

    Anyway one thing I have learned is that I can and do (during what I call focus times) write, on this site so thank you for input, I really appreciate it.


  • I sort of understand what you mean Pol i had what appears to be 2 strokes in 2014 and i couldnt speak for quite some time and after a while i got that back by reeating songs i knew the words to and nursery rhymes as i found that what i couldnt do was think and speak but that i could speak if i didnt have to think, so i slowly got my words back, but some words have never returned. It was so frustrating, as if being in a wheelchair isnt annoying enough. I hope you can maybe find a way to write your thoughts down onto a word document so that you feel they will be understood, maybe if you just allow yourself to flow and not worry if you are off subject you might be able to look at it later or maybe with the help of your partner juggle it into what you think is a good shot at explaining what you are trying to get across, just a thought but perhaps trying to break it down into 2 or 3 stages in a document you can edit may work for you. I have to say i understand you completely and your problem.


  • Hi Pollyanna

    So sorry to read your facing a pip tribunal next week. A gruelling, scary thing as you have a lot of health problems. My advice to you is ring Citizens Advice and they'll be able to answer your questions or go to one of their drop in sessions. Phone no is 03444 111 444. Best of luck, hope you get the right result. X

  • Thank you I am go make it my job tomorrow to find .. external.. help and thanks for the number.


  • They need to no every thing, with holding information no matter how it difficult it is for u. Will not help yr case . Get as much medical evidence as possible. Try to send it a few wks b4 give them a chance to look at it. Try to get someone from welfare rights to represent u. Good luck

  • Hi there .

    Have a nightmare with pip.

    Been refused a number of times. Despite full body CRPS.

    I am in masses of pain suffer sleep deprivation extreme fatigue lots of stress etc etc. Scored 0 points .

    I despise the way this system is run .

    See people who tick boxes and have no medical knowledge.

    On my appeal I had a phone call on my mobile which is glued to me if I'm home alone. I was actually on my bathroom floor in agony having showered I picked up a towel. My back went and my hip popped out. I was already 1 hour into what ended up being 3 hrs on the floor unable to move.

    I received the call from someone questioning my application . I told him all of the above still scored 0 points.

    My view is don't wash shower turn up unkempt tell them you drink everyday or take drugs that you can't look after yourself etc etc . It seems to work for others.

    In the case of pip honesty is definitely not the best policy.

    I was told I was fit to work . I asked the guy to sign a letter stating this, and to get me a job . I need a job where I can turn up if I can get out of bed some days. But that if I can't my employer won't mind. He also won't mind that a day at work might leave me in bed for 3 or 4 days . So would anyone out there employ me .

    So disappointed with the system .

    Sorry for going of script.

    I totally agree with posts you must disclose everything despite how difficult this may be.

    I wish you all the luck you need.

    All the best dave

  • Thank you Dave, having worked since I was 12 this system is totally alien to me, there should be a degree course you can take to claim any benefits. Anyway jeovilaty aside, I have now turned to alcohol and VC am spent.

    Thank you again Pol

  • Hi Pollyanna. The PIP people need to know everything or you may lose out. I think you definitely need to inform them and if possible you need someone to help and represent you as you sound very fragile. Please get in touch with your local Citizens advice or advocate service so that you get the support you need.

    Best of luck.

  • Find your local volunteer agency which specialises in benefits law. Speak to them about carer benefits package. Your partner may qualify.

    ESA and PIP are legal things and you need to present information in the way that the law requires. Hence the agency which specialises in benefits law.

  • Thank you for your reply, I think that that should be my tomorrow, I find that I can communicate if I put fingers to keypad so I will write it down. Thank you


  • Hi ......One idea is to jot down your ideas on a A4 size piece of paper in the following :

    Advantages. Of PIP line down the middle. Disadvantages

    It is not your fault that your mental health has been letting you down. How does your mind work in relation to the descriptors such as in the moving activity.? The money is designed for you so you can better live your life. The PIP process is like a factory. The people there are nurses and trained administration. People here want the best for you. At all times remember you are a worthwhile person whatever you decide to do. Writing a sentence about other things could bring you the benefit that you are entitled to. That is why it is there. ☺

  • My thoughts and prayers are with. I really don't know what so say to you as I strongly believe a mental illness is not seen like a broken leg. I worked for 26 years with people with mental illness. I was just saying to a friend that I could not know what it is like for the people I nursed as I wasn't in their shoes. I look forward to reading your next blog take care

  • PIP is a nightmare process and you MUST have an advocate like Citizens Advice or a mental health charity such as MIND to help and support you.Also get a medical report from any Dr who has seen you for each condition within the past 6mths. I am presently supporting a friend in her 50s with terminal cancer and was actually present at her reassessment but as she did not have an up to date medical report(and they dont tell you it is necessary), her report sent 3 wks later, did not mention Cancer and reduced her to basic PIP, and I am a retired health Professional! Mind you I went through every point with a 'fine toothcomb' in A4 x 3 and really let rip It took them just a week to reinstate the enhanced rate but they had reduced it before the appeal went through. Mention everything you cant do ALL the time, I say, and think positive afterwards.I think the system is NOT FIT FOR Purpose and puts the vulnerable in a terrible position.Keep at it,tell them how it is for you,get informed help and the BEST of LUCK.

  • Hi thank you for your reply and I am sorry it has taken me so long to answer, this is the third time I have tried to answer ( I kept deleting what I had written previously) I have had an appointment with citizens advice and they where useless, I'm not sure what I expected but they just wasn't interested. During the last week I have been looking at all the paperwork and the letters from my consultants which are inconclusive as I am still under investigation as to where the pain is coming from, damaged nerves tendons, muscle, sort tissue damage, I don't know. I have been to my gp and and explained that I am being forced to address my mental health and she had put me sertroline to see if it helps with my anxiety, you would think it would work along side the ametryptaline and it has a little so I will hope for the best at the tribunal. Thanks again x

    Kind regards Pol

  • Have you had a physio assessment You can often self refer or ask your GP. There could be an element of Fybromyalgia. Tai Chi Gigong might help but it has to be the gentle Gigong type. This Mindfulness breathing can also be helpful. It sounds a bit whacky and is related to Buddhism but it sort of reprogrammes the mind, and how it reacts to pain. It is amazing how pain can be lessened by reducing the fear element and learn how to manage it. Few people have 'perfect' bodies and we have to learn to live with what we have and seek what treatment will help , even if not 100% successful. Sertraline and amitriptyline work on this by using their side effects on the brain which reduce the 'fear' element which if high pumps out adrenaline which makes pain worse. Treatment is all about getting the balance right in how our body works. Amitriptyline can make you feel drowsy which is good at night.I find it best to start with 10mg dose and slowly build up and can be taken with pain killers.

    I sometimes say we are like 'cars'-need good maintenance and the right fuel to keep on the road, together with a good 'mechanic' ie health professional.

    I'm sorry CAB were not helpful.They usually are. Keep a detailed diary of what happens each day as regards pain and how your muscles work.Try to not sit for more than 1hr at a time, and walk for 10 mins,even round house or garden gate. Do a bit and rest a bit. At assessment answer as if it was your worse day. It is the only thing they understand!! Good Luck and keep positive.

  • Thank you x

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