PIP results for severe back PAIN: Hi. I have... - Pain Concern

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PIP results for severe back PAIN

JakeGrave profile image

Hi. I have had a f2f PIP assessment for my lower back pain and have the results to share. I've had my lower back pain for 2 years, the MRI is clear and it's been suggested by a physiotherapist I had to see that my pain is caused by overloaded facet joints. Whatever the case, I require large amounts of Oxycodone and tramadol each day. Only the minimal pain is controlled. I'm not able to do any house work or cook. Having a bath it's difficult.

I explained clearly how the pain is interfering with daily tasks using the PIP descriptors criteria.

The pain in my tailbone was so severe on the day of my assessment, I couldn't sit down at any chair, even with a special seat I brought with me. I had to lay on a couch. The medical evidence by my doctor says: I have chronic pain and I'm waiting for the pain clinic. I was very clear about how my pain was interfering with daily tasks and used the PIP descriptors as a guide. My prescription for pain medications was handed over to my assessor (again) on the day.

Despite not being able to sit for the whole assessment I got no points for any pain issues. She just went to talk about my anxiety and didn't even perform any tests for my pain. When I got no points her reasoning was I don't know what you've been diagnosed with....

If my doctor wrote I have chronic pain, that can be so bad I end up lying flat on the floor and I'm waiting for the pain clinic. Isn't this a form of diagnosis for now as its not possible to offer anything else?


49 Replies

Unfortunately PIP is not about the conditions you have..... how much pain you have or where. It is about how you manage day to day tasks.

I don't know what you put on your initial assessment form but this will be used at your F2F.

If you have kept a copy of that form and have the assessors report you can compare the 2.


Thanks. I used the criteria set out in the PIP descriptors to show how it would apply to my life at the moment.

The original PIP form had the same information. The same evidence was sent.

Almost all the descriptors apply to my situation.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to JakeGrave

Appeal, appeal, appeal. Many get turned down at their first assessment coz they have to turn down so many. Up to 70% of claimant win their appeals so don't give up. x

JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to hypercat54

Thanks. I see this option after the MR. I just wondered how people felt about my case.

Bananas5 profile image
Bananas5 in reply to JakeGrave

I got turned down for my first DLA back in 1995!! Nothing changes.


JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to Bananas5

DLA is very different set of regulations compared to PIP. If it turned down for DLA the first time. When I had a DR help me I do ok. I think PIP is too difficult for most people to get support. Each part is exhausting and designed to tire the claimant out. The delays are all part of it.

Bananas5 profile image
Bananas5 in reply to JakeGrave

I know. PIP was brought in to save money full stop.

But I did get PIP enhanced with no problems and no F2F

It does happen


hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to JakeGrave

I think it's clearly ridiculous that you have been turned down as it's obvious it is severely imacting your life. x

My nurse never mentioned my pain quite a lot said how I picked a water bottle up n drank, it’s terrible how your treated I’m just waiting for tribunal papers

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to hypercat54

75% now...

Georgiab123 profile image
Georgiab123 in reply to waylay

Good well I’m looking forward going

Sadly, because you have no definitive diagnosis and prognosis, or medical evidence, they will turn you down.

I was on DLA indefinitely, high rate, I had a Motability car and I have several spinal conditions, have had surgery (which they take to be a cure) and am on Oxycodone, Nefopam and Naproxen (all high doses), yet they take it that when you are on such strong painkillers that you're not in as much pain! I had a face-to-face (I've had several before for my ESA and that went to appeal which was more or less thrown out of the appeals court as ridiculous that I was there) 3 years ago, they lowered my claim from high to the basic rate of PIP, I lost my car and my lifeline. They do not care! The assessors aren't specialised in the area, they see everyone as the same, no matter what. They also see it as, if you can make it to an assessment centre, you're not as bad as you say, whether you sit, stand or lay through as assessment.

My advice is get some free legal support, gather as much evidence as possible from doctors, specialists and support like Social Services, and as for a Mandatory Reconsideration, then appeal. Good luck. Spinal pain is awful, it drags you down and down.

StuWin50 profile image
StuWin50 in reply to

if you fail your first PIP assessment , you Should NOT give up ...

that what government want you to do !

seek out info on the web ,Get/Ask for help .

eg turn2us.org.uk/

if you fail PIP assessment again you can go to court and appeal your PIP Assessment.


from what i read ... high percentage of success for overturning DWP PIP Assessments .

i wish you all best of luck .

in reply to StuWin50

Erm I didn't give up! I went as far as appeal and lost, therefore lost my car, my lifeline. I am now worse than I was and have someone helping me to get a review, with the view to getting a home assessment and my life back.

I don't give up easily, but the new system is meant to grind you down, to keep you in your place, which is at the bottom of the heap, classed as a scrounger.

JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to

Most people don't get 'nothing' with the judges. Up to 70% of people get their points. It's reasonable to assume that you can't fit the criteria they have set. Did you find the form difficult? Did you find gathering evidence difficult?

in reply to JakeGrave

I didn't say I got nothing! I stayed the same, standard rate, so no, it isn't "reasonable to assume that I didn't fit the criteria" No, I didn't find the form difficult, I am an intelligent woman thank you very much and no I didn't find gathering evidence difficult either! They had every scrap of evidence that they could possibly need, from doctors, specialists, therapists and social services, as well as friends and my carer. They chose to be difficult, asking me if I could do certain things with the right equipment, which I didn't have.

As for your 70% of appeals winning, I don't know where you got your facts from, but as of last year it was 52%.

JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to

Hold on. There is no need to shout and become so defensive. I also don't need to know what sex you are, it's totally irrelevant. The questions I asked are reasonable and they are just the same as I have been asked by my legal representative who appeared because I wanted a credible witness. We were also claiming for a severe mental health condition. In my case, the legal documents that we submitted....were ignored.

The statistics are for this year. The success rates for appeal is up to 70%. My information came from a tribunal charity that may be representing me if we have to go that far.

M/R is low. It's expected to go to the next phase but my representative has already started a M/R and has acquired more time to get all of the facts.

I'm wondering why you left a comment on my post at all.

The thing is, your comment wasn't encouraging it seemed to be about you and how your situation was. Your comment: you lost, you lost your car, your lifeline, you're worse off.

It turned the focus on you and I was shocked at first, that you suddenly did that when I was asking for help, I thought this person must be in a bad way to act so thoughtless, so I was patient about it. I never mentioned it.

However, the topic was about my PIP payment and you joined your situation to my topic as if it was comparable or worse than mine when it was nothing like it because you were receiving PIP.

(I know it's not the rate you wanted)

It just looks like an attempt to gain maximum sympathy while using me and my unhappy news as a device.

To me, a person showing genuine concern and compassion would've said something kind and encouraging, with a little more focus on my situation and how I was feeling.

in reply to JakeGrave

“My advice is get some free legal support, gather as much evidence as possible from doctors, specialists and support like Social Services, and as for a Mandatory Reconsideration, then appeal. Good luck. Spinal pain is awful, it drags you down and down.” How is my reply less than empathetic?

What the hell? Are you deliberately obtuse, or simply trying to provoke people? How is my reply to you, all about me? You gave your situation, everyone else has given you theirs, how is that making your post about me?

We’re all victims of the new system, some more than others. I think you’ve read my reply completely wrong and nowhere in it as I SHOUTING, THAT, my friend, IS SHOUTING! ALL CAPS.

I wish you well, but as I said in my opening paragraph, (which was all about you!) without a definitive diagnosis from a medical professional, they will try anything not to give points.

I wish you luck.

Hi I’m going to tribunal all lies was what I got didn’t take a bit of notice of my condition

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to

It is currently 74-75% for PIP tribunals attended by the claimant. Some tribunals are difficult. It happened to my friend, too. The doctor seemed to think that her diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder was wrong, and argued about it with her advocate. Um... Are you trying to go to the next Tribunal up?

in reply to waylay

It's disgusting how they treat you. It was like good cop, bad cop, with the doctor being all "understanding" and the so called disability expert (who was partially sighted, so quite how she could relate to all disabilities is beyond me) questioning why I could write stories (I use speech to word software) and knit when I couldn't chop an onion... bit of a difference!

I hadn't the heart to go to the next tier up and only found my expert long after the time limit. He is helping me to ask for a review based on my getting a lot worse than I was 2 years ago.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to


Unfortualty PIP isn't about assessing how much pain you're in, or as it's claimed to assess your needs.

It is only their to hurt those most in need, by tacking the benifits they depend on.

I'm sorry you've been treated in this way, your not alone people do care about you.

Try to stay strong and appeal against a decision.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to Tourk

Not necessarily. PIP is about how you're affected, not the diagnosis, per se. Having said that, it is often more difficult w/out a diagnosis. I fail every time with my chronic back pain and complex mental health problems, but win at tribunal. The assessors are pretty crap in general, but they also aren't really taught about chronic pain.

Tourk profile image
Tourk in reply to waylay

If only that was the case. Theirs far to much evidence that proves it is designed purely to take money away from people.

Sorry to sound a bit harsh. But last night I had to watch my friend who has advanced MS struggling even with help to go to this bathroom.

He was turned down for pip, with his personal needs being assessed as 1. A normal healthy person is 0.

Believe me when I say pip was designed to punish those scrounging scummy disabled people, for being poor and in need.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to Tourk

I worded my comment badly. I completely agree with you! I got 0 points on my last PIP, down from 17 the previous time. Took it to tribunal and got 19 points. The system is designed to grind us down, make us give up, save the country money... Funnily enough, it's costing 20% more than DLA did. *rolls eyes*

Found this today:



Capita assessment reports in 2018-2019: Substandard: 37%, which includes 3.9% unacceptable, 17% HCP learning required, 16% needs amendment (the last two are still considered "acceptable"! WTF!)

Atos (same): Substandard: 36%, which includes 4.7% unacceptable. Other numbers not available.

These are only the ones that were audited, a small sample. The rest got through and were used to make decisions.


Benefits and work website, it's helped thousands of people. It will cost an annual subscription but it is an invaluable source of information for claiming and appealing. I think it's about £19. I couldn't have done it without them and next time insist on a home assessment. Very best of luck.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to nodmeister


What treatment have you had for your back condition? Any spinal issues should show up on an MRI including degeneration at the facet joints. Perhaps you need a bone scan or a nerve conduction test. Treatment options would normally include a spinal injection (if they know where to inject) or surgery.

Going back to your clear MRI, the lack of a physical cause for your pain might indicate a non- physical cause - hence the questions at your assessment.

You might want to try a second opinion. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London might be a good place to go.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to Osidge

Not true that it should show up on MRI. In fact, many people DO have obvious issues on MRI, but have no pain.

Osidge profile image
Osidge in reply to waylay

You have just confirmed what I have said!! An MRI will pick up abnormalities - pain or no pain. Pain itself will not be picked up as that requires a different imaging modality.

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to Osidge

Many pain conditions have no visible cause on any imaging, unfortunately. :/

Osidge profile image
Osidge in reply to waylay

We are not there yet but advancing - google.co.uk/amp/s/www.newy...

JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to Osidge

Thanks for that but I don't need a second opinion to know that I'm in pain. I am waiting for the pain clinic I'm not going to have the injections because they're not safe. The FDA won't clear them so I'm having nothing put near my spine. I've heard it's overloaded facet joints they've done some physio and sometimes it helped sometimes it made it worse.

At the moment my 90 OxyContin a day and 400 tramadols - 12 hours and instant release isn't doing enough and I'm in severe pain. I'm going to have to see my doctor as an emergency and asked for something else is horrible. It was hard enough having the conversation for the pain relief im on now and it's taken us five years to get here. I do take your point as I may need to see somebody privately because if The pain gets out of control and I go to casualty they won't give me anything and I'd rather throw myself off a bridge then live like this.

Osidge profile image
Osidge in reply to JakeGrave

The aim was not for you to have further tests to see if you are in pain but to determine the cause in light of your NAD MRI. I guess that I wrongly assumed you would want to know.

I’m waiting for the brown envelope to drop.

I was told just answer what they ask for in the questions and don’t waffle on as your giving them more info without knowing it.

At the medical I found the young lady like so many “on my side” however this doesn’t reflect the examiners report.

I’m really struggling with the “morphine cuts” I’ve gone from having a full active life on 170 mg morphine to a crippled house bound person with no life at all on 120 mg. which they say I’ve more cuts to come. I’m just sick of my life at the moment.

Doctor has said if I don’t like it I can go elsewhere! Just don’t know what to do anymore.

JakeGrave profile image
JakeGrave in reply to Billyboy2u

What do you mean morphine cut? I thought that was just in the USA? Clearly you should move on to another drug or see another doctor. If you were really in agony you would see another doctor. That is always an option for you. Take some action for your pain. Take care.

Billyboy2u profile image
Billyboy2u in reply to JakeGrave

The Morphine cuts are here and the cap is 120 mg over and you will be cut no if’s or but’s.

All local practices around here have adopted the same cuts it’s across the board. So do I go to a new GP to be told the same or stay at my childhood GPS ?

Lanadc88 profile image
Lanadc88 in reply to Billyboy2u

What do u mean by 120mg a day, a week, a month ?

Billyboy2u profile image
Billyboy2u in reply to Lanadc88


waylay profile image
waylay in reply to JakeGrave

It's been coming in the UK for months. I've been watching. The opioid hysteria is contagious, it seems. Look up the Oxford Recommendations.

Surly you can appeal this. Fingers crossed for you

Hi, the witness that I had with me was professional and he is dealing with the first phase before we go to the second phase if we have to do that. I thought they might try something like this and that's why I brought someone along. The witness that was with me is furious.

My brown envelope came too and I have zilch nada nil points too. The main reason given was my form I filled in and my f2f ?

I can’t understand that as my well explained form and supporting documents explained my condition and symptoms. The f2f too. The examiner told me she would not be doing the physical side of the examination as she though it would cause undue pain. My hearing too. She asked me to sit nearer to her so I could hear her. So can’t understand why 0 points were scored.

The examiner in his reply has even said I can walk 20 Mtrs but not further than 50 mtrs I thought that was 10 points ?

So like you I will ask for a m/c then a tribuneral

waylay profile image
waylay in reply to Billyboy2u

Me too. Won at tribunal.

Sorry to hear this Jake and Billyboy. Some of the replies you have already recieved are correct. The explanation the DWP always gives is 'the information in your form and your F2F'. It is because they aren't going to say 'we can see you qualify, but we're pretending we don't', which i think is more on the money. Definitely ask for an MR - use Advicenow's tool - advicenow.org.uk/pip-tool

And expect to have to appeal too. Few are changed at MR sadly. Advicenow have a really helpful appeal guide too.

Thanks I've got a legal representative trying to get it all together right now, he's asking for details of the decision-maker as he feels vital paper evidence to do with severe risk (I'm not going to go into the details) has been ignored. Ultimately we cannot have a system that is unsafe it already had too many benefit deaths.

I read your first paragraph that seemed like it was coming from kind place, but it was just a device so you could get started into another heated post.I actually thought you were making a genuine attempt to change the tone.

Not so. I'm familiar with your kind of personality. I don't have contact with anyone that gives me bad vibes. It's a rule and my life has improved because of it. With that in mind, it's for the best if you don't post on my feed anyone. Thank you.

I have replied in another post but thought it best to post here too to tie up this post.

I replied And asked them to please look at my case again and asked for a copy of the doctors face to face notes as she thought I needed the help with walking and around the house. I got a reply and didn’t get the information I asked for but did get all my benefits back for a period of 10 years ?

You could have knocked me over with a feather!!!

This will take me past retirement so happy as a lark in a field ....

Thanks for the kind words and Support you have given me.

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