ok? ok, let’s go.
I did, however, have savings, and I lived in a cheap shared house in Sheffield, so I lived on them for a long time.
with a letter like that from a neurologist it should have been easy, yes?
The appointment lasts 20 minutes, and involves them asking me the same questions I’ve already answered on the form.
And then they say ‘ok, you should have my report in 6 weeks’.
They have no record of the report.
At this point, I give up on my hoped for £78 a week. I have a little bit of freelance work coming in. Just enough to pay rent. I can’t face applying for PIP yet.
It is time. I call to request the PIP forms.
now, for anyone with a chronic illness or disability, especially those who rely on carers or family to help, this is a *huge* access barrier
It lasts an hour this time, and the questions are much more extensive. We talk about multiple diagnoses. Date of diagnosis. Do I need help to bathe (yes), toilet (no)
The assessor is friendly, personable. I am tentatively optimistic that she understands what I’m telling her.
And here’s where it gets weird.
Along with everything I’ve told her about my conditions, and all of the notes from medical professionals, there is one phrase under every section that has the power to render them null and void.
when I told her I needed help bathing, she’s written that she disagrees because I could lift my arms.
Well, no, because I can’t go out.
Housebound, with all that medical evidence, and with simply an hour’s assessment it can all be ignored.
And if they refuse it, I will have to go to tribunal. How many more months? Years?