The Big Issue has continued to shine a light on people’s experiences of navigating the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefits assessment with the Department for Work and Pensions and its contractors.
After publishing a series of exclusive stories in which former assessors told reporter Isabella McRae they believe disabled people are “set up to fail”, dozens of readers wrote in. Here are some of their stories.
Following my brain haemorrhage I applied for a PIP benefit as I couldn’t work any longer. I scored zero on my assessment twice and this was even after showing a hospital written confirmation of my brain haemorrhage with frontal lobe damage that impacts upon my communication.
I had to take my claim to a tribunal and was awarded a low score but I was entitled to claim a PIP benefit. Now, three years later, I have to make a further review claim to continue receiving PIP. My brain injury will never correct itself to a normal level but PIP doesn’t understand about brain injured people. Also with a brain injury it was almost impossible to claim for a PIP award with so many pages of information to prepare for my benefit.
After sending medical reports to the DWP in 2018 from my epilepsy specialist nurse and GP saying why I needed to claim it, those doing the assessments scored me six points and decided to stop my PIP. I sent the same reports to my MP Johnny Mercer and asked for his support. His reply was he needed more evidence before bringing the case up in parliament. I sent the same reports to the HM Court of Appeals where the decision by the department was set aside and scored me 14 points. I have just had to put in a new claim for PIP, and sending new medical reports to the DWP. I hope I don’t have to take my case to the HM Court of Appeals again.