I’m a lucky man – losing my disability benefits is a pain in the arse but I can hack a £400+ monthly hit to my income. Most disabled people can’t, living on the margins of society and in real need of the financial support that Personal Independence Payment (PIP – the replacement to Disability Living Allowance – DLA) offers.
When you begin the process of applying for PIP, get to your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). They have a success rate in the high 90% range of getting people the money they need.
I thought I was nuts enough to apply for PIP when my DLA ended without CAB support. I was dragged through an Atos assessment and was awarded zero points. 21 years ago when I applied for DLA saying many of the same things, I was awarded it for life.
I then went to the CAB about the first step of appeal against the decision – the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR). The MR is a paperwork exercise to waste the applicant’s time and still side with the decision made against you – the CAB told me very few original decisions are reversed at MR stage. Essentially the MR is there to discourage you from appealing.
The next step for my appeals process will be to go to a tribunal. I was advised that after the MR it takes up to 52 weeks – a solid year – to get to Tribunal. If you get the decision against you overturned that could be several thousand pounds in your bank. More than half appeals that get to Tribunal succeed.
Wouldn’t you rather get your PIP without waiting so long? If so, I repeat, get to the CAB to make your initial application.
For me, I must now live a year without the advantages of being ‘disabled’ in the eyes of the government. That means I up the ante with my writing business. Yes, I would need around £600 a month extra before tax to get the equivalent of my PIP and boost to my tax credits but it is no huge problem.
For millions they are disabled and cannot work. That is one of the disgusting injustices of a system built on hatred of those it is designed to support, and a key reason you will only get me to vote Conservative or Lib Dem with my recently dead, cold hand.
Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m mad as a box of frogs but I clearly have to be mad as a crate of frogs full of LSD to qualify – or at least have gone to the CAB in the first instance!!!
Good luck folks. If it is any help, you are loved by many and hated by relatively few (namely those who support the Conservative party and much of the Lib Dems). I say again – get to the CAB now!!!