Personal Independence Payment: is it fit for purpose?

Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

Reminder: we cannot give advice or respond to advice requests through our blogs. If you are seeking advice on ESA or PIP, please head to our online advice or visit your local Citizens Advice.

Today (8 April 2013), the contentious Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be rolled out to a handful of areas and will gradually replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The Government intends that this new disability benefit will support disabled people to live  more independent, active,  lives, whether in, or out, of work. People often worry about change – but is PIP fit for purpose?

From the outset, this reform has had a ‘savings first, support second’ approach with an upfront commitment to reduce spend on disability benefits by 20 per cent. The Government has now estimated that over 600,000 fewer people will qualify for PIP by May 2018 than would have qualified for DLA. This in fact looks more like a cut of 28 per cent – and as a result will strip away the very support that enables many disabled people to be independent and in work. This, and the lack of support for carers, is likely to lead to increased pressure on already over-stretched social care budgets and the NHS.

Case study; David receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for help with symptoms connected to multiple sclerosis. His wife Sarah cares for him over 50 hours each week and gets Carers Allowance. When he is reassessed for Personal Independence Payment, David no longer qualifies for help. As a consequence, the couple will lose a combined weekly income of £130.85 from their DLA and Carers Allowance alone, even though John’s disability and need for care hasn’t changed.

The Government continues to reassure disabled people, disability organisations and representative groups that the change from DLA is needed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability – so why design PIP using the wrong model of disability? Despite fierce opposition, the principles and assessment of PIP have been developed using the medical model, which defines the problem of disability as the individual, the impairment (or condition) they have, and the things they can’t do. In contrast, the more inclusive social model of disability recognises that the lack of accessible technology, public transport or services is what limits/prevents disabled people from fully participating in society – not their impairment. For example, a wheelchair user who cannot access a building because it has steps is not ‘disabled’ by their impairment but rather the lack of a ramp.

PIP is also a policy lone ranger. It doesn’t compliment/support the Government’s own disability strategy Fulfilling Potential, which aims to help disabled people realise their aspirations and overcome barriers. Nor does its more restrictive 20 metre assessment criteria – for automatic entitlement to the enhanced mobility component – follow the recommended 50 metres distance that people are required to be able to walk up to, in order to receive higher rate mobility component in DLA.

Even the Department for Transport’s ‘Inclusive mobility’ guide uses 50 metres as its benchmark as part of its recommendations on how to create an accessible public transport infrastructure and barrier-free pedestrian environment for disabled people. This last minute change will mean fewer disabled people will be able to access the motability scheme, which leases adapted cars, scooters or powered wheelchairs. This is a serious blow to all disabled people already struggling to be independent or stay in work.

Case study; Liam has cerebral palsy and struggles to walk. He can walk more than 20 metres but struggles to walk up to 50 metres (without having to take rests all the time). He uses a powered wheelchair to get about. Under Personal Independence Payment, he will not be considered as needing the enhanced mobility component. He will lose £55.25 a week from his mobility component and his motability leased powered wheelchair. This will be a serious blow to his independence and ability to stay in work.

Disabled people have already taken more than their ‘fair’ share of cuts – more than any other group. Within the next few years, over 600,000 fewer disabled people will get the support they need from disability benefits and risk plunging their households into poverty as a result.

Case study; Lilly has a learning disability and needs some help to get ready for work in the morning. As there is no equivalent of the lower rate care component in Personal Independence Payment, she will no longer receive her £20.55 a week, which contributes towards this support, and helps her to remain independent and/or stay in work.

Read more about the PIP assessment and the impact that it will have on advice services in my blog this week.

For information and advice on PIP visit

What do you think of this post?
  • Spot on 
  • About right 
  • Not what I think 


  1. Lorraine

    My husband was awarded dla till Dec 15.he got higher mobility and low care. He gets a letter July 15 stating he has to be assessed for pip. He went for the medical which was nearly 40 miles away.3 weeks later a decision letter. He is not entitled to pip and the joke is his dla will now end in October.his dla award was till December. Jokers.

  2. Mrs Tina Mellor

    I have to agree with most people on this site! I was awarded DLA till Dec 2015…had to fill in forms for PIP..which was done by Citizens Advice..who came out to my home to go through and fill the form for me as I find that I cannot do this myself as the list of medication I take…122 tablets in a week…leave me confused..agitated and frustrated because they play havoc with my mind! Anyway forms were sent.I had my letter about my PIP decision came yesterday and although I had been awarded HIGH RATE IN BOTH COMPONENTS FOR DLA I now have been awarded the STANDARD RATE IN BOTH PARTS OF PIP!!!! I have called them as I don’t think that the lady that came out to see me face to face understood just how my disability effects my every day life! At one stage with DLA you could send in a appeal but with PIP you have to phone them and ask them first to reconsider the decision that they have made!!! I have found the whole experience very distressing…I wasn’t looking for more money but I also didn’t expect my payments to be £150 less per month!!! I would just like a fair way of how we the disabled are treated…this new system is not fair to those that really need the help. I don’t know how long I will have to wait for someone to call me back and I am not sure if its the right thing to do but I am not going to sit back and just take the first decision that I have been given! I just want to be able to keep the same level of money I had when I was on that really too much to ask????

  3. carol

    I have emotional unstable personality and PTSD and anxiety suicidal thoughts I can’t face the interview wi atos for pip o heard horror stories and wud rather overdose than face them I just can’t deal with anything more will I have to go

  4. Nicky

    I received the outcome of my assessment by Atos. Previous DLA was High rate on both components indefinitely – Daily Living and Mobility. I attended my PIP assessment and was awarded standard rate Daily Living and low rate Mobility. I have a cocktail of ailments including my main problem which is Scleroderma. I had a Mandatory Reconsideration which came back with the award un-changed so now I’m going to a tribunal. The HCP at Atos failed to include Scleroderma in her report and mentioned only the lesser disabling illnesses that I suffer. My case is based upon this, also I disagreed with some of the content of the HCP report as she mentioned I could squat a little. I never moved from my chair the whole time I was there.
    I have appealed and I won’t give up, it’s a sham, the whole thing! My car goes back tomorrow. I am now virtually housebound and I live 4 miles from the nearest town. I also attend a specialist centre some 30 miles away every 6 months, that will now have to stop.
    I haven’t yet got a date for the tribunal and I’m told that the DWP have to send me their reasoning within 28 days of the claim, or they can let the claim lapse and then I get the award I asked for without going to the tribunal.
    I’ve sent a raft of stuff the the court, including a statement and a further letter from my consultant
    I still have the feeling that I will be unsuccessful but I am going to try.
    I’m not a scrounger, I worked nearly all my life before becoming too ill. This is the only insurance I know of that you pay into and have little return when you need it the most (I’d much rather still be paying into it and working than have this disease)
    Asked if PIP is fit for purpose – no it isn’t. I know there are many people far worse off than myself and it’s an absolute disgrace

  5. Meg

    I’m 22 and recently been dignosed with high spec autism I’m also half blind and wear a prosthetic eye, I’ve got my pip assessment tomorrow and quite frankly I’m scared now from everyone’s comments, I work and a fully functional life but to do this I have to take alot of medication for this that and the other as people can probably understand so my goal is merely financial aid since I have to pay for my proscription but I’ve gotta feeling om in a catch 22 situation 🙁

  6. Anthony Gunby

    PIP is not fit for purpose. It is the Tori’s new way of attacking vunerable People. And it comes at the expense of those like use who are vunerable and can’t fight the fight. The hardest hit are those with mental health issues.

    Changes in the mental health service started to come into effect in 2008. Firstly by closing small services available to those living in towns and rural areas and amalgamating other services into one service or only making it available to those who live in the city. Buy 2010 under the new criteria a lot of people with mental health issues lost what support the did have, as under new ruling it meant they were no longer entitled to that same level of support or care they once were unless they had a care package in place.

    Anyone who did not have a care plan was no longer entile to what oustside support there was. I under went an assessment for a care plan. I never got one.

    I too have been hit hard by this pip and it’s disgraceful, disgusting and down right diabolical. And now to add insult to injury they abolished DLA to make way for this so called PIP which discriminates aginst mental illness. The Assessments are intimidating and uncalled for. Some people have had to travel up to 40 miles for an assessment.

    The assessors are insensitive. You cant really have your say about your condition. The question are not appropriate for everyone. And if you fail to attend the assessment without a good reason you fail the claim.

  7. Shelle

    I was on dla. High care and low mobility. I have had changes to my health so contacted dla. My condition has worsened due to illness.
    I was sent for a pip assessment. Told if didn’t go I would be refused benifit. Luckily I took a support worker with me who ended up being more of a witness.
    I was refused pips initially. After being awarded dla up until 2017 I was then interviewed for pips and the decision maker who has never even met me refused me.
    The Nurse who interviewed me at the assessment wasnt honest. She told lies. I.e i bent over and picked up my bag. When actually My bag was hanging on thr side of my support workers chair and my support worker handed it to me as we left. Also I walked with normal gait. I was actually limping due to my left leg being extremely swollen which I had been to the dr with 2 days before. There were other things that this nurse made up and made me out to be a fraud. I am an honest person and yet this nurse was dishonest but her lies were believed.
    Obviously my suppirt worker and dr disagreed the decision. However the way in which I was treated by the assessor and her lies sent me into a downward spiral. I became very unwell and jyst felt I had no right to be alive. Luckily my gp could see I was unwell and I recieved help from the crisis team and spent a short time in the crisis house.
    Basically I did get awarded pip but only standard for both. I have taken a big drop in money but I am greatful for what I have. I know I should have appealed but I just don’t have the energy to do this not if it means being treated ad if I am a fraud. I cant cope with it.
    I dont know how I will afford to get to my regular appointments or heat my home in the winter months.
    In my opinion the government do not care about vulnerable people . I also feel that in some ways they use these benifit cuts to indirectly cull the vulnerable population. How many people have to take their own lives before someone in government realises what is happening.

  8. abdul

    pip is a con it is set up to stop paying out an cost cutting method . modern con

  9. Alan Creaser

    Hi,I Think that 1 good thing U can do for yourself is to Tell your local mp About your problems… 🙂 IF U ask citizens advice bureau &/Or your local library,etc, they will Tell U who it is & How to get in touch with them Online or via telephone,Or write to them… 🙂
    – Don’t get emmotional like I did (a big mistake),Just tell them the straight facts… 🙂
    – Good luck,etc… 🙂

  10. Pat Lloyd

    I was awarded enhanced pip care component in January 2015 and given 4 points for mobility (planning journeys)
    Have been experiencing pain in both hips and one knee where xrays are normal . Saw a neurologist last week and he has diagnosed small fiber neuropathy as am experiencing tingling burning pain and leg giving in when walking. Awaiting ct and mri scan and mammogram as a breast lump has been found. Will I have to be reassessed completely or will PIP go off consultant letter to increase the mobility element .

    Thank you

  11. mark

    This is a new global world the area of suffering has gone with the powers of Illuminati, are you a musical,footballer business person,actors or actress?,and you want to become rich and famous in the world, the opportunity of achieving your dreams has come to your door step with the powers of Illuminati.if you are interested of achieving your goals then you can contact us at our email address: or you can call his cell phone number +2348101825946

  12. Maggie

    These PIP assessments are seriously not fit for purpose after my disabled sister had her’s at home she suffers from arthritis and her joints do not fully function with mobility and she doesn’t go out-side without help. The assessor who came to the house was NOT pleasant and was constantly talking to my sister in an accusing manner which i found very odd? if these assessors are there to find out what help my sister needs then why didn’t they bother looking at my sisters GP and specialists letters he refused to look at them? he also did not bother to report this in his initial PIP report…my sister was given a letter about 8 weeks later saying she didn’t even score enough points for her assessment i was completely shocked because the assessor could see how much my sister was in pain and didn’t want to be hassled i’m extremely angry how this is happening to genuine claimants!!!

  13. Maggie

    The PIP assessment are seriously not fit for purpose after my disabled sister had her’s at home, she suffers from arthritis and her joints do not fully function with mobility and she suffers from going out side, the assessor who came to the house was NOT pleasant and was constantly talking to my sister in an accusing manner which i found very odd? if these assessors are there to find out what help my sister needs then why didn’t they bother looking at my sisters GP and specialists letters he refused to look at them? he also did not bother to report this in his initial PIP report…my sister was given a letter about 8 weeks later telling her didn’t even score enough points for her assessment i was completely shocked because the assessor ould see how much my sister was in pain and didn’t want to be hassled i’m extremely angry how this is happening to genuine claimants!!!

    1. Anthony Gunby

      Your right Maggie, PIP is not fit for the purpose. I have a mental health condition. Under The rules of DLA I got medium care and low rate mobility. In 2010 due to government cut in mental health I lost my support worker, and my entitlement to a lot of outside services. This year i have had to apply for PIP as my DLA claim came to an end.

      I made my claim for PIP. Firstly I had to get someone out to help me fill out the form. He guy was sent out on behalf of the DWP. He was an ok person. When I asked him what knowledge he had of PIP he said not a lot nor any regarding mental health. So I started to become anxious. It turns out all he was there to do was write down what I said. So how was i to know if I had got things wrong. After completing the form whiich had very little to do with any condition just basic yes and no answers. He did not ask me anything he expected that i knew what I was doing. It really was bad he only stayed half an hour. Because I cant get outside suport there was no one to explain to him my surcomstances. So I signed the form and he later posted back the photocopy. I found upon reading the form. He had not asked me the question regarding a home visit. Nor had he spelt my condition correctly. I got in touch with the DWP to try and get some one to put me intouch w ith the guy who had came out to my house. But they never did.

      Because of this I had to attend an assessment in Peterborough 40 miles from where I live at 8:10am. I rang up Capita and explained why could i not have had a home assessment and was told there was no one in my area to do one, and I did not meat the criteria. And the reasons for thr assessment location were the same. So i said I can’t attend due to issues with public transport. Failiure to attened without good reason would mean my claim would fail. I got somebody to take me as I could not make the trip alone.

      The assessment was awful. You weren’t made to feel welcome. There was no nurse or gp etc. The person asking the questions had no clue about mental health. The questions did not reflect on on my day to living. They were yes and no answers. They related to cooking, dressing completing a journey bathing and toilet needs. If you answered yes sub questions were not asked these were only asked if you answered no. I tried to explain that all these things are impeded on when I’m unwell. She was not in the slightest interested. I was told that if I kept talking and not pay attention the assessment would end and take place another time.

      At one point I had to challenged the the spelling mistake of my diagnosis. She was not happy about that I said the guy who filled out the form made the mistake not me. And she said. Do you always sign form without reading them first. I was glad when the assessment was over i felt intimidated and that I had no sense of purpose. Since then I have had a reply and my claim was unsuccessful.

  14. mrs n thomas

    Hi my son has just turned 16 and has had dla from 1year old due to being 12 weeks premature. He has alot of problems, asthma, chronic lung disease, dyspraxia, learning difficlties, short term memory problems, anxieties, thats just some of his problems. He is also in a special needs school. I had a letter about changing to PIP and I rang for the forms. When I received them I noticed you cant send any mefical evidence more than 2 years old, well for starters most of my sons diagnoses was from birth up to about 2010 which is much more than 2 years ago, so looks like my sons doomed from the start! Anyway sent forms back with help of menphys then had a letter from capita with appointment for assessment at home. My son was anxious waiting for it as he also has autistic traits so he just wanted itvto be over and done with. The lady came out and was lovely she could see he was anxious and asked him questions he answered a few but didnt know some so I answered for him. She was only here about an hour. Three weeks later got aletter from dwp saying theyve received the information they need and just waiting for a decision. That same day I had a phonecall from capita saying dwp have asked them to do another visit because there was a few more details needed I explained about my sons anxieties and she apologised and said the interview wont be as long this time. Interview was booked as 5, on the day the assessor rang saying he would be late he turned up about 5.20. He sat down and told me he was doin the whole assessment again from scratch! I wasnt happy as I had told my son they wont be here long so I knew he would be more anxious. Anyway the man asked him what day month and year was, my son told him day year and month in number form how he writes at school when asked what month it was again my son said he only knows its 5. He then asked my son can he make a cup ofvtea my son said no then the assessor was encouraging him to say how to make it so my son told him how to make tea. You can teach a 3 year old to tell you how to make tea but doesnt mean they can be trusted to make it, which I cant with my son. Then he sked him to take controllr to computer desk then guve it to me. I dont think thus proves my son cant follow complex instructions as id put in form! Anyway he finally went at 6.40!! That was almost 2 weeks ago, ive had a letter from dwp today awarding enhanced care and mobility but im assuming this is from 1st interview. Im waiting now for second report to go in and im betting its lower or not eligible. If this is the case it just proves they are fiddling things. My friend had the same lady assessor for her son and got refused but ive got enhanced from same lady so why does dwp think that shes got it wrong and the need to redo assessment and put my son through more anxiety. Corruption I guess thats this government for you, they will do all they can to take it away and make your lives hell !!!!

    1. g davies

      hi my son has got his assesement in a couple of weeks , does the assesser just ask questions .

      1. Anthony Gunby

        I can’t speak for everyone. But if it was like my assessment the answer is yes. They don’t reflect actual day to day living or the impact of mobility or traveling. If he answers no to the question eg. can you cook a meal. He will be asked a sub question relateing that once he answers yes he will be asked a question regording dressing and so on. If he has answered yes to all the questions on the first ones he will fail. They don’t take in to consideration the fact that these tasks may become inpeded on due to is condition.

  15. manish batra

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Karma Manual Wheelchair

    Keep Posting:)

  16. Georgina

    Hi, glad I came across this site. I too have had my blood pressure raised through pip! I’m going to keep this short, as the list of problems I have had would take a roll of wallpaper up! I eventually got my assessment October 2014 and was awarded the enhanced rate of the daily living allowance. A couple of months later after finding myself in a wheelchair etc, I rang back to advise that my conditions had greatly deteriorated. I was told I would have what is called a reconsideration, however, since then I have had to endure another face to face interview. What I don’t understand is how they can reassess my daily living component after only a few months ago I had it awarded for 4 years??? Surely they should just be assessing me for the mobility component!!!

  17. Mike

    can you get pip when you get carers money

  18. Sue

    hi i to have had the run around from pip 7 months wait after an appeal wich in the first instance no medical done no call back wow left me with nothing but tears .im a fibro sufferer ,wich other sufferers would no is no party its a day to day struggle.only to be told i have osteoparosis of the spine,loss of normal lordosis ,raynards,t2d ,osteoarthritus of hands .struggling to bring up children on own and yet still not able to get help its a joke .when there are those out there unfairly recieving all the help in the world .my heart goes out to those of you whom genuinly need the help and carnt get it .politics its gone mad ..not holding out hope for the dwp or any body infact anymore.

  19. April

    Pip is a cost cutting measure plain and simple. It is disgraceful how the most vulnerable have been discriminated against and question the real motives behind this as it certainly is not helping the worst affected as the welfare state is ment to do and is going to cause more suicides as people will have no where to turn. Disability affects people more than you think as my local shop and bus stop is over 200 m which is a negligible distance to a person without issues but to someone like me is a gauntlet of chronic pain on top of extremely strong pain killers so do I not take my medication in order to not be able to walk 20 m it is absurd! I have an indefinite award for DLA higher mobility that I have been awarded at tribunal but I probably only qualify for lower pip which will seriously limit my life and will be house bound but apparently not disabled enough to qualify. I would love David Cameron to spend a day walking in 200 m bursts and see how this affects his life and how restricting this is!

  20. wheelchairindia

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Transport Wheelchairs

    Keep Posting:)

  21. Susan Jones


    I was awarded standard rate of daily care (PIP) last year but no mobility. I went to tribunal which resulted in no award at all for both daily living or mobility. I was not represented at my own request and broke down in tears at the hour and half hearing. DWP assessing officer was there who seemed really nice. but a particular panel member wasnt so. Would it be looked at negatively if I submitted a new claim for PIP straightaway.

  22. romany

    Im 35 i suffer from type 1 diabetes since aged 13. Which is a severe battle all time suffering from severe hypoglycaemia and lots of other ongoing medical problems due to my diabetes. I suffer severe ashma had a pulmonary lung embolism in 2010 and dvts through 2010 to now in both legs over the next few yrs i still need blood thinners today forever. I suffer from mental health issues and am dual diagnosis. Severe depression borderline personality disorder being one of them and suicidal attempts. I have behaviour issues and can get very nasty esp when sugar is low or high. I suffer addiction problems which i get treated abysmally for. I have skin conditions bad abscesses and cellulitus in both arms and legs my left leg is permanent damaged and also have low pneumonia antibodies and hc. I have diabetic ulcers and an arm op went wrong end of 2013 where I ended up in intensive care; when I woke I couldn’t feel my arms or legs. I am on morphine and suffer chronic neuropathic pain for years. The pain clinic has just been helping me and I recently helped myself by swimming I can now walk a little way but I have difficulty and can’t go far. Certinly not 25m! Let alone 50 even with aids but because i messed up and said once I tried to walk my local shop on my own meaning years ago not in last 6months I got stuck and had to be picked up cslira said tbat means i dont need help to get around and i can do it on my own and can read so i can get a not lying when i say i need someone eith me at all times as i get list and confused and fit. I had a home assessment as I’m on strong pain meds and could not believe the nasty woman who made me jump through hoops.doing silly moves aswell. I got 4points. Im disgusted how do i fight these animals? Her assessment of me was so incorrect and i made errors during it due to lack of sleep and being honest she took my answers and muddled them up. Said im not in pain because i moved a cushion and checked my blood sugar. When its low my nan has to do this! She Said i didn’t look like i was in pain doing her tests! I was i just didn’t show it. Im very strong willed. Because I talk like I have an education she said i was of sound mind and needed no help to do she made me out to feel like a liar and a bum because i can speak well. But it depends which me you get. There’s many me’s in my head and this evil woman who says she knows about every bone in the body was able to assess me in 20mins. She saw nothing of how i struggle to brush my hair and need help lifting the kettle or when im fitting.
    This all happened at a time in my life when i thought wow I’m finally getting the help i need from the pain clinic and have been referred to a psychiatrist for my mental health ye this young assesor she tricked me in the interview now I wish id refused to see her as I was dreading it. Now they’ve took my money away just at a time when i was thinking about going to college and wanting a family of my own. I suffer bereavement issues my baby boy died prem and my mum to cancer I wanted to help others but now they’ve took my dla and gave me 4points for pip. Im distraught! I will end it all with an insjlin overdose as I’ve not got the strength in me to go through another battle. I am disabled and many disabities can not be seen. I live in Norfolk uk how can we go about getting rid of pip?
    Its horrendous what they are doing to the unwell people in our country? What can I do? Ive looked for online petitions but there are no big ones to sign? Point me in right direction. I knew she was tricking me she watched every move i made and didn’t ask the right questions. And i told her too much. Too much about my life and she confused me and tricked me. I need help. I will appeal but I want an mp to help who is my nearest m?. Whenever I see a glimmer of hope in life it go’s and kicks me back to the curb. For someone who is meant to have a brain I sure did suck at my assessment but I fit the category to take peoples money. I’ve just gone through the past few years fighting dla and esa which I won but how do i go on. Please email me. This pip decision has ruined my life. The life i was trying to make better.She treated me like i was scum under her shoe but tried to make you feel she was nice. I hate this government and what they’re doing to people like me.

    1. Anthony Gunby

      I’m also in the same boat except I suffer from rapid cycling. Now called Disthymia. It’s a mental health condition. As of 2010 under new changes to outside servises regarding mental health I have been hit hard as my codition doesn’t meat the criteria. And I believe I was duped as well at my pip assessment. I had to be driven nearly 40 miles. A few times in the assessment I was asked to be quiet or the assessment would be stopped and continued at a later date.
      The outcome I failed. And so will many more with mental health.

  23. Karen

    I’ve had triple heart bypass uncontrollable angina heart murmur &narrowing of archery I’ve been in out hospital tried different medication get out breath can’t do much on day 2 day basis I tried for pip was awarded it in 2013 had loads medicals with Artois my claim stopped rung them to make another claim ,been waiting for phone call back from September last year ,keep ringing them 2 see if they have made decision all they say is there looking in 2 it and some 1 will call u back .ive all ways worked but unfortunately due 2ill health can’t go back its joke how they treat u .

  24. Debbie

    Im disgusted with pip I have a 17 year old son who came out of school at 14 due to anxiety he is now housebound only time he goes out is when we go to councillin he received letter bk today from pip sayin fail he failed because he can wash, use phone which he doesnt, go toilet I mean please I have had anxiety stress and panic attacks for 28yrs n am still able do them things do these people not no what anxiety is I cant wait for them ring im fumin, I no people that get disability fool the system fail n pass n nothin wrong with them so so mad

    1. Martin

      Hi I have just been refused for pip and have anxiety and depression it’s terrible I won’t do any of the daily tasks your son does unless prompted typical play on mental health isn’t it. Hope your son get better quickly.

  25. Katy

    Sarah – you’re not alone!! I applied for Pip in July 2013, saw Capita in November and now the DWP has messed up their decision making process so I’m unsure if my claim has been declined or is still waiting to be decided upon.
    I rang the DWP two days ago because I’d not heard anything since Novemeber. I’m 26 and have ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and mental health issues, working part time leaves me bedridden the rest of the time.
    Anyway, when I rang on Monday, they explained the timeline like this.
    Received my Capita assessment 6/1/14
    Decision Made – Not eligible 16/1/14
    Received my Capita assessment 17/1/14
    Pending Decision
    Now, firstly, why have they received my report twice. Did they make a decision in error? Secondly, this whole situation is making my mental health suffer.
    If they have declined in, I’m interested in why as they have a copy of my Community Care Assessment drawn up by my Social worker, who has carer’s in for 1 hour a day 365 days a year. The CCA clearly shows my care needs, which are defined as substantial.
    Someone from DWP is meant to be ringing me by next Monday to discuss this.
    So Frustrating and Confusing!!

    1. Katy

      Just a quick update as I’ve received a letter today (still waiting on the phone call). They’ve awarded me 7 points for care and 0 for mobility.

      They’ve made an assumption that my attendance at the assessment appointment on my own means that I can plan and follow the routes of unfamiliar journeys… when I live a mile away from the assessment centre and have both lived and worked around the assessment centre for the last 6/7 years!

      I think this assumption is completely unreasonable!

  26. sarah

    Hi I claimed for pip around 7-8 months ago now and have still not received an outcome or response to my claim. I have had a meeting with atos 2 months ago. The claim form confirmed it can take upto 6 weeks to get an answer, why quote timescales if they can not be adhered to. I have also sent a few emails to pip to complain about the length of time and was advised I’d get a reply in 2 working days, I’m am now at 4 working days and can only guess that I’ll be waiting maybe months to even get a response to this. I am appaled by the service. I am a first time claimant for benefits and have always been a hard worker. My world has turned upside down since I became ill 2 years ago. At the young age of 23 I didn’t think I’d be stuck in bed most of the time unable to do very much. I’d hoped I’d still be working in the job that I loved which I am no longer capable of doing. Going through such a difficult life change is hard and depressing enough but having no help and financial difficulties is not an added stress anyone needs to go through. I am frustrated and angry that I have no choice but to apply for benefits and help. Surely no claim should take over half a year… The tax man didn’t have to wait for a year to take my hard earnt money nor did they have to wait when I fell ill and could barely work, they still took what little money I had struggled to earn. Why is this taking so long if most dla claimants are not needing to switch over or have a review until 2015?

  27. Damien

    PIP is not fit for purpose.People are NOT machines, they are making a giant mistake.

  28. member of the public supporter of 38% degree and the Hardest Hit

    without actually seeing a doctor I was taken out the support group, despite explaining my problems they simply did not listen, please be aware I am not some kind of nut case, i have depression and other problems, long story short, I made both ATOS and the DWP aware of what my actions would be, they did not heed the warning, I duly took an overdose of co-codamol, and contacted my M.P. just as quickly as I was taken out I was asked to appeal via email, guess what I got re-instated(again without a medical) I am not for one moment suggesting other do the same but I am prepared to die for what i believe in, and also to fight tooth and nail for my rights,are your readers aware that the D.M(decision Maker) has to comply with guidelines called the “BROWN PRINCIPLES” although not Law per say, they are used in that context when drawing conclusions as to whether or not they were adhered to by the D.M who also for the record must keep a copy of their reasons why they gave their decision, the brown principles are in fact used in case law as a guideline to cases brought via an appeal, after the 1st of april any cases taken to the upper tribunal can only be brought on a point of LAW, how many people on these benefits know the LAW? Exactly. 

  29. Keith Farrell/ self

    I have sciatica, but it is complicated. 17 Years ago the sciatic nerve to my left leg got crushed (hemeraged in the groin)It took me 8 years to get off critches and sticks. resulting on problems with my sholders. I have had two opertaions to my left sholder and now it is a problem again. In the last 8 months, my health has gone down hill and have had four ocations where I have woken up unable to move my legs. My lower back feels on fire and I stuggle to keep control of my bladder. I find I have to use my arms to try and turn me on my side so that I can get feeling in my legs. I try to get out but sometimes I am in the flat for days on end. by myself. to walk down stairs is painful. then I have to very carefully walk to my car, which I park near the door well as near as possible. I have to drive carefully as my car is manual and I have trouble with the cluch, but I cannot afford an automatic car, I stuggle from month to month. I only spend about £20 per month on fuel, my greatest expense is the insurance and tax. without the car I will not be able to get to the doctors, or go shopping I would be a prisoner in my home. I am told that as I am able to shower and use the toilet by my self, I dont need help to look after me. I do stress and have thought of ending things, not once but many times during the past 8 months. I put in for DLA and I am on income support, which after they received the doctors reports has been increased from £71 to £121 per week. My DLA or PIP was first turned down, when I asked them to look at it again, they have now refered me to evaluation. I think this whole thing is a mess.People who are abled have no idea what disabled people have to go through. Why did this goverment use a French company. Are the British people not good enough to look after themselves

    1. Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

      Vicky Pearlman, Social Policy Officer

      We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you have had with the assessment process for DLA. We are working with the DWP, and also with the assessment providers, to help them improve the process for PIP. We will, of course, be monitoring how fair and effective the new assessments prove to be. More information about how the Government chose Atos and Capita to provide the face to face assessments, and about PIP generally, is available from the DWP’s website

  30. Miranda

    Are there any petitions we can sign which might force Government responses or debates? How should we be writing to our MPs?

    Also, when is the change over likely to take place? How long will current DLA entitlements remain before needing reviewing regarding the new scheme?

    1. Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

      Vicky Pearlman, Social Policy Officer

      You’ve asked a few good questions here! There are a number of e-petitions on this, and related, topics at Also, see our link to the Disability Benefit Consortium’s e-action on writing to your MP – PIP has already started in the North West and parts of the North East of England, for people making a new claim. It goes nationwide from June 8th 2013, when all new claims will be for PIP. Most people who are already getting DLA won’t start to be reassessed until October 2015, unless their condition changes or their DLA award ends. It may not be until 2018 that everyone currently getting DLA is reassessed for PIP.

  31. Jacqui Blackburn - self

    I am a female pensioner – borm in April 1950 – and I have been claiming my pension since May 2010. My DLA/PIP letter states that I will be assessed for PIP because I am of working age. How can this be right?

    One of my disabilities is Fibromyalgia. I believe that the government/ATOS does not think that this is a real condition.

    1. Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

      Vicky Pearlman, Social Policy Officer

      I’m not quite sure from your comment whether you are getting DLA now. It sounds as if you are, and so you will be reassessed for PIP, because you have not yet reached 65 – most likely from October 2015, but sooner if your DLA award runs out or your condition changes.

  32. Steven morgan

    It just theft the same as IB moving to ESA. Killing 73 people or more a week. It’s being run by ATOS again ??
    Answer the question till you fit in to this box……benefit snatching con. I got My medical14 months ago, zero points. Had My appeal the other day, I got 6 points….just as bad as the medical but with more people there. Bad news the lot of them.

    1. Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

      Vicky Pearlman, Social Policy Officer

      The face to face assessments for PIP are being run by two companies on behalf of the DWP, Atos – who have the lion’s share – and Capita. They have different approaches to how the assessment should be carried out, under Guidance from the DWP. The DWP has set out what the test must cover and how points are awarded.

      1. Anthony Gunby

        Indeed they do indeed they do…

  33. Claire Davies, Web Officer

    Claire Davies, Web Officer

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you – Vicky’s been away but will respond very soon.

    In the meantime you can get advice on PIP from our website or your local CAB – which is probably Citizens Advice Oxfordshire

    Or the charity Turn2us may be able to help – they’ve got an upcoming ‘ask a benefits expert’ session – submit your question online at

  34. Self

    I have had to go through five separate Atos examinations for IIB DLA ESA and medical retirement. All five came to the same conclusion one examination was after a Cancer scan and the ensuing pain in my Legs.
    No change in payment. So there it is I live in Oxfordshire. I have a knee injury and Cancer. No Pip till end 2013 or maybe 2014. Cancer could stay away but knees are getting worse as I get older I am sixty now and served in Uniform for 36 years so stamp is well paid for pension and benefits. How will PIP be assessed in my case?

    1. Vicky Pearlman, former Senior Policy Researcher

      Vicky Pearlman, Social Policy Officer

      Hi – I’m really sorry to hear that you had to go through five separate examinations. Unfortunately, we can’t give advice via our blogs. For help on this, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can find details of your nearest at

Comments are closed.