‘At the end of our tether’ Mum fights with DWP over PIP claims

Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim

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The distraught mum who wants to remain anonymous has told of her long 14-year battle to get Personal Independence Payments (PIP) she claims her disabled daughter desperately needs. She has criticised the DWP, which she says, has left her and her adult daughter “at the end of their tether”.

PIP payments are paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to people who have a diability or long term health condition that affects their everyday life. 

Payments are made on how much someone’s condtion affects them rather than the condition itself but a mum from Newcastle says the system needs to change.

Mrs L’s daughter suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic condition which causes progressive deterioration and degeneration of connective tissue in joints, spine, eye, gums, teeth, internal organs, and the central nervous system, reports Chronicle Live.

Her daughter also suffers from depression and although she has received Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) at the highest rate since 2015, claiming other benefits has not proven as easy.

Read more: Universal Credit claimants need to know these four big DWP changes

The family’s fight with the DWP began when they took their case to a tribunal in 2010 to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which they were awarded three years later.

Since being transitioned to PIP in 2018, the pair have been fighting for higher rate PIP because Mrs L says her daughter can’t leave the house alone.

The mum said: “We just can’t believe the stress and time this has taken up in our lives.

“We are now having to appeal ourselves to have a Judicial Review, because no law firms have the capacity to represent us at this level. I am disabled myself and am finding it really hard working on these appeals.”

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She continued: “It is not ‘natural justice’ to treat people with mental health and mobility problems in this manner. We are at the end of our tether.

“My daughter is not going to get better. She will end up in a wheelchair.”

In response the DWP said: “After a comprehensive review of the evidence in July, the PIP award was increased to standard mobility and standard living, but further appeal options remain open to Mrs L and her daughter.

“For the majority of PIP claims, we get decisions right and all assessments are carried out by healthcare professionals trained to consider the impact of someone’s health condition or disability.

“Our priority is that the millions of people we support every year get the benefits to which they are entitled and to ensure they receive a supportive and compassionate service.”

The exhausted mum isn’t the only person to claim the DWP makes life unnecesarily diffclut for people who are already struggling with their health.

Express.co.uk spoke to cancer patient Allison recently about how the British benefits system has left her feeling “broken both physically and mentally”.

Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, before finding out she had cervical cancer in 2018. 

She said going through the process of applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) added to her trauma  saying “money problems have been one of the worst effects of cancer”.


Allison said: “Cancer left me unable to work, in debt and having to claim benefits.

“I’ve faced problem after problem in the nightmare benefits system, leaving me feeling broken both physically and mentally.  

“As a result of my cervical cancer diagnosis and side effects like pelvic pain, I should probably be receiving a higher level of PIP, but I don’t have the energy to take on the process or the fear of them taking away the benefit altogether. 

“Most recently I was invited to a benefits reassessment at an assessment centre miles away from where I live, which I couldn’t travel to due to Covid concerns, and the DWP said it could be two years for a face-to-face assessment.

“The money problems have been one of the worst effects of having cancer and sometimes I feel guilty being alive.”

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