“Please hang up the phone and call back in a month” – more adventures in PIP application.

Last week it was my 5 month PIP-iversary. Hurrah! That meant it was time to contact the Department for Work and Pensions. Boo.

For various reasons including an epic 2-day fibromyalgia flare and general “not wanting to speak to the Department for Work and Pensions”, I put off making the phone call until this morning. But, seeing as I’d already waited on the phone for half an hour to get a GP appointment and was already in a pretty foul mood, I figured in for a penny, in for a pound and rang the DWP.

I was on the phone for, at a generous guess, 45 seconds. That was how long it took for me to tell the automated phone system that I wanted to find out how my PIP application was doing, and for it to tell me that they didn’t want people to contact them about their applications until 26 weeks from application.

My application is dated at the beginning of January. Which puts me somewhere in the middle of week 23. I have to wait until the middle of July before they’ll even talk to me about it. And that’s FINE, apparently.

But, forget about me. I’m fine, apart from a few flares and some pain I’ll be alright. I’ve got family and friends who are helping me. But, what about people who can’t look after themselves? People use their (currently) DLA to get access to adapted cars, wheelchairs, specialist equipment, carers…imagine being told that you’ll have to wait for over half a year before they will even consider that they might be taking a long time about helping you. People are literally dying before the DWP gets round to them.

And that’s assuming that, after your 26 week wait, they’ll tell you you’re getting some money off them. According to Benefits And Work, after the first nine months of PIP being rolled out, only 15.4% of the 220,300 applications had been processed, and of THOSE only 37% were awarded anything:

“To put this in perspective, this means that only 12,654 people, out of the 220,300 who have made a new claim for PIP in the 9 months since the beginning of April 2013, have been awarded PIP.”

That is 5.75%. The likelihood of you receiving PIP on your first application is just over 1 in 20. That’s not good.

But, I don’t need to be worrying about that yet. Because I’m not allowed to talk to them about it for another month. Because taking 6 months to process a benefit claim is just fine. Apparently.

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