The Catch 22 of filling out the PIP form

I cannot fill this form out.

I mean, literally. I cannot fill this form out.

I spent a large part of Friday beginning to work on it. The technique I used was to write all my answers on paper so I could look through them, change them and then get them checked by someone ready to put on the form. It feels like I’m writing a thesis paper – do drafts, get it checked, write it up ready for submission.

Since Friday I’ve got as far as question 6. I’m exhausted. The act of completing this application is in fact making me sicker. I’d been completing it by doing a question, taking a break, doing a question, taking a break.  I phoned a local disability charity last week, who called me back yesterday and said I could go to a drop-in tomorrow to get someone to look over the form with me. This means that I really need to have the questions filled out “in draft” by tomorrow morning. I have nine more questions to do.

I am someone who knows a fair bit about benefits, who has a husband who’s already completed a DLA form and who knows where to go for help and assistance if I need it. I can drive myself (subject to pain levels and “how zonked on painkillers are we today?”), I can go to places to get help and I’m capable of going and seeking that help and yet this form is exhausting me. What if I was someone who didn’t have that help, who lived on their own or who had mental health problems that prevented them from going to an outside agency? THIS is why people aren’t claiming Disability benefits when they’re entitled to them.

The Catch 22 of disability benefits is that if you’re disabled enough to need them, you’re too disabled to apply.

One Comment on “The Catch 22 of filling out the PIP form”

  1. Sonia says:

    I only got my ESA form done cos my wife took over, I was exhausted mentally and physically trying to fill it in and my panic levels and anxiety were through the roof. She took over the writing and thinking basically, putting my answers into written English, still tiring but at least we got it done. You are right though with my physical health meaning I struggle to get out and my mental health causing anxiety about going out on my own I’d have never been able to seek outside help with it. In fact the only way I got my DLA increased was because someone from DWP came out to help my wife complete an Attendance Allowance form for her mother and we happened to mention my struggles with the DLA form and she offered to come back another day and complete it for me (also didn’t know until then that I didn’t have to complete the full form, just a shorter version/just care bit as I was already on higher mobility.

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