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.