Hi. I haven’t applied for PIP for myself, but have successfully applied for my 16 year old. It is a stressful nightmare, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re finding it hard!
Main piece of advice – record your interview if possible; this is essential for face-to-face interviews, but find out what happens over the phone. You have to notify them in advance, and must be able to provide them with a copy of the recording – in physical form, like a cassette tape, not digitally. I literally took in 2 tape recorders I bought off ebay, that were a nightmare to operate, but it’s crucial. I don’t know how this applies to phone interviews, whether they’re automatically recorded, whether you’re able to record at your end etc, but try to find out. There are too many horror stories about people being misquoted.
There is a lot of info out there, try searching on YouTube as people have recorded their experiences and advice. Citizens Advice Bureau are also useful. Check whether there are any other support groups that can help to give you advice. It’s a lot harder having to do it alone during lockdown, normally you could probably get some kind of advocate to help you through the process.
I took out a subscription to the Benefits and Work website (one year, I think it was around £30) as they have a lot of resources and guides, it’s worth checking out their website as some articles are freely available. http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk
One of the hardest things is maintaining your mental health and self esteem through this process, it’s as if it’s been designed to wear you down and make you feel guilty for asking for help – it’s very easy to start feeling like you don’t deserve it or you shouldn’t be applying. Take some time to write down all of the ways in which your condition affects you and makes your life harder, make sure that your head is in the right place before you go into this – you have a genuine difficulty and have a legal entitlement to help, so don’t let anyone try and make you feel otherwise!
This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by BobRoss. Reason: Edited to manually put in the web address!
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