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Thread: Is it possible to get PIP for mental health if you work?

  1. #1
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    Is it possible to get PIP for mental health if you work?

    I have been on indefinite DLA for bipolar and ASD but now being transferred to PIP. I have done the online tests and should score enhanced care and standard mobility, but I would be happy to walk away with standard care only.
    My only concern is I am starting a 27 hour a week job in September. Will DWP know this? Will this mean they award me zero and just assume because I can work there is nothing wrong with me?

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    In my experience yes it's possible. I was on DLA and having started reading various fora whilst waiting for the PIP decision I was becoming increasingly concerned.

    My claim is primarily because of some major physical issues but the assessor herself picked up and focused more than I would have on my mental health (depression) and seemed to have a really good grasp of real life and the impact of physical health on mental health and vice versa. I work full time, albeit in a job that I chose because I can complete all of my work from home if need be.

    The assessment for me was an hour long discussion of life and its challenges with somebody who seemed to understand. Still not got the decision letter but award confirmed over the phone last week.

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    wow that is good news!
    my main area I should score on is engaging socially as basically I do not and have zero friends and zero interest in forming friendships
    I should get supervision for taking meds and there is medical evidence of an epic accidental OD last year where I ended up in a and e as I kept taking tablets as I forgot I had taken my dose
    I do have communication difficulties but they are very narrow and specific and it does not affect most things
    because of my ASD I do things repeatedly. At the moment only eating crisps for all 3 meals. This has been going on a couple of weeks now and then all of a sudden I will change to a new food and be stuck on that for a few weeks.
    I cannot use an oven as I am very distractable and all previous attempts at using an oven have ended in smoke alarms going off.
    I have been on low rate mobility for DLA but I never really understood why I got it as there is no problems with my legs. I do have a few issues with going out (cannot use public transport following an assault and cannot follow directions), but I have a car and am OK with a satnav. Technically I should get standard mobility but doubt I will get it.

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    The wording of the PIP descriptors is a tad misleading and often people think they will score highly but are disappointed as they've not realised the words used on the form have a specific meaning in the IP context that is different from everyday language.

    You may struggle to get points for engaging with other people if you are working as the simple fact that you work shows you can do it. The use of the word "social" doesn't mean making friends and so on it's more about contact with others that is necessary for functioning so things like going to work, doing shopping, any official contact needed and so on.

    Cooking refers only to the hob of the cooker or the microwave, ovens are not included. If you can manage safely with a microwave and have evidence to show you cannot use the cooker hob you would score 2 points.

    Taking nutrition is about physically being able to convey food to your mouth, chew and swallow. Although the descriptor uses the word "nutrition", it's only about being able to eat - they don't care what you eat.


    If you have no physical difficulties you are unlikely to get any points for mobility at all as you have already shown you can navigate to and from work reliably.

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    It should be possible in theory to get PIP for mental health problems and have a job, but unfortunately it seems more difficult to get an award based purely on mental health, as many of these so-called "professionals" who do the assessments seem to have little interest or knowledge of mental health and will use anything and everything as an excuse to gloss over your condition and claim that if you can do this or that then it "proves" you don't have a problem, which as we all know is absolute rubbish!
    I was working as a support worker with the elderly when I first got PIP and worried my job would go against me, but mine was purely a physical health problem and the descriptors I got points for were for bathing, cooking, toilet and dressing, all personal care kind of things which didn't contradict with my job role. My husband recently had an assessment and got an award purely based on his physical health, despite having severe anxiety & depression and providing copies of 2 psychologists reports. The assessor completely ignored his mental health and made judgements, such as assuming that just because he's overweight he doesn't need encouraging to eat regularly, despite this being common for people with depression and being a diabetic, eating properly is essential for his health. Obviously it never occurred to her that he might be overweight because his physical health prevents him from exercising, which in turn causes him to be depressed.
    It's definitely worth a try and you should apply for PIP, but if your job conflicts with what you say on your form, they are likely to make judgements, for example if you say on your form you struggle to engage with people but work as a receptionist, or someone like me with severe knee arthritis saying they had a physically active job. If you can get something from your GP and/or other professionals you have contact with, that would be a big help as it provides evidence, and I would ask for the assessment to be recorded, as my husband's assessor wouldn't have got away with some of the lies she told had we thought to ask for it recording (we will certainly be doing that next time).
    It seems to me that anyone who tries to get on, challenge themselves and makes the best they can of their lives despite long term illness/disability are penalised and judged, which is completely unfair. The government keeps banging on about how they think disabled peoples' lives could be improved by working (which may be true for some but definitely not for all), but when they do it's used against the very people who are trying their best to decide they don't qualify for benefits and extra help - we just can't win!

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    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoodle View Post
    The wording of the PIP descriptors is a tad misleading and often people think they will score highly but are disappointed as they've not realised the words used on the form have a specific meaning in the IP context that is different from everyday language.

    You may struggle to get points for engaging with other people if you are working as the simple fact that you work shows you can do it. The use of the word "social" doesn't mean making friends and so on it's more about contact with others that is necessary for functioning so things like going to work, doing shopping, any official contact needed and so on.

    Cooking refers only to the hob of the cooker or the microwave, ovens are not included. If you can manage safely with a microwave and have evidence to show you cannot use the cooker hob you would score 2 points.

    Taking nutrition is about physically being able to convey food to your mouth, chew and swallow. Although the descriptor uses the word "nutrition", it's only about being able to eat - they don't care what you eat.


    If you have no physical difficulties you are unlikely to get any points for mobility at all as you have already shown you can navigate to and from work reliably.
    Actually in the DWP guide it states if someone lives off a diet of soup and cups of tea then they have issues with taking nutrition and the benefits expert at the National Autistic Society said I should get 4 for engaging with people irrespective of if I work.
    I am not working at the moment so hopefully they will judge it on now, but I am not sure as I have been advised the whole process takes 4 months.
    I am hoping to avoid the F2F as my GP is hopefully writing that this would put me at self harm risk. I have been suicidal since getting the letter.

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    They've said I work so disregarded all the help and support I need to work. I have bipolar and anxiety but because I work apparently I'm fine. I only work 11 hours too. It's beyond awful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrsl View Post
    They've said I work so disregarded all the help and support I need to work. I have bipolar and anxiety but because I work apparently I'm fine. I only work 11 hours too. It's beyond awful.
    Gosh you cannot win can you?
    I am probably going to be worse off working if I lose my disability payments. However having seen some other cases, there is no guarantee of keeping the disability payments if I do not work.
    I am presently on WTC as my previous job is covered by the term time rules. I have never been on ESA but have employed someone with MH issues who came off ESA WRAG, She had been an agoraphobic and had a 5 year period where she never left the house once. I started her on 8 hours a week and told her she should not up her hours for a month. I wanted her to phase her reintroduction to work as the last thing she needed was another breakdown. A week later she told me the benefits people were not happy and were sending her to more job interviews. I was furious. I could never claim ESA it sounds horrible.

  9. #9
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    I would also reckon this depends a lot on what kind of work you do??

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