Hi all and I hope you're able to give me some needed advice!

I have failed twice in my attempts to claim PIP - both the original decision and mandatory reconsideration awarded zero points, much to my disbelief.

I attended the medical with the occupational therapist and as far as I was concerned, everything was fine. We even went through the Descriptors at the end of the medical, and she stated she would be awarding me 17 points.

The report however, awarded 0 - and she bare faced lied all the way through it as well as her conclusions being so flawed it's ridiculous. An example would be the only painkillers I can take is 8/500 cocodamol because I cannot take any other medication due to adverse reactions from it. All NSAIDs can actually cause my stomach to bleed and I've tried gels, potions and god knows what else to help but only thing, which takes the edge off the pain and helps with sleep, is low level cocodamol. I tried to 30/500 cocodamol but had an adverse reaction to them too. The Occupational Therapist stated that low level painkillers mean low level pain and isn't any kind of factor at all.

My conditions are Fibromyalgia, Hiatus Hernia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and various mental health issues stemming from abuse during childhood. The Descriptors which are relevant to my claim are Preparing food, Washing and Bathing, Engaging with People Face to Face and Making Budgeting Decisions. I did see the Citizens Advice with other descriptors I thought were applicable but although they affected me, they didn't affect me in the way specified in the descriptors and thus not applicable.

Preparing Food - Needs to use an appliance/aid to cook/prepare a simple meal -When I feel capable, I cook the majority of my meals with a slow cooker purely because there is no preparation. Spaghetti Bolognaise, for example, is cooked by putting raw mince, frozen onion, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms with a tube of tomato puree into the slow cooker. There is no chopping or preparing of any kind. This is then cooked overnight and I then serve it up that night and freeze the rest. I have burnt myself a number of times trying to cook this way (I have evidence) so it's hardly ideal BUT nothing else I can do about it. I do not have a microwave nor would I want to eat a ready meal so to speak as they have all the nutrition of cardboard.

However, even when this is the case, I often don't eat a main meal at all because I cannot reheat it. Last night as an example, I felt so fatigued I ate a toblerone and some toast and that was it!

Washing and Bathing - needs supervision to be able to wash or bathe - similar to Preparing Food - the physical act of doing this is very fatiguing and as a result, I only do so when I am due to leave me flat for a genuine reason. For example, before attending hospital appointments I would try my best to shower then. However, if there's no reason to do so then I won't do it. Even if it means 2 weeks without one then sobeit.

Engaging with People Face to Face - Cannot engage with other people due to overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. This is very heavy stuff so please bear with me here. Both my parents died when I was very young and then after being fostered, my step mother died a short while after. Aged 11, I went to an all male military boarding school where I was abused and bullied throughout my time there. After leaving the school, I became institutionalized and ultimately had a nervous breakdown because of all I had been through. During this breakdown, I totally lost the plot and threatened anything and everything horrendous anyone can possibly imagine although I was and never have been violent. I got criminal convictions because of this behavior and over the last decade because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. I find myself trapped by the Harassment Act - making friends and meeting people has become totally impossible; even my fiancee - someone I knew for over 10 years and was with for over 5 years turned on me because of my past history as soon as she found out about it. I have lost well over 100 friends NOT because of what I'm doing currently, but because of what people 'think'. If I don't accept being ostracized then the Harassment Act comes in and I get labelled all things I know I am not but I cannot do anything about it and I get swept up into the cogs of the legal system.

I am awaiting yet more therapy from the Mental Health Services in my local area but I'm of a view that I cannot do much to change my situation as it's all based on circumstance and supposition, not what I am doing.

Making Budgeting Decisions - Needs assistance to be able to make complex decisions - I have had issues where I have lost monies such as Housing Benefits or over budgeted and bills cannot be paid because I did not realize my financial situation. I have had issues where I have nearly been evicted from my home due to rent arrears. To pay these arrears I haven't paid council tax nor the tv licence because I could not afford to pay everything at once.


For the tribunal, I am struggling to attain evidences of my condition. I have diagnostic evidence which states I have fibromyalgia and the other conditions and a doctor's letter stating that 'my fibromyalgia does seriously affect his activities of daily life'.

What I don't have is medical information stating on a word for word basis of the Descriptors - for example - that I have issues cooking, issues washing and bathing or budgeting. Once I have started with the Mental Health Services appointments, I will ask him to make a report once I've had a number of sessions. I had asked for this specific evidence but was advised by my GP that this is not allowed any more as per the LMC's sending out letters blocking GP information regarding benefit claims. I contacted the LMC who said the DWP should be the ones who go for the information but they won't as they're happy that they have enough in the highly disputed Occupational Therapists report. I contacted the Tribunal Service who stated that I should send all medical evidence I have, with an e-mail to them as well requesting that they contact my GP for any and all further information required.

I have been told by the CAB that the DWP will not get more information and that any information I send the Tribunal, as well as e-mail to them stating that if any further information is needed, will simply be ignored.

I find myself in an impossible situation; the evidence is there BUT the GP isn't allowed to give it, the DWP nor the Tribunal will ask for it and this is going to harm my claim to attain PIP. The CAB has stated that my case is weak because of this lack of 'how my illness affects me' evidence and may well withdraw its support soon. All this running around trying to get my PIP claim sorted is nothing short of killing me with the symptoms of fibromyalgia which is getting more and more severe with the effort I am having to put in or fail to gain the benefit.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do here and any and all advice/help would be ideal.

Regards

Slash