This is a copy of my appeal;
This is now the 3rd time I have had to appeal PIP, this time because of changing descriptors. Maybe I am not explaining my difficulties to others in the right way, it is probably my fault. At the time of the interview, I had my sister with me which lifted my mood a little, and not wanting to show weakness I put on a brave face as they say, and possibly did not show the full extent of my condition. I have HEART FAILURE this is not getting any better, it is in fact getting worse. Feeling like I constantly have to defend myself, and struggling daily just to do normal things is having a negative effect the quality of my life. The stress of worrying about this interview contributed to me having another heart attack. I was convinced I would lose money, which did happen! I now have to seriously worry about losing my home. My condition has significantly worsened since the first PIP claim in 2016, how can you now reduce my PIP ? All this extra stress is just adding to my feeling anxious, nervous and I am terrified about what else is to come. I do have suicidal thoughts more frequently now and have therapy. All I wish, is to be awarded what I deserve and be allowed to heal as best I can.
Point 1. “You said there was no evidence of my difficulty to eat, manage medication, managing health conditions, communicating, reading and understanding and engaging with people”.
I took my sister to help, and as a witness. I told him that I couldn’t cook anything. I had burnt pans and forgot to switch off the oven whilst trying to cook for myself , so my sister cooks and freezes my meals for me. I have missed important appointments and put off confusing letters until I am in the right mind. My sister keeps stocks of my more potent pills to prevent me taking them all at once. I kept running out of important pills, so my sister also arranged for the chemist to help, and now I have doses boxes so she can control and check I have been taking my medication.
As for communicating, reading, and engaging with people. I spend most days in the bedroom not wanting to see or hear from anyone. I need lots of encouragement just to get up. I am not sleeping and sometimes behave aggressively if people come uninvited, even family members that arrive unannounced. I cancel appointments, put off shopping until someone takes me, I am breathless all the time (even at rest now) and have angina if I push too hard. The cold weather also makes my heart beat faster. So not just the depression, the physical act of moving keeps me inside. My moods and coping changes daily so I sometimes cannot open bills and just put them aside until I am reminded. Or important decisions are forgotten and I have to apologise a lot.
Point 2. “You can plan and follow a route of a journey unaided”.
Again, my sister took me to the interview. Both she and I did tell him, I cannot plan a journey and need to be taken to places I don’t know, because of ‘overwhelming psychological distress.’ What would happen if I had a puncture, ran out of fuel, got lost or had a heart attack? I would just not go and cancel the appointment.
Point 3. “You can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres”
I cannot move 20 Mts without pain, dizziness and breathlessness. The assessor said he observed me walking 26 minutes. No he did not. I did tell him I felt angina pains and I did say at the interview that during a gout attack I am unable to lift my foot, never mind walk a step. I have just had a recent gout attack and can feel the pain now, ready to flare up again. After the recent heart attack which caused more damage to my heart, my movements are more tiring and I am breathless even at rest.
I am getting angina attacks just climbing the stairs too quick.I knew he did not believe most of what I was saying. I had had a heart attack the day before and not wanting to wait for another appointment, I waited and went to the appointment. I told the assessor that I thought I had an angina attack but he didn’t believe me.
The report he’s sent is very different from the assessment as my sister will confirm. I am glad I took her, but it stopped me from showing the full extent of my condition because I was embarrassed. I felt set up right from the start. I saw him watching every little step and movement. Very unnerving. This seems to be the default position “you are lying, and I will decide if your ill or deserving” Also I wondered whether they received commissions for achieving certain hidden targets.The actual daily activities are getting harder for me, he just saw me that day, and made a really uninformed decision. He is not in a position to decide what my condition entails.I may have to move again as I now am paid 150 pounds less until I win my appeal… I don’t know how they are getting away with this. A large percentage of us get so stressed we think about suicide regularly, its deliberately made hard and some cannot go on and end it. Yes I have seriously thought about giving up, but I am lucky to have a family that anchor me.. I am determined to get what is due. I have worked over 40 years and believed that I was paying into a system that would look after me and mine.. until I die. How wrong was I. I can categorically link at least 2 of my recent heart attack to both Universal Credit and PIP. It is inhuman to be treated like this when I need to focus on managing my heart failure, not whether I can afford to heat my home. (Which I can’t at the moment).
I will keep going and try to enjoy my limited time without anger.