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Applying for PIP, any advice please?

Hello, hope everyone is having as pain-free a day as possible. This is my first post so I do apologise for any mistakes :)

I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis in December 2011 after being in agony for over a year. Since then I have suffered with terrible pain and fatigue of the sort I'm sure you're all unfortunately familiar with. Over the years my GP (who is lovely and very supportive) and other health professionals have suggested I apply for some financial help but until now I have been afraid to - nervous of the whole ATOS procedure etc, mainly. However I have finally conceded that I do need financial support. My husband works but my conditon means I can't and the financial strain is getting too much - my husband's job is fairly low income. My arthritis mainly affects my feet - I cannot stand for more than a few minutes and walking even the shortest distance ranges from quite to unbearably painful - I also have plantar fasciitis which makes things even worse. Standing in front of the cooker to make meals is often agonising and housework is out of the question. Neither me nor my husband drive so I have to pull all the shopping home in a trolley which is painful and incredibly tiring. Even a few pounds a week would mean I could get a taxi home with the shopping and save for the only shoes which give me any relief at all (FitFlops - I bought a pair in the sale at TK Maxx a few years ago and oh my goodness, they were so comfortable! Way out of my price range at full price though). Also would help with prescriptions - I have had to forgo my meds several times for want of the money to pay for them.

Can anyone please help me with what to expect with the process? Is there any possiblity that I will be elgible for help do you think? Is the assessment part as scary as I'm imagining it will be? Is there anything I can do to help my case? Please tell me about your eperiences with the whole thing (if you don't mind of course! Gosh I sound nosy! :D )

I'm so sorry for the long post and all the questions, thank you for taking the time to read my waffle :D

Comments

  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,082 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to the forum, I am sure you will find support, advice and light relief.

    I am one of the moderation team, we all have one or more arthritis conditions or look after family with the same. If you need help with the technicalities of the forum just get in touch via a personal message.

    Mod J
  • MrsEnjolrasMrsEnjolras Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much! Looking forward to meeting you all :)
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can't help with PIP because I am on DLA and won't be transferred for another year or so but I may be able to help with some tips about managing day-to-day life. I have around forty affected joints including all my toes, both ankles, both knees and sacro iliac joints and many moons ago decided that the best way for me to manage some household tasks was to sit sometimes whilst doing them. I bought a stool and would perch on that whilst preparing veg, cooking, washing and drying up, ironing etc. and for hoovering would sit on a chair and work around me. I could then manage a mixture of standing and sitting. I had to change how I did things but it did help my joints. I have also replaced many bits of household kit over the years for lighter models to help my wrists, elbows and shoulders.

    I discovered the boon of internet food shopping last year when I broke my upper left humerus in a fall and severely had my wings clipped! I have continued with it because it is so easy, they deliver the heavy stuff and I can still pop in and out of the shops to get the lighter things if I run out. Since we moved, however, I no longer have access to local shops unless I get into my car which can be a nuisance.

    Arthritis affects many areas of our life but we have to adjust what we do and how we do it so it doesn't get the upper hand. I wish you well and please apply - you have nothing to lose and maybe something to gain. Answer the questions as if you are having a really bad day so they get a clearer picture of how you are being affected. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello MrsEnjolras. Like DD I just wanted to welcome you even though I'm afraid I'll be no use on the benefits front as I'm now retired so my DLA is secure. All I can think is that you enlist the help of DIAL UK (http://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/dial/about ) or Citizens Advice Bureau but do, please apply. The worst that can happen is that they refuse and you are therefore no worse off than you are now.

    I well understand the problems of a single income family, arthritis and no transport. When our children were little my husband used our car for work (I didn't drive then) and I had to struggle back from the shops with a baby in his pushchair completely surrounded by groceries and the rest in a tray under the pushchair which I couldn't access so I'd to get the toddler to empty it for me :roll: Do whatever you can to improve matters.

    What medication are you taking for your arthritis? Do you have a pre-payment certificate? I know it means shelling out money upfront but it does save money and ensures you get your vital medication.

    I'm surprised you've not been referred to an orthotist for some orthotic insoles. This is something your rheumatologist could do or (I think) your GP. If your feet are so painful they really ought to refer you. Just ask. Physio exercises can also help.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You can pay for a pre-payment certificate monthly, it's £10.40 a month and you get two "free" months a year. You can apply on line and it gives you guidance as to whether you will save money.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
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