I recently had my decision back from my claim to PIP. I was refused PIP despite being practically housebound for months with the flare up I had.
I was refused the mobility component because I walked from the car park to the assessment centre (holding on to my boyfriend the entire time and hardly a long distance I'd like to add). I also said that on a good day (which I made clear was very rare) I could walk in constant pain for about ten minutes slowly. The decision maker took this to mean that I could do this all the time.
As for the living component. I was awarded 0 points for preparing meals because (I wish I was joking/exaggerating on this) I was "observed to sign a document without apparent difficulty". How scribbling your name on a piece of paper means you can cook is beyond me, but they recon if you can hold a pen you can hold anything.
I was awarded 0 points for dressing, because I put a coat on at the end of the assessment "without difficulty".
The fact that I was observed to be"well groomed, casually dressed, nourished" for my assessment was mentioned as a reason why I could not qualify. It was also stated that I was not "seen to be in pain" during the assessment despite the fact that I was and didn't broadcast it.
Oh and possibly what annoys me the most is that the decision maker put the wrong type of arthritis on my form, it's like he didn't read any of the evidence.
The lady who carried out my assessment didn't do a full physical examination because in her words it was obvious what was wrong with me, my angry red swollen joints could be seen a mile off. Yet this isn't mentioned, none of the things we discussed are mentioned. Reading the reasons why I was refused makes me feel that the assessment was just a series of traps to throw in my face later.
It's horrendous that if I had known how to play the system I could turn up in my pyjamas, unwashed and unkept, complained the entire time and refuse to do anything then maybe I would have got something. Instead I tried to maintain some dignity, answer truthfully and not put on an act. I have do doubt that if the woman who had done the assessment was the decision maker I would be receiving PIP. No wonder the government complains about benefit fraud, the system actively rewards jumping through hoops and putting on a show, while genuine claimants are left without anything. Disgusting.
Sorry about the rant people, it's not here to scare anyone just to highlight how broken the benefits system is and the traps to look out for if you want to be taken seriously.