pip and made to feel like a lier

i have 3 different forms of arthritis

osteoarthritis , agressive inflamatory arthritis and agressive psoriatic arthritis. My right middle finger has started deforming due to the psoriatic arthritis and im losing toe nails due to psoriatic arthritis also. i have recently been turned down for personal independace payment they scored me 0 on everything. the lady i saw wasnt interested in anything i said and she even said that i dont look like someone who is in constant pain. i work 4 - 5 nights a week in the security industry and have had to take quite alot of time of over the past year due to flare ups and pain etc to the point my employers are now giving me a hard time when i need to take a break from work. i am also type 2 diabetic , high blood pressure and have recently been screned for osteoporosis which im waiting for results. i just dont know where to turn any more. im married and we have 4 children. i just feel a burden to them and now been made to feel like im lieing


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 635

    Hi @ant1982

    Welcome to the versus arthritis forum.

    You are living with a number of forms of arthritis but despite this have been accessed as ineligible for any PIP payments. Your employer is putting pressure on you not to take time off work. You are understandably struggling with the situation you find yourself in.

    I hope that joining the forum will provide you with some useful support for members who can relate to your circumstances. In the interim, you my find these links useful:

    You may find it useful to call our helpline who should be able to advise you as regards any recourse you have regarding the PIP process and your rights at work:


    I hope that joining the forum provides some support in helping you manage your way through the situation you find yourself in.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 84

    Hi @ant1982

    I too received zero points after my PIP interview and like you felt as if I'd been treated as a liar. I now receive enhanced PIP for both daily living and mobility. This is a post I wrote a few weeks back on another thread about my experience. It's long but detailed and you may find it helpful. I should point out I have other conditions besides rheumatoid arthritis.


    Hi @PJenkins As @MarkInSussex says the key thing with PIP is how it affects your daily life. Your income is irrelevant. Your diagnosis is irrelevant. It's all about the effects of your condition(s) on your daily life. There is a good definition of eligibility and point scoring here https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Personal-Independence-Payment-Test/What-is-the-PIP-test, a walk-through of the process here https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Claiming-Personal-Independence-Payment/Start-your-PIP-claim and an anonymous test here https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-self-test

    Unfortunately there is no way of knowing how an assessor will score you. I applied in 2019 when told I had to transition from DLA, hoping/expecting to be awarded the standard daily living rate. I was awarded zero points, making me feel like a fraud. I appealed and was awarded the ENHANCED rate not just for daily living but mobility too. We don't have the gift as Burns said to see ourselves as others see us. These are two extreme examples. An assessor saying my daily life hadn't been affected in the slightest but the tribunal deciding I required maximum financial assistance with my own assessment lying somewhere in the middle. I should point out I have other conditions besides rheumatoid arthritis.

    My wife was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and her PIP application process couldn't have been more different to mine. She received a telephone assessment (mine was on an industrial estate out of town) and was awarded standard for daily living and higher for mobility.

    So we are in the position whereby I receive a higher daily living rate than my wife even though my conditions are not in themselves life-threatening while hers is. Evidence that's it not the diagnosis that counts, it's how it affects you day-to-day.

    The process took around eight weeks for my wife but eight months for me and I'm told by others this was actually quite fast. How long it takes is a piece of string question. It depends very much on where you live. We are in a smallish town (population circa 20,000) with no large cities nearby. If you're in or in an area close to a large city with a higher percentage of people more likely to have serious health issues it would normally take longer than our experiences.

    The good news is that since the onset of Covid there are far more telephone assessments which most people tend to find easier than face-to-face interviews and that if it goes to a tribunal over 70% of cases are won.

    Please bear that in mind if your claim is unsuccessful. If you think you are entitled then appeal. Though I should point out this can be a two-stage process. You must first ask the DWP to undertake a mandatory reconsideration though only around 20% of cases are successful at this stage. if rejected there then the next step is a tribunal consisting of three people, all well-versed in disability legislation. This will be chaired by a judge but please don't let that put you off. They are there to assess your case based on its merits vis-a-vis relevant legislation. The other two in my case were a GP and a disability charity representative. You will normally be told of their decision the same day if you're prepared to wait outside the room. You'll receive a summary decision with full details followed up by post. The DWP will write to you outlining future payments and a backdated sum will be paid into your bank. This will usually be deposited before you receive the DWP letter. So if you have to go down this route don't be puzzled if a large(ish) sum you're not expecting suddenly appears in your bank account.

    One other thing. PIP does not affect any other benefits. It isn't taken into account if for instance you are on or applying for Universal Credit and/or Housing Benefit. PIP at any rate also automatically qualifies you for the £150 cost of living disability payment due sometime in summer. This will be paid automatically unless your decision comes through after the eligible dates. But if your award is backdated and that covers the cost of living eligibility period (as yet to be defined) you may have to make a separate claim.

    Anyway, best of luck with your claim.

  • Hi @ant1982

    Thank you for posting on the Online Community. I am sorry to hear that your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim was unsuccessful. ChrisB has given some helpful links. I hope you find scotleag’s post helpful too.

    It sounds as if you have been going through a rough time, experiencing a lot of pain and needing time off work due to flare-ups. Arthritis is often a hidden condition and, unfortunately, people can be very unsympathetic and misunderstand what you are struggling with. I am sorry to hear that the medical assessor was not more supportive. It is a worry when you are trying to support your family financially and the cost of living is going up.

    It may help to contact your local branch of Citizens Advice for further help and support. You can ask the DWP to look at the decision again (Mandatory Reconsideration). There is also an appeal process. Citizens Advice will also be able to see if you may be entitled to other benefits you are not aware of.

    As you are living with long term conditions which substantially affect your ability to work and carry out daily activities (for more than 12 months), you are covered by the Equality Act 2010. This means that your employer is legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to make your job more manageable. This could include flexibility of hours, working part time, adapting your role, provision of special equipment or redeployment to another role within the organisation.

    It may help to speak to the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) on 0808 8000082. They are particularly helpful with employment issues. The ACAS helpline may also be able to advise you, especially if you are not in a Union.

    You may wish to contact your rheumatology specialist nurse to talk things through, review your medication and explore other treatment options. Referral to a hand therapist / hand clinic may be worth considering.

    I hope the information given below will be of some help. 

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor 

  • Lisamac
    Lisamac Member Posts: 16

    Hi ant1982

    I'm not sure if you have done this already but if you haven't, ask for the report that the accessor did.

    I was turned down quite a few years ago for DLA, I asked for the report and the assessor lied, totally lied, I couldn't believe it. I attended the appointment by myself so it was my word against hers. bad idea, always take someone with you to an assessment. As it happened I had a previous report so I appealed and sent them the previous report and basically asked them to choose who was telling the truth. I was awarded middle care and middle mobility, now I get full mobility.

    So, it always depends on the assessor. The last time I was assessed It took five minutes, the lady said I don't know why you are having assessments anymore. I got a letter from DLA, can't remember the exact words but basically saying I've been awarded DLA for life. I haven't yet been transferred to PIP so I don't know what will happen.

    I know yours is not the same situation as mine, my point is Appeal and hopefully you won't have to go to tribunal.

    Hope this helps

    Take care


  • Hi I had PIPS for 7 years and when it was reviewed they gave me zero points. I appealed twice and eventually got it only standard rate and it was back dated 2 years. I do think it depends on which assessor you get mine was done on the phone .both times. I am not going to be reviewed again because the assessor said that it is incurable.

    Just persist with claiming even though it is time consuming and upsetting.

  • Kathj
    Kathj Member Posts: 4
    edited 4. Sep 2023, 16:56

    I myself can't get my head around pip I've applied twice both times turned down. My step daughter has applied and got it straight off don't know how, she has no problems with everyday living. Very confused

  • k8T
    k8T Member Posts: 2

    Just had my PIP decision and scored 0 points. Sadly I'm not surprised and I'm convinced that the system is set to make it has hard as possible in the hope that we give up. However I have been here before with my husband. He was diagnosed with MS several years ago and is severely affected. He was scored as 0 points!!! We appealed that and alongside that we requested a data subject access request from the DWP. Within a month he was awarded Enhanced rate for living and mobility for life! My decision letter has not only large chunks that don't actually make any sense but areas that are completely wrong. Assumptions are made that cannot possibly be made over a phone call. I am not completing the Mandatory reconsideration form. When your hands are stiff and painful, when you're utterly exhausted all of the time it just feels wrong that the system makes everything so hard. I have a month to get this done but I am absolutely determined to get what I am entitled to. I've paid my damn taxes for long enough.I will take this all the way to court if I have to.

  • Naomi33
    Naomi33 Moderator Posts: 151

    Hello all.....

    Sorry to hear all your concerns regarding PIP.

    I was diagnosed with RA and OA earlier this year.

    Like you it is painful and such a long process.

    However I contacted my local council welfare Rights Department who helped and advised me with all the forms etc etc and made me feel like a human being not a number !!!

    Maybe worth you seeing if you have the same service in your area??

    Good luck and don`t give up as you say you put in so your turn to take out of system.


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