#PIPstories: I have bipolar pychosis – all questions were on PHYSICAL health

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Today, MPs are discussing Labour’s motion to pause the roll-out of the government’s disastrous ‘Universal Credit’ (UC) benefits system, which the government is pushing ahead with in spite of huge damage to vulnerable people and calls from every relevant organisation to stop it – or at least put it on hold while ways are found to reduce the harm it causes. With 25 or more Tory MPs said to be prepared to rebel on the motion, the government is considered likely to avoid defeat by simply not voting – a craven tactic it has used before.

That’s how much the lives and wellbeing of our people mean to the government.

Another area of the benefits system that is causing extreme distress to people already facing huge challenges is ‘PIP’ – the ‘Personal Independence Payment’ supposed to ease the burden on disabled people, which caused huge problems as soon as it replaced its predecessor, DLA (Disability Living Allowance).

Just over a week ago the SKWAWKBOX put out a call for people to send in their #PIPstories, their accounts of the trials and suffering they and their loves ones had been put through by the Tories’ callous WCA (Work Capability Assessment) system, which many feel is designed to turf people off PIP rather than to genuinely assess their need of it.

This story sent in by Sam, who suffers from severe mental health issues, is extremely relevant to Theresa May’s spurious claims to be giving ‘parity of esteem’ to mental health:

I suffer from Bi-Polar psychosis with severe anxiety & depression.

When I received my form from the DWP it presented itself as fair and appeared to support mental health issues. The actual face-to-face assessment was completely different.

The reception staff were brusque to the point of being rude and made one feel uncomfortable. The whole assessment was based on physical disabilities only – and when I tried to explain how my illness affected my physical abilities I was talked over. The only question I remember about my mental state was if I knew where I was!

I imagine they ask people with physical disabilities about their cognitive and mental health and people with mental health issues about their physical performance. So they can take their benefits away.

I scored nil points on the whole assessment. I have appealed but as yet have had no response. With the loss of my mobility allowance it is going to be impossible for me to get to therapies which would help my condition.

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  1. Good luck with your appeal Sam. As for your assessment and the reception staff, I have little doubt that their attitude is deliberate, and designed to make
    people feel uncomfortable and on edge, and make you feel like you’re a scrounger. Everyone going for such assessments should covertly record the session. And then pass on a copy of it to Sqwawkbox etc.

    And of course the whole program is concocted and designed to create anxiety and worry amongst many of the most vulnerable. It’s tantamount to being bullied, and robbed of course, when benefits ARE cut.

  2. I hope you manage to find the strength to fight this, Sam – and to keep on fighting all the way to the Appeals court if you have to!
    Make sure you have all your medical proofs copied, as they just love to lose everything you send them and, if possible, try to get somebody with mental health experience to stand with you when you go to the appeals.
    All the best of Luck to you in your fight for justice 🙂

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