Squeezing the PIP out of me…the Spanish Inquisition

Hello. Well this morning, it was a trip to a PIP (Personal Independence Payment) Assessment centre for a 45 minute grilling. PIP is a monthly welfare benefit paid to help with paying bills, and general upkeep of your life and well being. In theory, anyway.

After feeling incredibly anxious two weeks ago only to find the assessment centre had cancelled the appointment, it was back to the centre, but with slightly less anxiety. I just wanted the whole charade over and done with. I had my sister with me, who won’t take any old crap, and she contributed to the assessment.

One amusing aside from the inquisition was the question “Would you mind telling us about your bad days?” This I gladly told them, focusing on severe anxiety, panic attacks and isolation. No problem. But then came the next, loaded, question. “So what happens on your good days?” I replied “Well the bad things that usually happen, don’t happen”.

This sarcastic but truthful answer completely confused the inquisitor. She screwed her face up in a combination of bewilderment and slight amusement. Some other questions had no relevance to Autism Spectrum Disorder at all, for example, can I bath myself or walk to the local shop. The inquisitor seemed fairly sympathetic to the daily plight I have to go through, but……

On the face of it, the grilling seemed to go ok. But when you walk back onto the street again, what information are they passing on to the “decision maker”? Is it the truth or a tissue of lies? I won’t know now for a fair while. There are three possible outcomes of today’s assessment, which I may add, the inquisitor seemed to suggest was a waste of time, when she said “In the infinite wisdom of the Department of Work and Pensions, they have recommended you come here….”. I thought that was a comment that spoke volumes that the whole of the next 45 minutes was a waste of everyone’s time.

Anyway, I digress. The three possible outcomes are :- 1. The PIP I currently get is unchanged.

2. I get a higher rate and some backdated money from September 2016.

3. They withdraw the benefit altogether.

Another piece of cynicism on my part came when the inquisitor introduced herself as “A Qualified Nurse with a grounding in helping disabled clients…..”. Yeah, I thought, and I’m the King of England. I know it’s cynical, but having gone through this before, I know what to expect.

Well, it’s over now, and it’s a question of watching and waiting for that letter to drop onto my doormat. Which of those above three outcomes will apply? Watch this space.

Just glad to get it out of the way.

A.S.D Brooks

Author: allenbrooks44

44 year old adult living with Autism...