"Someone took the trouble to look at my file and realised I needed help. That made the world of difference to me"
The new benefit Personal Independence Payments hasn't got much good press. But it has worked for "Rebecca," all because someone looked into her existing records and took action when she was too ill even to cope with the paperwork for her claim.
"I’m a single parent to three boys. I suffer from severe depression, and was last month diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/CFS after several years of continuously worsening health and mobility. Just this week, I received my decision on my PIP application.
Now, that isn’t that big a story in its own right I suppose, except for the fact that, due to my health, both mental and physical, in the 7 months since I made my first enquiring phone call, I’ve still not even managed to complete my part of the paperwork. Somehow however, I’m assuming through a link in my DWP records and hence them seeing my ESA reports from the year previous, I received a home visit from an assessor, and my GP received a questionnaire. I didn’t even know this was possible, but the fact that someone took the time to look at my file and realised I maybe needed some more help made the world of difference to me.
When I opened the dreaded brown envelope, I broke down. I must have shook and cried with shock, and relief, for a good hour or more. Even writing this now I’m welling up.
The award now means I don’t have to worry where the daily taxi fares to get my children to school will come from. It means they won’t have to give up their Scouts or Football for lack of transportation. It means I can afford to pay someone to help me with the housework, washing my hair, and all those other ‘insignificant’ daily tasks that my condition so very often make impossible to do, and which leave me with so much guilt for the life my children are having to lead because of me. It means I can purchase a basic little mobility scooter and go to the park with them in the summer. The back-pay I received has meant that for the first time in many years, I am totally debt free.
In short, thanks to that nameless, wonderful, person who first viewed my request, and took that extra step to put the help in place to enable the process to complete with minimal input from myself, it means I, and my sons, will no longer just ‘exist’ … we’ll live.