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Benefit application

August 14, 2014

So, if you’ve been paying attention to anything welfare related, you’ll have seen stories like this: The government is seriously backed up on disability benefit applications.

How could they be fucking this up this badly?

Having just completed a PIP application form, I don’t think this is in any way accidental. The form bears a passing resemblance to the qualifying criteria, but is hard to fill in, and helps neither applicant nor assessor to see clearly whether a certain symptom should be mentioned or contributes points towards receiving the benefit.

The government stated that they wanted to discontinue IB and DLA to save money, and I believe them, because the form I just filled in did everything it could to make me feel uncomfortable. The boxes you can tick don’t match the criteria for receiving qualification points, and you’re left with what’s actually quite a small space to try and condense complex and interconnected behaviours, symptoms and challenges to try and say, without being able to say so, “I fit the criteria for 4 points in this section”.

It will probably be a very long time before I hear about the outcome of my application. And I am very lucky. For me and my family, me being awarded PIP takes us from ‘getting by’ to ‘actually doing alright and the back payments mean we can do up the bathroom so I can wash even when I can’t stand up for long’.

We are lucky. I have paid in to the system and am now working towards collecting on my insurance. We are in the lucky position that we don’t absolutely need it to live. Many are not so lucky, and these delays are causing massive suffering.

Just found this in my drafts folder and can’t for the life of me think why I didn’t publish it earlier. It’s not polished, but hey. Originally drafted 11 June.


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