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TOPIC: Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry)

Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194563

This has taken me many hours to write . . .

Firstly, thank you so much for your 90+ page booklet about claiming PIP, I’ve printed it out and read it now three times over the past few days.

Very brief history. I’ve had diagnosed mental health issues ever since I was a young child. Have been on ESA support group and DLA (both parts) for well over 10 years (both of which I always pass with flying colours, the last face to face ESA assessment I had about 6 years ago, the assessor actually became frightened of my behaviour and had to leave the room to recompose himself, I am taking anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications the dosage of which is gradually increasing yearly to keep me stable (ish). I now have to apply for PIP as my DLA is ending.

My life revolves around stress reduction and avoidance of triggers. Which to a greater extent is working well. I live in an isolated area in the countryside, I might talk to three or four people a week maximum, and usually manage to go shopping once a week (the closest shop is 4 miles away), maybe twice on a good week. Sometimes I have to abort the shopping trip and get home ASAP due to stress/anxiety.

Triggers are something unexpected happening (even minor things like a knock on the door from someone I don’t know), or undue demands such as having to go out more than a couple of times a week. Unplanned change results in psychological distress, events have to be planned days sometimes weeks in advance. For example, I have a bath (in the winter) or shower (in the summer) at 5pm on a Sunday. To have a bath or shower any other day is impossible without suffering stress and anxiety for days until I can get used to the idea. So I don’t. How often is it acceptable to wash oneself? Can I reliably bath once a week? Yes, twice or more? No.

Symptoms are many and varied, major symptoms can include acute mental confusion & disordered consciousness, withdrawal (can appear unresponsive, even catatonic) Lack of awareness of dangers & location, misunderstanding of others (even basic communication), inappropriate behaviour including verbal and physical aggression.

The only way I can avoid any of these things happening is to severely restrict my lifestyle well beyond what anyone would consider acceptable.

So as to the PIP ‘reliability’ and ‘variability’ I can only say “it depends”. If my very structured routine and isolation is not infringed upon then my depressive cycle is about one debilitating depression every 6 weeks or so, which can last about a week and other mainly minor issues now and then (for example breaking an egg york when cracking the egg open to fry it). However, if someone just drives over my grass verge I can become aggressive and it takes me hours to calm down, or if my friend and carer suggests going out shopping tomorrow, I cannot do it, it’s impossible, I get confused and unable to think straight as I need more time to adjust to the change in routine.

Sadly, my Psychiatrist is as much use as a square wheel and refuses to write any supporting evidence and his letters to my GP are all about how well I am coping, missing out all the negative stuff that happens to me. The only way I am coping is, as I have said, to severely restrict my life well beyond what any normal person would consider acceptable. It’s only by luck that so far I’ve managed to avoid being charged with assault. Because my condition is chronic rather than acute, the only professional support I am receiving is seeing My GP (who is excellent) and a six monthly appointment with my Psychiatrist. My friend (and unofficial carer) is a lifeline, I really couldn’t survive without her.

Sorry, long question, but I have tried to really simplify it and have missed a lot out. My condition and how I react to triggers varies a great deal, there is no ‘how many days a week’ with me. All I can say is ‘it depends’.

Thanks.

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Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194571

  • Gordon
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Alikris

All you can do is explain what you can do for the majority of the time and then how you are affected when your copying mechanisms fail. don't hold back on explaining the latter and how easy it is to trigger a problem.

If there are factors that limit when you can do something then definitely explain this, you may be able to argue that only being able to do an activity at a particular time and on a particular day means that you cannot do it on the majority of days which is the legal requirement.


Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: kris

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194578

means that you cannot do it on the majority of days which is the legal requirement.


Ahh! Ok, that makes sense, wonderful, thank you so very much. Time to read the 90+ pages again with this in mind. It's not light reading at all, there's some very complex information to try and understand. Thankfully the application deadline is 17th August, so I've still got a couple of weeks to try and get my head around all this. My friend / carer and I have decided we'll / she'll phone for me on the Monday or Tuesday 14th or 15th, (I really don't do phones) we still need to decide the actual day and time.

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Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194675

means that you cannot do it on the majority of days which is the legal requirement.

Reading through your 90+ page document again I cannot see this being specifically mentioned anywhere. Do you have any further information about this legal requirement as it would appear to be an important part of my justification for claiming PIP.

Thanks.

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Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194676

  • Gordon
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Alikris wrote: Reading through your 90+ page document again I cannot see this being specifically mentioned anywhere. Do you have any further information about this legal requirement as it would appear to be an important part of my justification for claiming PIP.

Thanks.


It's In the section starting Scoring points when your condition varies starting on page 20.

Gordon

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Reliability & Variability (complex question sorry) 1 month 3 weeks ago #194679

Nope, sorry. I cannot see anywhere it says that it's a legal requirement for something to be achievable on the majority of days. Neither the word 'cannot' nor the word 'majority appear anywhere in that section. It takes about percentages and also says that if a descriptor applies at any point in 24 hours it's considered as applying for the whole of that time.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you Gordon but I'm looking for something that says that 'cannot' doesn't mean never but the majority of the time.

Sorry. Maybe it's me that getting confused, but It's an important point for me and my claim.

Thanks.

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