Ella Smith, MEA Welfare Benefits Adviser has updated the ME Association Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Application Guide.
It is the main disability benefit and can help you to live a more comfortable life. ME/CFS is a recognised disability and long-term medical condition, so don’t worry that you might be at a disadvantage because of this particular diagnosis. We appreciate that you might be hesitant about making a claim and for perfectly understandable reasons.
Some of these could include:
- not wanting to admit to yourself and to others that you have a disability
- that you need help and support and have to apply for benefits,
- a fear of the application process and of a medical assessment,
- the stigma that benefits claimants can attract in society,
- that you will not be believed, n that your application could result in an unfavourable decision.
Please don’t let these concerns put you off. You are just as entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as any other person who is disabled. Unfortunately,
you will have to accept the application process can be difficult. It is a departure from your routines and will require energy and focus. Seek help from someone who knows you well, from Citizens Advice, by appointing a representative, or getting a home visit for the medical assessment, etc. – see below.
If you have to complete the process yourself, then work through the main form slowly by doing a little bit more each day and taking care of yourself as best you can. Remember: it is not your fault that you are disabled and in need of this benefit.
We have produced this guide to help demystify the process and reduce any concerns you might have. Trying to make a claim while battling ME/CFS can be hard, but it shouldn’t put you off from trying. We wish you every success with your application and hope you receive an appropriate award.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Terminology Leaflet
The ME Association asked on Facebook if you'd find a leaflet that explains the most commonly used words in a benefits application helpful. The majority of responses felt this would be an excellent idea we made this leaflet available as a free download.
Welfare Rights Adviser.
The ME Association.