Good evening all.
I am writing on behalf of my husband who was diagnosed with Asperger's around 17 years ago, at the age of 15. He is now 32 and of course still very much has difficulties. I have previously worked with Autistic young adults but am now a paramedic, so although I am a medical professional I am absolutely not a psychiatrist or even remotely qualified to discuss any diagnosis on the spectrum. My husband has been in receipt of DLA lifetime award (lower rate care and mobility) for many many years now, and as most of you are aware this is changing to PIP. He currently still gets DLA until this switchover happens. I guess the real question here is could he be eligible for the enhanced mobility as well as enhanced care? When looking through he descriptors and point scoring system we feel he qualifies for 26 points daily living care and then 12 points in the mobility section. He is able bodied (physically) but psychologically not, especially where planning and completing journeys, and communication difficulties that cause him absolute psychological distress if and when he's put in that position. If I'm with him he's fine to go places, but if not then he won't go out as I work long 12.5 hour shifts. He's probably he smartest and intelligent person that I know, but going outdoors without me is a huge no no for him.
Does anyone else have experience with PIP enhanced care and mobility and Asperger's? I'm trying to weigh up whether it's worth trying to fight and whether we stand a good enough chance as i want to keep the suffering of mental health to a bare minimum for him, as his anxiety will peak just like it did with the ESA support group tribunal, but we thankfully won that.
Sorry for the essay I have written and I hope you all have a pleasant evening.
I absolutely second what Misfit61 says ~ please get support with it. I failed my ESA and PIP and couldn’t get it together to appeal. However, out of desperation, I called a benefits/advocacy support group, and they said they’re going to get me back on ESA and get PIP sorted out for me. I really need that financial support and the safety and reassurance it will give me. This will enable me to start moving towards work, and without it, I can’t do that.
Personally, even though the thought of it and the process is stressful for me, now I know I’m being supported, I feel passionate about going for it because I need it, I can’t see a way out of this hole without it.
It seems harder than ever now to get the correct level of benefits, but with the right support it’s possible. We were discussing this at my autism group today and one woman said she heard that if you win an appeal/tribunal, for PIP, you get the benefit for life, they don’t put you through the ordeal again.
I failed my ATOS assessment and mandatory reconsideration and then went to appeal, which I won. I have ASD and severe clinical depression, which I have had all my life. I was on low level DLA care and mobility components for a number of years and this was stopped earlier this year. I was then refused PIP.
The ATOS test was one of the most humiliating ordeals I have ever had to endure. It was conducted by a paramedic whose questions were purely based on physical abilities. e.g. 'Can you hold both arms in the air and keep them there?' 'Can you go to the toilet by yourself?' and 'Can you wash yourself?' When I tried to explain that my depression prevents me from even getting out of bed, his reply was: 'Well, you can if you really wanted to. It's just laziness, isn't it?' My sister, who accompanied me to this sham of an assessment, hit the roof! She made a formal complaint afterwards and said she couldn't believe how ATOS treats people. Sadly it's an all too familiar story all around the country.
Anyway, we lodged an appeal........ and we won! I am getting the standard rate in daily living and mobility for 3 years. Why only 3 years I don't know - both my conditions are life-long, but it's a start. This is a victory for me and I'm over the moon, but angry too that the DWP placed me in this position in the first place. I want to say to all out there going through a similar situation: PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP. Get help and support in order to fight what you are entitled to. The Citizens Advice Bureau can help you, plus there are lots of other groups around that can help. Go for it, never, ever give up.