A Nottingham woman has successfully appealed against a reduction in her Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and says others must appeal if they feel their benefits are being cut unfairly.
Miss S (who wishes to remain anonymous) suffers from a range of medical conditions which mean she is not only in constant pain due to Chronic Fibromyalgia, but she struggles to look after herself properly, cannot travel independently and finds it difficult to leave home.
Her solicitor, Prakash Ruparelia of national law firm Scott-Moncrieff, specialises in benefits appeals and says that very many people are having their PIP payments reduced due to draconian re-assessments.
“Miss S has been very brave throughout this process. A PIP award is based on how an individual’s needs are assessed and in 2014 Miss S was awarded sufficient points for Daily Living and for Mobility, because her illnesses severely affect both elements of her daily life.
“But in 2017 her PIP was re-assessed and her points for Daily Living and for Mobility were slashed, so her payments were also hugely reduced. Her medical records show that as well as Fibromyalgia, which means she is in constant pain, she also suffers from anxiety and depression, migraines, the painful foot complaint of Plantar Fasciitis and a disease of the thyroid gland called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
“Her condition had worsened since 2014, so in her 2017 review her benefits should have been increased, not drastically cut to hugely below her original levels and far lower than her actual needs.
“Unfortunately, many people accept the PIP award that is set and assume they cannot appeal, but Miss S has fought against the system and won.
“The lesson here is simple: do not take reduced PIP payments at face value. If you think you have been re-assessed unfairly you should seek expert legal opinion and consider mounting an appeal.
“This could seem daunting, but for someone like Miss S, it is the difference between not been able to cope and coping well with the help of her family and support network.
“In the end we have seen justice done and Miss S is again receiving the PIP payments she deserves and needs.”