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Supporting Evidence For A PIP Claim From A Family Member (A Guide)

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This article will take a look at whether or not evidence can be taken from family members when forwarding a PIP claim. The article will also highlight why it is important to gather as much evidence as one can for their PIP claim and what other sources they can use. The article will also comment on what PIP is and how one can ensure they can get this non-taxable benefit.

Supporting Evidence For A PIP Claim From A Family Member – Is It Allowed?

You can use supporting evidence that comes from a family member in your claim for PIP benefits and this is legally recognized. The reason behind this is that your family is well aware of your condition and they can provide a better understanding of the difficulties you face in your day to day life because of your disability or disease.

Hence, the Department for Work and Pay accepts supporting evidence in the form of statements, information or evidence from a family member and this will be reviewed before the decision regarding your PIP claim is made.

Hence, if it is possible it is advisable to ask a family member to assist you in the process  and provide the necessary information on their behalf to the decision making authority.

Letters from your carer, friends or family can help support your PIP claim. As they are likely to see you frequently, they can comment on how they help you – washing, bathing, cooking, dressing etc. – and why you would have difficulty doing specific tasks yourself.

Isn’t Your Condition Enough As Proof – Why Need Supporting Evidence?

The Department for Work and Pension needs as much information as they can get with regards to your condition to make the right decision. Supporting evidence in the form of statements, medical records or health professionals recommendations can make a huge difference in your PIP tribunal hearing outcome.

It is mandatory for the DWP to consider all the information that is attached to your case. Hence, if you send in supporting evidence – which is legally recognized – they will have to go through it and they cannot ignore any of the information provided thus it increases your chances of getting the claim.

It is also important to state that the DWP will not contact anyone for additional information regarding your claim – they will use the information that they have at hand.

What Is PIP?

PIP stands for Personal Independence Pay that is a non-taxable benefit which can be availed by people who suffer from a long term condition or injury that affects their daily life activities and mobility. 

This means they cannot walk properly or carry out simple or basic tasks such as eating properly or doing simple well being tasks like taking a bath. This benefit is given to people not based on the condition itself but the way it affects the person and their life activities.

It takes quite some time because of the information the concerned department has to process with regards to your case. In this case, the concerned department is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which will make a decision after you have completed your medical assessment and have sent in other relevant documents such as your claims and the notes made by the health professional during or with regards to your medical assessment.

Thus, the following 3 sources of information are taking into consideration:

  • Your Claim
  • Your Medical Assessment
  • Health Professionals Comments

How To Ensure You Get PIP?

There are some steps you can follow to ensure your true condition is properly conveyed to your concerned health professional. Also, you must have knowledge of various symptoms you may experience so that you can include them in your forms or the information you send over to the DWP.

We will take the example of stress and how it affects us coupled with any other existing condition.

Talk About Your Symptoms

Regardless of how you feel or what you think, your symptoms are what really make the difference! If the condition is affecting you in a physical manner or affects your behaviour then your doctor as well as your employer are more likely to become convinced that your case is serious!

It is important that you talk about your symptoms in detail. Whether it is a headache or a minor cut that appeared on your body – talk about it. Sometimes we take things for granted but they have a relation to what we feel, think or experience.

Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations — whether they’re real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. Sometimes stress can result in such severe conditions or exacerbate an existing condition that it affects your daily life.

According to WebMD, the following symptoms reflect stress:

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

Be Open About Your Feelings

Feelings also matter a lot! One of the most important feelings is that of happiness – it is a universal way to measure your quality of life. However, sometimes we are not happy but unhappy, sad, anxious and stressed out! This can take a toll on our body because how we feel eventually affects our physiological state!

Feelings can also point to serious mental conditions such as depression! If this is the case, your doctor will immediately give you a stress leave. This can also serve to prove that your daily life is being affected.

Highlight Triggers

It is important you clearly tell your doctor what stresses you out. This will enable them to determine whether or not these triggers exist in your office – they are most likely too! Hence, once they have enough information about how you feel and what experiences you have, they are in a better position to get you a stress leave.

Clearly State Why You Need PIP

It is important that you convey what you want your doctor to do – in this case it is getting PIP.

Your doctor must be told why you want PIP benefits and how it will improve your basic quality of life.

Listen To What The Doctor Has To Say

Last but not least, listening to the doctor’s advice is quite important. They are in a better position to tell you what to do. In some cases they will immediately help you get PIP. In other situations they will tell you to wait a bit longer because they may need more evidence.

Book Follow Up Appointments

Show your doctor you are serious and are really in need of help by visiting them regularly! They will see the desperation and help you!

How Long Do I Have To Wait For The PIP Assessment Decision?

You have to wait around 12 weeks to get your decision with regards to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment you have taken to receive benefits in order to cope with a long term injury or disability you have sustained.

It takes quite some time because of the information the concerned department has to process with regards to your case. In this case, the concerned department is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which will make a decision after you have completed your medical assessment and have sent in other relevant documents such as your claims and the notes made by the health professional during or with regards to your medical assessment.

Thus, the following 3 sources of information are taking into consideration:

  • Your Claim
  • Your Medical Assessment
  • Health Professionals Comments

To process all this information and make a decision, the DWP takes about 12 weeks to get back to you!

Conclusion

This article answered the question of whether or not supporting evidence from a family member is accepted in PIP claims and how it can raise the chances of your PIP claim being accepted. The article also looked at what PIP is and what you can do to ensure you get it.

References

https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/pip-mental-health-guide/help-with-your-pip-claim/supporting-evidence-for-a-pip-claim/

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