I’m currently in the process of trying to receive PIP due to my depression and anxiety, theres a lot more to it that I don’t really want to explain online to strangers right now, but I’m finding it very difficult. I had the initial ‘interview’ where they declared I did not appear anxious, the mandatory appeal where they decided the same thing again and I’m now waiting to go to tribunal which in no way is helping my anxiety. It really does feel like the Government is against me, I’m providing proof and trying my best and really struggling financially and the system I thought was there to help people suddenly doesn’t really feel like its there.
I’ve been nervous about sharing the fact that I’m applying for PIP for mental health issues online at all, I know talking about benefits at all is somewhat controversial at this point in time and and trying to get them for mental health even more so. If any of my friends were to go through this process though I wouldn’t want them to feel any shame or need to justify themselves, I wouldn’t want them to feel the stigma I do and I always think the best way to remove stigma is to talk about it. It is a struggle to not justify myself and explain everything in this post, but at the end of the day its my private life and if people come to conclusions without being aware of the full story that needs to be their issue not mine.
I know that other people are in a similar situation to me right now for a variety of different reasons and I know others are in situations similar to my family, many of whom have recently fallen out of work and I wouldn’t want to write a post like this without providing some kind of advice.
First and easiest I would recommend having a look at Talk Tax, they’re a site that provide HMRC numbers that can difficult to find as well as articles to inform readers about policy change/benefits/self-assessment and more. It can be difficult to keep up with the changes that are happening right now but they can really help. I’ve also had many letters from HMRC that have the wrong phone number printed on them, which blows my mind, and Talk Tax can be really useful to find the right one.
I would also really advise visiting your local citizens advice bureau, there are often very long waits but the volunteers there really do everything they possibly can to help you and really want you to get the result you’re after. It’s so important to stay up to date and aware of what you’re doing next when it comes to applying benefits and keeping up with changes and I always find the best way is to have one of the brilliant volunteers just talk it through and explain it to me. I really do think we’re lucky to have access to a service like this.
I hope this is helpful for someone!