Family Magazine

Personal Independence Payment Medical For Mental Health

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

ID 10040172 300x225 Personal Independence Payment Medical For Mental Health

I had been dreading it for weeks but today I had to attend a (PIP)  Personal Independence Payment Medical assessment for mental health purposes.

I had no idea what to expect since this is a new benefit system and nobody seemed to know what would happen at the assessment.

Luckily I took my community psychiatric nurse along with me as it was emotionally difficult.

The doctor was warm and welcoming but anxiety prevents me from being able to feel safe or comfortable talking to strangers.

It did not help that we arrived early and had to wait over 25 minutes in the waiting room of a busy leisure centre, yes the medical was taking place in a leisure centre, which I found odd.

Once I was shouted in he introduced himself and we began going through a list of questions on his computer screen.

There were a series of questions, these were ones already on the form that I had filled out previously, and I am guessing these were ones they needed further information about.

He typed my answers as I spoke.

I found it extremely exhausting but he allowed me time and stopped when he noticed I was struggling at any point.

I was crying and struggling to breathe 15 minutes into the assessment, I was suffering a panic attack, it was a hot day and the chlorine smell was making me feel sick.

I had to explain about my self-harming methods and I found it hard to talk to this complete stranger about something so personal to me. He didn’t pry or ask further, he quickly noted my answer and moved on.

After 25 minutes he called time, saying he could see how this was too much for me and quickly skipped through the remaining questions.

I told him at one point that he was scaring me, he apologised and then I apologised, I didn’t want him to feel bad, he was only doing his job but the room was small with no window open and I could hear loud voices and banging of doors, these made me jump each time. I felt my head spinning and the walls closing in on me.

I sat on a chair opposite him and he of course watched me as I he spoke to me, I hate eye contact and feel intimidated easily. I was afraid of losing control and tried so hard to hold it all together that my emotions just burst over and spilled out.

The (PIP) Personal Independence Payment Medical was conducted with a professional and caring manner and was not as intrusive as I had expected. I was also reassured that he was a medical professional and not there to meet targets.

He finished by saying it would take 3-5 weeks before the decision would be given and I would receive this by post and that he was not the one to make the final decision.

My CPN had previously told me that the assessments normally last between 30 and 45 minutes. I asked her afterwards what would happen if I had to do all that again, she assured me that if I had to appeal the decision then the welfare rights team would become involved and they could act on my behalf.

It was as frightening as I had expected and I am so pleased it is over.

If you are having to attend a medical and would like to talk to me about anything or have any worries feel free to contact me.

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