“People should get the benefits they are entitled to”
PH patient Myra Morrison, from Frome in Somerset, fought for a year to get access to Personal Independence Payments.
“My PH, on top of my rheumatoid arthritis, has had a dramatic effect on my everyday life. The impact on what I can do has been significant, so I decided to apply for that extra bit of support to help me and my husband cope.
No one in authority says ‘okay you may be able to get this’ so I had to work it out for myself. After checking with the DWP, Citizens Advice Bureau and PHA UK, I duly completed and sent back the lengthy forms needed to apply for PIP. After some time, I was invited to a face-to-face assessment.
After another wait, I got a letter from the DWP stating I did not meet the criteria so would not be awarded PIP. I challenged this decision – especially on the grounds that I felt my assessment only took into account rheumatoid arthritis and did not consider my PH symptoms.
A further wait and then another letter of explanation detailing each point of the assessment and how the decision had been reached. I have to say there were times when I thought about giving up and just letting it go. It was hard to keep taking the responses I was getting, but, no, I decided to go on and appeal. This meant taking my application to tribunal.
I was asked to supply further evidence to support my case and this included a letter from my consultant and a letter from the PHA UK too. I hoped they would look at all this additional evidence and give me a ‘paper decision’ but, no, I was told they couldn’t agree a decision, and I was invited to attend a tribunal to be held in Bristol in December 2015.
They reached the decision to allow my appeal and I was thanked for being open and honest with them.
The whole process took over a year and at times I felt like I couldn’t be bothered and would give up, but then something inside me was saying, ‘fight it, it’s what you believe, they’re not listening to you.’
I’ve worked in the NHS and social services all my life and I believe that people should get the benefits they are entitled to.”