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PIP: Form Filling In …

Getting Into The Digital Age

Getting Into The Digital Age

If the Government Tax-man is able to get his meta-physical ass on line, why in hells can’t the DWP do the same?

The DWP – Department of Work and Pensions – recently sent me the forms needed to migrate to PIP –  Personal Indepenance Payment – the replacement for DLA brought in by the Tory Government.

I’ve no major objection to transferring, or the checking on status, in principle but there is an issue around the frequency, or need, of repeated checking for those with long-term, incurable, disabling conditions who already get, indefinitely, the highest rates of mobility and care components of either allowance … especially when each time, we are required to fill in, by hand, a forty page questionnaire covering every aspect of our mental and physical abilities, supplying supporting evidence and documentation.

Ok, this may not sound onerous to some of you but, like many others, I cannot hold a pen and write, I cannot do filing nor opening of the post. So, this is yet another task that my long-suffering husband has to do – amongst his other duties of a full-time job, caring for me, attempting to help – to his families immense, and loud, dissatisfaction – with the care of his 92 year old mother and, like, live a life.

Get someone else to help me? Sure, if you don’t mind sharing with a stranger or other family member every intimate detail of your washing, toileting, speaking, seeing, feeling, experiencing problems, and spending hours trying to find everything you need whilst directing someone to find things that you don’t know the location of. I don’t want to share so it’s all on me and D.

Though, as D said, whilst transcribing my words, if XXX (name of loud family member shouting at D for ‘not doing enough’) read this, he might just dial it back a bit! Then again, maybe not. We’re all a bit ‘me, me, me’ when the s**t hits the fan, aren’t we?

Anyways, back to the forms.

Let’s be clear. I did fill in a similar set of forms – over forty pages, filled by hand – when I was awarded DLA many years ago. So, the DWP do have all of the information about me, my illness and how it affects me. They recognised this by giving me an indefinite award for both the mobility and care components of DLA.

As they know, my condition does not improve, indeed, it worsens over time.

This begs the question of why do I need to repeat the entire process? Why can’t they simply ask for updated details and any changes to be listed? This is what my employer’s insurance company do – every two years – for my income protection policy. A four-sided document, in Word, that we fill in easily and return online as a PDF.

But, no. This is the DWP.

No regular easy checks. Just a huge lumbering behemoth of a process which they suggest will recur every two years. Good grief.

“Can this be done online?” I pleaded. “Surely, you’ve put the forms online to download for filling in?” I can live with sending it all back, printed, via snail-mail, if I must.

“Oh no, dear, we don’t do that.”

Well, why the f**k not?

I’m not asking for miracles here … just a blank downloadable forty page form, utilising technology we are all using on a daily basis – ya know, a computer and a bit of appropriate software. Jeez, even the taxman ….

Frankly, a week later, I’m still recovering from the palaver of form filling, filing, copying and sending, needed to just start the process of this migration.

I haven’t even got to being assesssed or awarded the allowance yet.

I’ve not got my happy face on 😬

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