Blogs Reports

PIP/POP Round Three

Reported by Miles

Published on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

Bureaucracy Welfare Benefits
Blogs Reports

PIP/POP Round Three

Written by Miles

Published on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024


Welfare Benefits

So, a few months ago I reported on someone’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefits journey (part one here and part two here). Here’s the latest offering for the DWP process.

As many of you may be aware, those receiving PIP apply through one process and any other benefits they receive have their own process, so this brings me to write this.

Our person received their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) annual letter on 25 March , informing them of a health assessment of their current situation in 23 days’ time – enough time to seek support and gather any information asked for from the letter. The assessment could be between 20 minutes and an hour, but may take longer where necessary (for an ongoing claim that seems a bit excessive).

All seems fine, fair request, and they understand it’s part of the requirements for receiving financial support, but a nervous wait and knowing that three weeks of uncertainty isn’t going to help their mental wellbeing to go about daily life with this in the background.

During those 23 days, they get four text reminders that ‘failing to attend may affect your benefits’ which increase the anxiety of fear and a tad pressured, some could say bullied.

Come to the morning of the assessment, between 9 and 12, they’re understandably nervous, the letter explaining an unidentified number may ping on the phone, it’ll be them.

Having said that, they’ve been up since 4.30am worrying, so five hours from waking, being sick, unable to eat, the phone rings… they answer.

‘Morning, is this xxxx, can you confirm your date of birth, how are you doing…’ Once confirmed, the person explains someone will now phone by 12pm… and finishes the call!

What’s going through your head as you read this I ask. I know what went through theirs as they stared back into the toilet bowl.

Forty minutes pass… it rings, round two begins.

Introductions over, our person informs the health professional that due to previous problems, it’s been suggested (by a trusted charity source) they record the conversation in case of any discrepancies further down the line … 💥… ‘you can’t do that, I’ll terminate the call and you’ll have to get another appointment’…

After a stunned moment, it’s chatted through, the health professional does understand elements of the why, our person questions that if they hadn’t shared openly and that they could’ve recorded secretly, that’s dishonest on their side, hence why they shared up front.

It’s decided, mutually, they will continue with the assessment, not recorded, but noted, as the prospect of having another number of weeks of uncertainty would be unbearable.

It takes forty minutes to get all the updates done, revisiting how poorly they have been, justifying their daily existence with probing questions, even to: do you drop things often, how do you put your t-shirt on, how often have you had falls and where, can you hold a pen!

If they didn’t feel pathetic, they could be feeling that way now eh.

Three weeks of uncertainty, false dawns on the day, and now a tedious wait for this report to ping through the dehumanised systemic process which is complicated enough to those that specialise in supporting people daily, never mind humble Joe Public, absolutely stripping away any dignity, worth or value they attach to themselves.

I write this as I read the latest crackdown news on benefits claimants from Government departments, the wider press who love to demonise ‘fraudsters’.

How’s about demonising the process, there’s a thought to consider… the one that’s recently allowed £54 million to five individuals… I wonder how their assessments went?

Maybe, just maybe, my person shouldn’t have to feel beholden to receive what they are legally invited to claim for in a fair society. I’ll keep you posted.




Written by Miles

I'm Miles, dad of two, lived in York for 33 yrs whose overcome homelessness and addiction to become a local reporter for Groundswell since 2020 sharing my experience and thoughts on various aspects of my journey.

Read all of Miles's articles


Bureaucracy Welfare Benefits

One thought on “PIP/POP Round Three

  1. Thank you Miles, for what i feel, is a brave analysis, of a truly awful situation of the “poor recepient”. Awaiting execution, at five rings of the telephone!

    The bureaucracy, redtape, is like a monster… streaming through the ether, my goodness, straight into one’s ear. Like a worm, wriggling, multiplying, Hydra-like, as it passes into one’s subconscious, to cause further mayhem into one’s already stressed, fraught mind…what a life, eh!

    I am struggling to remain polite, as I react to your investigative analysis, reportage, of your acquaintance, friend…

    I hope that the circumstances have improved and that it has all resulted in positive paths/outcomes. Happy endings.

    Have a nice day, Miles.

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