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The 20 metre rule is a pointless test

Babs Guthrie

My MS came on very quickly. All of a sudden I couldn’t walk and talk and my brain wasn’t working properly at all. I had a tremendous amount of pain and my left hand and arm and back were tingling.

I was in hospital for over 3 weeks. Luckily because I had such a severe attack, I was diagnosed within 24 hours and on treatment soon after. After I got out of hospital I was walking on crutches for a year and a half. At the age of 23, that was a bit of a stinger.

My MS is a lot less active these days, but I'm not completely symptom free. I still have neuropathic pain in left hand and back, and fatigue is never far away.

Walking 20 metres is a pointless test

I was on DLA, but 6 months ago I was re-assessed for PIP. They asked me to walk to a specific mark and assessed my ability based on that. I can walk okay, but MS is a complex condition. So walking 20m is a pointless test, it doesn’t show anything in particular.

I was downgraded after my assessment as I'm 'getting better'. It was a stressful process and means I'll have to cut back on daily costs of living.

MS is such an unpredictable condition, assessments should look at all the symptoms people get.

I feel lucky my condition is okay at the moment. But MS can change at any time.

Add your voice

Having MS is enough. We need a welfare system that works.

Tell the government to scrap the PIP 20 metre rule