Ashley sitting on a grey sofa

They showed a total lack of knowledge about MS

Ashley works in Leeds as a veterinary nurse. She was reassessed for PIP in March 2019.

I was diagnosed in January 2016 with relapsing MS. I get quite bad pain, fatigue and I have problems with my eyesight. 

I was just starting my veterinary nurse training when I was diagnosed. I haven’t had a chance to really get into the job because I’ve had to reduce my working hours so many times since my diagnosis.

I applied for PIP in 2017 and was awarded the standard daily living rate and nothing for mobility. I was reassessed in March 2019.

The PIP report was full of contradictions

As soon as I got the questionnaire, I was confused. There were sections that repeat themselves so I wasn’t sure where to put my answers, and you don’t really get any advice on how to fill it in. I also didn’t feel I had enough time to get the evidence I wanted.  

The assessor rushed through the questions and didn’t give me a chance to explain anything properly. When I got the report it was full of contradictions. There were some things I definitely said that were not in there.

The report said I‘m fine to work, not mentioning I’ve had to reduce my working hours and take time off. I said I had bad anxiety that I take medication for. But my report said I held myself well and didn’t show signs of anxiety.

They said my MS could improve

The report also said my MS could improve due to taking treatment. But MS doesn’t get better - the treatments just slow the deterioration. The total lack of knowledge about MS was alarming.

I kept the lower rate for daily living, and still didn’t qualify for any mobility. The decision was all based on what the assessor wrote. None of the information I submitted was taken into account.

I thought about appealing but I was afraid of making a fuss and losing the award altogether.

PIP doesn’t make sense

It makes me really angry. You have a diagnosis of MS and there are clinical records that back that up. And then you get a report that completely contradicts it. It doesn’t make sense.

You don’t want to prove you have MS, but you have to prove how badly it affects you. To have someone judging you for a chronic illness is terrible.

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