Hello! Thank you for reading this page, which I have put together to answer some questions that I have been asked about the PIP stories work. I hope that the responses are useful. A plain text version of this FAQ is also available here.
Why are you doing this Chris?
I have a long personal history with PIP, having blogged about my experiences at each stage of the of the process when I went through it myself. I found that talking about PIP always received a strong response from people who were going through the process themselves or had done so.
A couple of months ago, I started the call for PIP stories in response to a story I received which highlighted the ongoing need for change. I have since received over 500 account of personal experiences of the PIP process.
Each story I get helps to make the case for change stronger.
What happens when I send in a PIP story?
I will write to email you some information, so you know that I have received it. I then read each story before importing it into some software so that the themes arising from all the stories received can be carefully analysed.
Can I send in a story anonymously?
Yes – just tick the box on the form and you will not be identified.
What are your plans for using the PIP stories in the future?
Each person who sends in a story will be written to before their stories are used in any way, and where stories are used, individuals will not be able to be identified. Individuals can choose not to give their consent for their story to be used when this happens.
I’m having some problems as a result of my PIP experiences, what can I do?
There are lots of sources of advice and support to help people claiming PIP. Support with PIP is available from Citizens Advice and the Disability Law Service. Many disability charities and disabled peoples organisations are also able to provide guidance, and to signpost to other sources of support.
Is there a deadline for sending in my story?
There is no deadline – because I don’t want people to feel rushed into telling their story. If a deadline is set in future, this will be publicised well in advance.
Can you tell us a bit more about you?
There is a biography on my website if you would like to know a bit more about me.
What skills and experience do you have to do this work?
As well as over 30 years personal experience of having impairments (cerebral palsy since birth, and depression since my mid-twenties) I am fortunate to have a good academic background, including a PhD which I gained using similar qualitative research methods to those which I am using to complete the PIP stories work. As this PhD involved working in the criminal justice system, I also have experience in completing research in sensitive topics such as this one. On top of that I also have 10 years of professional experience working on disability issues in a range of roles. I am completing this work in a personal and voluntary capacity because I believe it is needed, and I believe the cause is an important one.
I'm feeling low as a result of my PIP experiences
I understand. There are two really important things to say here. The first is that it is essential that if you are feeling low and/or are worried that you cannot keep yourself safe that you get some help to support you. Sources of advice and support for if you are feeling low are here. Secondly, you are not alone, and it is not uncommon for the PIP process to leave people feeling low. What matters is getting the support you need to help yourself through this.
Is there another way to give my PIP story?
Yes. It is important this process is accessible as possible. Please contact me and we can talk to find a way to give your PIP story that works for you.
I want to help with this work. How can I get involved?
There are lots of ways that you can help. The best way that you can easily help this work is to share the call for PIP stories on Facebook, and Twitter by clicking the Share and Tweet buttons below. If you would like to talk about helping in other ways, please get in touch.