A post from a successful PIP applicant.
"Hi, I thought it might interest readers to know, that I successfully applied for PIP for my BSL using partner, so it can be done.
The sad thing, was that 67% of her peers in her deaf club did not get it. A lot simply handed over the forms to relatives and lost the claim immediately because they did not understand how to fill it in, it was compounded by the total lack of any professionally supported advice, either from the CAB and other disability advice tareas, or, the dedicated sign language areas, who had no-one qualified to advise on benefits. What existed was fragmented support and a total postcode lottery.
The best advice the deaf groups gave (There were no advice areas from the HoH), was to contact someone else, not them, in this case, the RNIB, a charity for the blind, and deaf-blind, not deaf BSL people. They supported us brilliantly, followed up every query and made all the phone calls too. If groups like the BDA/AOHL/Hearing Concern/Link/NADP/UKCoD ARE able to use telephones they showed no ability or desire to do it, why do they insist deaf can use telephones when they are highly selective if/when they do ?
By far the biggest issue was no face-to-face support with the DWP to understand things, indeed contacts although widely published on their sites, never got an answer when used. The RNIB brought them to our home and we had the support to understand the form, and to ensure the assessment was done properly.
Questions should really be asked by deaf people about the point of many of their support groups, given near all of them failed to actually support at the business end where it counted. Even at this late stage and despite many many concerns from the deaf and HoH, there still remains no active movement to support these deaf or HoH people, lots of campaigns about the DWP and well-founded, but still no pros taking them to task from their allotted 'representation'. Complaining won't do, as the DWP are immune to that.
The irony of reading the CAB/BDA et al advertising PIP BSL advice on youtube was tantamount to hypocrisy if truth be told, a complete PR excerise, they had no actual communication support in their offices, could not afford it, and had no trained staff on the ground as back up... Their obsession with sign and culture has left deaf people without money to keep a roof over their heads, support to maintain their health, or empowerment towards being treated equally, and they need to focus on real issues and problems deaf and HoH people have.
Please allow me to extend my thanks for the support from the RNIB, and let the deaf area feel thoroughly ashamed at its disgraceful neglect of people with hearing loss, please, get back to basics. Culture is a luxury that is impoverishing where it really counts, and it doesn't pay bills either."