Couldn’t find any previous threads on the forum for this topic.
Many of my clients have various addiction, drug and alcohol related issues, and I am curious about their impact on a PIP claim. I’m aware that dependency and its effects alone are not normally counted for PIP.
This is in relation to making claims and appeals at the moment, so would appreciate your input.
1) Non-prescription drugs, such as opiods and marijuana, to manage pain.
One of my clients is already on high level prescribed painkillers, but still finds the pain (and distraction it causes) unbearable without self-medicating on top of those. His issues are severe, but I’m not sure how they fit with descriptors, could I for instance argue that:
a) DWP/HMCTS should consider his ability to carry out activities as if he was not taking drugs, as they are not normally available, or
b) That he can’t carry out the relevant activity safely or to an acceptable standard, because it depends on taking drugs associated with negative health consequences.
In both scenarios I encounter issues, as I can’t present a ‘sober’ client – for obvious reasons I can’t ask a client to sober up for a tribunal. I have no doubt that an award would be made if the client was sober – I doubt he’d be able to even make it through the door.
He could theoretically be prescribed stronger medication – but the side-effects are significant.
2) Similarly – relying on drugs for social interactions – calming anxiety etc.
3) Can a methadone program be counted under 3(b)(ii) – supervision to manage medication, for:
a) A client who states liable to deliberately overdose if given enough
b) A client who would be perfectly safe with a month’s supply (dispensing would still be regulated – by law).
4) Alcohol dependency and budgeting – spends all money on drinks = can’t budget for essentials – 10(b)?
In some of these cases there would be supporting evidence that the clients have either sought treatment or are self-medicating and why. In others it’s not been something they’ve wanted to discuss with their health professionals.