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Advice Changes Lives: “Louise’s” story

"I feel as if a great big heavy burden has lifted and that I can look to the future with some hope and certainty".

Louise applied for Personal Independence Payment in 2021, but she was refused.  She had been attempting to get support to appeal the decision, when she happened upon a report by the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) which talked about the work of Law Centre NI.

How did we help?

After contacting our advice line, Louise explained her situation and asked for support to appeal the decision to refuse PIP.  We agreed to help Louise and our legal adviser Bridget Corr assisted her to obtain the required medical evidence, which supported our submissions that she was entitled to PIP.

What difference did we make?

Suffering from deteriorating health and – coupled with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – Louise had been feeling significant stress and financial hardship.  She was very frightened that she might lose her home.

With assistance from Law Centre NI, this stress and anxiety was eased.  Louise’s relief was clear when she heard that her appeal had been successful.  She was awarded a substantial back payment of arrears and other benefits of nearly £10,000 but, crucially, she also now has the financial protection of a social security benefit that she was entitled to.

In her own words she expresses the impact that our work had on her life.

I cannot ever express my gratitude and thanks sufficiently… To get PIP has already made such a difference to me, my health, my life, in every way…. I feel as if a great big heavy burden has lifted and that I can look to the future with some hope and certainty.  On top of all of this illness, I feel that I had been carrying such a heavy load of debt, no monies and no life whatsoever and felt like a non-person. Thanks to all the help, advice and kindness that I have received this has very much lifted…I can sleep now too and wake feeling rested. Finally.. after all these years.”