I was crying and walked into a wall but assessors just keep filling out their forms
Mother-of-two Jamila Shaikh, 59, said she broke down in tears during a “distressing” assessment process.
The test left her so stressed she walked into a wall and was almost knocked out.
Mrs Shaikh, who works as a community development officer, has cone dystrophy, an inherited ocular disorder which leads to blindness.
“I was registered blind 15 years ago,” said Mrs Shaikh, who lives in Glasgow’s west end. “It was apparently a faulty gene.”
Mr Shaikh’s husband, Usman, and their two daughters offered to accompany her to the appointment to be assessed for PIP, but she insisted on going alone.
She said: “I went into the building in Glasgow with a white cane but people were not very understanding. They gave me directions to the assessors but I was like, ‘ok, but how do I get there’.
“At that time, I could just about work out shadows and shapes. I managed to follow the assessor into a room.
“They did not put their hand out to assist me. They just watched me because they think you’re trying it on. Straight away I explained that I’m registered blind but they wanted to do all these ridiculous tests. They kept asking me if I could see letters on a chart on the wall. I said I couldn’t even see the chart.
“Then they asked how many fingers they were holding up. I could only see a shadow. How am I supposed to work out how many fingers they are holding up?
“Then they had me walk about. They told me to walk across to a wall. They asked me if I could dress myself.
“I started crying because it was so degrading. I am a vulnerable person and there was no friendliness. It was just a tick box exercise. They were very cold.
“I was so upset I became stressed out and disorientated and I bumped into the wall. I was stunned and I had a bump on my head which came out straight away. “One of the people in reception came to help but the assessor just got on with their paperwork. “When I got home I told my husband and he was totally shocked. He felt bad that he didn’t come with me but
I wanted to be independent and insisted on going on my own.” Mrs Shaikh was awarded PIP but she criticised the system which left her in tears.
“I didn’t expect them to be so cold,” she said.