How to prepare for a PIP assessment in person, by phone, or by video call

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently announced changes to its guidance for healthcare professionals carrying out Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments across the UK.

The updated guidelines include details on the ability of assessment providers to audio record in-person and phone assessments, as well as changes to the section on covert recording of claimants: no change to video calls, as video calls cannot be record for security and privacy reasons. .

The DWP also confirmed that consent for the evaluation to be audio-recorded must be given before the consultation takes place and the health professional conducting the evaluation must “publish these conditions” and include them in communications sent to claimants prior to consultation. that they attend

If you are invited to attend a PIP review, as part of a new claim or adjudication review, it could be in person, by phone, or by video call.

Successful PIP claimants could receive between £23.70 and £152.15 a week if they are aged 16 or over and have not reached state pension age, which is now 66 for everyone in the UK.

PIP is paid every four weeks, so you could receive between £94.80 and £608.60 to help with extra living costs as a result of your condition.

To help you prepare for your PIP assessment, below is everything you need to know about them, whatever the format.

What is a PIP assessment?

The PIP evaluation is an opportunity for you to talk about how your condition affects you; it is not a diagnosis of your condition or a medical test.

The DWP will consider the evidence from the evaluation in deciding whether to grant you the PIP.

A health professional will conduct your assessment, write a report, and send it to the DWP decision maker.

Talk about how your condition affects you

A helpful guide on the Citizens Advice website says that you should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you, even if you have already outlined it on your PIP evidence form (the PIP2 document).

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This can be hard to do, but it will really help if you can talk about:

  • the kinds of things you have trouble with or can’t do at all, for example, climbing stairs without help or remembering to go to appointments

  • how your condition affects you day to day

  • how is a bad day for you; for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed that I can’t concentrate on anything’

It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your PIP evidence claim form for phone, video, and face-to-face evaluations, that way you, or someone with you, can refer to it.

Be sure to tell the screener everything you want them to know about your condition and don’t tell them about any tricks or workarounds you’ve learned or implemented (without support) to treat your condition, as this may work against you. .

Observations on what you say and do during the evaluation

The adjuster will use the information you provided on your PIP claim form, but will also draw insights from what you say and do that day.

For example, they may ask you how you got to the center for an in-person assessment. If you say you came by bus, they will note that you can travel only by public transport, unless you emphasize otherwise. .

You may also be asked to perform some physical tasks during the face-to-face assessment. Don’t feel like you have to do things you wouldn’t normally be able to do.

If you do them on the day of the test, the tester may think you can always do them, so if you don’t feel comfortable with something, say so.

During the telephone assessment, you may be asked to describe how you complete simple tasks, such as preparing and cooking food, washing and dressing, and how you get around outside the house.

Don’t be too quick to respond, remember they are looking at your claim form and asking the same questions you already answered.

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Pause, reflect and respond

Break down your answer and explain how you complete the tasks step by step to paint an accurate picture of how your disability or health condition affects you.

What may seem like a lengthy process to you will demonstrate exactly how you do things to the tester, so don’t try to speed up or simplify the way you do things.

The evaluator will also take note of your state of mind during the evaluation; for example, she will record whether you look or sound depressed or happy, tense or relaxed, and how you handle social interaction.

Help claiming PIP from DWP

Things to remember during the evaluation

  • Don’t let the evaluator rush you and try not to simply answer “yes” or “no” to their questions.
  • Always try to explain how you would feel after doing something and the impact it can have on you if you had to do it repeatedly in a short period of time.

You can have someone with you while you take the assessment on the phone, on the video call or in person, just remember to put the call on speakerphone and let the assessor know that they are with you.

Bring someone with you to a face-to-face assessment for support

The DWP has published updated guidance on how to attend an assessment, which you can find on the GOV.UK website here.

You can bring someone with you to the actual evaluation if you are 16 years of age or older. It can be whoever makes you feel most comfortable, like a friend, family member, or caregiver. If you wish, they can participate in the discussions and take notes for you.

Before attending an in-person assessment

Check with your testing provider to make sure your testing center has everything you need; if you don’t have it, you can request it. This can help you feel more comfortable throughout the day.

Here are some examples:

  • ask if you will have to take stairs and if there is an elevator that can accommodate a wheelchair if you need one

  • ask how spacious the center is if you get anxious in close quarters – if the rooms or corridors are small tell them this might make you anxious and see what they can offer you

  • request an interpreter or sign language interpreter if you need one; do it at least two business days before your evaluation so they have time to organize it

  • ask that the person doing the screening be the same sex as you, if that is important to you

  • Ask if you can make an audio recording of the evaluation; you should do this three days before your evaluation and ask your provider about the rules for using the recording equipment.

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changing the place

If your in-person assessment location is more than 90 minutes away by public transportation and you have difficulty traveling long distances, you may be offered an alternate location or a home visit.

Again, check out the recently published guide as it includes travel restriction advice for Scotland, England and Wales.

More help available

Citizens Advice and Benefits and Work has regularly updated details available designed to help claimants understand the assessment process.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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