PIP assessment and evidence questions — Scope | Disability forum
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PIP assessment and evidence questions

Jimm_Scope
Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
Oh, hello. Touch odd being on the other side of things. I've a bunch of non-urgent questions about PIP.

So, I have a telephone assessment with Independent Assessment Services in 2 weeks time. Not sure if it's better, worse or the same as capita. Now, for a face-to-face assessment it says to bring new evidence to the assessment. But, for a telephone assessment I can't exactly wave a piece of paper by the phone. Should I just be sending this straight to the DWP for the decision maker?

Also one of the pieces of evidence is a diary I have kept to keep track of what issues I have and how often. I have kept it on a spreadsheet on my computer though, I assume the DWP has yet to discover the internet and I'm going to have to print this all off aren't I?

Oh dear another question popped in my head, it's a telephone assessment. The assessment guidelines says it will take into account how your mood/mental state at the time of appointment is. While I dislike talking on the phone quite a bit I have a phone-voice from years of working in a call centre, I suppose I should really try to avoid using it to give a proper reflection of how I'm doing right?

Finally, I don't know if I was to request an audio recording, but if I do not am I fine to sit and take notes on my computer while the assessment is ongoing? I only ask because I have a rather loud mechanical keyboard (I am a gamer) and if that will put-off the assessor or cause any other issues.

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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Comments

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,013 Disability Gamechanger
    If it helps with your third question, I find it hard using the phone but I managed to act quite "normally" for the duration of the phone call, actually would be hard pressed to know I had issues, this was not used against me, I still scored points for social interaction descriptor!

    Good luck with the assessment and I am sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly to answer your queries fully!!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,133 Disability Gamechanger
    I've never been assessed by Capita, only IAS but they are all pretty much the same to be honest, just different names :D

    For the extra evidence, i'd advise you to send it to IAS, rather than DWP because they are the ones dealing with your assessment at the moment, not DWP. You can contact them here. https://www.mypipassessment.co.uk/contact-us/#our-contact-details-1105 The number to ring is ..

    North of England & Scotland: 0800 188 4880

    South of England: 0800 188 4881

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm.

     When you contact them ask them if you can have an email address to send the evidence to and they should hopefully be able to give you one. Please remember to put your name and NI number on everything you send.

    With the telephone assessment, i think you should just be yourself, rather than try to be someone you're not. (if you get my meaning) Yes, sometimes it can go against someone when they say something like "they seemed perfectly fine during the assessment, with no anxiety issues" but remember, we only ever hear the bad stories. A lot of people have no issues with those assessments, whether it's phone or face to face.

    You can take notes at anytime during the assessment. The assessor is also likely going to be typing a lot during the assessment so you'll be in tune with each other  :D:D haha, sorry i couldn't resist.

    You can even prepare some notes before the assessment. Some people find this does help them somewhat. Personally, i just find it's more of a distraction lol. 

    You can ask them to record it for you but you'll need to ring to ask them before the assessment. At the end they should send you a link via email for a copy of the recording. You can also record it yourself through a phone or any other recording device you have. You should tell them that you're recording it.

    Make sure you try to avoid answering any questions with just a yes or no. Try to give as much detail as possible. Those yes and no answers are open to all sorts of opinions from the HCP.

    Good luck and fingers crossed for a successful outcome. Please do share that outcome once you receive it, if that's ok with you.



    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    edited September 2023
    I really appreciate the advice guys. I'll try to tap on my keyboard along to the assessor :P

    I'll give IAS a call, I had to call up to change the first appointment and I could've sworn she mentioned to not send them evidence. However, I wasn't focusing on that at the time which is why I asked here.

    I think I've read enough here to at least know about the "yes" and "no" avoidance. It leaves out all the nuance that comes with many conditions. 

    I had a PIP assessment before and I remember some of the questions, I was very physically ill with my crohn's at the time. I remember being asked if I could walk down the length of an entire supermarket aisle. I remember just saying yes, without mentioning that at the time I'd need to be putting most of my weight on the shopping cart and taking a break at the end of every aisle. And after the brief shop I'd be done for the rest of the day I was that physically ill.

    But that was all condensed down into "can walk a lot".
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Triby5467
    Triby5467 Community member Posts: 25 Connected
    Hey guys are you able to email evidence if need to send more? Ive found further evidence of my several. Diagnosis medical notes and am due an assessment anytime
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,133 Disability Gamechanger
    Triby5467 said:
    Hey guys are you able to email evidence if need to send more? Ive found further evidence of my several. Diagnosis medical notes and am due an assessment anytime

    You will need to post it to DWP if your file hasn't been sent to the health assessment providers. If it has been sent to them then you will need to send it to them. You can ring PIP to ask if your file has been forwarded to them yet.

    I see from another thread that this is a review for you. I just want to make sure you're aware that even though your PIP is due to end soon, this doesn't mean you'll have your assessment soon. Your PIP award will continue until a decision is made on the review.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Triby5467
    Triby5467 Community member Posts: 25 Connected
    Poppy yes i know i wont have it soon just asking in advance
  • Triby5467
    Triby5467 Community member Posts: 25 Connected
    Just printed off and prepped my med notes i hadnt sent in. Gunna post later
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    Had my assessment, seemed to go well! I think he got everything down, my partner was very helpful. I even remembered I had written notes halfway through the process.

    While I am 100% certain I could find this out with brief looking, indulge me answering a question as it's not often I get to ask one :p How do I request the assessors report? I'd like to read it as I will feel less anxiety about it when I know what's written in it, even if it's not good.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,133 Disability Gamechanger
    Glad to hear it went ok. For the report you need to ring PIP but you need to wait until it’s been returned.

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

    Telephone: 0800 121 4433
    Textphone: 0800 121 4493
    Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4433 
    British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet 
    Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    Thanks Poppy, I was hoping it was something other than calling them. Not sure what I really expected with PIP!
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • bobby123
    bobby123 Community member Posts: 180 Courageous
    Had my assessment, seemed to go well! I think he got everything down, my partner was very helpful. I even remembered I had written notes halfway through the process.

    While I am 100% certain I could find this out with brief looking, indulge me answering a question as it's not often I get to ask one :p How do I request the assessors report? I'd like to read it as I will feel less anxiety about it when I know what's written in it, even if it's not good.
    What questions do they ask is it just the review form questions or are there extra questions
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    They don't ask the questions as written on the form. This is an initial application for me (my 2018 decision was a no) not a review, just so you know. 

    He asked questions like, how often am I incontinent. How often am I bed-bound. How far is it to the nearest bus station (we don't have a car so I rely on public transport), and how long does it take me to do that walk. How often do I have to rest? What is it like on my best days, what is it like on my worst days. Do I deal with my own finances at all. And so on. 

    As you can see, some of them are very similar as written in the form, some are an applied version of the question. I felt like I wasn't rushed, it took just over an hour, quite a good assessment from IAS.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,133 Disability Gamechanger
    bobby123 said:
    Had my assessment, seemed to go well! I think he got everything down, my partner was very helpful. I even remembered I had written notes halfway through the process.

    While I am 100% certain I could find this out with brief looking, indulge me answering a question as it's not often I get to ask one :p How do I request the assessors report? I'd like to read it as I will feel less anxiety about it when I know what's written in it, even if it's not good.
    What questions do they ask is it just the review form questions or are there extra questions

    There's no difference in the assessment whether it's a review or a first time claim. They still have a standard set of questions to go through as well as any additional questions they have.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Leigh14
    Leigh14 Community member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    Well done @Jimm_Scope on getting through your assessment. I was a bag of nerves when I had my 1st one two years ago. 
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    edited November 2023
    Oooh, so I got my decision.

    I got 0 points for everything.


    Here is the decision as follows

    I made my decision using information about your health condition or disability including details of any treatment, medication, test results and symptoms. This information is the best available and enough to decide how much help you need. You said you can manage reading and understanding signs, symbols and words. I agree you can manage this activity. You said you have difficulties preparing food, taking nutrition, managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, washing and bathing, managing toilet needs or incontinence, dressing and undressing, communicating verbally, engaging with other people face to face and making budgeting decisions. I decided you can prepare and cook a simple meal for one person unaided, eat and drink unaided, either manage medication or therapy or monitor your health condition unaided, or you do not need to, wash and bathe unaided, manage your toilet needs or incontinence unaided, dress and undress unaided, express and understand verbal information unaided, engage with other people unaided and make complex budgeting decisions unaided. You said you have difficulty planning and following journeys. I decided you can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. You said you also have difficult moving around. I decided you can stand and then move more than 200 metres.

    You reported during your assessment you are not currently prescribed any pain relief  and there have been no recent changes made to your mental health medication, indicating stability. There is no specialist input present for your mental health and there is minimal input for your Crohns. You are currently working indicating motivation. There is no evidence of a cognitive, learning or intelligent impairment. You attended a mainstream school without support. You have not been diagnosed with a neurological disorder. You reported you are eating daily without prompting. There is no dietary input present. You have good insight into your medical condition. You have adequate memory. You reported better days are the majority of days. You have not reported any incontinence issues. Your speech was normal in tone, rate volume and pace. You did not appear or sound anxious. You engaged well with the assessor. You did not require any prompting. There is no evidence of overwhelming psychological distress. You reported you can walk for 15 minutes and there is no evidence to support a restriction of less than 200 metres noted. I have considered what your needs are on the majority of days.


    Well, let's break this down a little to help me respond in my MR.  I never expected to get mobility really, the days I am bad enough that I struggle to physically get around are a minority of days.

    Just to clarify, when I say "I need to be prompted" I usually do get prompted because my partner is amazing and understands what I need support on.

    Preparing food - I can often leave devices on, requiring supervision at the end of preparing a meal due to safety concerns. Also, motivation in preparing a meal is a common issue.

    eating and drinking - I need to be prompted to remember to eat and drink every single day. I know I informed the assessor this, my partner was there and she is the person who has to prompt me.

    Managing your treatments - Again, I need to prompted more than 50% of the time. Forgetting my ADHD meds means I struggle to complete many other tasks as motivation just doesn't happen.

    washing and bathing - I need to be prompted to shower, I even joked with the assessor on the day that it had been more than 5 days since I had actually showered (yes, ew, I don't like it but I forget to do it) and I need to be prompted about it.

    managing your toilet needs - my crohns is now in a place where, while during flares I can have major issues, they are a minority of days. So I'll accept not receiving any points here.

    dress and undressing - I need to be prompted to put on new clothes, often re-using old clothes.

    Communicating - Where they talk about how I engaged well with the assessor, I actually clarified with the assessor I find over the phone much, much easier than in person. In my early 20s I worked in call centres and developed some confidence on the phone that I just do not have in person. The anxiety in-person can mean I struggle to communicate.

    Mixing with other people - The above again, over the phone and online I am fine. In person is a whole other matter. I usually need my partner with me. When I visit family events there's an unspoken agreement with my parents that I can retreat to their room for a break. This was all told to the assessor.

    Making budgeting decisions - the one I am most baffled about. Because when asked I was very straight up about it "My partner makes all my budgeting decisions". I get very, very anxious about budgeting to the point where I will not do it. So my partner does it. Still scored 0 though.


    I am asking for the assessment report on Monday (should've done it before really). Me and partner will sit down and write out the MR.

    Also, is ADHD not a neurological issue? I thought it was under that umbrella term. Apparently I don't have it! Wonder how I got prescribed controlled medication then.

    Also, I did give them contact info for my therapist, odd that they say I gave no information about my mental health. Guess I'll have to have her write a letter!
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,133 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m sorry to hear this. First things first, you do not need the assessment report to request the MR. Having a copy of this only causes a distraction to what you should do at this stage. 

    Concentrating wholly on the report will not get you a PIP award. There’s lots of people here that can advise and support you going forward.

    For the MR you need to put this in writing stating where and why you think you should have scored those points. Telling them you can do something or you need assistance/support isn’t enough. You need to tell them why you can’t complete that activity. 

    If this was a review when you filled out the form did you just write “no change “ if there were no changes, or did you give as much relevant information as possible? 

    If you didn’t give a couple of real world incidents for each descriptor that applies to you then you should do that now. Include detailed information such as where you were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were. You should aim for at least half an A4 side of paper per descriptor that applies to you. 

    If you have any questions please do ask and I’m sure someone will help you. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Triby5467
    Triby5467 Community member Posts: 25 Connected
    Jim ive got adhd and i heard its a neuro disorder
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,858 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2023
    I'm sorry Jimm, &, as I'm sure you know, many 'cut & paste' responses are used in both the assessor's report, & by the decision maker, which often bear little reality as to the difficulties you face.
    I'd agree to just put to once side anything where you know yourself problems would only happen the minority of the days, & concentrate on the others, where you are affected on the majority of days.
    I do feel that where it's been emphasized that you're good on the phone is wrong, especially with the descriptor about engaging with others face to face, as that's in real life, not using a phone.
    Saying that you 'usually' need to be prompted, or 'often' leave devices on, doesn't indicate if this happens on the majority of days, or not.
    Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition is a hard one to get more than 1 point, an almost pointless point, unless you can get another odd point elsewhere.
    I hesitate to ask, but did you try & give a couple of detailed responses for each applicable descriptor, i.e. when exactly did this happen, where, why, did anyone witness it, & were there any consequences to attempting/doing an activity? I also hope you took the concept of 'reliability' onboard, as you only mention 'safety.'
    You really don't need the assessor's report; just go off your decision letter, which will have repeated much of the assessor's recommendations anyway by the sound of it.
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,018 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm so sorry @jimm_scope you know we will support you! <3
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm going to write up the MR over the next week, making sure I go into detail and take my time with it.

    For reference, I did include a few real-life situations where I was left far worse off without support. I'm most surprised I scored 0 for finances/budgeting. I informed them that I do not make budgeting decisions, budgeting gives me far too much anxiety. I received a CCJ in the past due to my inability to budget well and when I've been left to budget for myself the act of it makes me so anxious that I avoid doing it. Meaning I often fall into overdraft or get hit with fees/charges making the situation even worse. So my partner does all my budgeting for me now. She sits down with me and she takes me through it, but she makes all the decisions (with my consent of course, in case anyone is concerned).

    I'm still going to ask for the report out of morbid curiosity. I understand it could be a distraction but consider DWP posting times I should be done with the MR by the time I get it.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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    Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.

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