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PIP descriptors

Matilda
Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
If a claimant can complete a task, say dressing, on their own but it takes them more than twice as long as an able-bodied person, then does this count as the claimant not being able to do the activity at all?
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Comments

  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    The PIP handbook available on the government website details the reliability criteria. You can find the PIP handbook by following this link. The information about reliability is on page 8.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519119/personal-independence-payment-handbook.pdf

    Reliability
    For a descriptor to apply to a claimant they must be able to reliably complete the activity as described in the descriptor. Reliably means whether they can do so:
    safely – in a manner unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity 
    to an acceptable standard  
    repeatedly – as often as is reasonably required, and 
    in a reasonable time period – no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete that activity. 

    The Disability Rights UK Guide to claiming PIP also looks at the reliability criteria and you can find it on page 6 http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/personal-independence-payment-pip

    It doesn't necessarily mean that the claimant will be assessed as not being able to do the activity at all, but the reliability criteria does need to be considered when assessing whether a claimant can carry out the activity and an appropriate score given. 
    These are the descriptors for the dressing and undressing activity and the example you've given above could mean that 6b would be applied but PIP is unique to each individual and how their disability affects them so it's difficult to provide a standard answer. I hope this has been helpful though.

    Dressing and Undressing

    6 a. Can dress and undress unaided. 0 points
    6 b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress. 2 points
    6 c. Needs either - (i) prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or (ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing. 2 points
    6 d. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body. 2 points
    6 e. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body. 4 points
    6 f. Cannot dress or undress at all. 8 points

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks, Debbie.  It's a mystery as to how DWP apply the reliability criteria.  Whether if the person can do it safely, repeatedly and to an acceptable standard but can't do it in a reasonable time they are awarded some points, or, if they are unable to meet one of the four criteria only, but can meet the other three, then they are awarded no points.

    When I claimed DLA I stated that I could complete a variety of activities - but all took me a very long time, and I was awarded DLA, so assume I was assessed as not being to do the activities at all.  I wonder whether or not the DWP will apply the same rules with PIP.
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    The reliability criteria is laid down in the PIP regulations therefore it is a legal requirement and if not applied correctly can be challenged. 

    You might find it useful to look at the PIP assessment guide which provides guidance to healthcare professionals carrying out the assessments. You'll find information on how to apply the reliability criteria starting on page 82. This guide is available on the government website.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/519147/pip-assessment-guide.pdf

    It's also worth keeping an eye on the case law that is building around PIP.
    The DLA case law which has been established over the years is not going to apply to PIP and as PIP is still a relatively new benefit, case law is still emerging. Disability Rights UK lists case law summaries on their website and it can be helpful to keep an eye on these to see how PIP is developing. http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/benefits-information/law-pages/case-law-summaries 

    If you feel that the reliability criteria has not been applied correctly in your assessment you can make a challenge on this basis. The criteria has to be applied within the law.

    Are you currently going through the process for PIP or are you anticipating in advance?

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks, Debbie.

    I've taken a quick look at the guide.  At first glance, it seems to me that HPs have a lot of scope to interpret the guidelines subjectively when applying descriptors, including considerable scope to decide not to award points. However, I understand that 60% of claimants who appeal are successful.  I'll read the guide again in more detail.  I am a member of Disability Rights and read their articles about PIP.

    I have to return my how my disability affects me form to DWP by 18 Sept.  It is evident that the qualifying criteria for PIP awards is much tighter than for DLA.

    Regards

    Matilda
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Debbie

    Have taken a closer look at reliability criteria in the guide.  These do explain more clearly the bases on which points are awarded.  This is very helpful.  Thank you.

    Regards

    Matilda
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi Matilda,

    I'm really glad you found the reliability criteria in the guide helpful. Did you find it gave you extra confidence in answering the questions on the form?

    I hope the process is a smooth one for you and if there's anything you need along the way do let me know.

    All the best
    Debbie :)
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks, Debbie

    The guide clearly states that assessors have to take into account certain criteria one of which is the length of time it takes the applicant to complete an activity.  So, yes, I am confident that if an assessor has not applied due weight to time taken, then I would have grounds for appeal.

    I'll let you know the outcome of my application.

    Thanks again.

    Regards

    Matilda
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Debbie

    I have received a text from DWP stating that they have received my how your disability affects me form, that I may have to have a consultation and if so they'll be in touch again. So have to wait and see what happens next.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Appears that this is a standard text just to acknowledge receipt. Can't tell from the wording whether or not I'll have to have a face to face.

    Matilda
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi @matilda,

    You're right these are standard texts designed to update the claimant on the progress of their claim without the need to ring the contact centre to find out. You may receive more messages along the way as the claim progresses. It's difficult to determine if a face to face assessment will be required. As this is your first claim for PIP, I expect you probably will need an assessment but you never can be sure.

    Keep in touch and let me know how it all goes.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    First claim for PIP but currently on DLA and have to be reassessed.
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Debbie

    Have got a date for my face to face assessment. Atos have authorised me to claim taxi fares.

  • JoanneMontgomery
    JoanneMontgomery Member Posts: 9 Connected
    This is all so help full.  Looks like I'll have to become an expert just to fill the form in?  So scaredy. 
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    It's terrifying how the DWP are making disabled people jump through hoops because the Government are determined to cut disability benefits to save money.

    I am so angry that I am numb, unable to express just how distressed I am.  Especially when I hear stories of unquestionably very disabled people, not just having their benefit amount reduced, but removed altogether.  Though those people are more than likely to win their appeals.  Disability Rights now say that 68% of those who appeal a PIP decision win because tribunal members are far better qualified and more sympathetic than the initial face to face assessors.  But it's still a long and difficult process to go through.  And I suppose that benefits are stopped until the end of the appeal process which will cause hardship for many until such time as their benefits are restored and backdated.

    There is help available to fill in the form.  There is advice on Disability Rights and Citizens Advice Bureau websites, and I think on Scope's website, too.  You can also go to a CAB, or similar help organisations, to help you complete the form.  Good luck!


  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi @Matilda, when is your assessment?

    Here is a link to the PIP Assessment Guidance for providers carrying out the PIP assessments. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/547146/pip-assessment-guide.pdf
    It's worth reading through before your assessment so you know what should happen. If at the assessment the assessor does not carry out the assessment in line with the guidance, you can raise this with them there and then. We've heard many stories of assessments being rushed through and claimants not being given the opportunity to fully explain how their disability affects them. I hope that anyone who has an assessment coming up finds this guidance helpful.

    I wish you all the best for your assessment Matilda and thank you for sharing with us and helping others with where to go for help. It's very much appreciated. :)
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    This is all so help full.  Looks like I'll have to become an expert just to fill the form in?  So scaredy. 
    Hi @JoanneMontgomery,

    I'm really glad to hear that you've found all of this helpful. The best way to prepare for the form filling is learning as much about PIP as you can beforehand. If you can get local help with the forms that would be great but it's not always possible. If you need help finding some local advice for those forms we're happy to help here at the helpline. Disability Rights UK's Guide to making a PIP claim is really very helpful if you can't get help with those forms. http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/personal-independence-payment-pip

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Debbie

    My assessment is on 10 Oct.  Thank you very much for the link to the PIP Assessment Guidance which should be very helpful.

    Regards

    Jennie
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Member Posts: 944 Pioneering
    Hi @Matilda,

    I hope you find it useful and helps you to prepare for your assessment on the 10th.

    I hope it all goes well and I hope to hear back from you soon with what I hope will be a positive decision.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you, Debbie.  I hope for a positive decision, too.  But, from what I have heard about decisions I am expecting the worst, no matter now the assessment goes.  I am preparing myself for the inevitable and for having to go through the appeals process.

    Regards

    Jennie
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,610 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Debbie

    I've read some of the Assessment Guidance.

    It indicates that only a minority should need face to face whereas in practice the majority have to attend face to face.

    Also, in one section the guide states that an assessor should not base their assessment only appearances on assessment day - whereas in a later section assessors are told to observe how the claimant walks, stands, sits, reaches to pick up possessions from the floor, and assess how they can carry out such activities, implying that this gives a true picture of the claimant's 'functional' abilities!

    No wonder so many claimants are successfully able to appeal their decisions.

    Regards

    Matilda

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