My PIP experience — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

My PIP experience

N_J_12345
N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
edited August 2018 in PIP, DLA, and AA

Hi Everyone,

I'm basically making an account because I was extremely stressed out trying to pre-empt what was going to happen in my PIP assessment but couldn't find much help on the internet.

I wanted to share my experience on what questions I was asked and what movements they asked me to do. Albeit everyone has different disabilities (not all disabilities are physical) but just wanted to share my experience to hopefully put peoples minds at ease and hopefully don't get too worked up about it.

Nick

«1

Comments

  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,945 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @N_J_12345

    Welcome to the community!

    I'm sure many members will gratefully appreciate that! :)

    Ami :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • N_J_12345
    N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected

    Thanks Ami...

    Please see below for my current medical condition, what I expected at my PIP assessment and a run through of what actually happened at my assessment.

    Current Condition

    Just so you are aware of my condition, I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago which long story short ended up leaving me with a collapsed spine (crushed part of it) leaving it permanently damaged and also affecting nerves in mainly my legs.

    What I Expected

    So when I got my PIP assessment letter through the door I instantly thought 'Sh*t what does this mean, does this mean they don't believe I have a disability anymore even though I have been on DLA for the past 6 years?' and I instantly starting looking online to try and pre-empt what the assessment is for, what they ask, what they do, who assesses you etc and for the next 2 weeks and even on the day of my assessment I was completely worried about everything that could happen during & after the assessment... however I found a variety of different experiences, some being 'they were nice a friendly' and quite a lot describing the experience as 'patronizing, embarrassing, shameful they try and catch you out with questions and so on' so I tried to cover all aspects to try and prepare fully because last thing I wanted to do was have what I have my benefits stopped when I fully believe it is something which gives me independence. 

    The day of my assessment

    On the day of my appointment I went with my mum as she knows more about my medical history than I do. My appointment was at 8:30 (even though the centre only opened the doors at 8:35) so I parked in the closest bay possible and used my stick to walk and check in at reception and sit in the waiting room. Ive read online that they strategically do things to test you (Heavy doors, buzzers low so you need to bend down, different types of chairs) but my mum opened the door, the buzzer was shoulder height and the receptionist seemed nice enough, however I didn't notice that some chairs had arms on them and some different. We sat down in the chairs for what seemed like an hour but it was only 10 minutes, my name got called so I walked towards the room (also rear online that the assessor will walk behind you to watch how you walk & judge you plus also leave the door closed to see if you can open it) however the assessor seemed pleasant, walked beside me and even held the doors open for me..

    I sat down in the chair which weren't the comfiest so I was constantly fidgeting, was offered water so all seemed fine..
    Before we started, the assessor asked if we had any questions and my mum asked if she was allowed to prompt me if she thought I wasn't giving a full enough answer she said yes that's fine and I also had a copy of my questionnaire (which I was allowed to look at for reference but I didn't need it)..

    Questions (From what I can remember)

    How did you get here today (Car, bus, taxi)?
    Did you drive?
    Who is this with you?
    What is their name?
    Do you live with them?
    Who do you live with?
    Do you live in a house, flat, bungalow?
    Do you have a dog?
    (I answered 'my partner has a dog as I don't walk him and he's a 10 year old small dog so he just sleeps all day')
    Regarding your previous medical history what operations have you had? (my mu answered)
    You've put in your questionnaire that you get distressed/anxious travelling to unfamiliar places or contacting unfamiliar people, what causes this?
    What are your hobbies?
    What do you enjoy doing?
    Do you ever go out with friends or family?
    Where do you go?
    How do you get there?
    Do you work?
    What do you do?
    Is it office based?
    From your car to office how far in distance is it?
    Then how far is it to your desk?
    When you get dressed, how do you get dressed and tell me how you get dressed including the equipment/aids you may use?
    When you have a wash, how do you was and tell me how you bathe including any equipment/aids you may use?
    Is there a canteen/kitchen? How far is it to walk there?
    *These are most of the questions that I can remember, if I can remember anymore then I will post them*

    Physical Examination

    I was told that if any of the actions I knew were going to hurt me then I can say I cant do them and we move on..

    Was asked to stand up (was allowed to use my stick) and follow the same actions as what the assessor was doing. From what I remember it was just movements with different parts of your body..
    Moving your head -  tilting it side to side, look up, look down, circular motion
    Arms - Arms out in front of you, to your side, back to the front, hands pointing to ceiling then pointing to floor, cross your arms onto your shoulder, then behind your back (one at a time).
    Legs - Stand on one leg, can you squat, legs straight and bend down to touch your toes.
    Then next part I was asked to lie on the bed which she also said 'if you wish you can do it in the seat instead' so I sat back in the chair....
    Legs - Lift them up in front of you (one at a time), under the chair (one at a time) The assessor then held my shin then calf and asked me to push/pull against her.
    Hands - asked to squeeze fingers....

    That's was basically the examination done and was then asked if we wanted to add anything else then that was the end of the whole process and the assessor said 'so that's everything done and now I will write my report up and send this off to the DWP for them to send you a letter with their outcome, and they don't give out lifetime awards like they did with DLA, I think you would be looking at getting re-assessed in maybe 3 years, however my recommendation will be only assessing you maybe after 5 years as its pretty straight forward by looking at your questionnaire, medical evidence & personally that this is something you need'

    So I went home like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and instantly de-stressed about everything.
    Although I am yet to receive an outcome on what I have/haven't been awarded however I am fairly confident that everything went OK and completely over exaggerated the whole scenario of what was going to happen.

    Hopefully this lengthy explanation gives people a full insight as to what may happen in your assessment, however please bear in mind that these questions maybe be tailored to my condition (bad back) which means someone who has a mental illness maybe assessed completely differently...

    Thanks

    Nick



  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @N_J_12345 and a warm welcome to the community! Thank you very much this, I am sure it will help a lot of members!
    Scope

  • susan48
    susan48 Member Posts: 2,221 Disability Gamechanger
    Great post thanks for sharing and Hopefully you’v not long to wait on your award letter 
  • Pin
    Pin Member Posts: 139 Pioneering
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
  • N_J_12345
    N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Pin said:
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
    No not asked to see anything, was told by the assessor that she would write up her report and that then goes off to DWP then I get an outcome in the next 3/4 weeks. Is that not when I see what the assessor has wrote down in her report?
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    N_J_12345 said:
    Pin said:
    Have you asked to see the report yet? I also had what felt like a good assessment and the report was fair. A few contradictions but nothing wrong or major.
    No not asked to see anything, was told by the assessor that she would write up her report and that then goes off to DWP then I get an outcome in the next 3/4 weeks. Is that not when I see what the assessor has wrote down in her report?
    I received the assessor's report with the decision notice.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,451 Disability Gamechanger
    The DWP don't automatically send a copy of the report out to you. If you want to see it then you have to ring DWP and ask for a copy to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision will be because it's rare they go against it.
  • lozzer25
    lozzer25 Member Posts: 89 Courageous
    N_J_12345 said:

    Thanks Ami...

    Please see below for my current medical condition, what I expected at my PIP assessment and a run through of what actually happened at my assessment.

    Current Condition

    Just so you are aware of my condition, I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago which long story short ended up leaving me with a collapsed spine (crushed part of it) leaving it permanently damaged and also affecting nerves in mainly my legs.

    What I Expected

    So when I got my PIP assessment letter through the door I instantly thought 'Sh*t what does this mean, does this mean they don't believe I have a disability anymore even though I have been on DLA for the past 6 years?' and I instantly starting looking online to try and pre-empt what the assessment is for, what they ask, what they do, who assesses you etc and for the next 2 weeks and even on the day of my assessment I was completely worried about everything that could happen during & after the assessment... however I found a variety of different experiences, some being 'they were nice a friendly' and quite a lot describing the experience as 'patronizing, embarrassing, shameful they try and catch you out with questions and so on' so I tried to cover all aspects to try and prepare fully because last thing I wanted to do was have what I have my benefits stopped when I fully believe it is something which gives me independence. 

    The day of my assessment

    On the day of my appointment I went with my mum as she knows more about my medical history than I do. My appointment was at 8:30 (even though the centre only opened the doors at 8:35) so I parked in the closest bay possible and used my stick to walk and check in at reception and sit in the waiting room. Ive read online that they strategically do things to test you (Heavy doors, buzzers low so you need to bend down, different types of chairs) but my mum opened the door, the buzzer was shoulder height and the receptionist seemed nice enough, however I didn't notice that some chairs had arms on them and some different. We sat down in the chairs for what seemed like an hour but it was only 10 minutes, my name got called so I walked towards the room (also rear online that the assessor will walk behind you to watch how you walk & judge you plus also leave the door closed to see if you can open it) however the assessor seemed pleasant, walked beside me and even held the doors open for me..

    I sat down in the chair which weren't the comfiest so I was constantly fidgeting, was offered water so all seemed fine..
    Before we started, the assessor asked if we had any questions and my mum asked if she was allowed to prompt me if she thought I wasn't giving a full enough answer she said yes that's fine and I also had a copy of my questionnaire (which I was allowed to look at for reference but I didn't need it)..

    Questions (From what I can remember)

    How did you get here today (Car, bus, taxi)?
    Did you drive?
    Who is this with you?
    What is their name?
    Do you live with them?
    Who do you live with?
    Do you live in a house, flat, bungalow?
    Do you have a dog?
    (I answered 'my partner has a dog as I don't walk him and he's a 10 year old small dog so he just sleeps all day')
    Regarding your previous medical history what operations have you had? (my mu answered)
    You've put in your questionnaire that you get distressed/anxious travelling to unfamiliar places or contacting unfamiliar people, what causes this?
    What are your hobbies?
    What do you enjoy doing?
    Do you ever go out with friends or family?
    Where do you go?
    How do you get there?
    Do you work?
    What do you do?
    Is it office based?
    From your car to office how far in distance is it?
    Then how far is it to your desk?
    When you get dressed, how do you get dressed and tell me how you get dressed including the equipment/aids you may use?
    When you have a wash, how do you was and tell me how you bathe including any equipment/aids you may use?
    Is there a canteen/kitchen? How far is it to walk there?
    *These are most of the questions that I can remember, if I can remember anymore then I will post them*

    Physical Examination

    I was told that if any of the actions I knew were going to hurt me then I can say I cant do them and we move on..

    Was asked to stand up (was allowed to use my stick) and follow the same actions as what the assessor was doing. From what I remember it was just movements with different parts of your body..
    Moving your head -  tilting it side to side, look up, look down, circular motion
    Arms - Arms out in front of you, to your side, back to the front, hands pointing to ceiling then pointing to floor, cross your arms onto your shoulder, then behind your back (one at a time).
    Legs - Stand on one leg, can you squat, legs straight and bend down to touch your toes.
    Then next part I was asked to lie on the bed which she also said 'if you wish you can do it in the seat instead' so I sat back in the chair....
    Legs - Lift them up in front of you (one at a time), under the chair (one at a time) The assessor then held my shin then calf and asked me to push/pull against her.
    Hands - asked to squeeze fingers....

    That's was basically the examination done and was then asked if we wanted to add anything else then that was the end of the whole process and the assessor said 'so that's everything done and now I will write my report up and send this off to the DWP for them to send you a letter with their outcome, and they don't give out lifetime awards like they did with DLA, I think you would be looking at getting re-assessed in maybe 3 years, however my recommendation will be only assessing you maybe after 5 years as its pretty straight forward by looking at your questionnaire, medical evidence & personally that this is something you need'

    So I went home like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders and instantly de-stressed about everything.
    Although I am yet to receive an outcome on what I have/haven't been awarded however I am fairly confident that everything went OK and completely over exaggerated the whole scenario of what was going to happen.

    Hopefully this lengthy explanation gives people a full insight as to what may happen in your assessment, however please bear in mind that these questions maybe be tailored to my condition (bad back) which means someone who has a mental illness maybe assessed completely differently...

    Thanks

    Nick



    I too had a lovely assessor I was able to perform all she asked but my body went into overdrive which causes me to go boiling hot and my breathing goes haywire my brain doesn't like to do things it's told to do works the opposite way and makes me panic she also offered me some advice even though I am not her patient hope her friendliness is not deception because she seemed really genuine heard they tell lies but all I have told her is the truth 
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    The DWP don't automatically send a copy of the report out to you. If you want to see it then you have to ring DWP and ask for a copy to be sent to you. This will give you some idea what the decision will be because it's rare they go against it.
    As I have said before, I have had three PIP assessments and I received a copy of the assessor's report with each decision letter. Maybe I was lucky.
  • N_J_12345
    N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Got my decision today....
    4 weeks after my PIP assessment. Got 8/12 for daily living & 10/12 for mobility.
    Feeling quite frustrated as on DLA I had the basic care allowance and the enhanced rate for mobility, which means I lose my privilege of using the motability scheme and will have to give my current car back.
    Reading through the points/scores they have given, I feel they have come to their own conclusions and not included/used a lot of what I have said in the assessment.
    Has anyone been through the mandatory appeal stage and if they have had any success?
  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,590 Disability Gamechanger
    I had to go to appeal hearing where my PIP award was increased from standard both components to enhanced both.  Only 20% of MRs succeed but 71% of tribunal appeals do. If you think your current award is safe from reduction it's worth appealing.

    Disability Rights UK site (DR) has a good guide to PIP appeals.
  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    N_J_12345 said:
    Got my decision today....
    4 weeks after my PIP assessment. Got 8/12 for daily living & 10/12 for mobility.
    Feeling quite frustrated as on DLA I had the basic care allowance and the enhanced rate for mobility, which means I lose my privilege of using the motability scheme and will have to give my current car back.
    Reading through the points/scores they have given, I feel they have come to their own conclusions and not included/used a lot of what I have said in the assessment.
    Has anyone been through the mandatory appeal stage and if they have had any success?


    Yes twice out of three assessments. The first two were changed at MR stage from 0 points for Care and Mobility to Enhanced  Care & Mobility.

    For the third reassessment I thought it would be 3rd time lucky. Not at all the DWP said that the first decision stands at 0 points.

    All of this was over a 5 year period.
  • N_J_12345
    N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
  • angel137
    angel137 Member Posts: 51 Courageous
    NJ
    I got my Pip award changed from 0 points  to 8 points for care and mobility at MR stage. Focus on points you think you should have been awarded. You  need to say why you think the decision by the DWP is wrong. They base their decision almost solely on the medical assessment report, but your evidence should be taken into consideration.  
    Remember, safely, reliably, repeatedly, in good time. If you are unable to do this, then you are unable to do that activity. 
    Call the DWP and ask to be sent the medical assessment report. You have a month to request an MR. Make sure you also make the MR request in writing. That way any errors that are made during this process can be challenged. Mail it "signed for" if you can. MR's can take as little as 2 weeks so, ideally, don't instigate the MR until you feel you've got enough time to send in your new evidence. Or, say you don't want them to start the MR process until they have received new evidence you will be sending. That will give you time.
    With me, they made a mistake and did the MR before I had sent in my new evidence and submission. I was able to get that decision put aside because I had put, in writing, that I would be submitting new evidence. 
    Don't get too caught up pointing out all of the errors on the medical  report. Just use them, if necessary, to support why you are disputing the points awarded for certain descriptors. The report cannot be relied upon for accuracy. 
    Supply them with doctor's letters, letters from carers, family, friends, HCP, if it helps to support the disputed points. I didn't provide enough evidence in the first instance. That was one of the reasons why I got 0 points, but mainly it was because of the flawed medical assessment report.
    Phew! That's a lot of info. My head hurts. Haha. Just take it one step at a time. There are some good guides on disability sites and places like "benefits and work" website. 
    Good luck. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,451 Disability Gamechanger
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. Good luck. 
  • N_J_12345
    N_J_12345 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. Good luck. 
    Hi,
    I wasn’t really stating that it should automatically qualify me for the enhanced rate but it more for me to say if they’ve got something simple like that wrong who says they haven’t got other things wrong?
    And the walking distance I just don’t see their logic in now potentially leaving me to walk a distance that I’m incapable of doing but I fully understand what you mean as I didn’t really ellaborate during the face to face consultation as to how much it actually affects me.



  • Yadnad
    Yadnad Posts: 2,856 Connected
    N_J_12345 said:
    Thanks for the replies...
    i just feel more annoyed reading the comments even things like ‘you use a walking stick in your right hand’ well no actually I only ever use it in my left hand, they comment on my ability to only walk no more than 50m yet are now expecting me to walk 500m to wait for a bus, sit/stand on an overcrowded bus for over an hour to get to work (maybe 2 buses - not sure) when it takes me 10 minutes in a car or I would have to rely on taxis or friends/family to transport me which completely defeats the whole INDEPENDENCE that the whole benefit is suppose to aid. 
    All those reasons you state here won't get you the Enhanced mobility award. Claiming you lost your independence too won't get you that award. You need to concentrate on how far you can walk, do you experience pain when you walk, if you do how far can you walk before you experience pain and discomfort? Do you get out of breath when you walk because of your condition? Also think about whether you can do it regularly, reliably and without pain and discomfort. Know one knows how your conditions affect you only yourself, which is why it's difficult to advise here. 

    Try to get some further help from a local disability advice centre if possible. Good luck. 
    Agreed get help with this one.
    The problem I see is having enough evidence to swing the award your way.
    Problems with walking is extremely difficult to prove
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,451 Disability Gamechanger
    Telling them exactly how your conditions affects you is what the form is for. 
  • Pin
    Pin Member Posts: 139 Pioneering
    Sorry the result wasn’t what you were hoping for. Because you’ve been on dla there’s a scheme with notability where they pay you a sum when you leave. From memory if you do it straight away it’s 2k but someone else will know and it’s on their website.

    I know it’s frustrating, but don’t focus on losing your independence or car for the appeal. Poppy has given you some great Advice.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.