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Tips on filling out PIP application form

Tablelamp26 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited February 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
I’ve just received my letter of transfer from DLA to PIP and I’m so nervous about it! I’m looking for few tips about the application


  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,776 Pioneering
    Hi @Tablelamp26 welcome to the community.

    A lot of our members have felt this way, so you're not alone. Please have a read through our Tips for completing your PIP claim form. I hope this helps, if you have any questions. Please let us know.
  • Adam_Alumni
    Adam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 163 Pioneering

    Hi @tablemap26,


    Provide as much evidence as you can. I would also suggest contacting your local Citizens Advice (CAB)

    Our members will also be able to help you further.

    Best of luck and keep us updated.

  • cristobal
    cristobal Community member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger

    First of all I’d recommend getting hold of the PIP descriptors so that you know what you’re applying for….I never seem to post the link properly but search “ DWP PIP Guidance” or similar.

    Next think about which of the descriptors you can’t do, or are unable to do fully. Give some examples. If you need to use an aid say why, and also if you can’t do something why you cannot use an aid.

    I typed these on a separate sheet, and attached them. Put Name and NI number on each sheet.

    Keep a diary. This will be good evidence and can help you be certain in your own mind as to what your limitations are, particularly if it varies from day to day.

    Remember what counts is what happens for the majority of the time e.g. if you can walk xx metres four days per week but couldn’t manage it on the other three you would be classed as being able to walk xx.

  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 Disability Gamechanger
    Posted recently by our esteemed member @Username_removed

    1 - Identify those activities you have any kind of issue with.

    2 - Identify whether the issue is that you can’t do the activity at all; can’t do it reliably, can’t do it repeatedly; can’t do it safely or in a reasonable time. If any one of these apply to an activity then you can’t do it at all and it’s okay to say so. However, as well as ticking the box saying you either can’t do it all need help or aids, remember to say which one(s) of the above apply.

    3 - Have a copy of the PIP points scoring system in front of you. The questions in the form don’t match the points scoring so it’s as well to be aware of this.

    4 - For every activity you think you score points you need to think of 2 or 3 recent examples of incidents when you tried to do that activity. Describe in detail the what, when, where, who witnessed, what happened next etc. Don’t skimp on detail. It’s often better to type it up in Word first rather than write in the form. If it won’t fit then add extra sheets, remembering to put your name, NINO and the question to which the answer relates on each sheet. Alternatively, reduce the font and cut and paste the Word answer into the form. Note that doing point 4 correctly is far more important than supporting medical evidence in most cases.

    5 - Use the extra information section to describe your conditions in detail; the specifics of the symptoms and especially how they interact. 

    Also, if applicable, use it to spell out that you want an ongoing award and explain why e.g. your condition is degenerative, you’ve done all the adapting you’re going to do etc. If you don’t specifically ask for an ongoing award you will almost always get a short one. 

    6 - Assuming your diagnoses are not in question and ditto the prognosis then ask yourself what gap in your evidence does medical evidence fill in terms of points scoring? If you can’t answer that then consider not sending it in. 10 reports all saying the same thing are no better than 1. Volume of evidence, especially medical evidence, doesn’t win you PIP and medical evidence is also not as helpful as your own anecdotes unless you are someone who lacks insight into their own condition e.g. someone with a learning disability or certain mental health conditions. Clarity and focus of evidence wins you PIP. 

    7 - Whilst PIP ask for the form back in 4 weeks they will grant a 2 week extension without question if you ask. However, there is no actual deadline for returning the form in the legislation so that deadline can be extended if reasonable. What could be more reasonable than having a medical condition which slows you down? Ask for an extension as a reasonable adjustment under EA 10 if applicable. 

    8 - By all means get an advice service to do this but if they don’t do most of the above then you’re better off doing it yourself. Welfare rights advisers do not have some magic form of words they use and  their knowledge of the law, guidance or case law only occasionally comes into play at the firm filling stage. No-one especially likes form filling but unless your impairment creates specific difficulties with form filling there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. It’s all about the anecdotal evidence.

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Fitznspatz
    Fitznspatz Community member Posts: 45 Courageous
    edited February 2019
    I am hesitant about adding anything after reading such great advice from Cockney Rebel but I will just add two things. Is there anyone you trust to read through what you have written? A critical friend might pick up inconsistencies, omissions and muddled phrasing. When we read what we ourselves have written it is easy to overlook errors and a second opinion might suggest how to express yourself with greater clarity and impact. Ask the friend to read the explanatory notes that accompany the form and the PIP points scoring system.

    I really do not know if the next thing I am going to suggest is helpful to the PIP assessor but, even if not, it will be helpful to you. When my wife completed her form she constructed a double sided table containing 6 columns: medical condition; date of first diagnosis; hospital/clinic where treated; name of consultant; impact on daily activities; evidence. In the last column was written 1, 2 etc and this referred to the numbered photocopied sheet which contained official confirmation of the condition.

    My wife’s medical history is lengthy and complicated so referring to this sheet in the interview meant she was not flustered when discussion turned to medical history dates. And even if it did not help in the PIP process, just having it to hand, maybe minus the last column, is definitely useful when meeting new medical staff who want a quick resumé of past conditions and operations.

    Keep all your paperwork together in a marked folder and add a note to the top of every sheet summarising what it says. Also keep a record in the folder of dates you sent paperwork, dates and times of phone calls and the name of the person you spoke to.
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