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Pip assessments

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
We are still waiting for the forms to arrive. If my wife needed an assessment how do we apply for home assessments and what would they ask her to do at the f2f?  

When she did the pip1 form on the phone she gave them permission to look at her original DLA claim, her doctors note and  permission to contact her GP. 


  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    For a start it is highly unlikely that they will spend time getting the old DLA file. Secondly again it is highly unlikely that they will contact anyone for information.
    I don't agree with that at all, but it seems that it is the way things are done.
    For all intents and purposes I don't even see the relevance of the DWP asking who they could contact.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 943 Pioneering
    Hi @andyjd To get a home assessment, you'll need a letter from her GP stating that she cannot travel to an assessment centre because (agoraphobia/complete mobility impairment/whatever). It has to be a very good reason, and even then they may not listen. If this is the case, contact the CAB, Welfare Rights, or your MP. 

    The f2f is basically an interview in which the assessor asks many of the same questions as the form (stupid, I know). They'll also do:
    - a "physical examination" (asking her to stand on each leg, put her arms above her head, etc.) They'll do this even if her problems are completely mental or intellectual - it's dumb. If she's in so much pain or is so fatigued or breathless that she usually wouldn't do what they ask her to do, she should say so.

    - a "mental state examination" (actually only a part of what a real Dr would do to assess mental state). They'll do things like: tell you 3 words, ask you to remember them, then ask you to list them later; ask you to calculate change from £1; spell "world" backward. They'll also use their observations to judge your mental state. This includes things like: your clothing (clean? Appropriate to the weather?); cleanliness (have you bathed recently? Are your hair and teeth brushed?); your responsiveness (do you look them in the eye? Speak at a normal speed and volume? Need prompting to give answers!); do you seem confused? Their opinions are given way too much weight.

    - Depending on what her conditions are, they may do a simple eye test, measure her breathing, etc.

    - They're supposed to ask her for a summary of her typical day (I wake up, I take meds and lie in bed in pain until the meds kick in, I need my husband to help me to get out of bed, I walk slowly to the bathroom...) etc. If she doesn't really have a typical day because her condition(s) fluctuate, he should ask (or she should tell him!) what a good/average/bad day is like and how many good/avg/bad days she has in a week or weeks in a month or months in a year. In order to score points for a descriptor, she must meet the descriptor for at least 50% of the days/weeks/months. In order for a day to count, she must meet the descriptor for some of the day. 10 minutes? No. 1.5 hours? Yes. 

    - The assessor will try to trip her up. He'll drop a pen on the floor to see if she bends down to pick it up (if she does and her condition is back pain, he'll probably decide against her). He'll watch her walk from the car to the door and assess how well she walks. As soon as you arrive at the assessment centre the assessment has basically started. 

    - He'll try to get her to contradict herself by asking her the same thing in different ways. 

    The assessor may be polite, nice, abrupt, slightly hostile - you never know. 

    Remember that very few of them are doctors. She may be assessed by a physio, a dental nurse, etc., and although the DWP says it's all fine because they're trained, they may not know much (or anything) about her conditions. If that's the case, make sure that she tells them. "Because of my chronic pain, as well as the opioid painkillers I take for it, I am often forgetful, confused, and drowsy."

    Many people find the assessmemt to be stressful, but not awful. Some find it extremely stressful. 

    I'd get a guide to filling out the form if I were you (I used benefitsandwork, which costs £20 for a year's membership, and it was well worth it!!). Then make notes about the important things the assessor needs to know and make sure you tell them those things at the assessmemt. 

    Good luck!!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
    Her stroke has affected her mobility but her Osteoarthritis and arthritis has made made it worse. She gets very flustered with numeracy and literacy. You summed up her daily life above @Waylay.

    I have have to dress her,  walk her to the bathroom, bathe her and cook. Even need to supervise her when she eats or cut her food up. 

    She's got 2 doctors appointment coming up and will mention that she is being transferred to pip and can you supply evidence and letter for a home assessment.  

    Would I need to answer the questions if my wife gets flustered or goes in a daze?  

    She can't always remember what she had for dinner the night before. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
    @Waylay. There is no good days if she walks 20 metres or so she cries in pain. 
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 943 Pioneering
    @andyjd Wow, what a coincidence! I had no idea. I'm s11orry that she (and you!) is going through all that, but glad that she has such a devoted husband. 

    The form is complicated, and sometimes common words don't mean what you think they do. There are lots of weird little rules, too.  I'd get help or a guide, if I were you. 

    The 50% rule is very important, as is the reliability rule: if she can't do something at a reasonable speed, to a reasonable standard, safely, and as often as necessary, then for the form and assessmemt, she can't do it. 

    Give examples. If she tried to eat on her own 5 weeks ago and ended up cutting herself with the knife, tell them.

    The assessors want to hear from her, but the guidance says that they should also listen to you (especially since you care for her). If she becomes unable to answer, you can prompt her, help her - whatever you would usually do. If she still can't answer, or if she's not telling the assessor how bad it really is (out of embarrassment), then you should speak up. Guidance says that the assessors can get info from you, but many of them don't know the guidance, and will tell you different. 

    Don't **** off the assessor (obvious, I know), don't refuse to answer, and don't leave until it's done. They'll almost certainly say that she failed to complete the assessment and close her file (bye-bye benefit).

    Hope I'm making sense and have answered everything! On a boatload of opioids over here. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
    That's great advice.  She can't cook due to mobility and would do herself some serious harm if she did. And she would also forget if she put something in the oven due to short term memory loss. 

    If she did f2f I do my best to get her to explain things to assessor. When the forms come I try get f2f face advice with local CAB and I write a letter of my duties and will match each paragraph with the questions on the Pip2 form.  Would that be sufficient?  
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 943 Pioneering
    Sounds good! Also copy the forms, so when the f2f assessment comes, she can just read from the right section.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    Waylay said:
    Don't **** off the assessor (obvious, I know), don't refuse to answer, and don't leave until it's done. They'll almost certainly say that she failed to complete the assessment and close her file (bye-bye benefit). 
    I agree that refusing to answer and leaving the assessment before it is finished is a certain way of having the claim closed down on the basis of non co-operation.
    However winding up the assessor is permissible (although not advisable). If the assessor has an attitude with you then there are many ways that you could retaliate without running the risk of having the claim closed.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
    @Waylay I have heard that if you pets the assessor's pick up on that. Yes we have pets but I have had them before I met my wife. What should I do?  
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 943 Pioneering
    They do. They seem to think that feeding your pets indicates that you're fit for work. Personally, I just ask other people to do it if they notice that I haven't - the cats let them know!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 39 Listener
    If the assessor sees the cats and rabbit. How should I explain it to them?  My wife can barely feed them as it's crouching down. And ring pulls are tricky for her due to osteoarthritis in her fingers.
  • L3onaL3ona Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi please can help me me and my partner split up a few months back Im on the high mobility as I got a car through them now we have split up I claimed for was then had to go for it a ESA assessment to which this come back now I'm fit for work which I am not but they did not listen to me would they stop my disability Now and take the car back off me thanks
  • Jaytbm1Jaytbm1 Member Posts: 72 Pioneering
    L3ona you should appeal the decision, get as much evidence as you can from your Doctors/ specialists . Maybe go to the CAB for help . I really hope you get your benefits sorted out . 
  • Tigermoth42Tigermoth42 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    Hi @ L3ona. I assume you’ve just had your assessment for ESA. They can’t take your DLA/PIP away from you, many people do work when in receipt of disability benefit. The only thing that would change in respect of your ESA is that you would lose the extra money for being in the support group and any severe disability premium. As @Jaytbm1 says, you should appeal the assessment, can you get a letter of support from your gp?
  • L3onaL3ona Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi @Tigermoth42 I'm on the highest of mobility have been for 3 years but only recently been on ESA so I had my assessment to witch they said now I'm fit for work but clearly I ain't I'm on the highest dose of all painkillers the doctor can give me I just don't know what to do anymore
  • Tigermoth42Tigermoth42 Member Posts: 242 Pioneering
    Hi @L3ona, you must appeal my lovely, do you think your gp would write a letter of support? The first step is to request a Mandatory Reconsideration. This you can do by first phoning to say you want a Mandatory Reconsideration and why and request a copy of the assessors report. I would then send a letter, by recorded delivery, confirming that you want the MR, again stating why you disagree with their decision and that you’ve requested a copy of the report and that you’ll write again once you have it. Once the report arrives, you can then send another letter going into more detail where you think the report is wrong, and I’d also include any documentation you might have that supports your claim i.e. letters from specialists, doctors etc. If I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask. Sending you hugs, it’s just so horrible that those most in need are being put through this nightmare x
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