PIP face to face assessment

PIP face-to-face assessment

PIP face-to-face assessment

Finally Wednesday 1 August has arrived, it’s my PIP face to face assessment. I had not slept well the previous night. Stress and worry were not the only reasons, that irascible little friend MS was in the mix. I just could not get out of bed as early as usual. In fact it was a couple of hours later than normal. I took 2 Ibuprofen and 2 Paracetamol, they helped me back on the road.

Answers must show

After reading forums and speaking to other people every answer to any PIP question must show reliability to do the task in an acceptable manner. Also can the task be completed safely and repeatedly?

Getting ready

The Wife and I read the statements I had submitted on the PIP benefits form and we checked all the other paperwork. Made sure we knew where to go, though I had checked the place out a week before. She put the postcode into the satnav and off we went. We were both quite tense, did not know what to expect. At least we arrived in plenty of time for the 3 o’clock appointment.

At 3 a woman came through the door and called out my name. She led both of us through to her barren office .Two chairs for us, a computer on a desk and a chair for the interviewer.

The interview

The interviewer obviously had a pre-set series of questions to ask me. They were very similar to the questions on the PIP form. We had our answers to the PIP form and we frequently referred to them. The Wife was a real hero.

I think there were only two trick questions.

She asked “How often you go for your annual eye test?”

“Once a year”,  stupid question I thought.

“Do you mean every three months or every six months”?

“No, once a year”

The other strange question, she asked me about washing. I said I sit on the shower stool in the wet room when I had a shower. She already knew I had difficulty standing up. Then she says “Do you use a sponge on the end of a stick to wash your lower body”?

“No I have a shower stool to sit on when I have a shower”. Another odd question I thought

“Oh”, she said and continued typing.

Physical Ability

She wanted to know if I could touch the tip of each finger with my thumb and make a circle with my index finger and thumb. My double vision problems confused her when it came to the sight test. I demonstrated how my eyes move independently when I look to the left or the right.

“Can’t the optician help?” she ventured

“Its too serious for prisms” I replied.

I declined the offer to demonstrate if I could stand on my toes cos I knew I would end up a crumpled heap on the floor.

PIP face-to-face assessment

She said “I would hear the result from the DWP within 6 weeks”.

I left the room feeling as if I knew her no better than at the beginning. She did not try to engage in conversation. I suppose her job is to ask everyone the same questions and record each person’s answers. I might just as well have been talking to a robot or dictation machine for all the interaction that took place.

In a week’s time I will phone up the DWP and ask for a copy of the report.

Associated reports

https://www.aid4disabled.com/department-for-work-and-pensions-invite-me-to-a-meeting/Department for Work and Pensions invite me to a meeting






Paying people who receive benefits






August 2018


25 responses to “PIP face to face assessment”

  1. Selina Boyce says:

    I consider “The Wife” to be a term of endearment, tongue in cheek and a small rebellion against all the pc nonsense we encounter. Carry on rebelling!

  2. Kathleen says:

    I didn’t apply. I’d had a higher level DLA because of mobility issues, but when I did the Benefits and Work (the charity) PIP self-assessment questionnaire as a try-out to see where I would fit on new criteria, I scored nought! Nuls points! As I needed 17 points to get Higher Level PIP and 12 to get Lower I couldn’t see the point of putting myself through it all, knowing it would impact on the MS. The reason I stay pretty much OK (that is if you don’t count the falls causing: broken left arm; broken right arm; two snapped finger tendons; sprained ankle; snapped Achilles tendon; damaged knee; disc surgery) is the money I spend on exercise, diet and living well. As the GP said to me ironically, ‘you’re just not disabled enough!’. The fact that the DLA money made the improvements possible is, of course, not the point……..

    • Hello Kathleen,

      Hello Kathleen,

      I know this will not be easy. Take a long hard look at your self and your problems, remember the worst scenario, then think again.

      I think you are doing yourself a serious injustice. Talk to a friend/partner/family member and and then answer questions using a Word document then go and see someone from CAB with your answers. Remember to write about the worst scenario, that is never easy.

      Sounds like you cannot walk repeatedly, reliably and safely

  3. If it’s any help it is the same here in Australia. Along with the delusion (?) I can make any difference with my IT skills making me more about equal in the online combat

  4. Olive Riddler PA John W A Riddler says:

    What I can’t understand is why do the DWP get away with treating honestly disabled/ill/mentally disabled people like that. Why does the governments conservative/labour/libdem/UKIP etc not stand up for all these people. I read with disgust each day about people not being able to feed themselves nor ever buy anything nourishing at all. Why are there no rebellions against this – because this is why – a lot of the conservative voters want to see disabled people lose their benefits they think most of them could work if they weren’t so lazy. They don’t think of lives disabled people lead struggling to get out of their beds do what they have to do every day s disabled person’s life is harder than another able bodied person. They don’t care they (mostly conservative) class everyone the same if on benefits. I just can’t understand why we do not support genuine people who need benefits. This government has thought of nothing except BREXIT and everything else can go to pot. Everything else is going to pot. They don’t care because they are fine themselves – private healthcare etc.. What kind of people are the ones in government that they need to target the disabled and people in need. I will never vote conservative (nor SNP) ever. They can’t see benefits for a disabled person doesn’t let them live a life of luxury. They make me sick.

    • Hello Olive and John,

      I too have thought about the way people perceive the physically and mentally disabled. The underlying problem is that if you have a disability you cannot do what other people take for granted. This is especially the case with a progressive disability. I agree, it is tragic that this slice of society is ignored. I believe the reason for this is that we are seen as the soft underbelly who do not have a voice or put it differently “seen but not heard”.

      The way the DWP is introducing the new benefit system called PIP is a total disgrace. I am quite sure the idea is to repeatedly turn people down and win the war by attrition. I would like to add that I’m not a political person. Somehow the problems being created on the disability benefits and universal credits must be examined and corrected. As far as I can see no political party has got the balls to tackle this problem.

      As I see it the only solution is to get people who are not disabled to understand the problems of living with a disability. Maybe tying them to a wheelchair for eight hours could be a start.

      Watch this space.

  5. Patricia Poole says:

    Oh, ps, have you got PPMS, or RRMS? The difference is important for DWP.

  6. Patricia Poole says:

    Sponge on stick question was to find out if you use an aid, which in their eyes means that you can easily wash your lower back ….. from that they can extrapolate, well heaven knows what … it’s a trick question.

    • #hello Patricia,

      Trick question, that sums up the difference between DLA and PIP. DLA wanted to help you to retain as good a quality of life as poss, PIP wants to avoid paying as much money as possible from those that will not affect the number people/party voted into parliament.

      A bit cynical but I think the current benefits system is a big bodge

  7. Rose says:

    total farce.at mine -a year ago-and still no award/tribunal date-the assessor lied throughout-did not record what i told him in short answers -but typed lengthy answers in what he determined them to be.
    most of what I put on my PIP form(having being on DLA fro 19 years and now needing a carer to help wash/wash my hair/prepare meals)was the same as on my ESA form which was accepted.they are a law to themselves.
    what does touching fingers have anything to do with things?Its whether you can do things or not with your hands ie holding things for a length of time/opening jars and bottles-needing to use gadgets to do so,
    i was told “I was observed to lay papers on the floor and sort through them from a seated position”.Yes i had papers-copy of my claim form-which I dropped on the floor and left them there til the end as I could not move the chair to bend and pick them up.Anyway I sat the whole time with my chair next to the table and looking at the assessor ,At no time did i look at the papers and noone would do such a thing when they have a table in front of them.none of the answers he recorded matched what i told him.
    good luck I hope you win your PIP,get what you are entitled to.

    • Hello Rose,

      I received a text from the DWP today said assessor had submitted a report. Tomorrow I’m going to phone up the DWP and ask for a copy, not too sure what they will say.

      I have heard numerous stories where the assessors report bears little resemblance to what actually took place during the interview. I am looking for a like for like replacement in my benefits but I am not very optimistic. When an appeal is submitted the DWP are unlikely to change their mind and I can see it ending up going to tribunal stop

      I think it’s all terribly unfair. People seem to think if you are disabled you cannot argue. Let’s see how things progress, watch this space.

  8. Sue Doughty says:

    Most cases went to tribunal when I was going through that nightmare. They bet on most being too ill to countenance the court and around a quarter were, most of whom have since died. One man was found in his flat, flat-batteried tablet in hand, electricity off for lack of top-ups, and the wheelchair he was sitting in just inside the door flat-batteried.
    The DWP are not nice people. The letter after my tribunal awarded me 12 points from their zero is grudging and nasty. It would be nice to think they have changed but realistically I know there is no reason to think tehy could have.

  9. Sue Doughty says:

    She was finding out if your speech is good, can you understand questions and make sentences to answer them.
    You should have said yes about a sponge on a stick even though nobody has ever seen such and item and it would not be allowed by any risk assessor. I have a long handled brush but she said that didn’t count. When I did my assessment she had been sent new instructions the night before telling them to record the reverse of the answers given and mine did. I hope that has changed.
    Best advice for such interviews is not to speak at all.

    • Hello Sue,

      Naively I assumed these bad stories do not represent the majority of people who claim benefits. The more I speak to other people the more I realise I am living in fool’s paradise. I do not want to start a campaign, just report my story for the benefit of other people.

      it is all very depressing especially as this claims to be a 1st world country. I suspect the cost of the appeals and tribunals exceeds the cost of the financial savings

      • Hello Sue,

        In the UK you are innocent until proven guilty, sadly the DWP assume you are trying to swindle the system so you are assumed to be guilty. This myth is amplified by certain tabloid papers that are interested in sensationalism and not the truth

        We live in a 1st world country but this is not first world behaviour

  10. Paul Steiner says:

    Not dissimilar to my experience – I agree about the lack of ‘engagement’ and repetition of most of the questions you have already answered on your form. The question about washing in the shower is geared towards whether you need special equipment to assist you which would gain you extra points in the assessment. However the stool you sit on should be enough to qualify as ‘special equipment’ so the sponge on a stick would not have added anything. You need to make sure her report includes the use of the stool. I suspect the eye test one wasnt a trick question – she probably just wasnt concentrating on what she was saying or your answer.
    Best of luck.

    • Hello Paul.

      I feel quite passionate about the whole thing. I was being a bit ironic in places but I hope anger or bitterness did not show through. I just hope her report is honest and truthful and not a pack of lies. I have heard some hairy stories

      • Sue Doughty says:

        Honest and truthful? Phooey. I am still trying to find a solicitor to take a libel case against ATOS through the courts for me.

  11. Laura Branigan says:

    Your blog brought back those feelings of anxiety and uncertainty traveling to my PIP F-2-F, Oct. 2016. Now it’s in the lap of the Gods – hopefully, your requested copy will give you an idea of the outcome. Although, saying that, my result had points added from the total awarded at the f-2-f.
    Fingers crossed Patrick!

    BTW, is it just me who hates your wife being referred to as The Wife? I’m sure it’s tongue in cheek but………..(call me sensitive!)

    • Hello Laura,

      Yup its out of my control unless it goes to tribunal and I hope that won’t be necessary. All I want is what I was awarded through DLA

      Everybody in my blog is anonymised. She does not object to the name The Wife, it is meant to be tongue in cheek

      • Laura B says:

        Ermm…….I’m down £110 per month (not as bad as many) but at least I’ve kept my car!! I daren’t fight for more in case it is decided I should have less.

        If your wife doesn’t object to being referred to as The Wife, you’re completely forgiven and I’ll say no more!

        • Hello Laura
          £110 down per month and too frightened to take the challenge further, I think that is an unacceptable way to treat the less able.

          BTW I am not politically motivated just keen to see justice

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