Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Am kind of pleased with myself. PIP is not the easiest of benefits to get but am getting good results for my clients and that’s really cool. The thing about it though is that, it is happening for those clients that have gone about the application process exactly as I advised.

It is important to prepare well. Get all the supporting medical evidence ready before you even pick up the phone to call DWP. There is a lot of guidance information online so I would suggest you read up about PIP. Citizens Advice Bureau, Disability Rights UK and a whole host of others publish advice and guidance online, so make good use of these resources.

Unlike Disability Living Allowance (DLA), PIP is a points based system so again, you need to understand how the points are awarded. The points are given based on what DWP refers to as ‘descriptors’. In order words, how you explain or describe the impact of your disability on your ability to carry out or do simple daily activities is crucial. So don’t hold back. You need to put all your cards on the table. Talk about everything happening to you, no matter how insignificant you might think they are. Unless, DWP decision makers understand your situation, they are not very likely to give you points. You could therefore loose out on PIP just by holding back.

In simple terms, when it comes to PIP applications, nothing remains private; nothing remains in the closet. So spill it out. Don’t assume that DWP understands or knows anything about your particular disabilities or illnesses and their impact on you. It is not for them to figure out. Rather it is your job to ensure you explain everything and supply all the supporting evidence. Now the PIP form. A hell of a form to complete so get help from a welfare support worker. But of couse if you believe you can complete the form properly, hey, go for it. Make a copy of the form for your records before you post it to DWP.

When you get that letter, asking you to attend a consultation, the first thing you need to do is to check that the assessment centre is near enough to where you live. If it isn’t, call the contact number on the appointment letter and tell them the centre is too far for you to get to safely. Ask to be rebooked into a centre in your area. Also ask them to authorise a taxi use. You will pay for the taxi to and from the centre but you need to ensure that you have a receipt from he taxi driver. You need it to claim the money back. If you are driving or someone is driving you there, then you can claim some money back for the miles driven from your home to and from the centre. It’s always a good idea to go with someone and also not to go on public transport, if you can help it.

The second thing you need to do before your assessment or the consultation is; read through your PIP form (this is partly why you need to ensure you keep a copy of the completed form) to remind yourself of what you said about your condition. Any new information you have about your condition; information you haven’t already given to DWP, make sure you take it with you to the assessment and ensure you give them to the assessor. These could be results from tests you have done at the hospital, discharge notices, consultants letters etc.

Finally, if you did go to the assessment centre by cab or taxi, when the assessment is finished and you are ready to leave, please ask the reception staff to call you a cab or taxi. Don’t just walk out and head to a bus stop. Bear in mind that everything you do at the assessment centre forms part of the report sent to DWP, so don’t take anything for granted.

Well! Good luck to all.

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