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I work as a PIP assessor AMA

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  1. Exactly what the others have said- they and get it done before. And, just to add- having an appointee increases the chance of having a paper based assessment which is much easier than a telephone/clinic assessment! Just provide clear evidence showing the diagnosis and how it effects daily living activities.

  2. Sorry for such a late comment, but I just found this thread and it is so helpful! Thank you for being so open and honest. I was rejected for PIP (for multiple sclerosis) 8 years ago, and failed the tribunal. The stress it caused put me off reapplying, as it made my MS flare, and caused me major anxiety attacks. I’ve since been diagnosed with ADHD so understand why I mentally couldn’t handle the process at all. I wondered if you thought I’d have any chance of requesting a paper based assessment if I applied again? I’m physically a lot sicker now, and genuinely don’t think I could handle the stress of any sort of assessment, having been through the process—mentally my ADHD is very difficult right now, and my MS flares up with any sort of stress.

  3. It’s very difficult to get a paper based assessment, just requesting one is highly unlikely to get you one unfortunately. You will increase the likelihood if you provide really good, clear, but also concise recent evidence covering everything (your diagnosis, how it effects you on a day to day basis- don’t include appointment letters, letters from years back, letters covering irrelevant things) and your questionnaire is medically consistent with your condition, and you list several good medical contacts, there is a chance they may approve it as paper based. But I wouldn’t hedge your bets. A paper based assessor rules out every other option before doing paper based. If you’re lucky, there may be an assessor with a really short queue of cases who wouldn’t mind taking on an additional one. But in general people have huge caseloads and people who have an undeniable medical need must take priority. Sorry! And I’m so sorry your last claim was denied, please don’t let it out you off applying again and definitely give it a go- you might get lucky and get a paper based one!

  4. I found this post very late so I apologise for the late comment. I am a paper based DA also, the auditors are the real enemy. They are over-zealous, and sometimes they’ve asked me to change descriptors for the most STUPID reasons when the claimant CLEARLY has restrictions with that activity. It isn’t the assessors, or their managers, it’s the auditors that are a nightmare. Sometimes I get feedback on my reports and it astounds me that these are “medical professionals” - you wouldn’t think these auditors are experts. I dread getting feedback from them and cannot wait for my approval because the constant barrage of their shit audit feedback is exhausting. In the last month I have seen a change in my feedback as well, I’ve been asked to change a lot of descriptors for silly things. For example, someone is severely ill, classed as malnourished and underweight, has severe fatigue etc I tried to score highly for this, auditor comes back and says “well it says they can eat snacks so that means they can eat unaided” - the auditors are fucking idiots.

  5. This exactly. It’s the auditors. They’re a nightmare. They make their decisions on what people should score based off nothing but their own opinion. They blanket score cases and don’t judge things in an individual bases. Some of them just love giving people U grades! Once you get approved things will improve because you will have more autonomy over what to score. But even when you get approved you have audits around once per month. But if you want any advice on getting out the auditing period I can give you a hand if you drop me a message.

  6. The DWP hardly ever contact the medical specialists you have provided, even for an MR. You don't need to provide more evidence, but if you have it you should provide it.

  7. Just to add to this (and this isn’t particularly helpful to answer the question being asked so apologies). The exception to this is if someone has a paper based assessment done during the initial PIP assessment phase (so not MR or tribunal) if we don’t have enough medical evidence to write a paper based assessment we will phone every medical contact listed and get all our information directly from them as opposed to a telephone or clinic assessment.

  8. Yes, write it on there to support your application- you won’t be able to be scored for it within the therapy section unless the therapy had already begun. But it will support your application to know you are awaiting therapies.

  9. I would recommend against doing this. Submit every RELEVANT piece of evidence that you haven’t already submitted. Don’t submit appointment letters, don’t resubmit things, all you need is confirmation of conditions and how they effect your day to day life. Good, up to date, concise evidence is so much better than sheets of evidence from years and years ago covering things not even reported for. I don’t work with tribunals, but I’m a DA and I dread opening a case like this. Good luck!! I do hope you get it!! But keep it relevant and up to date!! 😁

  10. Is it known be rare to score the 10 points for the overwhelming physiological distress descriptor?

  11. Im a paper based assessor and I score 10 points regularly, but from when I’ve spoken to telephone/video assessors it seems that they need to jumó through lots of hoops to get it approved- call some special hotline and get approval to score 10 points. I can’t verify this ad I’m not a telephone assessor and I do regularly score 10 points. But based purely on what I’ve been told it’s difficult.

  12. If this is indeed true I’d love to know why you can score it with no fuss but a telephone/video assessor has to get it approved . I think it’s great you answer things like this btw it’s super interesting to see how things work from the other side and it’s nice of you to take time out of your day to help folk 😊

  13. I think what JMH-66 said is accurate! It’s no problem! I see so many people struggling to get PIP and it’s nice to be able to help out in some way! It certainly gives me more job satisfaction on here than actually at work!

  14. Hey! I’m a paper based DA assessor! It’s a rough job to begin with, the first 6 months are pretty gruelling (the training is lovely but then you enter the ‘real world’ and realise you have to relearn everything). Everything has to be done exactly as DWP want it else you simply won’t pass your probation period- this can be very frustrating especially as peoples restrictions can be very subjective. BUT once you pass the probation period it gets much better. You don’t write 3000 word reports. Maybe 1500. You write 2 reports per day and you also ‘route’ 12 different cases to different assessments (so you read through 12 applications and decide if they need a telephone assessment, clinic or paper based). You also have 90 minutes per day to chase evidence which helps you write your 2 long reports.

  15. I was surprised to find sausage rolls in both California and Florida when I was there this year!

  16. Okay will do! I have asked my doctor for another letter so hopefully that will help. Is there anything specifically the doctor can write to help my MR?

  17. It depends what other descriptors you’re contesting. Is it only Activity 9? Or are there more?

  18. Yes, I scored 2 points for activity 1, which I think I should’ve scored 4 points as someone else prepares and cooks my meals. I do not use knives or the cooker at all because of my anxiety which makes my hands shake and I feel I will cut myself or burn myself and because of my depression I have dark thoughts sometimes so feel unsafe handling anything sharp. Without my family cooking and preparing meals I would only be able to eat cereal or butter on a bread because I can not cook any meals myself. I explained in full detail in my initial form. I scored 0 points for budgeting decision however I think I should’ve been scored 2 points as my brother helps me this as I get confused easily and he looks over my account and tells me how much I still have available as I used to over spend and we also do a list weekly of the things I need. I also explained this in full detail but the assessor said I didn’t need help with this which is untrue. I only scored 2 points for engaging with others when I can’t engage with anyone apart from my family who I live with. For reading, my brother helps me to understand complex information because I get confused, lose focus, and needs things explained in an easier way without his help I’d give up. I scored 0 for this but I explained in full detail in my form. I did score 2 points for washing and bathing, dressing and undressing which was what I was expecting and happy with. I have an overactive bladder due to my anxiety which is a huge problem but I scored 0 because they said I can clean myself without help which is true but when I did go out I used to wear a pad. The bladder issue is something I live with daily and have to change my underwear a few times a day because of leaking.

  19. Okay so forget about reading, unless you have a diagnosed cognitive or intellectual disability you won’t score. And for your incontinence if you tell them you wear incontinence pads now you could score, but you’ve kind of messed yourself over a bit by saying you used to wear them when you left the house. You can only score for incontinence pads if you are currently using them. But you could change what you say and say you are incontinent on the majority of days and wear incontinence pads for this and you could score (as long as they don’t use your previous statement against you).

  20. Just a heads up- most of the time if you report any changes you end up having to fill in a new questionnaire and have a new assessment done. It’s frankly a ball ache for you and also for DAs. Unless it’s an extended stay I honestly wouldn’t bother!

  21. This is only the case if you report an improvement in your condition. Reporting a hospital stay does not automatically trigger a review.

  22. It shouldn’t, but the amount of people that get new reviews triggered even when they’ve been clear there’s no changes is surprising. I see it every day. Not saying it should happen but it does!

  23. When making tea milk goes in first, and tea goes in second (even I’m triggered just writing it)

  24. Deaf applicants are usually assessed either face to face or video call! I very rarely come across voice calls for the obvious reasons you’ve just stated! During the pandemic they stopped all face to face appointments so I imagine it was a nightmare for people like you! There is a big push on getting people to go into face to face clinics at the moment though so I would say chances are it would be face to face!

  25. That's again ! You're a Christmas Angel 😇 In fact you should really change your Username as it's patently not true ❤️

  26. Haha thank you!! That’s made me very happy! Merry Christmas everyone! ❤️

  27. Thank you. Do you think it's worth me giving up until I have more tests and a diagnosis? Is it worth the fight if I just don't have the evidence I need?

  28. I wouldn’t say give up- if you get a really good letter from the GP there’s still a chance! And yes you can reapply as often as you want!

  29. Thank you so much I appreciate your advice. It's so hard reading things about yourself that are so untrue but I know I'm not alone.

  30. I can imagine, I’m so sorry there’s so many terrible DAs out there. A few of us are good guys, hopefully next time you get one of us!

  31. this. its like the saying of "lay it on thick" - go in detail.

  32. Absolutely this ^ DA’s can spot inconsistencies a mile off. It is SO much better for you to be honest, consistent and descriptive about your restrictions than stretch the truth, be inconsistent in your answers and ultimately lose the credibility of your questionnaire.

  33. Totally understand that! I could get a letter from the doctor confirming all this, so that can help me. I will try my very hardest to be consistent in both, which shouldn’t be hard as I’ll tell the truth.

  34. Not at all, claimants are regularly scored for just for meeting one of the STAR criteria. Don’t emphasise a point that isn’t true, emphasise the truth. If you can’t do an activity timely specify how long it takes you to do it on average, do you need breaks, does it effect you like this every day. If it’s unsafe why is it unsafe, give examples of things that have happened in the past which prove this. Use your questionnaire to give an accurate picture which is reflected in every activity, don’t give an inaccurate picture because it might be more likely to score- 9/10 times the inaccurate one won’t score but the accurate one will. Good luck!

  35. Hi, as a DA assessor (I’m one of the good guys!) it’s all about meeting the DWPs criteria which is very set in stone. You’re going to struggle to do that as the conditions and restrictions you have listed are very difficult to score for but I can advise you as well as I can:

  36. Yeah you can claim for pip. You will have a paper based assessment which means you won’t have a face to face one- no telephone calls, no clinic to go to. It will go entirely off medical evidence. In relation to filling in the form:

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