Assessment Questions?: I sent a big... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Assessment Questions?


I sent a big pile of medical evidence gained from my GP records, for both the PIP and ESSA two weeks ago . I have already been called for an assessment. I'm not sure what else they can want to know. Is anyone able to tell me what questions I will be asked , so that I can mentally prepare myself. As I find it difficult to talk and think of my answers when I'm stressed and then I just resort to just nodding my head.

ADMIN: Locking thread due to people arguing rather than supporting each other.

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32 Replies

I agree, I also don't think they read your evidence, even more so if you send a lot of it in, apparently assessors only get 15 minutes to read any evidence before the assessment and they can't read it until the person is booked into the centre. They cherry pick what to read. I don't think the assessor I had bothered to read my evidence either, he only seemed to have read my previous assessment report and tried to re-diagnose me and claimed I don't have MH problems..

Buzza75 in reply to WF2k

They do read all evidence no matter how much there is. It can take up to around 2 hours to prep an assessment depending on how much evidence there is. The questions are tailored to each person to get to the information they know is needed for dwp to make an accurate award.

Hidden in reply to Buzza75

Quite clearly they do NOT read all the evidence !!!! Or people wouldn't be appealing there case!!

coups2310 in reply to Hidden

I agree totally

Hidden in reply to coups2310



The questions are similar to what is on your form, so you end up repeating what you wrote on form but also gives you the opportunity to explain how you are affected in more detail.

From my experience, majority of assessors simply skim through your form they don't read it properly x

Thank you all for your replies. I'm more comfortable I'll be able to cope with the assessment now. I feared there would be some hidden surprises.

You need access to the disability handbook. There must be a local charity for you to speak to. The law keeps changing. You must read how the law applies to how the assessment get assessed. If you do not do this you will answer the questions in the wrong manner.

coups2310 in reply to johnsmith

where do you get this book johnsmith

johnsmith in reply to coups2310

There must be a list of local charities who handle benefits. The local charity handling benefits should have one.

coups2310 in reply to johnsmith

thank you john for your help

They do read all of the evidence sent but it depends on they quality and also on how old the evidence is. Generally, fibromyalgia is not something that can be awarded on paper based alone. Dont panic about the assessment. They are not there to catch you out. They will as questions about your symptoms, medical input, medication, a bit about your social and work history so they can find out about what equipment you may have at home, and how u are managing getting around. They will want to know how your condition varies day to day. Then they will ask about how you go about daily tasks, and what assistance or aids you need. They will likely do a physical assessment which involves a series of movements. Just do them as best you can but dont force it. The assessor needs a clear picture of how things are for you. The assessors are all health care professionals and there to help support your claim. They are impartial as they dont work for DWP directly and have nothing to gain whether you are awarded or not. Good luck.

Thank you. This will be my first assessment ever. I was diagnosed with FM at the Royal Orthopeadic Hospital in Birmingham in 2006 but I have since gone on to develop other illnesses. I have in the past been scoffed at by medics ,as if FM doesnt exist. I know the condition is better known now, but I'm always very anxious that I meet an ignorant sceptic. Thank you for your advice and encouragement.

Hi, Have you got someone going with you for support? 😊

No unfortunately. I live on my own and my adult children live abroad. As I live in a small village and rarely go out I havnt any friends either. Gosh, I sound like "Jimmy no mates". But asI'm continually exhausted, I don't socialise so I dont meet friends.

If these type of situations make you anxious could you ask for a home assessment? Then you would be in your own surroundings.

Just want to say listen to what they say and answer them like on your worst day you need points to score like if one day you can reach to lift something out of your cupboard but next day you cant tell then like you cant reach good luck and hugs x

Farmerboy in reply to Queenielot

The assessment is not about your worst days, it's about your average day how you cope manage the PIP descriptiors in a safe, repeatable and timely manner,

Hi CarolynEdwards.i had a home visit from the dwp for my esa claim a2yrs ago i was very nervous but i said to the assessor iam very happy you came out has i dont leave my property due to my isdues.all there asking is how do you cope daily and are certain things stop you doing activities like how far can you walk aided or unaided..they may ask you do hand squeezing or ask even to raise your arms but i refused which you can do if its uncomfortable with pain.i told him everything truley like i did with my pip assesment there more or less the same questions but you can ask for a copy of your application but in advance so then it will refresh your memory.hope a little of this info helps and don't worry just be yourself .

When i went for my assesment they didnt even ask about my fibro just my mental health as they had spoke to the doctor im sorry i cant be oh help but wish u good luck xx

The reason so many appeals win is because the court has greater power over the decisions made by DWP. The evidence is read and considered by the assessor, and whoever makes the decision at DWP. I should know, I am an assessor and regularly sit reading through hundreds of pieces of evidence. There is so much scare mongering around these assessments by the public, and press. I dont doubt that some have bad experiences, but generally the assessors are caring, empathic people, who want the right outcome for their claimants. That said, the criteria for awards is made by the DWP, and they make the decisions. Many claimants are extremely anxious about their assessment, but by the end they are usually saying how at ease they were made to feel.

Shamrock6 in reply to Buzza75

Why was I not allowed to read through assessors notes before she submitted to dwp, she told me if I want to see them I have to apply to dwp, too late by then!!

Buzza75 in reply to Shamrock6

It may be because the report is not complete at this stage. However, I dont usually have a problem with this myself. I've nothing to hide.

The assessment you are having is not get, confirm a diagnosis, illness or anything else. The point of an assessment for PIP is to asatain if you can preform the activities in relation to the PIP descriptiors in a safe, repeatable and timely manner, irrespective of your disability, diagnosis or illness. The ESA is the same bur a different criteria of descriptors to see if you are able to preform work place activities. Sometimes les information is more a condensed version is better than a volume of information.

Hi can I suggest that before you go to the assessment you write down information you may forget while in the interview like the medication you are on, dates for when your fibro and other illnesses started, when you stopped working, when your circumstances changed in any way.

What aids you have in your home, shower seat, grab rails, raised toilet seat, downstairs loo, perch stool in kitchen, anything you use to help you move about like a walking stick,

Reply to all questions as on your worst day ...

What can you do ... on a bad day,

How far can you walk on a bad day,

How do you manage to wash on a bad day,

How do you manage dressing yourself on a bad day

How far is the toilet from your bed

Do you sleep well/get up in the night to the loo.

How much sleep do you get, do you sleep during the daytime,

How do you manage preparing meals

Shopping for food

There are a few physical exercises they ask you to do but I was in so much pain that they said they would not ask me to do them.

My advice is to be honest about how you are on your worst day,

Just try to relax when your in the interview, they are health professionals and are there to help you,

You can ask for a taxi to pick you up from your home and return you home again, this is all arranged by them and paid for by them too, I got a cheque for traveling expenses sent to me for petrol as I was taken by car.

All the best, I wish I could go with you for moral support.


Thank you so much for your replies. I feel I've joined a loving and caring family.

I know the system, I am an assessor. I also have fibro, anxiety, depression, migraines and IBS. Lots of our assessors also have medical conditions and disabilities. Some are claimants as well. We are human beings, not robots, and we are trained nurses, paramedics etc. From caring professions by nature. We have a strict code of conduct to follow or face being struck off. To question whether we read evidence, and whether we are impartial questions our integrity as health care professionals. Just because u have sent in a stack of evidence does not make it a give u will get an award. You have to have a significant functional impairment. If you can cook yourself a simple meal, dress yourself, and wash yourself then you do not need PIP. The clue is in the title (personal INDEPENDANCE payment). Designed to provide some level of financial support for those who NEED aids, or assistance with every day tasks.

Admin: comment removed by admin. If you cannot be supportive then please exercise the option not to say it. Also do not retaliate just report and let admin team deal with any issue.

Of course u need an impairment to score points. That's the whole point of the assessment. Whether physical, psychological, cognitive or sensory, there has to be an impairment. If you can stand to prepare and cook a simple meal for one person, safely, timely, to an acceptable standard and repeatedly (once a day), you will not score.

No actually, I have applied as I know I wont get it. I can do things independently so why would I need PIP. You seem to imply I would get it as I am an assessor. The assessors dont make the decision. DWP do.

Buzza75 in reply to Buzza75


No, the need for prompting is an impairment due to psychological, or cognitive restrictions, and does score. As I said, impairments arent just physical. Just because you can stand doesnt mean your not impaired. We have 6 weeks of specialised training to do these assessments so think I am likely to be in a better position to know what is and is not considered by DWP

Good for you

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