Date given for PIP Assessment!!!

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well and relatively pain free. The date for my PIP Assessment dropped on the mat this morning, its for next week so at least I have not got too long to wait. My question is can anyone advice me what to expect. I know next week I will be stressing and stress is a major factor for me whereby it triggers flare-up's so I know I must try not to worry about it. Easier said than done!

I know NMH described having to make a circle with her thumb and fingers, does this mean if you can, you are deemed less likely to qualify? how can this movement prove you have no or little pain? especially on the day in question, as we all know no one day is the same as the other where pain and movement are concerned.

Hoping you can provide me with a few pointers to put my mind at rest.

Many Thanks


16 Replies

  • its a hard question to answer has every one is different ,I had a short examination and interview it only lasted 25 mins they had made there minds up about me in the waiting area as I could stand and sit walk into interview room alone I got turned down ,my story is a long drawn out one of appeals and loads of letter from the medical staff looking after me, on looking back I should have had the doctors letters with me on the interview day , I was honest and did my best ,I was awarded it in the end ,so go with medical evidence it will help

  • They will have contacted your GP and any Specialists that have been dealing with your complaint. They will also have the form that most have to fill in and your application listing your problems that you filled in

    At the centre you are attending you will be assessed from the very start. They will know the actual condition you suffer from and the main thing they will ask is what you can actually do not what you cannot do.

    as the whole test is for the types of work you are capable of doing so the test will follow that tack.

    All I can suggest is the whole thing has been turned on its head to what it used to be as they are also trying to work out the amount of disability you suffer

    They have changed the company now so personally the actual thing could have changed. All I can suggest is be honest and try and get across the problems you have They will examine movement,bending etc and joint movement, they will also possibly go into mental health, again I am not positive.

    Good Luck


  • Hi bob, I have my PIP assessment next week and the letter still indicates ATOS at the helm, I did not have to attend the 1st time I applied for DLA it was done by the medical reports and I was told I was put in a support group for three years there you go 18 months down the line even although my health has worsened in that time it's not good enough for them, I am dying to look the person in the eye and tell them the minute I am not suffering to much from my RA and my breathing eases off Fran gets me up and dresses me at 4am then my son drives me to work because that what has got me through the last 2 years I look at my work as my Sanctuary. mattcass

  • Bob, was your information relating to DLA or PIP? It's just there are a few inconsistencies from my experience of the PIP assessment & I was under the impression, be it conducted by Atos or Capita the two assess the same.

  • The ATOS system is in the process of been replaced soon, that is just the company who deals with the Government Contract. The new system that the Government is bringing in will be undertaken by the new contractor. My knowledge of that is restrictive I may find out more soon. My knowledge is to with the new groups you mentioned in your script.


  • That wasn't what I was questioning although I don't understand what you mean by Atos "system", both Atos & Capita are agencies who work from the same DWP system not each their own, they've simply been employed to cover different areas of the country. I know they have the Government contract because I was assessed by Atos & that's not what Caroline was questioning. No, what I was querying is you saying that PIP is a benefit for testing if you're fit to work or the types of work she's capable of doing as you say, It's not a benefit connected with work at all, it's just a non means tested benefit for people with disabilities. Neither do they contact your GP or any specialists as a matter of course though they do require evidence & the details of & from any health professionals which they ask is sent in with the application but they don't actually contact them as part of normal procedure. The descriptors do ask how safely or not you can do certain things in varying degrees so it's not a simple case of what she can actually do rather than what she cannot do. I wonder, have you seen the application form? They need to work out how much disability affects you for the two components in order to award the benefit or not, or at the appropriate rate. I was awarded enhanced rate on Daily Care.

  • No! It's just one part of quite a few in the physical. There are others & you're not marked individually on them all so it wouldn't necessarily mean you'd fail with that one test.

    Your assessment starts from the moment your name is called by the assessor to follow her into the assessment room. The assessor will then question you based on the application form you completed & also make notes. You will also have a physical & mine did say if she started to hurt me to tell her so. Try not to expand on questions, no more than is necessary anyway, it's a known way to evaluate just how your problems much affect you.

    It's not means tested & nothing to do with work or whether you're fit for work. Both Atos & Capita are acting as agents on behalf of the DWP, dependant on where you live but you'll know who will assess you from your paperwork.

    Good luck & do let us know how you think it went.

  • Hi

    I put on my form that I was unable to sit stand or walk any distance without great pain. They came to see me at home. I am not sure if this is only available in my area, but it was great, as they saw me in my own environment and truly how this terrible disease effects me. I prepared for the meeting by thinking about what a basic day was like for me. For example;- my daughter showers me as its too painful for me. This includes undressing and re-dressing. I have a chair I spend the majority of my time in a chair sleeping - I purchased a very comfy chair that elcetronically tips me and 'pushes' me into a standing position. I dont prepare any meals, as I am unable too. I have a ready made juice bottle and a travel kettle to make warm drinks. I also had all my medication ready for them to see, and the let the gentleman see exactly how disabled I was. I did not have to touch my fingers, but he checked my knees, which were swollen, and asked how far I could put my hands and arms out stretched and lift in different positions. He saw the great pain that this caused me and asked me to stop. I approached this like an interview for a job revised what I had written on my form. Added to this I was in the middle of a horrendous flare up. In addition to this - not that this should be the deciding factor, but in reality, from what I have picked up on this site, if you go to the appt center you get refused as you have 'proved'- and I use this term loosely -that you are able to get around. The problem with us folks affected by RD is we are stubborn and force ourselves to do things that hurt with a smile. We are also being interviewed by people who are not necessarily experts in this disease, unfortunately they dont have to be!! They see you in the waiting room sat down - no matter how much it hurts. Watch you walk to the room - no matter how much it hurts, shake your hand (horrendous pain!!)and smile - no matter how much pain we are in. Force ourselves to do stupid excercises that have no bearing on every day life such as 'put fingers together'!! Why?!?! What on earth does this prove. Circle shoulders! Why?!?!I In short - ring and ask for a home visit as you are too ill to attend and cannot walk from the car, to the waiting room. Unfortunately these are the hoops we have to jump through (figuratively speaking of course). I wish you the very best of luck, but let people know just how much pain you are in, and dont let them try and make you do anything you know will hurt. If you refuse to do something they have to report why in the form. x

  • Not everybody who doesn't have their assessment at home is refused PIP Franm. Being a stubborn person myself as far as RD goes all I requested was that the room where I was to be assessed was on the ground floor or if not assured there was a lift to the floor where the assessment was to take place. I was awarded Daily Living component at enhanced rate, I know of at least one other who has also who didn't have their assessment in their own home so perhaps things are at last changing since you had your assessment. My assessor shook my hand very gently, I was aware she was letting me lead with just how much pressure used. I wasn't pushed at all during my physical, I was told before she started asking me to do this & that if it's too painful to what she asked of me to stop. When my hips in turn made a large clicking noise she put her hand on my knee to stop me pushing further & told me not to do what I wasn't happy doing stating it wasn't her intention to hurt me in any way. I noticed many notes were made by her once the physical was over.

    So it's not all quite as negative nowadays as yours seemed to be Fran, certainly not a horrendous as I heard about when PIP was first rolled out. There do seem to be ex medical professional people assessing now as well, not just box tickers as appeared to be the case in the early days, mine was an ex mental health nurse & understood quite a lot about RD & OA, enough to assess to two separately. Of course, it can depend somewhat on the empathy of the assessor & knowledge of the condition.

  • i didnt think I was being negative at all, found my assesment quite professional to be honest. All I wanted to do was share my experience, and help a fellow RA sufferer.......

  • I wasn't suggesting you were being negative Fran, I was referring to the system & actual assessment, I'm not sure why you'd think that I was saying you were negative. You'd noticed on site that those who didn't have the assessment at home were being refused because they went to the assessment centre. More recently there seem to be more people on here awarded it which seems to be a big turnaround after so long hearing of failure to get it wherever they're assessed, at home or at a centre. You shared your experience as you are fully entitled to, as is anyone. I thought you were fortunate that your issues were fully understood actually given that many were being refused at that time who were equally in need of it. You've not got the timbre of my reply or maybe I didn't make it clear. I did say maybe things have changed since your assessment & I didn't find from my experience your response "but in reality, from what I have picked up on this site, if you go to the appt center you get refused as you have 'proved'- and I use this term loosely -that you are able to get around." to be my reality or other people's of late. I was one who determinedly went to the assessment centre & has been awarded PIP. Lately more have been awarded PIP is what is being reported on here. I hope this has cleared it up, I don't wish to make you feel any more awful than I do just now.

  • Dont be daft, lifes much too short hun. Lets just carry on as we are and stick together like glue on this site. I know everyone is here for me on this site, and hey its nearly christmas!!! Have a great day xx

  • Thanks for all your replies to my question.

    It has given me food for thought and I will of course be very honest with my assessor about my difficulties and also how emotionally this disease effect me. My assessment is not being carried out at my home so I will have to go to them as it were. My claim is only for the care component as being 45 I am relatively young (haha) and so far I am very much mobile, although some days when my hips or knees are painful then its not so easy. however I struggle daily with cooking, washing and running my home etc and all that comes with this disease pain, fatigue and current side effects of drugs, this the assessor will not be able to witness I hope that my age and the fact that I will be able to walk pain free into the office of assessment this is not going to go against me.

    I will let you know of my outcome I am however not holding much hope of a positive one. My husband is more positive but he is the one who sees me struggle with pain and inflammation not the assessor.


  • Just a thought Caroline, reading your last sentence. My h accompanied me & my assessor was more than happy of his input. She actually said often the person she's assessing isn't as honest as the could be with how their disablement affects them but the person with them is, though just why is beyond me when it's an assessment for a benefit! Perhaps you would like your h to sit in with you? There were three chairs in the room so I guess it's not unusual to have someone in the assessment other than the applicant.

  • Yes heels he is coming with me. its important and like you say I am hopeful they will listen to his input as he is the one who has to help me dress and wash my hair. cook and clean, bless him. I have even suggested he learn to do hair plaits and take make up lessons so he can do that when my hands wont let me.haha

  • Great! Yes, my h explained just as yours intends to, the same things too! Though I don't hold out much hope for your h & make up, I'm envisaging the Friends episode when Ross tried to do Rachel's make up, so funny ha ha!

    Good luck.

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