Pip home assement

I reapplied for pip after having been declined at tribunal and Atos wrote to me recently advising they were going to give me a home assesment. I have rheumatoid arthrits and/or ankylosing spondylitis and i sent in letters from rheumatology, gp and filled in the form to the best of my abilities

I am very nervous about the home assesment and fear that on the day i might be having a good day and will come across as being well and give a wrong impression of my condition.

Please help with some advice. I am worried sick


14 Replies

  • Hope y get on ok with your assesment just be yourself it's bad enough trying to cope day by day having RA if it doesn't go your way contest it good luck

  • It might be worth not taking your medication if you can handle it for 24hrs as you are in the safety of your own home. As dreadful as that thought might be at least your stiffness & pain will be evident. They would have to be callous not to notice you're struggling as pain is clearly visible in someone's eyes & movements. Do not make them a drink if its a struggle to lift a kettle whilst off meds for the day, that's an accident waiting to happen! In fact just dont make them a drink, tell them they can help themselves. If you usually ask anyone in your home to open anything don't have them do it that day or prepare anything for you. This assessment is about your needs not others in the home covering or helping you. That includes yourself, do not cover up your inabilities to do things which we all have a tendency to do in life. Bare your soul & fears & if you're not normally a negative person don't be surprised if you feel overwhelmed or terribly upset afterwards. No one likes to come to terms with what they can't do anymore, it's sad but true & this assessment is your chance to show your need for financial assistance to help you live a normal life.

    Best wishes

  • Thank you for your support

  • I have just had a pip assessment with atos. I had been having a flare up and thought I wouldn't be able to work for much longer which was the reason I applied to start with......on the day I felt really well, hardly any pain or swelling.....I was honest, explained that I was having a good day but equally I could wake up in the morning with pain all over. I was only in the interview room for 25 mins and to be honest wasn't expecting to hear that I had been awarded anything. Two weeks later I recieved a letter stating I had been approved for PIP and they actually back dated it five weeks from when I first rang them. As proof of identity I gave them my driving license and blue badge.....I think if I hadn't already had a blue badge I wouldn't have recieved anything, I feel that's why the interview was so short...as soon as they realised I had a blue badge they were going to award me the benefit.

  • I think it,s dredful what we haave to go through just to get what we should be entitled to.You would think a letter from your consultant and doctor would be enough,they don,t lie do they.good luck and appeal again if you don,t get it.

  • Hi, I had a home assessment too. Don't offer a drink as they are there to talk things through with you. Tell how you struggle as what we think is normal it isn't!! Things like, I use the sink and radiator to get off the loo!! Also use my bedside cabinet and door handle to get out off bed. It's the things we do to cope which we do every day but it has become part of our lives. So think ahead and don't be brave, or too proud. The person who came out to me told me I was very independent but actually I needed help in a lot of ways. My husband was with me. They asked me to walk, Get out my chair. I have a special chair just for me. I wish you all the best. Take care x

  • Thanks for your reply so how did it turn out in the end. Were you succesful

  • Yes I got PIP in the end!! Thank goodness!! Hi oper you are successful too. X

  • Hi - I know how you feel! I sent in my first appln for PIP about 3 weeks ago, and am waiting to hear if I can have a home assessment, or will have to travel over 40miles for face-to-face. And at the end of it I know there's a high chance I'll be turned down too, despite a wonderfully supportive letter from my Consultant. This government is determined to make people like us fight for every penny, so even if you are having a 'good' day, I agree with all the others who have replied - tell them exactly how bad you are on a 'bad' day. They can't easily 'see' the pain we're in, and the daily struggles we have, so don't feel bad about fighting on, and on and on, for as long as it takes. I assume you've had help from an organisation like Citizens Advice? I've got them on standby, if I get turned down! We have more than enough to cope with without all the form filling and red tape, and sheer extra stress that's involved with claiming benefits, so get all the help you can. CAB / Welfare Rights / Advocacy - they are all very good at advising.

    Best of luck on the day.

  • Hiya, go to benefits and work website, they are very helpful and provide guides to help you fill in the forms and deal with assessments.. It's about 15 pounds a year but that may save you your benefit as they did we myself. It's repeating not just your conditions but showing how the conditions affect you, the guides really helped me write loads of added info to show how life is like, where ad tick boxes and yes and no boxes are designed to complicate and negate the the full implications of your illness. Hope you get the help you need prepare ahead with letters, support info, the aids and gadgets you use and why, the medication you take, every aspect of your life living with you conditions repeat repeat repeat.... Good luck

  • Sorry to hear you weren't successful with your PIP application. I hope you have better luck this time.

    I am completing my first PIP application at the moment. I am using the guide that you can download from the Benefits and Work website, and finding it very useful. You have to join to access it (it costs about £20 for a year) but many people had recommended it to me, and they offer you your money back if you feel it doesn't make a difference to your claims.

    I am finding I need to put down MUCH more detail than will fit in the space provided, and even more than the examples given in the guide. I am describing how I am affected in detail, so for example for Q3 (cooking and preparing food):

    "I have difficulties preparing and cooking food, and need some help, because I have [list conditions that affect cooking] and pain particularly in my hands and [list specific joints that affect cooking and how]. I have various aids which I always use including... [list]. Sometimes, I cannot do X or Y even with these aids, so I ask [relative] to help me or do without. I cannot safely carry a full kettle or a full saucepan, or drain a pan of boiling water, so ... [describe what I do instead or do without]. I cannot reach up to get items from the top cupboards, and I struggle to get items from the lower shelves of my bottom cupboards, so I have rearranged my cupboards so the items I need most often are easiest to reach, following advice from the OT... The amount of help I need can vary, depending [describe any variation], but sometimes I cannot manage even with the aids/appliances described, and [describe any help you need, even if you don't get it]..."

    Of course, I haven't submitted my form yet so I don't know if this will be successful. But I know that doctors/consultants letters only describe what is 'wrong' with you, not how it affects you, and that's what counts for PIP.

  • Sorry - I realise you have done the paper form and are now having a home assessment. I'm obviously too preoccupied with my own form! I guess you need to give the same sort of detail when you meet them face-to-face. Also, let them see any practical aids or adaptations you have in your house, like kitchen aids, grabbers, perching stool, bath rails etc.

    There is a some advice about the medical/face-to-face in the B&W PIP guide too, including the following:

    "Throughout the consultation, the HP will be making informal observations of things such as:

     Your appearance- whether you are tidy and clean.  Your skin tone.  Your manner .  Your hearing ability.  Your walking ability.  Your mood.  Your ability to concentrate.  Your ability to stand, sit, move around and use your hands.  Your ability to bend down to retrieve objects such as a handbag on the floor beside you, or reaching out for an object such as your medication.  How you stand up.  How you move to the examination couch and/or get on and off the couch.  How you use your walking aids.  How you remove your coat or hat.  What you are carrying and if it appears light or heavy.  Whether you show and understand the letters you have with you.  If you smile and appear relaxed.  If your breathing is laboured".

    There is a section about questions you may be asked, and the following advice about what you may not be asked:

    "Questions you may not be asked at your medical assessment Just as important as the questions you may be asked are the ones you quite possibly won’t be asked, but should be. If you don’t get the chance to give detailed information about how your condition affects your everyday activities then there’s a lot less chance of a fair decision being made. So, if you’re asked questions like:

    Do you do your own cooking? Can you get out of bed and get dressed? How far can you walk?

    Then it’s important that you also answer as if you were asked:

     How long does it take you?  How well do you do it?  Do you need someone to help you?  Is it safe for you to do it?  Do you suffer pain, fatigue or breathlessness when you do it?  Do you suffer anxiety or get confused when you do it?  If you do it once, how long before you can do it again?  Do you need any aids or appliances to do it?  Is there a time of day when you aren’t able to do it, because of stiffness or fatigue, for example?  Can you do it reliably, i.e. can you do it whenever you are asked to or need to?  How many days a week, on average, can you do it?

    Remember the ‘but’ . . . It’s hard to remember all the issues above when you are being asked a whole series of questions about your life.

    What you can do, though, is always try to remember the ‘but’, when answering any question the HP asks you. If you say ‘Yes’ to any question, is there a ‘but’ that you should add to make your answer more accurate?

    ‘Yes I can get out of bed, but not until about 15 minutes after I wake up because I am so stiff on a morning.’

    ‘Yes, I can cook a simple meal, but on most days I am too exhausted and depressed by the afternoon to prepare anything but a bowl of cereal or a sandwich.”

    They also advise having someone with you if you can.

    Good luck!

  • you are allowed to have good days, the assesors will understand that nad will ask you about an average day and a bad day ect not base it on what you are like in that moment. Do not be so silly as to listen to people who say not to take you medication. That is a vey foolish path to follow.

    i understand it is a stessful time full or wory and uncertainty, however home visits are ussually carried out by community nurses who are more liekly to understand you condition and how it can vary from day to day.

    hope this helps


  • Hi guys

    I received the dreaded brown envelope Friday morning and my heart sank before i had even opened it. Thankfully i was awarded PIP which i was very happy to know and i would like to thank you all for your help and encouragement. So it took 9 days from my assessment at home to getting award letter

    However i was awarded both the mobility and care component at standard rate. It is better than nothing but i am curious to know is there any way of trying to get this to enhaced rate for both. I got 8 points for the daily living component and 10 points for the mobility component. Whats the best way to proceed and try to gain enhanced rate for both components.

    Thank you all again

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