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Preparing for your PIP assessment

Knowing your rights before your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment can make it less stressful.

PIP assessment letter

You should get a letter with the date of your PIP assessment. It will tell you if Independent Assessment Services or Capita is doing the assessment. Your letter must give you 7 days' notice.

Telephone assessments and coronavirus

Some assessments are on the telephone.

Warning

If you cannot answer the phone

Contact the organisation that sent the letter to you:

Say that you cannot answer the phone. They should then take you off the automatic system that sends out appointments. You should only get a new appointment if things change.

In your assessment

You will have questions like those in your application form. You will need to talk about your condition and how it affects you.

Keep a diary and have notes in front of you to help you answer.

Warning Postponing a PIP assessment

If you cannot make your appointment or you are going to be late, you must call the assessment centre.

Your PIP cannot be refused if you have a good reason for not attending an assessment. For example:

  • A birthday or holiday is not a good reason for missing an assessment or asking for a different date.
  • A fluctuating medical condition is a good reason for postponing an assessment.

If you postpone your assessment more than once, your assessor will discuss this with you.

Reasonable adjustments

You should contact the assessment centre about reasonable adjustments you need as soon as you get your assessment date.

For example:

  • requesting a specific time of day for your appointment
  • an interpreter or signer
  • asking for a male or female assessor

Having someone with you at your PIP assessment

Assessments can be stressful. Having someone with you can help. Tell the assessment centre if you plan to have someone with you. 

Your companion can:

  • take notes on what you're asked and what you say
  • remind you about how you cope on bad days, including the things you can and cannot do for yourself
  • check the report from the assessment to see if it's accurate.

Anyone who can support you with these things will help. They could be:

  • your partner, a friend or family member
  • a carer or health professional

They could also be someone who knows about benefits, like an advocate from a local disability group, trade union representative or social worker.

Advocacy (Disability Rights UK)

If you cannot find someone

You could ask for a new appointment. Your assessor may not let you change your assessment date more than once unless they think you have a good reason.

Warning Recordings

You can ask for a recording of your telephone assessment. This may be useful if you need to appeal.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 20/07/2020

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