PIP & UC Health Assessments

I've commented on another thread but felt it fell on dead ears, so I'm bringing it back up to make a very important point in a more structured way.

I hope its useful to anyone who needs support but struggles with what is a very adversarial system. If it's of no use to you, no worries at all, have a nice day!

If you find yourself applying for, in this case PIP. It's easy to think the physical aspects don't apply. For instance you may think I CAN cook so I'm not eligible to any points in that section... The thing is... You might be...

The assessors are OBLIGED TO CONSIDER, especially with mental health conditions, that you will have good AND bad days, and that these can come and go, and last for different lengths of time each time...

The following list is the topics assessed for PIP...

Now tell me...

***

DO NOT ACTUALLY DO THIS,

I'M GIVING YOU A QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF!!!

***

What do your BAD days look like?

***

It's easy to dismiss physical questions on the basis of I CAN do them... But if it's: I can sometimes, BUT,  on a bad day/s I might not get dressed/showered/eat properly... that may well still score you points in these sections of the assessment. The question is often: how does your health condition affect your ability to X? NOT: can you X?

If you don't want to take my word, search the Web! Theres a ton of great advice and guidance available on the Web, from a host of legitimate charities.

I provide this as an advice having been through the "system" myself. I know full well just how adversarial DWP are! As I said previously though, they aren't there to trick you, but they aren't going to help you either...

Their job is purely collection of evidence. They may be trying to collect evidence from you for DWP, but they also HAVE to provide evidence YOU GIVE them to DWP. 

All the best,

Chris

  • This is such a helpful post.  Thank you so much for putting it on here.  It's invaluable advice.  

  • That's really helpful. Thank you

  • No worries both, it may not get anyone the enhanced rate of PIP, I think that's difficult to score the points for purely on the basis of mental health as you need 12+ points. As detailed above though, it is possible to get the 8-11pts for a basic award.

    Somewhere out on the web, there's actually even the DWPs own marking scheme. So you can check my statements, against the actual mark scheme the assessors are given, should you so wish. :-)

    I get the daily living basic award and it's £240 every 4 weeks. While it's never nice to have to claim things, mental health issues do give you a valid case you can put forward, you just have to be prepared to make that case, and know how to evidence it correctly!

    £240 (every 4 weeks - so 13x a year) can, after all, make a huge difference to a lot of us. Especially if you have been unable to find employers willing to deal with, or even accept, the cyclical/non-constant impacts of struggling with mental health difficulty. We aren't in a wheelchair because of mental health, but it doesn't mean that on a BAD day we don't face struggles with the same issues.

    The last point I can currently think is worth mentioning is a word caution on the frequency of payment with PIP... if you receive an award it's every 4 weeks (13x a year) rather than a specific monthly date, like UC. 

    You may think, 13x a year: that's great! It does mean one month a year you'll get two payments...

    This has in my case normally been towards the end of the year. I think in last three years it's been Oct, Oct and Sep. But this raises a slight difficulty...

    Sometimes you'll get a payment at the beginning of a month, sometimes the middle, sometimes the end and in the case of the double payment month: you'll get one at the beginning and one at the end, of the same month. While it's fixed to a day of the week, the date will move around the month.

    The point here is: if you're a tad impulsive, like myself (understatement of the year!!) it's worth remembering this, as 4 weekly payments can make using the award for monthly bills more difficult to manage.

    If I see money in my account mid month, I have had a tendency in the past to permit myself "treats". To be honest if I have money I tend to spend it. But if this money arrived mid month and your intention was meant to be to use it for bills at the end of that month...

    All the best,

    Chris

    P.S. Thanks for the comments! This may sound weird to say, but recenty I've been considering setting up a service to help people get what they're actually entitled to! I'm stuck at working out who to charge for it though, as I'd feel bad charging any claimant! It could be I try linking up with a charity.

    You'd think this should be a role Citizen's Advice fill, but BBC news actually had a story early last year where 3 Scottish schools clubbed together to pay an admin specifically to help the parents with claims submission and management: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56921538

    Within 18 months that admin had helped parents claim over £400,000 in entitlements that they hadn't previously been claiming! DWPs system doesn't signpost people in need, I have asked DWP for information myself in the past and been completely ignored. As I say though: it's not their job to be helpful!!

  • This has again been such an informative post.  Thank you so much 

  • Hi Chris, would it be ok if I send you a private message - it's just to ask a question about this?

  • Sure, I've no problem with messages, I can be slow to reply... I've found myself taking more time over all posts and messages recently. But I will reply! :-)

  • Thank you so much.

  • I think I've sent you a message but am not sure (I'm sometimes a bit rubbish with technology).  I sent it as a friend request as I couldn't see how else to send direct messages.

  • No worries, I've received and will take a look in a mo. Don't worry, it's the only way to connect via PM on here. 

  • This is really informative. It will definitely be something I look into once I have received my diagnosis (if I remember. I have such a bad memory).