Assessment Process

PIP Face to Face Assessment

The aim of a face-to-face assessment is for a Disability Assessor to gather sufficient factual information about the functional effects of your condition or disability in order to create a report for DWP’s decision makers.

The Disability Assessor will ask you or your appointed representative questions to find out how your condition affects your daily living and getting around. They will take notes throughout the whole consultation.

The consultation will not be a full physical examination or an attempt to diagnose your medical symptoms. It will focus on how your life is affected by the challenges you face as a result of your health condition or disability. Each person is different and will be treated with dignity and respect.

Any physical examination that may be required will only involve you performing simple movements relative to your condition and within your abilities. You will not be asked to do anything that will cause you discomfort. This examination may also include a Mental Function Assessment which will be tailored to your individual situation. The Disability Assessor may also be able to see some of the difficulties that you have with certain tasks during the time you spend together, which can add further value to the report.

You will only be assessed as being able to do something if you can do it safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time.

Preparing for your Consultation

Make sure that you know where your appointment is taking place, plan your journey and give yourself enough time to arrive on time. You will receive instructions on which public transport you can use to get to the consultation centre.

Whether your consultation takes place at the consultation centre or in your own home, you are welcome to have another person with you; it could be a family member, friend, support worker or carer.

Your companion can provide support or help translate if English is not your first language, though they must be aged over 18 years in order to do this. Alternatively, we are able to provide a translation service or a British or Irish Sign Language interpreter if you let us know in advance. Please contact the Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114 should you wish to request this service.

If your appointment is at a consultation centre, make sure you know where it is taking place and allow yourself enough time to get there. You will receive instructions setting out the public transport you can use to get to the consultation centre.

If you cannot attend your appointment or for cultural or religious reasons you need a same-sex assessor please contact the Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114 as soon as possible.

Information that will help us with your assessment

If you have new evidence about how your condition affects your daily life, which you have not already sent to the DWP, please bring this to your assessment.

For example, reports from the following health professionals:

  • Your Physiotherapist
  • Your Social Worker
  • Your Counsellor
  • Your Support Worker
  • Your Consultant
  • Your Nurse
  • Your Doctor or GP

You can also bring care or treatment plans from:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Community Psychiatric Nurses
  • Learning Disability Support Teams

Remember, the evidence should show us how your condition affects you and not be just confirmation of your condition or the medication you take. This is because PIP is based on how your condition affects you and not the condition itself.

If you need medication, make sure you carry it with you. It may be useful if you bring a list of your medication. For example, a prescription list from your GP.

Other details you may want to think about:

  • If you have an assistance dog, water will be available.
  • Accessible toilets will be available (but we cannot help you to use these)
  • If you use any specialised communication equipment, please bring it with you.
  • Premises are accessible, with a hearing loop available, but make sure you contact our Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114 as soon as possible about any special requirements.

If you have questions or a request relating to your consultation, you can contact our Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114. You may want to get in touch with us in advance if:

  • Your disability or health condition means that you need specific adjustments to the way we carry out your consultation. This may include a request for a sign language interpreter.
  • English is not your first language and you would like us to help - we can provide an interpreter.

Identity verification for face to face assessment

Please show one piece of ID from category 'A' and one piece from category 'B'. If you do not have any photographic ID, then you should show two documents from category 'B'. If you do not have acceptable proof of identity we may be unable to continue your assessment.

Identity Documents

'A' - Photographic ID

  1. UK or Foreign Passport.
  2. Foreign National ID Card.
  3. UK Photo Card Driving License.
  4. Passport.
  5. Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card.
  6. Biometric Residence Permit issued by UKBA.
  7. UK Travel Pass with photograph.

'B' - Non-photographic ID

  1. Birth certificate, UK and Foreign.
  2. Marriage certificate, UK and Foreign.
  3. Decree Absolute, UK and Foreign.
  4. UK Driving Licence (old style, no photograph).
  5. Naturalisation/ UK citizenship certificate.
  6. UK Council/ Housing Association rent agreement document.
  7. UK Council/ Housing Association tenancy agreement document.
  8. UK Council Tax Demand.
  9. UK Utility Bill.
  10. UK evidence of entitlement to State or local authority benefit.

Audio recording

Should you wish, you may use your own equipment to record the face-to-face consultation. This must be undertaken in line with the following DWP rules:

  • You need to notify us before your appointment that you will like to record your assessment by calling our Enquiry Centre on 0808 1788 114.
  • You will need to provide your own audio-recording equipment. Your recording equipment must be able to produce two identical copies of the recording at the end of the assessment, either on audio cassette or CD. Mobile phones and laptops are not suitable mediums for recording assessments.
  • You will need to give one copy of the recording to the assessor, at the end of the appointment.
  • You will need to sign an agreement that sets out what you are and are not allowed to do with the recording.
  • We will retain a copy of the recording for a maximum of 14 months, at which point it will be destroyed. We do not pass on the recordings to the DWP and they are not used in determining your entitlement or award.
  • Should you attempt to record the assessment without having contacted us first and agreeing to the above guidelines, then your assessment is likely to be stopped and we may return your case to the DWP.