Your face-to-face assessment
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - important information to read before attending your assessment.
We have measures in place to make all our assessment centres safe environments for you and our staff. For example, there is hand sanitiser available and the assessment rooms are cleaned between appointments.
To protect you and our staff, and reduce the risk of anyone spreading or getting COVID-19, you must:
- attend your assessment alone, unless you need support
- not arrive more than 10 minutes early
- not bring children with you, and
- use the hand sanitiser provided.
You, and anyone who comes with you, must wear a suitable face covering.
Please contact us straight away if you, or anyone coming with you, have a reason for not wearing one in line with government guidance in:
You can find more information about attending your assessment here.
Do not attend your assessment if you, or anyone coming to the assessment with you:
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- are following government guidance to self-isolate, including after entering the UK from abroad, or
- have been contacted by the NHS and advised to stay at home.
Contact us straight away if any of the following apply.
- you cannot attend your assessment because you are self-isolating, or because you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- you have children and cannot make childcare arrangements - this is so we can discuss the best way to carry out your assessment.
- you have any concerns about travelling to your assessment - this is so we can discuss what support may be available.
You may find it helpful to visit the government's guidance on safer travel in:
You can also find local guidance here.
Please watch this short video for more information about the safety measures we have in place at our assessment centres.
Let us know if you would like to...
- Change your appointment - it's really important that you keep your appointment. If you don't, we will return your claim to the DWP. If you cannot keep your appointment for any reason, tell us straight away. You can only change your appointment once.
- Request a language translator or British Sign Language interpreter
- Request an appointment with a health professional of a specific gender
- Have your assessment audio recorded
What you need to bring to your assessment
You will need to provide two forms of ID:
- one item from list A and one from list B, or
- two items from list B (if you do not have any of the items in list A)
If you do not have acceptable proof of identity, we may be unable to carry out your assessment. Click on 'A' or 'B' below to view acceptable proof of identity.
- UK or foreign passport
- Foreign national ID card
- UK photo card driving licence
- Northern Ireland electoral identity card
- Biometric residence permit issued by UKBA
- UK travel pass with photo
- Birth certificate, UK and foreign
- Marriage certificate, UK and foreign
- Decree absolute, UK and foreign
- UK driving licence (old style, no photograph)
- Naturalisation/UK citizenship certificate
- UK council/housing association rent agreement document
- UK council/housing association tenancy agreement document
- UK council tax demand
- UK utility bill
- UK evidence of entitlement to state or local authority benefit
Medication and equipment
Please bring along any medication or specialised equipment you may need during your assessment. We have a hearing loop, if you need one.
If you have new evidence about how your health condition or disability affects your everyday, which you have not already sent to the DWP, please bring this to your assessment.
Who can join you at your assessment?
If possible, please come to your assessment alone unless you need support. If you need to have someone with you for support, you can bring one adult. This could be a friend, family member, carer or support worker.
Your companion should not speak for you, but they can help you to answer any questions or explain the difficulties you face more clearly. If your companion will be translating or interpreting for you, they must be over 18.
Please do not bring children with you. If you cannot make childcare arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss the best way to carry out your assessment.
You can have your assessment audio recorded. If you would like to do this, please contact us as soon as possible before your assessment so that we can arrange this for you.
Before the assessment starts, you will need to sign an agreement that explains how the recording can be used.
If you decide you no longer want your assessment to be recorded, let the health professional know. They will stop the recording and your assessment will continue as normal.
After your appointment, you will receive a link to your recording by text message or email, and a separate text message with a one-time password. The password will expire after 24 hours and can only be used once to access and download your recording. This is to protect you and the information you provided at your appointment.
If you would like a CD copy of the recording, please let the health professional know. We will also keep a copy of the recording.
After your assessment, if you have any difficulties accessing your recording, or need a CD copy, please contact us.
To find out more about audio recording, please visit our FAQs page.
The assessment centre
Please let reception know that you have arrived for your appointment. The reception area will have clear screens to help keep everyone safe. You and anyone you bring with you will be asked to provide your details for NHS contact tracing.
We aim to start all appointments on time, but there may be delays if somebody else's appointment takes longer than expected. You can take a seat in our waiting room before your assessment.
The assessment centre will be wheelchair accessible and disabled toilets will be available - we cannot help you to use these.
After each assessment, the room will be cleaned ready for the next appointment.
You and anyone you bring with you must keep your face covering on during the assessment. The health professional will also keep their face covering on.
Our health professionals are specially trained in carrying out functional assessments. It is important to remember that the assessment is not medical, so the health professional is not looking to diagnose your symptoms or recommend treatment. Instead, it will focus on how your health condition or disability impacts your day-to-day life.
The health professional will ask you how you manage your daily activities and will record your answers on a laptop. This is your opportunity to explain how your health condition or disability affects you.
The assessment will take as long as is necessary for the health professional to gather the information they need - this is usually around an hour.
As part of the assessment, the health professional may ask you to complete some basic movements. If you feel you cannot complete these movements without discomfort or pain, please let the health professional know. You will not need to adjust any clothing or have a physical examination.
The health professional may also be able to see some of the difficulties that you have with certain tasks during the time you spend together. They will include these observations in their report.
If the health professional suspects that you, or anyone with you, may have COVID-19 symptoms, they will stop the assessment. You will be asked to go straight home, minimising contact with others and arrange for a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
The health professional will write a report for the DWP.
The report will be based on the evidence you have provided as well as anything you discussed during your assessment.
They will send the report to the DWP so they can make a decision on your claim.
The DWP will look at your claim and all supporting information. This includes the assessment report, your ‘How your disability affects you’ form and any other evidence you have provided.
Once they have made their decision, they will write to you to tell you if you can get PIP. This letter will also tell you what to do next if you do not agree with the decision.
When you get your decision letter, if you want a copy of the assessment report, or you have any questions about your claim or the decision, please phone the DWP (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) on 0800 121 4433 (textphone: 0800 121 4493).
If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can also contact DWP through Relay UK or their Video Relay Service.
To find out more about PIP decisions, watch this short video.