For people who do need to be seen in person most consultations take place in one of the consultation centres around the country. However, if it is clear from the information that we have that travelling to a consultation centre would cause significant distress we will automatically arrange for the consultation to take place in the claimant’s home.
An aspect of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment that is sometimes misunderstood is how informal observations are taken into account. The PIP Assessment Guide, produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is very explicit about this (we have included the relevant extract at the end of this item).
We know that many people have conditions or disabilities that may vary over time. They may have good and bad days, good and bad months, or good and bad times within a day. If you have a fluctuating condition, you will want to be sure that it will be fully considered during your consultation.
PIP assesses your ability to perform 12 daily living and mobility activities, such as preparing food, communicating verbally, and planning and following journeys. It is not sufficient to be able to complete these activities once, or occasionally; PIP assesses your ability to undertake tasks “reliably”. Reliability has four components each of which must be satisfied in order for an activity to be undertaken ‘reliably’.
Mental Function Champions (MFCs) are experienced Health Professionals who have direct and relevant work experience of helping patients with mental health problems and who can advise the HP on any aspect of the effects of mental health conditions on someone’s everyday life.
For anyone who is terminally ill and not expected to live more than 6 months, there is a special fast-track PIP claim procedure called Special Rules for Terminally Ill.