Face-to-face consultations temporarily suspended
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face consultations for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 17 March 2020.
This is to safeguard the health of vulnerable individuals by reducing unnecessary risk of exposure to Coronavirus. This measure will be regularly reviewed by the DWP. As a result, all PIP consultations will now be conducted by telephone. The telephone consultation gives you the opportunity to explain how your health condition or disability affects your ability to function on a daily basis.
What we ask of you
We want to do everything we can to keep your consultation stress-free. You can help us do this by giving us as much information as possible before your consultation. Tell us as soon as possible if:
You need to rearrange your consultation
You need assistance getting to your face-to-face consultation
You require an interpreter (including British Sign Language)
You have any questions about the other evidence we’d like you to bring on the day
You need extra help with reading or other communication
You have changed your address or telephone number
You require to see a Health Professional of the same gender
You have any other questions or concerns
Keep us informed
If you don't let us know your requirements in advance, we may have to postpone your consultation to get the necessary arrangements in place. So help us keep everything on track by keeping us informed. We're here to help. Speak to our Customer Service Centre by calling us.
Do you need extra help with communication?
If you have any special communication needs, contact our Customer Service Centre to find out how we can help. When telephoning please make sure there is a person with you who speaks English, to help pass on any information.
We provide interpreters for a wide range of languages, including British Sign Language.
Because interpreter services need to be arranged in advance, we need to know as soon as possible if you need one.
This helps avoid delays in doing your consultation.
A companion such as a family member or support worker is welcome to sit in on your consultation to help you answer any questions you’re asked. Please note, if your companion will be translating or interpreting the consultation for you, they should be at least 18 years old.
To contact us using a textphone, simply dial 18001 before entering the Independent Assessment Services Customer Service Centre number.
What to bring to your appointment
You’ll need to bring the following things with you on the day:
The appointment letter we’ve sent you.
Any recent or new evidence of how your health condition or disability affects your daily life (if your health has changed since you first applied for PIP).
Information we want to see:
- prescription lists
- care plans
- reports/information from people like your doctors, nurses, social workers or counsellors
Information we DON'T want to see:
- appointment letters from hospitals or other people involved in your treatment or care
- information you’ve sent us before (including your PIP2 form)
Two forms of identification
- UK driving licence
- UK travel pass with photograph
- birth certificate
- marriage certificate
- debit / credit card
- council tax demand
- UK utility bill
- foreign national ID card
- evidence of entitlement to state or local authority benefit
Who you can bring with you
It can be easier to talk openly about your health condition or disability if you have some moral support, so we encourage you to have a companion with you. This could be a friend, family member, carer or support worker.
We need to hear exactly how you feel your condition affects your daily life, so your companion can add in anything that helps you explain the difficulties you face more clearly, or help you answer any questions that you’re asked.
A DWP approved appointee is usually a friend or relative. Corporate approved DWP appointees acting on your behalf could include a solicitor or a local Council representative.
If your appointee can’t make the appointment then they have one opportunity to re-arrange it so that they can attend in person. Alternatively, they can arrange for another person to accompany you on their behalf – this can be on the original date or a different date.
We’d ask that if your appointee is not attending in person but sending a representative, it’s helpful if you let us know in advance. Don’t worry if you forget, we can take the representative’s details, including their relationship to you, on the day of your consultation.
So you know, we are not able to carry out your consultation if you are not accompanied.
Because arranging childcare can be difficult, children are welcome in all of our Consultation Centres. However, as we do not have any crèche facilities please come with someone who can look after them while you’re in the consultation room. We don’t recommend taking children into the consultation room with you.
We will pay for your travel
At the Consultation Centre, you'll be offered an expense form and pre-paid envelope. You can use these to claim back your travel costs.
If you have any questions about claiming travel expenses, please call our Customer Service Centre using the number on your appointment letter.