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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)   tips 

The PIP application process can be a very scary and emotionally draining process for many people.

Not only does the outcome have huge implications for you and your family, but you also have to think about yourself in a very negative light and about all of the things you struggle to do.

These tips are intended to make the process of completing the form as straightforward as possible, and help you complete it in a way that will

give the assessors an accurate picture of your situation.

PIP tips

  • Familiarise yourself with the application form and read over any help that they have sent you. 

  • If you need more time for the PIP application process, because of a hospital appointment or just generally feeling unwell, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) immediately to request an extension. If you cannot collect additional evidence in time don’t worry as it can be sent after the deadline date. However, it is essential that the application is made in time or your claim could be refused.

  • sometimes you might need to fill out the boxes for extra information and state the obvious in the assessment because it won’t always be obvious to the assessor.

  • Provide real-life examples for each activity, particularly if there are any safety concerns or risks involved with you carrying out the task, and provide as much detail as possible.

  • Assessors must consider the following factors for each activity:

    • the outcome (whether the activity can be successfully completed and to what standard)

    • the impact (the effect that reaching the outcome has on the individual and others, and whether the individual can repeat the activity in a reasonable timeframe to the same standard)

    • the variability (how an individual’s approach and outcome changes overtime, and what impact this has on them).

  • the approach (how the person carries out the task, what assistance is required, and how long it takes to complete the task and whether it is safe)


So think about: what your health condition or disability is, and how this impacts on each activity; the problems and challenges associated with carrying out each activity; whether the problems arise during the morning, evening, at night, or all of the time; how your condition varies, from day-to-day or week-to-week, and how much it varies; and what problems your experiences when they are at their best, worst and average.

  • Consider keeping a diary for the next two weeks of how you are affected day-to-day by your health condition or disability. This will help to evidence your daily challenges and any fluctuating conditions.

  • write a list of everything you would like to say

  • Remember the ‘reliability’ factor. A person must be able to carry out an activity safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly, and in a reasonable time period. If the person is not able to do an activity ‘reliably’, in all the four ways listed above (even with an aid or appliance), then they cannot do that activity.

  • Include details of any help needed – even if your relative does not receive that help. Make reference to any supervision, prompting or assistance needed or provided from another person, and list any aids (eg a walking stick), appliances (eg a wheelchair) or personalised technology (eg a safety kettle) that your relative uses or needs.

  • Consider writing your own report about what you feel your relative’s challenges are. This is also your opportunity to tell the DWP if you feel that your relative would not cope with a face-to-face assessment and why. Similarly, if your relative has mobility problems and would struggle to get to an assessment centre then this is your opportunity to request a home visit.

  • Keep a photocopy of the application form, and staple any additional pages to the original that you intend to send to the DWP. Write your relative’s name, national insurance number and date of birth on the top of each additional page. You could also provide a list of the additional pages and documents that you have sent, to ensure that everything is accounted for.

  • The more evidence that you provide the better the outcome is likely to be. Include any assessments that provide an accurate account of your relative’s condition and how it affects them. This could be a recent adult social care assessment, a care and support plan, or a behavioural plan, or reports from psychologists, psychiatrists and care providers. You could also request a supporting letter from your relative’s GP (contact us for a template). You may be asked to pay for new evidence reports; however, you can ask the DWP to request the reports instead – but, you risk them not requesting the information and the evidence not being considered.

  • Send photocopies of the evidence rather than the original documents. Do not mark any evidence as ‘confidential’ or ‘in confidence’.


If you are still struggling to complete the assessment on your own, contact CAB to help you.

Remember things like can you bend down and put on your socks? get your hands behind behind your back and undo your bra? can you wash your hair on your own? can you walk around the supermarket without holding on to the trolley? Do you rely on anyone to help you?

Ask for mandatory reconsideration

If you’re not happy with the decision you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This means your case will be looked at again. When requesting a mandatory reconsideration, you have the right to ask for copies of all the evidence that was used in making the decision. You can also ask them not to take any further action until you have had the chance to respond to that evidence.

If your PIP claim has been rejected you might also want to send a reconsideration letter to the DWP. 

If you are in any doubt about what might happen during a reconsideration, you can seek advice from a local advice centre, such as Citizens Advice, or turn2us 



If you’re not awarded PIP after the mandatory reconsideration and are still unhappy, you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

You have one calendar month from the date of the mandatory reconsideration notice to lodge an appeal to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The form you need is the SSCS1 – and the mandatory reconsideration notice will have details of how to get an SSCS1 form.

You’ll need to attach a copy of the mandatory reconsideration decision to your SSCS1 form before you send it off (you can only appeal once you’ve first asked for a mandatory reconsideration).

As well as giving details of the decision you’re appealing against, you must also state clearly why you disagree with the decision. State what rate of PIP you consider you should have been awarded and your reasons for this.


If you have had a telephone assessment then you have missed out on the opportunity to 


Meeting face to face gives you the whole picture. You can read people — and their intentions and true feelings — in ways that simply aren't possible online. Meeting face to face also allows you — and your meeting partner — to showcase your personality, an incredibly important part of any relationship 

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