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Thread: PIP Physical Assessment - how much weight does it carry?

  1. #1

    PIP Physical Assessment - how much weight does it carry?

    I'm wondering what credence is put on the PIP physical assessment. Is it simply a case of how you were on the day or does the assessment mean in the eyes of the health professional that this is what you're like all the time? I ask because while I've got my responses/arguments prepared for everything else that was cited as evidence in rejecting my PIP application this one has me puzzled. I've had days when I an't get out of bed so obviously turning up for the assessment in the first place was an indication of a (very) good day and this was mentioned at the time and included in the health professional's report.

    The DWP's PIP assessment guide for providers says that "A "snapshot" view of the claimant's condition on a particular day at a particular time is not an adequate assessment"

    So is this physical such a "snapshot" view - personally I can't see how it can be anything else - or is the HP claiming that the physical capabilities I had at the assessment are the physical capabilities I have all the time? One specific area aside, I'm not saying the assessment was incorrect. But it was an assessment "on a particular day at a particular time" so I can't see how it can be considered adequate. In fact the entire assessment process, verbal and physical, would appear to be at odds with the DWP's own express advice to providers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Usually at the assessment, the assessor will ask you how you cope with the various activities in general, not just on one day. The criteria are that to be deemed able to complete an activity successfully you must be able to do it without pain, in a reasonable time, to a normal standard, at least 50% of the time.

  3. #3
    Thank you. Yes, I understand that and that was done but the physical assessment - which I think could only have lasted a minute or so at most - seems to suggest that being able to do something on that particular day is an indication of being able to do so on a regular basis. My rejection letter says "Your physical examination showed that you have no physical restrictions that would impact on your ability to carry out any of these activities"

    Now, if that's based purely on the observations of the day of assessment then surely that's a "snapshot view" of the kind the DWP themselves advise providers is not an "adequate assessment" What I'm trying to establish is whether the HP is saying that the physical assessment indicates PERMANENT ability to do something and if so what is it about this brief physical that allows them to suggest this?

    Without going into personal details there were two activities I felt made me eligible for PIP, one I can't/daren't do ever and one that affects me over 50% of the time.

    Having read and re-read the HP's report and the DWP decision many times over I am struck by how much of it apparently hinges on the actual day of assessment in seeming contradiction to the DWP's own guidelines. There's no explanation as to why the HP thinks the assessment on the day proves ability to do anything on more than 50% of occasions. Indeed the report carefully hedges its bets using language like 'reasonable to suggest'. It's very cleverly worded, examples including "the allotment is twenty minutes walk away and he is able to manage this without any difficulty" Anyone reading that is going to take two things from it - first that it's MY allotment and I stroll there regularly. It's actually my wife's and I only go when I know I can do it. And when I get there I sit down guiltily and watch her tend it. Now, I didn't apply for a mobility component but somehow this is included as evidence. Qualifications like 'at present' appear in other sections of the report when I made clear at assessment I was talking about permanence. The whole thing just seems to be a mixture of careful wording and a broadbrush approach, with the conclusions on a basis the DWP themselves shouldn't be done.

    Of course as I've mentioned on another thread they haven't taken into account the additional submission I sent in along with the PIP questionnaire. So it's all 'you said' and never 'you said because'

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    I hope my comments will be useful as someone who has recently undergone a PIP assessment.
    My understanding of Pip is that it is comprised of two different elements.

    -Daily Living

    In order to establish both of these items a series of questions are put to you to establish how you are over the course of a protracted period(1 year)
    If over 50% of the time you are for example able to walk less than 20 metres then that should be the box that`s ticked by the Assessor.
    If you have said to the Assessor that you are able at any time to walk for 20 minutes without difficulty to an allotment the Assessor will reflect that in the Assessment but should also have established the frequency of this and whether can be accomplished repeatedly.The Assessor/DWP have no interest to whom the allotment belongs but only in the case that you were able to walk for 20 minutes.
    If the HP is not establishing frequency then important that the applicant does so when answering the questions.

    As far as I am aware in submitting the application for PIP you are applying for both elements and can`t separate them.
    Each question or series of questions asked constitutes an answer in a relevant box by the HP and you can see which box the HP has filled in with a black dot.

    My physical assessment only lasted a minute or two as well when I was asked to move my arms,hands and legs in certain positions and flex my back which I indicated I could not manage as it provoked pain and could cause a back spasm which was accepted by HP.

    A general matter for anyone undergoing an Assessment is to consider the Assessment has started as soon as you walk in the door and particularly as soon as you name is called by the HP.
    They know exactly the distance from where you are seated to their Consulting Room and if you have stated you cannot walk more than 20 metres and walk without stopping to their Consulting Room more than 20 metres away they won`t be black dotting the 20 metres box !!

    Hope this helps a little.
    Last edited by ray2; 08-07-19 at 16:41.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    What i would say, and did, is qualify every answer and action.i
    To can you lift your arm? I replied, yes, but its painful and I could not repeatedly do this, nor could I lift anything heavy up. Nor could I keep my hand up. you get the drift.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    I think I recall Flymo advising never to answer "Yes, but...." because they will hear "Yes" and not listen to the rest.

    He advised answering "No; not usually. It's too painful to do repeatedly".

    You are saying the same thing, but they hear No instead of Yes.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  7. #7
    I take the point about not separating the two areas but my answers to the mobility questions were on moving around that I can stand and move more than 200 metres and 'no' to the other two parts of that question. I answered 'no' to all three parts of question 13 on going out. My concern is that with the HP not ticking the box 'The claimant did not report significant functional problems etc' it looks like I was claiming I had problems in areas where I do not (at least not to the extent that would score any points) and this may impact on other areas.

  8. #8
    if I'd still had my wits about me I might have done that but after an hour's interrogation (because that's what it was) I just wanted out. I actually became quite distressed at one point over persistent questioning about seizures. I'm not really complaining about what the physical assessment conclusions were - other than the ability to move my head fully to both left and right which means my neck must have been playing a trick on me for the past 25 years - it's how this can be extrapolated to mean being able to do things most of the time that baffles me

  9. #9
    Good point. Wish I'd thought of it three weeks ago

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