This week I had my assessment for PIP, and as there isn't really much information available about what exactly goes on in the assessment, I thought i would write up a brief review to help others who are expecting an assessment in the future.
First thing you need to know, is that this assessment is not like the Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance. This assessment is not directed around work or work limitations, this is basically to see how your disability affects you on a day-to-day basis, taking into account both your "good days" and your "bad days".
PIP is made of two parts, the Daily Living component and the Mobility component. We'll start with the Mobility component as its the shortest part of the assessment; This part is basically describing what your mobility limitations are, if you have any. This includes walking (not mobilising as it is in ESA assessments). Now the assessor for me, very rarely used the word "pain" when asking her questions, but I advise that you do. Describe how long you can walk, stand etc, before you start to experience pain and emphasise exactly how much pain you often experience doing these activities.
This then brings me on to the Daily Living component, which takes up the bigger portion of the assessment. Your assessor will ask questions on topics such as:
can you cook a meal or do you need help;
can you bathe/shower yourself or do you need help with it;
can you go out on your own or do you need someone to go with you;
can you dress yourself or do you need assistance from someone;
can you take your medication or do you need prompting or help from someone.
When answering these questions, always describe what assistance you need on both your good days and your bad days, whether you are asked to or not. That way, the assessor knows if you do need help, just maybe not all the time (e.g if you have a fluctuating medical condition)
You may be asked about any aids or adaptations you may have and use in your home. You need to describe these in detail and exactly how beneficial these are to you. If you are not asked about them, remember to include them in the above topics.
If you are on strong medication that causes side effects, make sure that these are brought up with your assessor, along with how they can affect you. If you need extra assistance from someone because of these side effects, make sure you explain this to your assessor.
All in all, the assessment will go on for about an hour, so there is plenty of time to make sure everything is included, so do not rush! I wish you all luck with your assessments and I hope you all get the assistance that you deserve and are entitled to.