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How PIP is assessed

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How PIP is assessed

An important part of assessing your ability to carry out each activity is assessing whether you are able to do the activity ‘reliably’. Here, ‘reliably’ means that all of the following points apply.

  1. That you can do the activity ‘safely’. This means that you can do the activity while keeping yourself and others safe, and avoid harm. For example, doing the activity in a way that would not cause any accident or injury if you had a seizure.
  2. That you can do the activity to ‘an acceptable standard’ each time you do it. What is an acceptable standard will depend on the type of activity you are doing. For example, cooking food so that it is edible, or dressing appropriately for the weather.
  3. That you can do the activity ‘repeatedly’. This means being able to do the activity as frequently as reasonably required. For example, being able to take medication for your epilepsy every time that you need to during the day.
  4. That you can do the activity in a ‘reasonable time period’. This means taking no more than twice as long as the longest time it would take someone without a disability to do it. For example, if you are able to walk to the shop at the end of your street, but it takes you two hours to do this, this would not be considered a 'reasonable time period’, if someone without a disability would be able to do this in 10 minutes, even if they were walking very slowly.

If you are not able to do an activity ‘reliably’, in all the four ways listed above, even with an aid or appliance, then you will be considered unable to do that activity.

How this applies to filling in the form

For each activity, include in your answer:

  • whether you are able to carry out the activity reliably (as explained above) or not;
  • what help you might need (whether you actually get that help or not) which could include someone else doing things for you, helping you to do things, or reminding you to do things; and,
  • the possible result (including any risks) of doing the activity, and of doing the activity without help.

You can also include whether doing the activity causes you any pain or discomfort, breathlessness or anxiety, or causes you to be very tired.

It is also important to include:

  • how often things happen (such as how often you have a seizure);
  • how long things last (such as how long a seizure lasts or how long it takes to recover from a seizure); and
  • how long it takes you to do things (see ‘reasonable time period’ above).

Definitions of terms used in the form

The PIP application form includes some specific wording about ‘aids and appliances’ and ‘50% of the time’.

  • Aids or appliances are things that help you to do an activity, such as a walking stick, wheelchair or walk-in shower. An aid or appliance can be something specifically developed to help someone with disabilities, or it can be something else which you use to help you with with an activity (where you wouldn’t be able to do the activity without it).
  • 50% of the time: In the PIP assessment, a descriptor will apply to you if it reflects your ability to carry out an activity, safely and reliably, at some stage during the day, for more than 50% of days over a 12 month period. This could include both at the time of the seizure and during the time it takes you to recover from the seizure. Using a seizure diary can be a good way of showing how frequently your seizures happen or how often you have difficulties due to your condition. Order our free seizure diary through our online shop. If more than two descriptors apply to you, the highest score will be applied.

Information produced: July 2019

How to apply for PIP

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a UK benefit for people over the age of 16, to help with any additional costs due to having a long-term disability or health condition. This information is designed to help you with the first stage of applying for PIP - making a claim.

How to fill in your PIP form

It is important that you fill in your form promptly and try not to put it off, even if it looks difficult. There is a short time frame for filling in and returning your form (usually one month), and this should be explained in the information you get from the DWP, which will include the deadline for returning the form.

PIP the assessment criteria factsheet

Taken from our 'PIP - the assessment criteria' factsheet