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PIP - the dreaded face to face interview

(67 Posts)
HootyMcOwlface Sun 08-Apr-18 20:57:00

My husband has had a letter from Capita saying they are coming to the house the week after next for a face to face interview regarding his PIP application ( he currently gets DLA). Has anyone been through it and if so any advice? I feel terribly anxious about it.

mcem Sun 08-Apr-18 20:59:12

Please report back hooty. My daughter has to face this in a few weeks.
Galen is GN' s kind and wise advisor on PIP.

POGS Sun 08-Apr-18 21:27:30

I had a home visit last year from Capita and after many years I received an increase in my payments moving from Disability Living Allowance to PIP. .

The interviewer was courteous, kind and whilst she had a job to do and I fully understood the need for being asked her questions I thought she was not at all intrusive other than asking to see what aids I had in the house and looking at the bathroom that was it. She was here for almost an hour but that was more to do with me rabbiting on rather than she was delving into things for the sheer hell of it.

Good luck. I understand not everybody has the same response but we can only speak as we find.

HootyMcOwlface Sun 08-Apr-18 22:17:53

Well thanks POGS, I hope we have a similar experience. I'm a bit wary of 'friendly' inspectors, I feel they do it to get you to maybe say more than you should! Haha! (Work related experience - Bank inspectors).

HootyMcOwlface Sun 08-Apr-18 22:25:19

Mcem - I will report back. Hope your daughter gets on ok with hers too.

From reports I've read about I'm dreading it, but I suppose you only really hear of the bad things, things going well aren't newsworthy are they! I was hoping they wouldn't need to do one as he has progressive ms.

HAZBEEN Mon 09-Apr-18 08:16:56

I had my face to face at home about 5 months ago for DLA to PIP. Mine was with ATOS who have such a bad rep but it was fine. My assessor was a District Nurse very friendly and knowledgeable about my condition. The only time I felt things were wrong was when she asked to see the bathroom and also went into the kitchen to speak to my partner as I had been told they shouldnt do this. If you go to an assessment centre they would not be able to check out your house would they? I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded a higher level of PIP to what I got on DLA, I had expected more of a problem after reading about others!
On the other hand my DGS who is ASD lost his DLA to PIP and my DD is in the process of going through the appeal but the date has been postponed yet again!

midgey Mon 09-Apr-18 09:22:16

My husband had a face to face interview, the person was perfectly pleasant. She arrived early, I did wonder if she thought she felt she might ‘catch us out’. (Difficult in a genuine case!) She spoke to my husband for about half an hour and then spoke to me as he hadn’t made much sense to her...part of the problem! I felt she didn’t miss anything, taking in equipment and things used obviously on a daily basis. The PIP came through quite quickly.

Hm999 Mon 09-Apr-18 09:52:45

I'm horrified at the stress these interviews cause, and wish you both well, Owlface and mcem.

My understanding is that the interviewer fills in a form, and that form is sent to a third party for assessment.

My family's experience is that should the benefit be removed, appeal (which invariably fails) and then take it to a tribunal. This is exhausting, and sets the disabled person's progress back months and months. However I read recently that in one city, over 70% of appeals eventually succeeded.

My advice is to hang in there for what is your family's rights.

HAZBEEN Mon 09-Apr-18 09:59:55

Hm999 yes I have heard that about appeals as well but getting to the tribunal is a fight in its self. My DGSs date took 9 months to come through then it was postponed 10 days before and still no new date. Because they took away his DLA my daughter also lost, carers allowance and disabled child premium and tax credits. Also she couldnt claim Warm Home discount and didnt receive the extra £25 a week cold weather payment. We have been told if (when) she gets PIP reinstated it will be back dated to July 2017 but she wont get the rest of the missing allowances back.

Coco51 Mon 09-Apr-18 10:02:15

I had to attend an interview. The medical professional was polite and friendly but she did not accurately represent some of the things I told her. The DWP then decided that because I could drive a manual car I could walk more than 20 metres ‘safely, reliably and repeatedly’ without taking into account that I am in pain the whole time. I went from high rate DLA to standard PIP and lost £30+ per week. They refused to accept that this was like comparing apples with oranges - I’m waiting for a date for my appeal to the Tribunal.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 09-Apr-18 10:20:27

Yes, my daughter had a visit. First I must say that they have accepted that your husband is so disabled he can’t attend an interview at one of there centres, so that is good. Secondly I am sure you have kept a copy of the form you sent in so re-read it and have it with you when they visit. One of the most important things the person doing the interview is trying to find out if you have been extravagant with the truth when filling out the form! They will try to catch you out, so don’t underplay any answers and be aware of what was stated on the form. My experience of this has been working for CAB in the past and I still help out with friends and family. Must say I was really lucky with my daughter, I asked them to attend early morning when her carers were around, it was also the time when she was worse mentally. I had stated on the form she couldn’t tell the time, so she was asked what’s the time xxxx, in reply she handed him her mobile phone and told him to look on it!

Barmeyoldbat Mon 09-Apr-18 10:26:43

I must add that they must not hurry you, so take your time in replying, let your husband give the answers and just stay in the background. Good luck I am sure it will work out fine.

blueberry1 Mon 09-Apr-18 10:41:40

My experience was not good-the assessor arrived 45 minutes late,saying she had been stuck in traffic.The first thing she did was ask my support worker for a glass of water.She then asked the questions with a challenging attitude and asked me to do certain movements which were painful.I suffer with anxiety and have Aspergers so was in a terrible state by the time she left.Her report contained details that showed she had been watching me very closely and also some downright lies.My mobility component of the PIP was stopped,a reconsideration was unsuccessful and I had to appeal and go to court.
That was an even more stressful experience but my mobility allowance was re-instated and backdated so eventual success.
I do hope that you will have a better experience and would advise you to visit this site,which has a lot of advice and a forum -

Phoebes Mon 09-Apr-18 11:04:23

I don't know what you can do about supposedly professional people who tell downright lies and state that black is white to put themselves in the clear - after a total knee replacement three years ago I have been in constant pain and have also been rushed into hospital in agony over a year later after a major bleed on my operated knee. the consultant who did the op didn't even bother to come and see me! He keeps saying the pain is coming from my hip.I saw the hip consultant who said there was nothing wrong with my hip! I have been back and fore to the hospital, and even had a second opinion from a senior colleague of my consultant, who just toed the party line! In a letter to my GP, who is great and agrees that something is badly wrong, the consultant quoted me as saying that I said all sorts of things that I never said. I don't know what to do as I feel that I'm getting nowhere. What can you do if a professional persists in lying like this? (Sorry if this isn't totally relevant to the post.)

Galen Mon 09-Apr-18 11:26:57

The assessors vary tremendously. The majority of appeals seem to be those who go from high mob to standard pip.
It is a very different benefit from DLA.
In DLA the relevant distance is 50metres, in PIP it is 50m for standard rate and 20 for enhanced. You must have enhanced level for a mobility car.
If you disagree with the decision the first step is a request for a mandatory reconsideration, only following that do you go through an appeal which is before a tribunal.

Any other questions?

HAZBEEN Mon 09-Apr-18 11:49:19

My DGSs assessor said in her report that he has no problems with anxiety/ meeting people face to face and yet at the assessment he had a major panic attack and was so distressed they called a taxi to take him home! Also according to the assessor because he can play a video game he can follow a recipe, time and cook food and has no problems with mobility. By the way these are quotes from her report!

icanhandthemback Mon 09-Apr-18 11:50:34

May I suggest you record the interview so you can check the report against what you actually said. I am sure that it is difficult for the interviewer to always remember what has been said but it does appear that quite often it has been misunderstood or completely the opposite. I am sure we don't hear about the many successful applications but there do appear to be too many completely wrongly reported applications. Most people could sort it out with DWP before you even get to the tribunal if they have solid evidence.

HAZBEEN Mon 09-Apr-18 11:50:38

The problem with PIP is the criteria are aimed at physical disabilities and do not take mental disability such as Autism into account

HootyMcOwlface Mon 09-Apr-18 12:19:10

yes it is very stressful as was filling out the application form. My husband absolutely hates saying what he can't do - and he really can do very little. He has been in a foul mood ever since we did the form, I'm getting to the end of my tether with him. I am worried that at the interview he will say he can do all sorts, when I have to hoist him in and out of his chair, dress him, wash him, feed him and everything else. I have said to him he needs to be careful what he says he can do as their job is to try and get out of giving him the PIP, and he could lose his wav (motability wheelchair accessible vehicle), and I could lose my pittance of a carers allowance.

glammanana Mon 09-Apr-18 12:22:26

My sister was asked to go to an interview to change from DLA to PIP lasy year and I accompanied her at the appointment.
The young lady asked my sister many questions regarding her problems which are no use of her right arm and weakness all down her right side,she cannot lift anything and has difficulty walking without an aid.
She was granted the change to PIP until Sept 2019 only when she has to reapply.
Her condition will not improve at all so we will have to do it all again next year for her,what has amazes me is that on the report we received from DWP was that my sister had use of her right arm and it was not as bad as stated on the forms,but when the person was interviewing my sister she was sitting opposite her and the arm she was looking at was my sisters left arm not her malfunctioning right arm so she did not receive the full amount she should have done,the thing is my sister will not get in touch with them as she says she can't stand the stress of it all.

HootyMcOwlface Mon 09-Apr-18 12:23:02

Gosh Phoebes that sounds awful. Can you ask your GP if he can refer you somewhere else for a second opinion?

icanhandthemback Mon 09-Apr-18 12:34:58

My DD has a congenital condition which will not get better but she still gets her PIP awarded for 3 years but assessed after 2. It is such a waste of their time but, hey ho, that is the system. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't such a stressful time as so much hangs on it.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 09-Apr-18 13:45:16

The assessor will ask what aids are used for your husband, so the hoist should be a great help for information. Try not to get to down about it.

grannyactivist Mon 09-Apr-18 13:45:28

Two years ago my charity supported a learning disabled man at a Tribunal where the points he was initially awarded were increased by an extra twenty points, but he also has to be assessed again after two years. His learning disability is never going to improve so why he has to undergo the stress of re-assessment I don't understand. The man is already in an extreme state of anxiety about it and I hate that these things cause untold stress needlessly.

ladycatlover Mon 09-Apr-18 13:56:06

I've found Benefits and Work to be really helpful over the form filling, then the Mandatory Reconsideration - they have example forms (and letters for MR). Their cost for a year of membership to access their papers is reasonable (£19.95 a year). You can find details here:

I was on low care for DLA and high mobility. After my assessment by ATOS I was given standard payment for both activities of daily living and moving around, so lost my Motability car. I was 67 when I was called for PIP assessment, and 68 by the time I got to Tribunal last June.

Because of my age I decided to seek further help for Tribunal (as too old to make a new claim for PIP), so went to Fightback4Justice. They do free help, but I joined them on their higher level of membership. I was very fortunate that one of their advocates was able to accompany me to Tribunal. There is a further charge for this, plus travel costs. Highly recommended. With their help I obtained enhanced rate for both activities of daily living and moving around at Tribunal. I continue to make monthly payments to them, as they help others too. And I'm sure that without the benefit of their advocate coming with me to Tribunal I would have been a gibbering idiot there!

Fightback are also on Facebook if you want to find out more about them.

I'm not meaning to advertise either of these resources for help with benefits - just I have found both really helpful.

For anyone who wants to follow my PIP "journey" and has time enough to read 20 pages about it all, I wrote about it on Benefits and Work forums. These don't need membership to access and read them, but if you want to ask questions or post you do need to be a member.

Wishing the best of luck to everyone who is having to go through PIP and other benefit applications.