The dreaded PIP form

So today the dreaded PIP form arrived! Sure I knew it was going to happen eventually but with an indefinite award I guess I hoped it would be a little longer before it arrived. I have read loads and some sounds terrifying, some fills me with despair, some with hope and some leads me to the conclusion I just can’t expect to hold onto my car or my sanity.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated


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get help from welfare rights or CAB. the form is designed to trip you up. the key words in all the questions are “safely, repeatedly and in a timely manner” make sure you address these points. for example “are you able to shower yourself” answer : usually i manage by using by bath board and grabrails but sometimes i feel vulnerable and have to wait until someone can sit with me" can you dress yourself - yes but it takes me 30 minutes and leaves me so exhausted that i need to rest for 30 minutes. and so on. make sure you have help. gather all evidence, such as doctors letters, ms nurse, neuro etc, photocopy them. make sure that you send by recorded delivery. if you lose your benefit, put in a request for mandatory reconsideration immediately. i’m sorry that my writing is clumsy, think i’m relapsing. good luck

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First of all, you need to take this slowly and steadily. Don’t panic over the bloody thing.

You’ve said that you’ve read loads. My tips are to check where you think you should score points for each of the descriptors. See for a table of the descriptors and the various activities associated with them.

You score once per descriptor and the aim is to score a total of 12 or more for each of the two components, Daily Living and Mobility. (For the enhanced awards, 8 points for the standard rates.)

I always recommend using the guides from the website. It does cost about £20 per year to join, but it’s worth it.

When you know where you think you should score points and how, you need to answer the various questions on the form. You should do this in rough first, or type them. I tend to leave at least a day or two between writing a draft and completing each question. So check the question, look at the guidance from Benefits and Work, check what points you think you should score, and write your answer with suitable examples. Then leave it for a couple of days before editing it.

I suggest you treat the whole claim process not as an antagonistic exercise. Pretend that a) the questions are reasonable and b) that you, the assessor and the DWP decision maker are all on the same side. You’re job is to explain to the assessor exactly who you are, what problems you have (in relation to the descriptors) and how your disability affects you. You also should try to give some specific examples.

Something people often say is that you should write your claim form ‘as if it’s your worst day’ I disagree with this, the reason I disagree is that if you do have to have a face to face assessment, and it’s not your ‘worst’ type of day, it appears to the assessor that you’ve exaggerated. By all means explain what a really bad day is like, but don’t be tempted to say something happens every day if it doesn’t.

You also need to gather evidence in support of your claim. This can take virtually any form. Letters from your neurologist, MS nurse, physiotherapist, carer(s), urologist, bowel and bladder nurse, GP, anyone else you see who can explain your physical and/or cognitive problems. Also, if you’ve had a social services assessment, or a care plan, include those. You can even include photographs of aids and adaptations you need. For each of the points you feel you should be awarded, you should have a piece of evidence to back up your statement.

Make sure you number every page you send, and have your name and National Insurance number on each. Don’t send original documents, photocopy the entire claim and post by recorded delivery. Don’t rush it, but also don’t miss any deadlines.

Good luck with it. (Sorry, this is a bit long, hopefully it’s useful!)


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(Plus, everything that Carole said!)

Thank you both and hope you feel better soon Carole

lots more reading for me …

Sally - I hate to say “best of luck” as this really shouldn’t be anything to do with luck! Take your time and make sure you get everything you want included. Safely, reliably, repeatedly and at a normal pace/speed Key points I tried to include, helped to some extent. Charlie

Hello there. This whole, so called examination, is a complete farce. It is carried out by unqualified people, most of which haven’t a clue about ms. Even though the government will not admit,it the whole pip process has been designed to chop deserving people their lawful entitlement to disability benefits. The ones who drew up this farce should try and walk a day in your shoes. I recently went through the pip process from dla. Yes I passed with flying colours, this is because I am racked with this horrible ms disease. What they don’t understand is this. I would much rather have my life back and get back to the world of work if I could. The exam should not be about passing or failing a face to face, it should be about what the medical experts tell them.

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Hi Tia,

Sue and Carole have given excellent advice, can’t add too much more.

I’ll just repeat - type your answers then you can add to it if you think of things. I said it was easier to type as my hand gets tired ( I use a rubber barrelled pen easier to grip).

Number each page and add your name NI number.

List all the items that make your life easier for Daily Living and reasons - walkingstick, perching stool, rubber handled knives, touch base lamps, shopping delivered, gardener, these also show difficulty walking.

Take photos - I took a photo of my hand when it doesn’t straighten.

Know you’ve got a time limit but don’t rush.

Remember, once you’ve had your face to face you can phone DWP a few days later and get a copy of your meeting.

Stay sane…

Jen x

Cracking the right code for PIP is like an episode of the Bletchley Circle - I have sent you a private message Sally - to help you crack the DWP’s Orwellian PIP code.

Hi, has anyone got some quick advice I got my pip face to face tomorrow I’m migrating from dla high mobility low rate care to pip and I’m very anxious about the whole thing . What type of questions will I be asked . Tia

Hi Sashenka

Search for PIP in search box top right. lots of advice.

Take your form with you to remind you what you’ve put.

Hope it goes well.


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