DWP details evidence it can gather on every PIP claimant under new rules

By David Bentley & Ryan O'Neill

The Department of Work and Pensions has announced a list of evidence it can now gather on anyone trying to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

About 2.7 million people in the UK currently receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a vital tax-free benefit which qualifies claimants for additional financial assistance.

PIP can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term physical or mental health condition or disability, depending on how it affects your life.

Read more: The medical conditions that could entitle you to hundreds in monthly support from DWP

The DWP has now issued an updated guide for PIP assessments. Here's what you need to know about PIP, how to claim it and what evidence the DWP can now gather on claimants.

What is PIP?

The assistance provided to PIP claimants includes council tax reductions, benefit top-ups, and free or discounted public transport. The financial support is between £23.70 and £152.15 every week, and is paid every four weeks. This means claimants can receive between £94.80 and £608.60 monthly, completely tax-free.

You can get PIP whether you’re working or not, and you don't need to have worked or paid National Insurance contributions. You must be aged 16 or over and usually have not reached State Pension age to claim.

You must also have a physical or mental health condition or disability where you:

  • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months
  • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months

To apply you'll usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be in one of these countries when you apply. If you’ve recently returned from living in a European Economic Area (EEA) country, you might be able to get PIP sooner.

To make a new PIP claim, you must call the DWP on 0800 917 2222. You can find out more about eligibility, what you'll get and how to apply for PIP on the UK government website here.

What evidence can the DWP gather on me if I claim?

Once basic eligibility is established, claimants are usually asked to complete a questionnaire. The case is then passed to an assessment provider who looks at an individual’s ability to carry out a series of everyday activities and then reports back to the DWP.

This can sometimes be done based on the paperwork they already have, or at a consultation arranged with the applicant.

Sometimes a health professional needs additional evidence on a person and the DWP has detailed that this can mean gathering:

  • a report from other health professionals involved in the claimant’s care such as a community psychiatric nurse (CPN)

  • a report from an NHS hospital

  • a factual report from a GP

  • a report from a local authority-funded clinic

  • current repeat prescription lists

  • care or treatment plans

  • evidence from any other professional involved in supporting the claimant, such as social workers, key workers or care co-ordinators

  • telephone conversations with any such professionals

  • information from a disabled young person’s school or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)

  • an occupational therapist’s report

  • a report from an ophthalmologist

  • an audiologist’s report

  • contacting the claimant by telephone for further information.

And it points out that it can withhold any information it discovers that is deemed seriously harmful to the claimant if they were aware of it.

This can include a poor prognosis that is unknown to the claimant, or a diagnosis of a psychotic illness in a claimant who lacks insight into their condition.

Claimants themselves are warned that if they reveal information to the assessor but say it's confidential, it won't be taken into account for their PIP claim because it cannot be disclosed to the DWP case manager making the final decision.

The activities explored during the PIP assessment are:

Daily living (10 activities):

  • preparing and cooking a simple meal

  • taking nutrition

  • managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

  • washing and bathing

  • managing toilet needs or incontinence

  • dressing and undressing

  • communicating verbally

  • reading and understanding signs, symbols and words

  • engaging with other people face-to-face

  • making budgeting decisions

Mobility (2 activities):

  • planning and following journeys

  • moving around

During the pandemic, face-to-face consultations were suspended and all appointments were carried out by telephone instead. Face-to-face appointments started again in May 2021, but they aren't carried out if the initial information given by a claimant is "consistent and medically reasonable" or if such a meeting is likely to cause stress (such as for claimants with autism, cognitive impairment or learning disability).

To get the latest news from WalesOnline sent straight to your email inbox, click here .


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.