More than nine out of ten PIP assessments are carried out by telephone or done on the papers, according to figures released by the DWP this month.  Face-to-face assessments are still rare, whilst video assessments are increasing in number.  In Scotland, paper assessments are to become the norm and we'd like to know which assessment type you would prefer.  Please choose in the poll below.

The figures were disclosed by DWP minister Chloe Smith, in answer to a parliamentary question.  The full figures are in the table below.

They show that telephone assessments have fallen slightly as a proportion of the overall total between February 2021 and January 2022, but only from 83.8% to 77.3%. 

This means that over three quarters of PIP assessments were still done on the telephone at the beginning of this year.  Given that telephone assessments were unheard of until the pandemic hit, this is a massive turnaround.

Next most common assessment method is the paper based assessment.  This involves basing a decision just on whatever documents are available, including the claim form, supporting letters and medical evidence. A brief phone to the claimant might be made if specific details need clarifying, but this would be much briefer than a full telephone assessment. the percentage of PIP paper based assessments stayed pretty steady, moving from 16.1% to 16.3% in the course of the year.

By comparison, face-to-face PIP assessments rose from 0% to just 4.6% over the same period.

It’s worth noting, however, that they were higher in August to October 2021, at 6.8%, before dropping back down again.  It suggests that the DWP is not keen on reintroducing face-to-face PIP assessments as the norm, if they can avoid it.

It will be worth watching what happens to the figures once they relate to the period in which Covid restrictions have been dropped.

Meanwhile, video assessment were at just 0.1% at the beginning of the period.  But they have steadily risen to 1.8% in the most recent quarter figures are available for.

It seems quite possible that video PIP assessments will overtake face-to-face assessments before very long.  The lower cost of video assessments compared to face-to-face PIP assessments is likely to be an important factor.

So, whilst claimants of the Scottish version of PIP, known as Adult Disability Payment, will have a paper based assessment as the default, PIP claimants in the rest of the UK will continue to have a telephone assessment as standard.

Given a choice, which assessment method would you prefer?

 

 

PIP Assessment Types
  Feb 21-Apr 21 May 21-July21 Aug 21-Oct 21 Nov 21 - Jan 22
Paper 16.1% 17.2% 16.3% 16.3%
Face-to-Face 0.0% 0.0% 6.8% 4.6%
Telephone 83.8% 82.3% 76.3% 77.3%
Video 0.1% 0.4% 0.7% 1.8%

 You can read the full parliamentary answer on PIP assessment types here.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dave · 12 days ago
    In theory face to face at least can show your mobility.  the problem with paper is that the DWP always dismiss medical reports from consultants, GP's and other health professionals.  THE REAL PROBLEM WITH ANY OF THESE SYSTEMS IS THE INABILITY TO BE ALLOWED TO CHALLENGE THE INACCURACIES IN THE HCP REPORT UNTIL AFTER THE DWP HAVE MADE A DECISION.  My personal experience has shown every report I have finally seen has been full of errors and that is even when I have had a witness with me during the assessment.  It's about time that we get to see the report before submission to the DWP for it's accuracy
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Bex · 15 days ago
    I applied for pip in February but then decided to not fill the form out till I had my hospital appointment a couple of months later, However 2 weeks ago I got a text message saying I had a video assessment m, so I rang up to explain I had not fill the form out they said this does not matter, is this correct?I had my assessment yesterday I have sent no medical evidence and no form but she seemed to know very old medication I was on and things I had been diagnosed with etc also is this normal?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Rach · 18 days ago
    I had a phone assessment and now received a text saying paper assessment been received and waiting for decisson 
    so so stressful but I really glad I had phone call the last f2f was a nightmare the lady was writing down what she thought not what I was saying !! Was a load of lies wrote down things I never said so fingers crossed this works out 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Nick tyson · 19 days ago
    I have serious breathing problems and am worried having the thought to have to travel long distance for face to face and suffer bad anxiety which does not help.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Patricia · 28 days ago
    Its very nerve-wrecking having someone ask you private personal questions while that person is sitting in front of you n watching how you react to every question. Its like being interviewed for a job. I have a nervous complaint n im bad with my nerves so I would rather not see the person.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Neil · 1 months ago
    Had a paper one last time so hoping for the same on my renewal hence due to severe mental health issues I gets very confused with a telephone one..
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Claire · 1 months ago
    After filling in a long tiresome form which, with fatigue took me over 4 weeks to fill that they use this rather than expect people with Ill health to go face an assessment and answer the same questions over and over and repeat all what’s written. . Its an absolutely soul destroying process focusing on things we can’t do - over and over …. PIP is not fit for purpose. Disabled people are not second class citizens. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Julia Smith · 2 months ago
    It's not always easy to remember everything on the phone and some questions may need time for deliberation especially if its about something that occurs infrequently. Maybe people should have a choice in case they have literacy problems? In 2020 I had 3 Assessments; February was face to face. I got the full Award I was already on which was ok. July I was sent a paper Assessment which resulted in me staying on the same amount then in November I got an unexpected telephone call from a woman who concentrated on a few physical health questions and hardly mentioned my mental or emotional health. (My doctor knows I have Anxiety & Depression) and my my money was reduced to the basic amount immediately. The telephone assessments should only be to check if someone's conditions have changed or if they have literacy or language issues. Also not suitable for deaf people. I felt I was tricked out of money I was entitled to. Also these phone calls are not fed back to the customer so arbitrary decisions are made unfairly. Furthermore if they are not done by appointment people cannot get the help they are entitled to when making a claim. It is top down and should be requested by patient and doctor or other professional (User led) I have not been asked to do another assessment since and mine and a lot of other people's mental health have suffered since Covid.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ammi · 2 months ago
    I just can't remember information properly for a phone call. I hate struggling with the paper but at least my brother can check & fill it in for me. During the face to face interview the assessor noted down all kinds of additional helpful observations like that I look ill & I keep items around me that indicates my mobility problems & I wouldn't have thought to mention those things. Horrible though the assessments are I need paper & face to face. Good luck to everyone because this system is so cruel
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Karen · 2 months ago
    I actually got a face to face but only because my partner kept pushing for it , my condition u need to see over a phone is no good and that is the same with a lot of ppl who are missing out because over the phone they can’t seethe real u and your struggles I already had full care element but now I also have the full mobility one as well that’s the difference f/f makes . We eventually called PIP up and got a F/F no problem and the following week !!!! after about 4 months fighting with the ppl that make these appointments ,if u have been trying it’s worth phoning PIP not the ppl sending out the appointments hope ur successful.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    M1dpq · 2 months ago
    I have been told that i am to have a face 2 face assessment as so much has changed with Mental health reports etc been submitted and the loss of muscle in the upper body and feet.  However, my review was to have been in March 2022, but it has been extended until June 2022 as they cannot get an appointment..  
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    BudgieMcInally · 2 months ago
    I have sent 207 medical letters to DWP. They are still insisting on a morning telephone appt. This has been going on since 12th july 2021. My pip was due to end 31dec. I have opted for a face to face and complained to DWP  4 times and 4 times I have cancelled Stating medical reasons. I have been given another telephone interrogation  on 29th April at 09.00. I live in Glasgow and told them to do a paper based one. But they just ignore me. So  i will phone them once i get the confirmation  letter and have yet another arguement. So still not getting paper assessments  as normal in glasgow. They don't  want to do face to face assessments  either.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Julie Parker · 2 months ago
    Every telephone conversation I have had with them has been followed up with a letter full of lies. It’s shocking how they continue to get away with it.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gerry Kenny · 2 months ago
    I fill many of these forms as I run a charity for adults with autism. The assessors have no understanding of autism at all, and never take on board that it is a lifelong condition and never gets better. I have had one or two extremely good folk from DWP but in the main they are rude, arrogant and never really listen to the claimant. Telephone assessments are an absolute no for anybody with autism. It is a medium they struggle with at the best of times but when consumed with anxiety, impossible. Face to face was inevitably many miles away and several I attended, the assessors just told plain lies. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    K Cummings · 2 months ago
    I have supported my son with his benefit applications for in excess of 10 years (he has a mental health diagnosis)  and a face to face appointment would enable them to reslise what difficulty he has in supporting his corner. He wants to tell them what they want to hear. I have the opportunity to support him and put forward his case. I also take lengthy notes and use them to often challenge decisions. They always say that' he looks well kempt' even when he clearly does not. I now wear hearing aids and find telephone conversations very difficult to hear which puts my son and I at a distinct diadvantage.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Michael · 2 months ago
      @K Cummings Your son has rights and knowledge of those rights is one of the answers, in my opinion. good luck.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Alan carpenter · 2 months ago
    F2f I had a breakdown in pip health centre when I had my interview and in the waiting room all of which is on cctv, plus cctv can see you arrive ie I use walking sticks and sometimes a wheelchair, I don't know or my carer how to do zoom on telephone, f2f is better zoom is the worst paper based is 2nd best 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    C nox · 2 months ago
    Paper as every assessment i have had has been f2f & every asseser has lied or got my report muddled with someone else's & I always end up going to a tribunal to have the dwp desicion overturned as the tribunal panel do read the evidence provided.I have long term health conditions yet always have a short award..I had to wait 6 months to be assesed last time & then 3 years for the tribunal.It certainly hasn't helped my mental health i now have the citizens advice helping me.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Val Holbrook · 2 months ago
    My daughter is on the autism spectrum,  has mild learning difficulties and a receptive and expressive language problem. The thought of her, even with support, having to endure a telephone or face-to-face assessment fills me with dread. It's the stuff of nightmares! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    brian warden · 2 months ago
    as for face, paper,telephone, they`ll still say no
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Seagull · 2 months ago
    My disabilities mean that a phone or video assessment is inappropriate for me.  In the first instance, I would prefer a paper assessment, as that allows me to provide a comprehensive response.   

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