I had my PIP assessment yesterday with Capita in the East Midlands so I thought people might want to know what it was like.
The lady from Capita arrived at my home for the assessment just before 9am when she was due. She introduced herself to me and my husband who was with me. We had asked to record the assessment but we were unsure exactly about how we could do it with their permission and didn’t manage to set up equipment so we didn’t record it in the end but I asked if it was ok for my husband to take notes and she said yes and seemed fine with that. She asked some security questions and asked to see my ID to prove my identity.
First she asked me about each of my health conditions in turn, for a description of their symptoms, what treatment i have for them and some info about how it affects my life. I have a lot but the main ones I am claiming for are severe depression and anxiety. She let me say as much as I wanted really and asked follow-up questions if something was unclear to her or clarified herself if I said I didn’t understand the question. She was actually really friendly throughout and this helped my anxiety a lot, even sometimes mentioning unrelated things that I am interested in like my pets (she apparently used to have the same pets). She was going to ask about ‘a normal daily routine’ but said she thought that not appropriate because I don’t have a daily routine and asked if I agreed and I said yes, so instead she asked me lots of specific questions about how my conditions affect certain areas such as: sleep, eating and drinking, preparing meals, driving (i can’t drive but that is one of the things they ask about if you do), my physical mobility (flat surfaces and stairs), going shopping, hobbies, social life, household finances, and uni as I’m a student but am currently suspended as I couldn’t keep up because of my health. Each time I answered as fully as possible describing how heavily I rely on my husband for help in all areas. She then asked for a complete list of all my medication – my husband had wrote it all down the night before as I thought they might ask so she took it to copy.
Lastly she said she was going to ask me to do some physical movements and if I couldn’t do something because of pain I could just say so and she’d write that I couldn’t do it because of pain. She asked me to do certain movements related to my physical disabilities and told me to only move the range of motion that wouldn’t cause me pain. For example I have back and neck problems so she asked me to move my neck from side to side to show range of motion without pain so make sure you don’t push yourself in these kinds of checks because you’re not supposed to. She also asked me to bend over whilst sitting down, I did that but actually did end up hurting my back which she also noted down, she checked the strength in my legs and my ability to use my arms (both not problems for me) as well. Oh and also asked me to raise my knees up towards my chest and noted that it was stiff for me to do what I could of that too.
At the end she told me what would happen after the assessment, that she would write the report and it would hopefully be sent off to the DWP by the weekend but she didn’t know about the waiting time after then because they aren’t told anything after it is passed on to the DWP. She said then they would write to me about the decision and call me to tell me more info, she said hopefully about how much money I will be getting etc but if it “doesn’t go the way we hope” then about appeals processes. She seemed very optimistic and understanding but you just don’t know what they are writing do you?
I wanted to ask her for her specific profession but my anxiety was too bad in case I seemed rude so I couldn’t. All in al I was excepting it to be much worse, it was a lot less stressful being with my husband in my own house for the assessment and she was a very nice, friendly lady. Now just to wait for that dreaded brown envelope…