My client is rather anxious and has received a PIP review form.
I am trying to offer my client some reassurance as their previous claim for PIP was assessed on paper.
My question is in your view how many reviews are dealt with on paper or will my client be required to attend an assessment?
There condition remains the same?
Thanks in advance
My personal experience, if there is no change I just tick that box, this more often than not results in a PBA for the claimant. If there is a change, I seek some kind of functionality report, from GP, OT or physio.
I think about 6% were paper assessments were done Aug 2018 - April 2019 from what our team were told at a meeting with Capita (they cover West Midlands), so a small percentage. What Capita has said is they’ll need sufficient medical evidence to complete a paper assessment.
I’d suggest contacting Capita, asking for a paper assessment and get the client to send in all medical evidence available regarding mental health from GP, counselling etc. Client can request medical records for free through GDPR subject access request (has really helped my clients) and if Equality Act 2010 reasonable adjustments is mentioned on the call to Capita this has usually prevented resistance to considering a paper based assessment.
In my experience, this will really depend on the nature of the condition (some conditions *cannot* change, or at least ‘improve’; lots of conditions are likely to change over time, whether by themselves or thanks to treatment, and this is in theory why any PIP review is scheduled), as well as what medical evidence has been provided already, or can be provided alongside the review form.
Frankly there’s also an element of chance, as assessors and decision-makers do not seem to act consistently or predictably.
It’s probably best to start preparing your client for the real possibility of a face-to-face assessment taking place, and think about who they might be able to ask for support at the ‘consultation’.
N.B. Appointments can take place at home if reasonable to request this.
There is no real rhyme or reason to why people are reassessed after a review. I have had clients who were re-awarded via the form and clients who were reassessed despite no change of the condition. One client, who is totally blind and has no chance of this ever changing had to attend an assessment which ended up in a complaint to IAG, DWP and my client’s MP because of the hostile way that she was treated. This isn’t common of course, but unfortunately we have to prep our clients just in case they get a poor assessor.