Personal Independence Payments Form: Information Seminar

Thursday 25th January 2018: Community House, South Street Bromley

Seminar Context

PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is the points-based system that has replaced the DLA (Disability Living Allowance).  Many campaigners say that the new system only works for people with physical disabilities and does not adequately represent clients with mental health issues or learning difficulties.  Rejected PIP applications have the right to appeal the decisions made by the DWP and statistics show that a high proportion of appeals are ruled in favour of the claimant.  Campaigners say this shows that there are issues in the way the assessment criteria are being interpreted

This Seminar took place as part of Bromley Community Voices, an advocacy & campaigning project for voluntary sector organisations based in Bromley and funded by Trust for London.

Seminar Notes

Kam Patel, Partnership Support Manager DWP gave presentation with an overview of PIP and then a focused look at the PIP form.

The resources that Kam Patel mentioned in his presentation, along with other useful information, is now downloadable from the Bromley Community Voices website – here

Representatives from Bromley Well, Bromley Mencap, AgeUK Bromley & Greenwich, Bromley & Lewisham MIND, Citizens Advice Bromley and Community Links Bromley led an in-depth discussion of the issues associated with the form and where residents can access advice and support.

Panel representatives:

  • Gill Eldridge, Family Services Manager: Bromley Mencap
  • Anne Bridges, Information & Advice Manager: AgeUK Bromley & Greenwich
  • Hannah Germain, Senior Mental Health Information and Advice Worker: Bromley & Lewisham MIND
  • Janet Tibbalds, Chair of Community Links Bromley
  • Paul Ackroyd, Advisor: Citizens Advice Bromley

Key Points

  • Keeping a diary of symptoms and day-to-day issues is very important to help evidence any claim.
  • Advice to encourage clients to make a record of daily tasks, travel etc..(A PIP diary template is available to download on the website: here)
  • Advice workers would like other agencies (local authority and voluntary sector) to promote the importance of being prepared for a PIP form filling session.  For example, making a diary of symptoms or how you deal with daily tasks is very useful – but advisors are often getting people turning up with a couple of days before the form has to be in and so no time to gather the additional evidence that is needed
  • The PIP form is a long and detailed document and there is help available to support individuals in filling in the form.
  • Bromley Well – Form Filling Service is based at Age Uk, available to all ages – for more information go to: https://www.bromleywell.org.uk/about-us/
  • Assessments:
    • Clients will be observed as soon as they enter an assessment centre
    • Appointments can sometimes be scheduled at assessment centers that are at a considerable distance, clients can request for an alternative centre
  • Home visits
    • There is a mobile home visit service, this can be accessed by clients, but they need a GP letter
    • Participants recommended that here should be a specific box on the PIP form to tick for a home visit.  Currently you have to write it down in the additional information bit and so not always clear that a Home visit can be requested
  • Roll out from DLA to PIP is going to take longer than expected, potentially a further 2 years from now

Feedback from Participants

41 participants

25 filled out an evaluation form

  • The importance of learning from each other, suggestion from some participants to have a meeting of advice workers and volunteers from across the VCSE organisations in Bromley to share experience and knowledge and Iidentify how best to work in partnership to face current and future challenges. Leah Whittingham is following this up and will update
  • Most useful aspects of the seminar:
    • Making contact with organisations and individual contacts who can help with supporting clients
    • Networking with staff from Housing
    • The panel discussion, real life scenarios and useful tips
    • The information given on form filling and observation support
    • Finding out about the form filling service
  • Participants asked for:
    • More networking, training and skill sharing opportunities
    • Further information sessions on mental health services, Universal Credit, Age related benefits, Dementia and the Homelessness Reduction Act

Download here the information leaflet from Bromley Well:

Bromley Well Universal Form Completion Service