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.
    karl james · 6 months ago
    You have proof of what you have said if printed - 
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    Angelica · 8 months ago
    When there is enough medical evidence submitted with the review from specialists and other medical professionals, a paper assessment should be adequate as many people find it very stressful having to go through a telephone/ video or face to face assessment. It makes the whole experience very stressful and upsetting to keep repeating the same information that’s already been submitted and confirmed in evidence provided.
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    Cheryl · 9 months ago
    Paper assignments are bettor on my opinion because lots of people who claim pip get so anxious and stressed about face to face assessments or video and phone call assessments that I don’t think it’s fair the stress and worry these assessments cause the claimant is awful especially when it’s a review I think if there’s sufficient evidences off claimants Gp consultants and carers that’s should be enough for a paper assessment especially when it’s for a review of benefits 
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    Mandy · 1 years ago
    Prefer paper base don’t like talking on phone are face face as my anxiety gets the better of me 
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    Cristina · 1 years ago
    Paper based assessment would be a lot easier due to many different reasons.. I wouldn't be so anxious I nervous to face strangers I don't know I've I wouldn't be able to come out with everything my nerves are terrible and I get very anxious sometimes it stops me from saying what needs to be said about my conditions and how it affects me which I know happens to a lot of people it's not easy to strangers about how illness chronic disease and other diseases affects you paper-based would be so much better due to mental health for me as well and many other people I hope to god this would be on the rise this would help a lot of people out and our mental health would be a lot better for paper base assessment
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    Anja · 1 years ago
    I wouldn't ever have a telephone assessment again got my award back there are some nooo quite alot of stuff that wasn't spoken about .. I wasn't asked about it was added by the person made the decision themselves .. they never seen me they assumed  they knew me what I go through 
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    EDWARDBUSSEY · 1 years ago
    i have had face to face assesments at my home but i think a phone call one can reduce the anxiety.

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    Debbie01 · 1 years ago
    A phone assessment  because I get too overwhelmed ,with my anxiety and feel like its an interaction and get really frustrated when they misinterpret what you have said 
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    Sam P · 1 years ago
    My Husband has mental health issues rather than physical problems and a paper assessment with all the corrobating evidence is far less stressful for him.

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    Lulu · 1 years ago
    Paper is less stressful. Time to think about your answers and structure a detailed response rather than just reacting and saying something whilst anxious and not thinking clearly. Telephone calls make me nervous, video calls terrify me... I can't even imagine having to do one and wouldn't know how. 
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    Stevie · 1 years ago
    Less stress for heart problems
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    James Clarke · 1 years ago
    Paper is easier. Less anxious as face to face.
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    MrsLDjones · 1 years ago
    I'm very nervous  and my anxiety  levels  seam to kick in and I've lost my confidence  due to a car accident  I've had.
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    Debbie · 1 years ago
    Paper would be best for me as i forget and get nervous on the phone. Face to face means more anxiety also difficult as somedays difficult to function and move around. Also appntment is not local
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    Bob hope · 1 years ago
    At least with phone, your movements and every gesture isn’t being scrutinisned
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Dave · 1 years ago
      @Bob hope So true, The issues I face are anxiety, depression & CPTSD, my issue sounds arrogant - It's my eloquence, so sorry to sound so in love with myself but so many individuals & health care professionals mistake my perceived eloquence for dealing with things - which I am not!
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    Hello · 1 years ago
    I would have preferred a paper based assesment considering Citizen Advice and family helped wrote letters etc. My health has worsened so it's a reassessment but I chose to have a face 2 face rather than telephone. Because I feel I could explain better. However I'm nervous for this seeing someone and having to explain 
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    Mh · 1 years ago
    I express better in paper and I can be sure I have related everything I need to as anxieties I experience completely just make my mind blank I feel pressured but writing I can take my time hence no preasuure
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    Doglover2 · 1 years ago
    My pip evidence is all historical,  I've many of my conditions lifelong,I've Been through consultants for years, but nothing much recently, my conditions are certainly not all stable since I've got older,my anxiety and panic disorder have both raged, but I can't even get to see a gp,im willing to wager many are in the same storm.I know I need reviews for my heart conditions and my other health issues, so therefore I've absolutely no "new" evidence other than my very well written and accurate esa assessment report. For what it's worth as pip evidence.
    Chronic conditions never get better as a rule, so this constant reassessing is pathetic.i was already through the dla assessments five times before I got indefinite dla, now three pip assessments where they give me short 2-3 yr awards,just can't wait to see how this current review goes. Times running out and my pip ends in weeks, but no extension for me as I won at tribunal. So which type if assessment would I prefer... None!
    I'd much rather not be in the midst of any of it. But as I need pip so badly to live as well as I can I'd opt for paper based telephone second, 
    I've had little success after a f2f and the same for telephone assessment, points being unless you have copious amounts of very recent medical evidence with NHS medication and or therapy ongoing you are pretty much rejected as a fake. Never mind the 15 odd tablets,inhalers etc taken daily. 
    The entire pip process is cruel and demeaning. 
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    Sue · 1 years ago
    I suffer from mental issues as well as physical. This makes meeting and talking about my condition very upsetting and induces severe anxiety. 
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    Rosie · 1 years ago
    I would prefer a paper based assessment because when there is clear supporting evidence matching the descriptors there is no need to put people with disabilities under more stress than they are already experiencing. 
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      Karen · 1 years ago
      @Rosie My thoughts exactly  if you can back up your claims with solid evidence, why put people through the stress of an assessment?
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      Hope · 1 years ago
      @Rosie So true Rosie as it's stressful and I am depressed already with an incurable crippling disease evidence from your Consultant should be enough 
      But nobody cares 😞 they make me feel so low 
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