Short Pip Assessment – Good Or Bad?

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to State Pension age with a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability. Consequently, PIP provides financial support due to the extra costs caused by a disability or health condition. 

A crucial stage in the PIP claim process is the assessment. This can be conducted either face to face at an assessment centre, over a telephone call, or through a video call. 

This assessment is carried out by a health professional, and is essential in understanding the claimant’s condition and daily living needs. They will then be able to ascertain whether they are eligible for the benefit.

A modified, shorter version of this assessment has emerged recently, and this article will aim to explore whether the advantages of a short PIP assessment outweigh the downsides.

Table of Contents

Background of Short PIP Assessment

The primary point of the PIP, also known as the Personal Independence Payment, assessment is to assess how a person’s health condition or disability impacts their daily living and mobility. 

The conductor of the assessment uses medical evidence, alongside the actual assessment, to make an informed decision about the claimant’s needs.

Whilst PIP assessments typically last around 1 hour, they can be shorter or longer depending on the individual’s needs. With short assessments, the assessor still asks all the questions and takes notes during this process. 

This allows them to take into account how the person’s condition affects their daily living. For example, your ability to carry out daily tasks.

PIP assessments involve a face-to-face meeting, telephone call or video call with a health professional approved by the DWP. The health professional will ask questions about how your condition affects you and make a recommendation about your eligibility.

Is A Short PIP Assessment Good or Bad?

There is no definitive answer on whether short PIP assessments are good or bad, as the outcome depends heavily on the individual’s circumstances. 

For those who might be easily anxious or worried about the process, a short PIP assessment can be a relief. Consequently, it can be less stressful and less taxing on the claimant’s health.

However, a short assessment may not allow enough time for the health professional to fully grasp the claimant’s condition. 

This could potentially lead to an inadequate assessment report that poorly reflects their needs. Therefore, this can become a concern for those with complex conditions.

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Benefits of Short PIP Assessment

A considerable benefit of a short PIP assessment is the reduced stress and anxiety for the claimant, as the regular-length assessments can cause worry for many. 

This is often due to the length of their duration, especially for those with mental health conditions. Therefore, the prospect of a shorter assessment may help to alleviate some of this anxiety.

Moreover, short PIP assessments are more convenient for those who struggle with travel, or have difficulty arranging for a support worker to accompany them to an assessment centre. 

In addition, arranging transportation to an assessment centre can be challenging for some PIP claimants.

Potential Drawbacks of Short PIP Assessment

Despite the benefits, there are potential drawbacks to a short PIP assessment. For instance, they may not provide the health professional with a comprehensive understanding of the claimant’s condition. 

This may lead to an inaccurate assessment report which affects the claimant’s eligibility for the benefit.

Another potential concern is that a shorter assessment might not allow enough time for the applicant to fully explain their condition and how it affects their daily living, resulting in an incomplete picture of the situation. 

Therefore, the health professional may not capture all the necessary information in the assessment report. This could impact the judgement of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision maker.

However, it is important to note that the DWP provides guidance to ensure that assessments fully capture the individual’s situation regardless of length. This means that assessors are trained to ask pertinent questions and allow for enough time.

Balancing Views on Short PIP Assessment

Although there are benefits to the PIP assessment, the drawbacks are also clear. These benefits, as mentioned, include reduced stress for the claimant and potential savings on travel expenses. 

However, there is the risk of an incomplete understanding of the entirety of the condition by the health professional. Therefore, this could result in an inaccurate assessment report.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the assessment depends on the individual’s situation and the assessor’s skills. 

It is vital that the assessment provider takes the time to prepare, and that claimants provide as much supporting evidence as they can about their condition’s daily impacts.

Preparing for PIP Telephone Assessment

Although preparing for a PIP telephone assessment can be a nerve-wracking experience, it’s important to remember that the assessor is not your enemy. Rather, they want to further understand your situation. 

One method to become prepared is to refer back to the answers you gave on your claim form, review them carefully, and be ready to provide examples to back up your claims.

Part of this preparation could include gathering more evidence, such as any medical reports or letters from a support group you attend. 

The more information, the more you can support your claim. Remember, it’s all about explaining how your condition affects your ability to carry out daily tasks.

On assessment day, you might have a good day or bad day due to uncontrolled circumstances. Therefore, it is important to explain this to the assessor. 

If you’re having a ‘good day’, be sure to describe what a ‘bad day’ looks like for you, as they need to understand the full picture of your condition.

Once the assessment is over, you may find yourself with your fingers crossed, anxiously awaiting the results. Although it is obviously understandable to be concerned, this decision is never immediate due to the report being sent to a case manager. 

They will then use this, along with any other evidence, to make the weighty decision about whether you should be awarded PIP.

"PIP assessments involve a face-to-face meeting, telephone call or video call with a health professional approved by the DWP.

Support Group Influence on PIP

Support groups play a significant role in the life of a person with a health condition or disability, as they can provide emotional support, the possibility to share experiences, and practical advice. 

For instance, if you’re feeling anxious about your upcoming PIP telephone assessment, someone in your support group might have already been through the process and can offer useful insight.

Although support groups can provide emotional support, they do not directly impact PIP eligibility. Rather, the assessment primarily focuses on how your health condition affects your daily living and mobility. 

Support groups can also provide emotional comfort post-assessment, as it’s not uncommon to have extreme anxiety or experience suicidal thoughts while waiting for the outcome of the assessment. 

In these moments, the support group can offer necessary emotional support and reassurance.

Benefits of Short PIP Assessment

Mandatory Reconsideration

It may be that the outcome of the PIP assessment is not what you were expecting. There is a possibility that you might not be awarded PIP at all, or that the award level is lower than you believe it should be. 

In such cases, you will be able to request a mandatory reconsideration. This means that the case manager will take a second close look at your claim.

For the reconsideration, provide as much evidence as you can to support your claim, including anything that you feel was initially overlooked. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate how your condition affects your daily living and mobility.

Because the mandatory reconsideration can also be a stressful time, it’s important to have a support network in place. 

This could be in the form of a support group, friend, or family. They can provide emotional support and practical help, such as talking through your concerns or helping you to gather more evidence.

If the mandatory reconsideration results in no further change, you can appeal to the Tribunal. ALthough this can seem daunting, many people have been through this process before and succeeded. 

Therefore, you should continue to thoroughly explain the situation, providing as much evidence as you can and remaining hopeful.

The Assessor’s Role in PIP

The role of the assessor, the health professional leading the procedure, in the PIP assessment process is a significant one. Regardless of the length or form of assessment, their task is to attempt to understand entirely how your condition affects your daily life.

During the assessment, the assessor will ask a series of questions which are aimed at gauging your abilities and how your condition impacts them. Again, it’s important to answer these as accurately as possible.

The notes from the assessor will be used, along with any other evidence provided, to write the assessment report. This is then sent to the final decision maker.

The assessor is not there to catch you out, but to understand your needs better. Therefore, they should not judge, rather assess.

Potential Drawbacks of Short PIP Assessment

Completing the PIP Claim Form

The first step in the PIP claim process is the completion of the claim form. The form requires details about your condition, how it affects your daily life and mobility, and any treatment or medication you are currently taking. 

When completing this form, remember to prioritise time and careful consideration.

While you complete it, try to be as detailed as possible in explaining how your condition affects you during both good days and bad days. If you have multiple health conditions, you should mention this. 

This is because the more information you can provide, the better your chances are of being awarded PIP.

Remember that it’s very important to provide sufficient evidence to support your claims. This could take the form of letters from your GP, reports from specialists, or even notes from a support group you attend.

After you’ve completed the form and gathered your evidence, this should all be sent to the DWP from where your PIP assessment will be arranged. This might be a face to face assessment, a telephone assessment, or a video call.


1. How do telephone assessments for PIP work?

Although telephone assessments for PIP work similarly to face-to-face assessments, the key difference is that the appointment takes place over the phone rather than in person. The assessor will call you at the scheduled time and ask you a series of questions about your health condition and how it affects your daily life.

Therefore, this is your moment to explain your situation. You should answer questions about your typical day, how you manage tasks and how your condition affects you. The assessor will be making notes and will use these, alongside any other evidence you have submitted, to write their report. 

2. What will happen if I miss my appointment?

If for any reason you miss your appointment, don’t panic. The DWP should be contacted as soon as possible to explain the situation, as if you can provide them with a valid reason. If circumstances were beyond your control, they may be able to reschedule your appointment.

However, simply missing the appointment without a valid reason could result in a denial of your PIP claim. But again, you can apply for a mandatory reconsideration if you believe that the decision was unfair. To avoid inconvenient situations such as this, it is always best to keep the DWP informed about any changes in your circumstances.

Balancing Views on Short PIP Assessment

3. How many points do I need to be awarded PIP?

The points system is an essential part of the PIP assessment process. You can score between zero and twelve points in each of the two categories, which are daily living and mobility. The total number of points you score will determine whether you’re eligible for PIP, and at what rate.

To receive the standard rate in either category, you need to score at least eight points. Alternatively, to receive the enhanced rate, twelve points are needed. The points are awarded based on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

4. When will I receive the letter with the decision about my PIP claim?

After your assessment, the assessor will write a report and send it to the DWP where a case manager at the DWP will review it, along with any other evidence you’ve provided. Following this, they will make a decision about your claim. Once this decision has been made, they will send you a decision letter.

Whilst the time it takes to receive this letter can vary, on average, it takes around six weeks from the date of the assessment. If you haven’t received your letter within this timeframe, the DWP should be contacted to check the status of your claim.

5. How should I approach answering questions during the assessment?

Remember to approach the answering of questions during your assessment with honesty and detail. The assessor is there to understand your situation, and not to judge you. Therefore, if you’re asked about how your condition affects you on a bad day, don’t be afraid to share the difficulties you face.

When answering, it is also important to give detailed examples. Instead of just stating that you struggle with a task, explain why this is, what happens when you attempt it, and any after-effects you experience. Following this, the assessor will be better equipped to understand your situation if you provide as much detail as possible.

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Meet the author

William Jackson

William is a leading writer for our site, specialising in both finance and health sectors.

With a keen analytical mind and an ability to break down complex topics, William delivers content that is both deeply informative and accessible. His dual expertise in finance and health allows him to provide a holistic perspective on topics, bridging the gap between numbers and wellbeing. As a trusted voice on the UK Care Guide site, William’s articles not only educate but inspire readers to make informed decisions in both their financial and health journeys.