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Yesterday I received the good news that I have been successful in claiming PIP so when a copy of my face to face assessment arrived this morning I wasn't too worried about reading it. The assessor had scored me enough points to receive both care and mobilty at enhanced rates and thankfully the DWP agreed!
Anyway a few pointers that might help others who are awaiting their assessments:
In the report, the assessor refers to 'observations' made by herself AND two other members of staff at the assessment centre - one was the secretary and another must have been someone who had watched me arrive at the centre (maybe from a window or from outside!) Luckily both of these members of staff had been honest and I was observed to have been dropped off at the door by taxi with my friend, walking with a stick and looking anxious and unsteady on my feet. The secretary had described me a slow and unsteady on arrival, looked in pain when I walked, pale looking, thin, casually dressed, sat quietly with little eye contact....etc etc I won't go into too much detail but the secretary had described how I walked, my complexion, mood, facial expressions, interaction with my friend, eye contact with her, etc whilst waiting to go in for my assessment.
Now please note: The secretary had been honest and correct in describing what I was like in her presence so think about how you present yourself from the moment you enter the doors! I am only warning you because whilst I was waiting for my assessment this young man arrived at the centre with his two friends and even I could tell he was 'playing up to the cameras' as they say! He continually grunted and groaned when he sat down or moved and he talked really loudly saying things like 'I am in pain today because my prescription delivery didn't arrive from Boots yesterday I couldnt go to the pharmacy to pick it up myself!' and 'I am so hot today but I couldn't get my t-shirt on myself!' (yet he was wearing a tight polo-neck jumpers, jeans with a posh buckled belt and lace up boots which he must have managed to put on AND he was waving his arms around in despair as he talked!?????) And also when the secretary called him to the desk to show his ID, he was quite rude and just shouted over to her 'I'm in pain, you'll have to come and get it!' She didn't look to happy with him so I dread to think what observations she would have recorded about him.....obnoxious, fake looking, loud, confident......maybe!
So just act as you normally do and try not to look like you are playing up to the cameras!
The report itself read quite well and I couldn't see anything wrong with mine at all. I think if you just make sure you reliterate what you wrote on your initial PIP application form then you should be fine. I didn't send in too much paper evidence with my application so I made sure I gave as much info as possible myself when answering each question.
During the assessment the assessor had made comments on the way I communicated with her, the way I looked, my mood, my interactions with her as well as my responses to her questions.
To end, if you have an assessment coming up, just try to relax and be how you usually are during the day. Yes you will be anxious - I was, and the assesor and secretary picked that up just from observing me and without the need to hear me say it. So good luck to you all
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