Supporting evidence - especially medical - can make a significant difference in the outcome of your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim. We explain what supporting evidence to ask for and how to request it.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) must consider all medical evidence when deciding about your PIP claim. However, unless you provide this information, they may not contact your GP or other health care professionals for more details.
Decision makers at the DWP and assessors who carry out face-to-face assessments may have little knowledge of your condition and are very unlikely to have any specialist knowledge of mental health.
We recommend that you collect supporting evidence to show how your condition affects you.
Supporting evidence - for new claims, renewal claims or if you’re going through an appeal - can be included at any stage of a PIP claim.
What is supporting evidence for PIP
Supporting evidence for a PIP claim is useful when making a new/renewal PIP claim or when you are appealing against a PIP decision. Supporting evidence can come in the form of:
- Statement from a carer, friend or family member
- Daily routine diary and personal statement
- Medical evidence (records, prescriptions, letters from medical professionals).
PIP statements from a carer, friend or family member
Letters from your carer, friends or family can help support your PIP claim. As they are likely to see you frequently, they can comment on how they help you - washing, bathing, cooking, dressing etc. - and why you would have difficulty doing specific tasks yourself.
PIP daily routine diary and personal statement
If your mental health condition fluctuates daily, it will be helpful to keep a detailed seven-day journal on how your condition affects you in day-to-day life. A PIP diary will highlight:
- How your mental health impacts you on everyday tasks
- The help you need, which you may forget
- How you have adapted to cope with your mental health
Once you have finished your diary, you could turn this into a PIP personal statement – which may be easier to read than a journal. This should be a maximum of two pages and explain:
- The history of your condition
- How your ability to cope differs from day to day.
- Your average week
Medical evidence for PIP
Medical evidence can be very helpful when applying for PIP and usually takes the form of a letter/report from your GP, psychiatrist, consultant or other healthcare professional.
Medical professionals can explain what your condition is, your treatment and how the condition affects your everyday life. You do not need to send in medical evidence, however many people find that it really helps their claim if they do.
Not all healthcare professionals are able or willing to write supporting letters, and they are not obliged to do so, but it is worth asking them and stressing how it could help your claim – they can charge a fee for writing this letter/report.
Don’t delay returning your PIP form or attending an assessment if you’re waiting to receive a document for supporting evidence.
Always send the PIP form back and include a letter explaining that more information will follow.
Who to ask for medical evidence to support your PIP claim?
As mentioned, getting medical evidence from a healthcare professional may not be easy, but we strongly recommend that you try to get as much recent and relevant medical evidence as you can.
Situations where old evidence may be particularly relevant include:
- You are housebound because of your mental health and as a result, have not been able to get to your doctors’ surgery.
You can ask for medical evidence from one or more of the following healthcare professionals you have contact with:
- Care co-ordinator
- Community psychiatric nurse (CPN)
- Social or support worker
- Occupational therapist
- Hospital consultant
If you needed help getting evidence (from a relative or friend), the process has affected your mental or physical health in any way, make sure you explain this on your PIP form.
What to include when requesting medical evidence for PIP
When requesting medical evidence for PIP explain that you require information specifically relevant to the criteria used by the DWP to assess you.
It is essential that any supporting evidence provided has information about the difficulties your mental health causes you, and how you meet the criteria for PIP. It is not helpful for evidence to say what diagnosis, symptoms or treatment you have.
The healthcare professional needs to understand that you will be assessed on how you are most of the time, and for you to be considered able to do an activity you need to be able to carry it out:
- to an acceptable standard
- repeatedly AND
- in a reasonable timescale.
The DWP assess how your illness, disability or mental health condition requires you to have help to do the following 12 activities:
- Preparing food and cooking
- Eating or drinking
- Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- Taking medication
- Washing and bathing
- Managing toilet needs or incontinence
- Dressing and undressing
- Communicating verbally
- Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
- Socialising with other people
- Deciding about your money and budget.
- Plan and follow journeys
- Move around
How to request medical evidence for PIP
It can take a long time from when you request medical evidence to you receiving it; we recommend that you ask for it as soon as you can.
Visiting your GP/healthcare professional face-to-face
If visiting your GP/healthcare professional face-to-face, you should take a copy of the PIP descriptors and highlight the areas you would like them to comment.
This can help your GP/healthcare professional when writing a letter of medical evidence and will help them focus on the activities that are most relevant to you.
Writing a letter to request medical evidence for PIP
You can write a letter to your GP/healthcare professional requesting medical evidence to support your PIP application.
Include the topics and areas you would like them to comment on. It is essential to request medical evidence by asking your doctor neutral, non-leading questions.
We have a free sample letter for requesting medical evidence. If you wish to use this template, you can personalise the letter to ensure it only includes information relevant to you.
Requesting your medical evidence is sent to you before the DWP
When requesting medical evidence, please make sure the person/s you are asking to provide the letter sends it to you rather than directly to the DWP – this way you can check that you’re happy with the content and that it is an accurate reflection of your condition and abilities.
PIP - request for medical information sample letter
You can use this template letter to request medical evidence for your PIP application
What is the best way to answer PIP form? ›
Try to give clear, short explanations and examples that are relevant to the activity. You do not have to get treatment or support to meet the criteria for PIP. If you don't get all the support you need, think about how your life could be improved if someone could encourage, help or prompt you with the activity.How do I pass a PIP assessment? ›
- Read your PIP form thoroughly. Make any notes of changes to your condition. Remind yourself of your answers. ...
- Read the PIP descriptors for each question.
- Understand what the PIP assessment is.
- Make a list of points you would like to make during your assessment – and take this with you.
You can get help with your appeal from your local Citizens Advice, or a local disability support agency. You might be able to get someone like an adviser or a solicitor to act as your representative during the appeal, but they're not always available.Is it hard to get accepted for PIP? ›
To get PIP you must find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition. You must have found these things hard for 3 months and expect them to continue to be hard for another 9 months.What is the best evidence for PIP? ›
Medical evidence can be very helpful when applying for PIP and usually takes the form of a letter/report from your GP, psychiatrist, consultant or other healthcare professional. Medical professionals can explain what your condition is, your treatment and how the condition affects your everyday life.What are the 14 PIP questions? ›
- You must have a health condition or disability where you: ...
- The daily living activities include: ...
- Q1: List your health professionals. ...
- Q2: List your conditions, medications and treatments. ...
- Q3: Preparing and cooking a meal. ...
- Q4: Eating and drinking. ...
- Q5: Managing treatments. ...
- Q6: Washing and bathing.
You have an anxiety or panic attack. You have a breakdown or meltdown.
If you're having problems with the form, your local Citizens Advice might be able to help you or find somewhere that can - get help from an adviser. You might also be able to get help from a local disability or mental health support agency.Do PIP contact your doctor? ›
Advice: The DWP will usually contact your GP or healthcare professional to obtain medical evidence when you submit a PIP or ESA claim, the information is then sent to the DWP as part of your claim process.How can I get a high score on PIP? ›
- Preparing food. ...
- Taking nutrition. ...
- Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition. ...
- Washing and bathing. ...
- Managing toilet needs or incontinence. ...
- Dressing and undressing. ...
- Communicating verbally. ...
- Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words.
What happens if you fail PIP? ›
If you fail to improve after the first or final warning, this could ultimately lead to your dismissal based on your capability although you would usually be expected to have one final extension of time under a PIP (or new PIP) in which to improve.Can a PIP decision be reversed? ›
Beware that if you challenge a decision, it can be changed to make the PIP award lower or shorter. The decision about your PIP is set out in a letter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) send you. This is called the decision letter. The date on the letter is the decision date.How often are PIP appeals successful? ›
According to the DWP's own statistics, 59% of appeals are won by the claimant because the tribunal reached a different conclusion based on the same facts, with new written evidence making a difference in just 1% of cases.How do I answer mobility questions on PIP? ›
You should answer the question by describing how well you can stand and move without using it. Don't overestimate your ability. For example, if you can't regularly and repeatedly walk 50 metres then don't say you can. If pain and breathlessness affect how far you walk, take that into account.What is PIP looking for? ›
Personal Independence Payment ( PIP ) can help with extra living costs if you have both: a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability. difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition.