how to fill in your PIP form
It is important that you fill in your form promptly and try not to put it off, even if it looks difficult. There is a short time frame for filling in and returning your form (usually one month), and this should be explained in the information you get from the DWP, which will include the deadline for returning the form.
You could ask a friend or relative to help you fill out the form. It can be helpful to talk things through with someone who knows you and how your epilepsy affects you. They might also be able to remind you how your epilepsy or seizures have affected your day-to-day life. It is also helpful to talk to someone who is objective (not personally involved in your situation) about how your condition affects you.
The form is long and it can feel like a daunting task to fill it in. It might also bring up lots of issues for you about the impact your epilepsy has on your life. If you would like to talk to someone about how your epilepsy affects you, or about the experience of filling in the form, you can ring our confidential epilepsy helpline. Although the helpline team are not able to complete the form for you, they can give you details of other organisations which may be able to offer practical help with filling in the form.
For each question, explain how your epilepsy may be a risk to your safety. The person who reads your form may not know a lot about epilepsy, and epilepsy can be different for everyone. So explain about your epilepsy and how it affects you in every question. When considering the ‘risks’ due to your epilepsy, how serious the risks are is important, but it also has to be a likely risk for you. For example, the result of having a seizure where you lose consciousness when you are cooking could be a serious burn, but if you are not likely to have a seizure where you lose consciousness, then this risk may not apply to you. This is why it is helpful to include real examples where you can, to show what is a real risk for you.
Include in your answer to each question:
- how your epilepsy, your seizures, and any impact from your medication, affects you in relation to the activity. Remember to include any impact during your recovery from a seizure;
- what help or support you need, for example to carry out an activity or to keep you safe;
- how often you need this help;
- for how long you need help; and
- what could happen if you did not have help or couldn’t do the activity (for example, the impact of having a seizure during an activity, and how this could result in accident or injury).
Wherever possible, include any real examples of how your condition has affected you.
Remember to repeat this information for each question every time that it is relevant. You can use the same wording each time if you like. It might help to imagine that each question is looked at by a different person: so you need to explain how your condition affects you in every answer.
Additional information or evidence
When you return your form to the DWP, you can include additional ‘evidence’ to support your claim.
This might be information from your GP, neurologist, epilepsy specialist nurse, or any other medical professional you see for your epilepsy. It might include a copy of your prescription for your anti-epileptic medication, a care plan or reports from your doctors. If you use a diary to record your seizures, or how your epilepsy affects you, you can send in a copy of your diary with the form. If you get any other support, for example from an occupational therapist or social worker, you can include information from them too.
Send in photocopies of this information, not the original copy.
If you do not already have this additional information to use as supporting evidence, do not delay your claim by asking for and waiting for new documents to arrive. A late claim may not be assessed. You can send documents on later, or if the DWP need more information, they can ask your doctors or other professionals for this directly.
The DWP’s booklet ‘How your disability affects you - Information booklet' has useful information about filling in the form, and explains what each question means. You might like to use it alongside this factsheet. You should be sent a copy of this booklet with your application form.
Taken from our PIP - the assessment criteria factsheet. Download this factsheet using the link below.