View Full Version : Engaging with other people face to face - PIP descriptor

27-10-14, 14:51
Hi guys

I am wondering if there's a clear definition here on what would constitute points in the category.

I have a copy of the chapter regarding PIP from the CAB and the following is from the PIP regulations, Sch 1, Part 1, PIP Assessment Guide, para 3.4

This activity considers your ability to engage socially.... Your inability to engage socially must be due to your condition and not shyness....Another descriptor refers to an inability to engage with other people due to such engagement causing 'overwhelming psychological distress'.

I have evidence from my therapist stating that I would fit into the 8 points for this descriptor due to extreme emotional childhood trauma, the inability to form friendships/relationships and I often come across as hostile. I have even gained criminal convictions because of it.

What I am concerned about though is simply, if I talk to the tribunal, will they class that as 'engaging with other people' and simply ignore the evidence from my therapist.

Any thoughts?


01-11-14, 08:01
Hi Slash and welcome to NMP :welcome:

This may require some guidance from such as the CAB given how it will affect your benefits and you really need an expert opinion.

My personal thoughts on this are that if they were to overrule your therapist and your own belief that you fit this criteria simply because you attend their tribunal, then they would automatically turn down any person stating they had agoraphobia, because afterall they have left their home to attend the tribunal.

So, perhaps its not as simple as that. Perhaps they will take into account the fact that attending a tribunal is stressful to you due to your issues. If you come across as confident and appear the opposite to the evidence you are presenting then it may be a different matter.

So, perhaps you need to get your point across that you are finding it hard to attend it and talk to them?

What does your therapist say about this?

02-11-14, 13:37
Hi and thank you for your reply :)

My therapist has written:

'In my role as a high intensity therapist I have been working with Slash(!) since the beginning of October. I provide weekly sessions at his GP practice. Our work focuses on his low mood, anxiety in reference to his long term health condition (fibromyalgia) and low self esteem. I would also offer the following opinion:

He has issues which can cause problems in engaging with other people face to face. This is largely because of previous life experience and he does state that he does suffer psychological distress when he attempts to build relationships and make contact with other people.

At time he does exhibit strong feelings and anger about the way he has been treated which may result in him appearing hostile to others and similarly avoiding contact with people.

I hope this is a useful set of comments and I will work with Slash(!) for a maximum of 10 weeks.

Any further information please contact me

The therapist'

I know what I have been through during my childhood and yes it's something out of a horror novel. It most definitely has left its mark and therefore it's causing severe psychological problems.

I'm hoping that this evidence will be take into consideration when awarding points for this descriptor.


18-02-15, 18:43
They take into account how you are on your worst day. They do not really need diagnoses, they don't need you to be affected by symptoms 100% of the time. They should take into account that:
a) You have had to go into therapy
b) You are still in therapy
c) Your therapy does not seem likely to end yet (as in, you will not stop seeing your therapist due to complete recovery yet)
d) Your therapist is supporting your PIP claim

They will look at all available evidence from yourself, your therapist and people who have known you intimately such as a family member. They will only discount something if it is totally irrelevant or unhelpful e.g. your next door neighbour saying you often look worried. It is not as hard to get PIP as people think so long as that person is genuinely disabled by their issues.

Warning: they will probably try to screw you by offering the lowest possible rate of PIP. This is what happened to me. At the time I was too anxious and distressed, and was just relieved to get the money, but by their scores I should have been on high rate daily and low rate mobility, and I just got low rate daily. I've had to get my claim reassessed as I now suffer arthritis and my therapist filled in the entire PIP form.