Having seen both sides of the coin, I can tell you now with years of experience behind me that PIP assessment are not worth the paper they are written on.
After having worked in Adult Social Care and completed thousands of Community Care Assessments under the Community Care Act for eight years, I don’t mind saying that I am an expert in carrying out home assessments, but my PIP assessment was just a joke. I could have been doing an interview for McDonalds and still got the same outcome.
It started off as normal, someone arranging a home visit, they then came around and I sat on the sofa and explained my situation, there was no physical examination, it was just me telling them my story, for all they know I could have made the whole thing up and still be assigned the higher level of PIP. In actual fact the assessor wrote down the wrong information, they recorded that I walk further than I actually could. I had to appeal and once the appeal went through it was happy days but having an assessment that you will be depending on for financial support to assist with your disability, having no physical examination, no demonstration of my restrictions, no proof that I could make meals, or had difficulty accessing the community and living independently is just plain crazy.
Carrying out a Community Care Assessment is a very similar process, anyone who has had a PIP assessment and a Community Care Assessment will agree. If they have care they get visited by a Social Worker or a Care Management Officer. The assessment can last from 20 minutes to a few hours and the process is used to assess whether a person can get washed and dressed. This is usually indicated if they are clean and tidy, able to transfer on and off the sofa and toilet, this usually includes a demonstration, and monitoring their mobility during the assessment asking them to walk a bit. The rest of the medical information is confirmed by the GP surgery or hospital.
The government have in place a system where a person with experience can visit a person in their home and assess not only their needs, but PIP as well to make sure they get the right payment. Having two departments is just repeating the same assessment, in fact the Community Care Assessment actually goes into more detail, as it covers things like accessing the community, personal care, the home environment and personal health.
Some people will argue that PIP and Community Care Assessments are not the same thing but speaking from years of personal experience the only difference is the department of the government that organises the assessment in the first place. One is central government, (for PIP) the other is care which comes from the local authority, but at the end of the day the fund still comes from the tax payer it is just ringfenced the wrong way.