Disability assessors play a vital role in the UK’s health system by assessing the personal context and circumstances of those people with health conditions who are applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

However, not many people understand exactly what a disability assessor’s role entails. In order to rectify this lack of information, we’ve compiled a quick guide that will help you better understand the job.

What is a disability assessor?

A disability assessor is a medical professional who impartially and thoroughly assesses the personal situations of those with a disability to see if they qualify for PIP. They ensure that those requiring help and assistance from the Government are able to receive it and play a key role in the health system. The accurate reporting of information can be life-changing and enables those who require help to get the support they need.

What does the role involve?

The role is focused on providing a fair assessment for those that may be eligible for PIP. With each assessment, a written report will be made that includes the applicant’s history, how their health condition affects everyday functionality, what medications are being used, what treatments are being received and any other relevant information. Reports need to be clear, well-ordered and detailed as every decision regarding PIP will be justified by the information collected by disability assessors. The role will include time spent at assessment centres and out in the community, while any other administrative tasks can be completed from home, providing a certain degree of flexibility

What is PIP?

PIP stands for ‘personal independence payments’ and is the system introduced to replace the previous Disability Living Allowance scheme. It tries to help those who struggle to meet the additional costs of living with a health condition that impacts everyday living. Claimants can receive anywhere from £21.80 to £139.75 a week, depending on how much the condition affects their ability to live their life as they desire.  

Who is suited to the role?

The role is ideally suited to those with experience in the medical profession, such as nurses, paramedics, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and those who have outstanding communication skills and are confident in performing clinical assessments. Nurses from a variety of backgrounds can apply – including registered general nurses (RGN), mental health nurses (RMN), registered nurses for learning disabilities (RNLD), occupational health advisors (OHA) and occupational health nurses (OHN) – and are often ideally suited due to the range of skills they possess.

Disability assessors will need to be able to empathise, understand and work closely with each claimant in order to establish how their disability affects their everyday life, their ability to look after themselves and their capacity to work.

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