Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Requests
PIP benefits are designed to enable patients with disabilities to lead independent lives. Amersham Vale Practice (AVP) recognises that such patients face significant obstacles to gaining or retaining benefits to which they are entitled. However, the process of applying (or re-applying) can sometimes be lengthy, bureaucratic and fear-inducing.
Some patients ask their GP to support their application with a letter. However, GPs are not obliged to provide such support. Due to the pressures GPs already face in fulfilling their NHS contractual obligations to their patients, the AVP policy is not to write such letters.
Instead we recommend that you request a Summary Printout of your key medical problems and treatments, and attach this to your application. In fact the PIP is a functional assessment, which means that the assessors are more interested in knowing what the applicant can or cannot do than the diagnosis underlying the disability. So you, the patient, are far better placed to share this kind of information than the GP.
If your application fails and you seek an appeal your case may go before a Tribunal. If the Tribunal feels that it would be helped in its decision making by a report from the GP, it may ask for one and in this instance we would respond. Since this is not part of NHS-contracted work the GP would have to do it in their own private time and so this would incur a fee, which would be charged to the Tribunal.
We hope this explains the practice's position. We request that you do not request letters of support for PIP applications.
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