If you need to attend a face-to-face consultation as part of your claim for PIP, we would encourage you to think about bringing a companion with you. A companion can be anyone you choose: from a friend or family member to a support worker or carer and in our experience we know that having someone with you can help to make attending a consultation much less stressful.
Of course a companion can provide practical or emotional support on the journey to the consultation and whilst waiting to go in. But in some cases, with your permission, they may also be able to provide a valuable contribution to the discussion with the health professional (HP) in helping you to answer their questions. For example, if you have mental, cognitive impairment or learning difficulties a companion may be able to help you give an accurate account of how your health condition or disability impacts on your daily life.
The HP will be keen to hear extra information from your companion but it is important to note that the consultation and discussion will always be focused towards you as it is essential that the HP’s advice is based on your actual circumstances.
Whether you choose to bring someone with you just for company, for practical support or to help you during the consultation please just let the HP know who they are and how you would like them to be involved.
Claiming travel expenses for companions
You can claim the cost of your companion’s travel from your home to the consultation location, and back to your home again. If you do this you should include details of your companion’s travel expenses on your own travel expense claim form, and submit your companion’s travel receipts with your own when posting your travel expense claim form back to us.
Arrangements for children during your consultation
We do understand that it may be sometimes be necessary to bring children to the consultation. If you do need to bring young children with you, please also bring someone to look after them while you are having your consultation.