Teacher's letter of support for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims

If you are a teacher who has been asked to provide a letter of support for a deaf young person’s PIP claim, the guidance on this page may help you. 

When compiling your letter it is useful to think about the activities the claim assessors at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are looking at when assessing a PIP claim. These are:

Daily living activities

  • Preparing food
  • Taking nutrition
  • Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • Engaging with other people face-to-face
  • Making budgeting decisions

Mobility activities

  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

Teenager signing

What should I include in the letter?

Whether or not PIP is awarded depends upon how the young person’s disability affects their ability to perform the PIP activities. As a teacher who has direct interaction with the young person, you will have a good insight into their daily life.

In a supporting letter it’s useful to start with stating the young person’s level of deafness and what hearing technology they use. Following that, outline what support the young person needs at school/college. Explain why they need this support in the context of their hearing loss. The following list gives examples of things you might consider including:

  • Details of communication support.
  • Explanation of the need for an acoustically friendly environment, such as carpeted floors and low ceilings, and the difficulties caused if this is not available.
  • How often handouts are provided prior to lessons to aid the young person, communication support worker or notetaker.
  • Whether the young person is able to follow group discussions.
  • Whether the young person mishears or misinterprets things being said in the class. State if they are given an opportunity to discuss after a lesson is finished.
  • Whether any extra tutorials are provided in deaf people’s life skills (e.g. specific PSE lessons, instruction in the use of textphones, guidance with shopping or other life skills).
  • Any extra work in English, maths or other subjects which has to be done with the student.
  • Whether the young person finds it difficult to engage socially in school/college, or suffers from anxiety due to not being able to hear. Please give details of any measures put into place to tackle this.
  • If the young person has an escort to and from school/college and on school trips.