A first step to help the young person prepare for an appointment is to identify the key issues they need help with. You can help the client to create a list of questions they might want to ask at the appointment. This will help the client stay focussed on getting what they want from the appointment. 

You might also need to help the client prepare information to take to the appointment. 

Helping the young person create a list of questions. 

It’s a good idea to make a bullet point list of pertinent information. 

The young person has recently requested a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form. There is a lot of information on the Citizens Advice website about PIP. This includes information on eligibility, how to make a claim, filling out your form and preparing for your assessment. 

You feel that they would be better supported with an appointment at Citizens Advice with an adviser helping them complete the form. 

What information might you need to help prepare the young person? 

Using the Citizens Advice website as a resource will help you identify some of the information your client will need to complete the PIP form. You could look through the web pages together and make notes. 

Top Tip: The Citizens Advice website has PIP diary sheets that you can download, print and give to your client for them to note down how their disability affects them day to day. This is extremely helpful to bring to an appointment.  We have included the diary in this toolkit. 

What questions might the young person have?

Understandably, the young person might have questions. These might be about their issue, about the appointment or what happens after. 

You can help by going through their concerns and making bullet points of their questions. Keep them brief and to the point. 

“I’m unable to work because of feeling so unwell all the time. I can’t afford my bills or food shopping and I just don’t know if it’s worth bothering with putting in a claim because I don’t know how much I’ll get”

Breaking this down into bullet points could look like;

  • would I be eligible for PIP  with my health condition? 
  • How much PIP would I be entitled to? 

To help manage expectations we find it helpful to ask how long the process might take. This will help manage the uncertainty of the advice process. Sometimes nothing can happen for a few weeks, which a young person experiencing extreme hardship can feel like an eternity. 

Encourage the young person to ask about the timeframes of processes. For some processes this can be quite hard to pin down, but a rough estimate or a scheduled check-in with the adviser can allay fears that nothing is happening.  

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"write about your thoughts, what you think is right and wrong. That made me have a better understanding of the whole situation and I knew where to start looking for answers because I knew more about what I was asking.” Young person