GMB: Therese Coffey grilled on Universal Credit
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PIP claims can be made by those who have a physical or mental health condition(s) where they have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months and expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months. Following an initial claim, applicants will likely go through an assessment process to determine eligibility.
However, assessment rules for PIP are set to change going forward according to the Government’s newly released National Disability Strategy.
Within this strategy, the following was detailed: “DWP is also exploring options to reduce the frequency of repeat Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments, to avoid assessments where a change of award is unlikely.”
Thérèse Coffey, the Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, commented on the need for reform: “The result of an unprecedented endeavour across Government, this national strategy will help level up opportunity and improve the everyday experience of disabled people, whether that is at home; travelling on public transport; using the local high street or going online; enjoying culture, the arts or the great outdoors; and exercising civic roles like jury service and voting.
“It sets out the practical actions we will take now, alongside clear accountability for delivering them, as well as renewing our ambition to do even more as we build back fairer.”
PIP assessments follow initial claims (Image: GETTY)
As it stands, the following assessment process will likely be followed when a claim is made:
- Claimants will receive a letter asking them to fill in a form called “Award review – how your disability affects you”
- Claimants will need to fill in the form using provided explanatory notes
- The form and any supporting information will need to be sent back to the DWP within one month. A PIP enquiry line can be contacted if more time is needed
- The DWP will review the form. If more information is needed, an independent health professional may phone the claimant to ask some questions, or a letter will be sent inviting the claimants to an assessment. These assessments can be in person, over the phone or by video call
- Following this, claimants will be sent a letter telling them what will happen with their PIP payments
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This process could be difficult for some to manage but fortunately, Citizens Advice has issued guidance on how claimants can prepare for these assessments.
Citizens Advice explained: “It’s important you prepare – the DWP will use evidence from the assessment to decide if you can get PIP. Your assessment provider will be Independent Assessment Services or Capita – you should get a letter telling you which one it will be.
“A health professional will carry out your assessment – they’ll write a report and send it to the DWP.
“You should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you even if you’ve already detailed it on your PIP claim form.”
PIP can help with certain conditions (Image: EXPRESS)
Citizens Advice continued by breaking down exactly what claimants should bring up during this process: “It can be hard to do this but it will really help if you can talk about:
- The kind of things you have difficulty with, or can’t do at all – for example, walking up steps without help or remembering to go to appointments
- How your condition affects you from day-to-day
- What a bad day is like for you – for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk at all because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed I can’t concentrate on anything’
“It’s a good idea to take a copy of your PIP claim form with you. That way you can refer to it in the assessment and make sure you tell the assessor everything you want them to know about your condition.”
Initial claims for PIP can be made by telephone, textphone or through the post.
PIP payments are split into two elements, a daily living and mobility part.
Eligible claimants may get income from one or both of these sources, with the daily living part paying either £60 or £89.60.
Mobility payments will be £23.70 or £62.55 per week.