Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim
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PIP is currently overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who is responsible for ensuring all eligible Britons receive the amount to which they are entitled. But PIP can be useful as it helps individuals with some of the extra costs which could arise due to their health conditions. A common misconception with PIP payments is that they are designated for those with severe physical disabilities only, but this is not true. In fact, many people could find they benefit from an instalment of PIP, should they be deemed eligible to receive the sum. PIP can assist individuals with long term physical or mental health conditions or disabilities. The amount a person receives depends on how their condition affects them, rather than the condition itself. In this sense, Britons can expect to be assessed by a health professional to work out the kind of support they can receive.
The conditions covered by PIP can vary, but one which is unfortunately common for millions of people right across the country is joint pain. Joint pain, for some, can cause discomfort, but for others it could create pain and difficulty getting out and about. In these kind of instances, PIP could prove a particular lifeline.
Common musculoskeletal conditions could impact a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks, or leave the home for other reasons. These could include arthritis, osteoporosis, lupus and fibromyalgia, for instance, which may need significant medical assistance.
The NHS explains: “Joint pain is a very common problem with many possible causes, but it’s usually a result of injury or arthritis. In older people, joint pain that gets steadily worse is usually a sign of osteoarthritis. It may affect just one joint or many.”
Those who are over 16 and under state pension age may be entitled to PIP in order to provide assistance with their joint pain or condition. It is a payment which is replacing Disability Living Allowance – or DLA as it is commonly known – which may be slightly more familiar to Britons.
PIP: Britons living with joint pain or other conditions could be entitled to up to £608 per month (Image: Getty)
People can receive PIP if they are working or not. But they usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years in order to be eligible. They must also be in one of these countries when they make their application for the payment to be processed.
PIP is currently split into two key parts, the daily living element and the mobility element. The daily living part of PIP can assist individuals who need help more than half of the time with tasks such as prepare or eating food, dressing and undressing, reading and communicating and managing medicines or treatments.
For those living with mobility difficulties, the mobility part of PIP is likely to provide an immense amount of financial assistance. This is reserved for the individuals who need help going out or moving around. As such, it could cover costs such as travel, which may be somewhat impeded by the condition a person is currently living with.
To be eligible, a person must have a physical or mental health condition or disability where they have had difficulties with daily living or getting around – or both – for three months. They must expect these difficulties to continue for at least a nine month period.
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While there are rules about living in England, Scotland or Wales, the Government does state certain others may be able to get PIP. This can occur if individuals live in an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland – although they will only be able to receive help with their daily living needs if this is the case. Alternatively, members or family members of the Armed Forces can also receive this kind of support.
Those who are not British citizens must normally live in or show they intend to settle in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. And they must not be subject to immigration control, unless they are a sponsored immigrant, the Government explains.
The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £60.00 or £89.60, depending on the severity judged by a health expert. Similarly, for the mobility element of PIP, the weekly rate is set at either £23.70 or £62.55.
People can expect to receive the higher daily living part if they are not expected to live more than six months. The rate of the mobility part in this circumstance will be dependent on a person’s needs.
PIP: What is PIP? (Image: EXPRESS)
PIP is not a taxable benefit offered by the DWP, it is important to note. Nor is it means-tested, meaning the amount someone has in income or savings does not impact the amount they can expect to receive from the Government.
PIP is usually issued on a four week basis to those who are eligible to receive the payment. Their decision letter should inform them of the date of their first payment from the DWP, as well as what day of the week they can expect to be paid going forward.
If their payment date is on a bank holiday, the Government states individuals will usually be paid before the bank holiday, and then payments will resume as normal subsequently. All benefits, pensions and allowances get paid into a person’s bank, building society or credit union account.
A PIP award may also lead to a person becoming eligible for other forms of Government support, such as a reduction in their Council Tax bills, or an ability to claim payments such as Carer’s Allowance – which is always worth checking for.
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Those who receive PIP and are currently in work may also be able to get the disability element of Working Tax Credit, which is valued at up to £3,200 a year, or up to £4,610 per year if a person is severely disabled. They should contact HMRC to find out their eligibility.
If a person wishes to claim PIP, they will be able to call the Department for Work and Pensions in order to make a new claim. This can be achieved either by telephone or by textphone for those who need the latter modification.
Before calling, a person will need the following details:
- Contact details, for example telephone number
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
- Bank or building society account number and sort code
- Doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- Dates and addresses for any time spent in a care home or hospital
- Dates for any time spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries visited
Individuals will also be able to claim by post. They can receive a form to send information by post, although the Government warns this can delay the decision on the claim being made.