Universal Credit claimant sends message to Rishi Sunak
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PIP claims can be made by those who need help with some of the extra costs associated with long term physical or mental health conditions or disabilities. To ensure the correct amounts are paid out, an independent healthcare professional will usually assess a claimant’s eligibility following a claim.
This assessment allows claimants to talk about how their condition affects them day to day and is not a formal diagnosis.
Despite this, it is important to prepare thoroughly as the DWP will use evidence from the assessment to decide if the claimant can get PIP.
To ensure the assessment process runs smoothly, Citizens Advice issued guidance on what claimants should do to help their case.
The charity said: “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 assessments determine payments (Image: GETTY)
“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.’
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“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.
“The assessor will use the information you gave on your PIP claim form but also draw opinions from what you say and do on the day. For example, they might ask you how you got to the assessment centre. If you say you came on the bus, they’ll make a note that you can travel alone on public transport.
“You might also be asked to carry out some physical tasks during the assessment. Don’t feel you have to do things in the assessment that you wouldn’t normally be able to do. If you do them on assessment day, the assessor may think you can always do them. If you’re not comfortable with something – say so.
“The assessor will also make a note of your mental state during the assessment – for example, they’ll record whether you look depressed or happy, tense or relaxed and how you cope with social interaction.”
PIP can help with certain conditions (Image: EXPRESS)
Citizens Advice went on to warn claimants they must go to their assessments otherwise their PIP claim will be rejected and they’ll have to restart the process all over again.
The assessments themselves can be in person, over the phone or by video call.
Following the assessments, claimants will be sent a letter which tells them what will happen with their claim and how much will be paid out if they’re eligible.
Where claimants are eligible they’ll receive a payment which can be made up of two elements, a daily living part and a mobility part.
Daily living payments will be either £60 or £89.60 per week.
The mobility part will pay out either £23.70 or £62.55.
It’s possible to receive income from both of these elements where claimants are heavily affected by their condition(s).
PIP payments usually come through once every four weeks and claimants may also qualify for other benefits such as Carer’s Allowance or Working Tax Credit.