Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit introduced to help people who have been forced to pay extra costs due to a health condition or long term disability.
PIP is assigned to those who need help with everyday activities and is designed as a long-term replacement to the Disability Living Allowance.
Around 3.7 million people in the UK currently claim PIP – and anyone who receives payments must be assessed to see what level of payment is awarded.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently announced that the frequency of the PIP assessments is set to be reduced as part of the government’s new ‘National Disability Strategy’.
The biggest misconception about PIP is that the DWP will only award the benefit to people with outwardly visible physical, long-term health conditions or disabilities reports the Daily Record.
In fact, PIP is a benefit aimed at providing support for people with an ever-evolving list of ‘hidden’ conditions, including stress, anxiety and depression.
To be eligible for PIP, you must have a health condition or disability where you:
You usually need to have lived in the UK for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when you apply.
Even though the country is opening up again as restrictions begin to ease, if you have been struggling with your physical or mental health since lockdown first began in March 2020, it may be worthwhile looking into claiming extra support through PIP.
What is PIP?
PIP is a benefit which is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
If you need extra help because of an illness, disability or mental health condition you could be eligible for PIP.
You could receive between £23.70 and £152.15 a week if you are aged 16 or over and have not reached State Pension age, which is now 66 for everyone in the UK.
It is important to be aware that the amount you receive depends on how your condition affects you – not the condition itself.
You will be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get and your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you are getting the right support.
Who is eligible for PIP?
In addition to what we have outlined above if you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying for PIP:
- preparing, cooking or eating food
- managing your medication
- washing, bathing or using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- engaging and communicating with other people
- reading and understanding written information
- making decisions about money
- planning a journey or following a route
- moving around outside the home
There are different rules if you are terminally ill, you will find these on the GOV.UK website here.
How is PIP paid?
PIP is usually paid every four weeks unless you are terminally ill, in which case it is paid every week.
PIP will be paid directly into your bank, building society or credit union account.
What are the PIP payment rates?
You will need an assessment to work out the level of financial help you will receive and your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you are getting the right support.
PIP is made up of two components:
Whether you get one or both of these and how much depends on how severely your condition affects you.
You will be paid the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:
Standard rate: £60.00
Enhanced rate: £89.60
Standard rate: £23.70
Enhanced rate: £62.55
How you are assessed
You will be assessed by an independent healthcare professional to help the DWP determine the level of financial support, if any, you need.
Face-to-face assessments for health-related benefits resumed in May, however, the DWP may also invite you to attend a telephone or video call assessment instead.
How do you make a claim for PIP?
You can make a new claim by contacting the DWP, you will find all the information you need to apply on the GOV.UK website here.
Before you call, you will need:
your contact details
your date of birth
your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
your bank or building society account number and sort code
your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
Once you have contacted the DWP, they will send you a document to complete which consists of 14 questions. This includes space for any additional information you feel is relevant to your claim.
The questions focus on how your condition affects you, so put as much detail in as you can to help the assessor understand your physical or mental health needs.
For more information about PIP, visit GOV.UK here.
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