The Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with a disability who are aged over 16 and under 65. It is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age.
Is PIP very different from the DLA?
The main difference between the two payments is that PIP will often (although not always) involve a face-to-face assessment to work out how the disability affects a claimant's daily living and their ability to carry out tasks. While DLA involves filling in a 41-page form and in some cases has been awarded for life without review, PIP will be reviewed much more regularly.
To qualify for PIP, the disability has to be proven to affect 'daily living' (which includes washing, eating, reading, toileting and communicating) and/or mobility. The disability must have been present for three months and be expected to last for at least nine months.
The payment is divided into the 'daily living' and mobility components and people can qualify for one or both components (similar to DLA).
How do I apply for PIP?
To make a new claim you need to call the DWP (0800 917 2222) and you will be sent a form in which you can describe the effects of the disability on daily living and mobility. You can include supporting evidence from health teams.
You may be called in for an assessment, after which the assessors will decide what level of financial support you need.
What will I get?
PIP is divided into two levels in each component:
- The standard rate for the daily living component is £53 a week and the enhanced rate is £79.15 a week
- For the mobility component, the standard rate is £21 a week and the enhanced rate is £55.25
When will PIP be introduced?
PIP was introduced on 8 April 2013 in Merseyside, north-west England, Cumbria, Cheshire and parts of north-east England. It is expected to be rolled out across the rest of the country in June 2013.
What if my child is over 16 already and receives DLA?
- Over-16s already receiving DLA will continue to get the payment.
- From October 2013, over-16s will need to apply for PIP if their care or mobility needs change, or if they reach the end of a DLA award period.
- In October 2015, other DLA recipients will be asked to apply for PIP and this will continue to the end of 2017, when the government hopes that everyone will have been contacted and invited to apply for PIP.
What are the concerns about PIP?
- The assessment appears to focus on a very small amount of medical evidence and critics say it may not be a good way of getting the full picture of a person's experience of disability.
- There have been criticisms of similar assessments made by private companies for the Employment and Support Allowance, and they have been seen to be unnecessarily harsh. This Dispatches episode showed that private assessors may have had an agenda to cut the numbers of successful applications.
- The government budget for disability benefit has been cut and so the decisions made will mean fewer people will receive the benefit. Carers UK estimates that as many as one in four people who would now qualify for DLA will not qualify for PIP.
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