PIP claiming rules explained as DWP plans overhaul for ‘the most challenging of times’

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PIP claiming rules for terminally ill claimants will be updated over the coming months as the DWP announced last week fast-tracked access to benefits will be extended. The changes mean the current “Special Rules for Terminal Illness” which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months, is to be replaced with a new 12-month, end of life definition.

These changes will ensure people in the final year of their life will receive support quicker and at the highest rate possible through revised special rules.

Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People, welcomed the changes.

Mr Tomlinson said: “Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and this change will increase much needed support for people who are nearing the end of their lives.

“The new 12-month approach will ensure people get the financial help they need as quickly as possible in the most challenging of times.

“We have carefully considered the best approach and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to our work in reaching this outcome.”

These changes are set to also impact other benefit claimants too, as the DWP explained: “Under the updated rules, clinicians still have discretion and will be supported by a realistic and straightforward definition, which aligns with current NHS practice.

“Ministers plan to implement the 12-month end-of-life approach across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance next year and Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when parliamentary time allows.

“It follows a DWP evaluation which heard the views of people nearing the end of their lives, their families and friends, the organisations supporting them and the clinicians involved in their care.”

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Under the current rules, terminal PIP claims can be made by those whose doctor has told them they may have less than six months to live and who are aged between 16 and state pension age.

For terminal claimants, DWP will need to be called to start a claim and applicants will need to ask a doctor or other healthcare professional for form DS1500.

They’ll then either fill it in and give the form to the claimant or send it directly to DWP.

Terminal claimants will not need to go to a face-to-face consultation and they can have someone else call the DWP on their behalf, but they’ll need to be with them when they call.

Non-terminal claims for PIP can be made by telephone, textphone or through the post.

Before contacting the DWP, claimants will need to have the following at the ready:

  • Their contact details, for example, telephone number
  • Their date of birth
  • Their National Insurance number
  • Their bank or building society account number and sort code
  • Their doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • Dates and addresses for any time they’ve spent in a care home or hospital
  • Dates for any time they spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries they visited

PIP payments themselves are made up of two parts, a daily living and mobility part.

The daily living part pays a weekly rate of either £60 or £89.60.

Mobility payments will be £23.70 or £62.55.

Whether a person gets one or both of these rates will depend on how severely their condition(s) affects them and this will usually be assessed by an independent healthcare professional following a claim.

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