PIP: Where can you find help for filling in your PIP application form?
Martin Lewis discusses universal credit help for those on PIP
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PIP was claimed by 2.6 million people in August 2020, with the number rising by 330,00 that month. Those who apply are assessed by a certified health professional who determines the level of help they may be entitled to receive based on how they are impacted by their long-term illness or disability.
PIP is a benefit payment, first introduced in 2013, and designed to help eligible people who have additional care or mobility needs.
These additional care needs must result from a long-term illness or disability for individuals to be eligible.
This money may be claimed by anyone who suffers from any long-term health condition, whether physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, intellectual or any combination of these.
To be eligible for PIP you must be aged between 16 and State Pension age and you must also:
- Struggle with daily tasks or mobility because of your physical or mental health condition.
- Have suffered issues for at least three months and expect it to continue for another nine months.
- Typically live in England, Scotland or Wales when you apply
- Have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two years, unless you are a refugee or an immediate family member of a refugee.
- There are exceptions to these rules if you are terminally ill or in the armed forces.
PIP payments range from £23.60 to £151.40 a week depending on the amount to which your life is impacted by your health condition.
The payment consists in two forms: the daily living component and the mobility component.
Each component is paid at either a standard or enhanced rate.
From April 2021 the weekly rates will be as follows:
- Daily living component standard rate: £60.00
- Daily living component enhanced rate: £89.60
- Mobility component standard rate: £23.70
- Mobility component enhanced rate: £62.55.
Where can you find help for filling in your PIP application form?
When you begin your claim for PIP, the Department for Work and Pensions sends you a form to fill in.
You usually receive this form within two weeks of your phone call to begin the claim.
You must complete and submit the form within one month for your PIP claim to be considered.
If you submit the claim too late and your reason for lateness is not deemed good enough by the DWP, you can start again with a new claim.
You can request more time if you need but will need a specific and accepted reason.
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For the daily living component, you must show how your condition impacts your everyday life (questions three to 12), while the mobility element is about how it affects you getting around (questions 13 and 14).
There is a list of PIP descriptors here.
Based upon your condition and its impact, you get a different number of points.
You should aim to get the highest number of points in each of the following activities to be most eligible for PIP:
- Preparing food
- Eating food
- Washing and bathing
- Using the toilet
- Dressing and undressing
- Communicating with speech
- Managing your medicines or treatment
- Making decisions about money
- Engaging with other people
- Planning and following a journey
- Moving around
For each descriptor, you should ask yourself if you can do it:
- Properly, most of the time and safely
- Whenever I need to
- In reasonable time
- Without the help of someone or an aid.
Tips for filling in your PIP claim form
Always use the extra information sections to explain exactly how your condition affects you.
Do not feel as if you have to stop once you have filled in the box, you can use space at the end of the form or extra sheets of paper if required.
Add your name and National Insurance number to any additional sheets.
Try to keep your answers clear and short, with examples relevant to each question.
You are not required to get treatment or support to meet PIP eligibility criteria.
Think about how you undertake each activity, focusing on if you can do it safely, well-enough, more than once and in a reasonable time.
To qualify for PIP you will need to show you need help with activities on more than half the days in a year.
Use the word because to explain why you cannot do something.
If your health changes, explain how often this happens and the impact on you.
You are not required to fill in the form alone but can ask someone to help you.
This individual can help by keeping you company while filling it in, talking to you while you complete it or fill in the form for you.
For more advice on how to fill in your PIP form visit Citizens Advice, Mental Health and Money Advice or Scope.
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