If you’re struggling with a disability or a long-term health problem or disability, there is a benefit that can help you financially.
Personal Independence Payment – which is known to many by the acronym PIP – is a government handout designed to help people suffering with a wide range of physical and mental health issues.
It was introduced to eventually replace the Disability Living Allowance and is available to people 16 or over who have not yet reached State Pension age.
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Around 2.7 million people in the UK get PIP and a third of those are awarded the highest amount.
But what do you actually need to do to claim PIP and who is eligible for the benefit?
Well, Birmingham Live reports that applying for PIP involves an assessment which will determine what level of the payment will be awarded.
Since the introduction of PIP in April 2013, 5.9 million people have put in a claim, according to the latest figures that go up to April 2021.
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That includes 3.9 million new claims entering the DWP system and a further 2 million being reassessed when they were moved across from the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP.
Of those, 2.9 million (53 per cent) were awarded PIP. In 2.5 million (45 per cent) cases, the claim was refused, while the other applications were withdrawn.
Figures show that 82 per cent of new claims and 88 per cent of DLA reassessment claims are recorded as having one of five most common disabling conditions.
- Psychiatric disorders (which includes mixed anxiety and depressive disorders)
- Musculoskeletal disease (general)
- Musculoskeletal disease (regional)
- Neurological disease
- Respiratory disease
The two most commonly recorded conditions in claims under normal rules are psychiatric disorders (37 per cent of claims), and musculoskeletal disease (general) (a further 20 per cent of claims).
Figures show that those with neurological disease and musculoskeletal diseases are most likely to be awarded PIP after an assessment has taken place.
Of those with psychiatric disorders, only around half (52 per cent) are awarded PIP after an assessment, the lowest number of the five categories above. The rest are told they won’t get any PIP.
In addition, the DWP recently revealed a list of 21 health conditions that are most likely to be eligible for back pay of up to £12,000, after judges ruled assessments hadn’t been carried out properly.
Some claimants had been given lower PIP payments, while others were refused any PIP at all because their points weren’t high enough to qualify.
The full 21 conditions include the following:
- Alcohol misuse
- Anxiety and depressive disorders (mixed)
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar affective disorder (Hypomania / Mania)
- Cognitive disorders
- Depressive disorder
- Drug misuse
- Learning disability
- Mood disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD
- Panic disorder
- Personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Psychotic disorders
- Schizoaffective disorder
- Stress reaction disorders
The amount of PIP given to a claimant can be looked at again when they report a change of circumstances, or at the end of the review period stipulated when the DWP first agreed to pay the benefit.
During such a review, the amount a person receives can change. It can be increased, decreased, kept at the same level or stopped altogether.
When circumstances change, most people find the amount of PIP they receive goes up. When their case is looked at again as the review period ends, most people find they end up getting the same amount.
The DWP said claimants with a respiratory disease were most likely to have their award increased or maintained at the same level (72 per cent).
Claimants with psychiatric disorders were most likely to have their award decreased or disallowed (41 per cent).
But the DWP points out that the amount of PIP a person gets depends on how severely your condition affects you, rather than what it is.
In order to be eligible for PIP, you must have a physical or mental health condition or disability where you:
- have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months
- expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
You will get the daily living part of PIP if you need help more than half of the time with things like:
- preparing or eating food
- washing, bathing and using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- reading and communicating
- managing your medicines or treatments
- making decisions about money
- engaging with other people
The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £60 or £89.60, and you can get the mobility part of PIP if you need help going out or moving around.
The weekly rate for the mobility part of PIP is either £23.70 or £62.55.
Those with a terminal illness get the higher daily living part, plus a mobility part based on their specific needs.