Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

blind mobility

The following article will attempt to explain the ins and out of the Personal Independence Payment system, which the government, in it's infinite wisdom has decided to implement as a partial replacement for the disability allowance. The word partial is the crux. First of all PIP only applies to those who are between the age of 16 and 64;  if you are retired then this has no relevance to you. Similarly, children will stay with the DLA until they are 16 and can then register.  Strangely enough the amount of entitlement will be exactly the same; essentially it is the same benefit with a different name and enhanced requirements.

Mobility  Payment:  The basic payment per week will be £21.80, just as the DLA is. The maximum that you can receive is  £57.45 per week (no change). You may get the mobility component of PIP if you need help with going out or moving around. The level will be assessed according to your requirements.

Daily Living Component: The basic payment per week is £55.10, the same as the DLA standard payment. The enhanced payment is £82.30 per week (again no change). You may receive the daily living component if you have problems, or need assistance, with preparing food, washing, dressing, communicating, managing money or other daily necessities. In theory, then, there is an upper limit of £139.75 per week.

Eligibility:  We have dealt with the age requirements but, typically, there are a host of other factors involved. The majority of these relate to residence. You must be in Great Britain when you claim (unless you are a family member with overseas armed forces). You must have been in the country for two of the last three years. You must be habitually resident - this pretty much only applies to non-UK citizens. You cannot be subject to immigration controls. And most importantly, you must have a disability which qualifies for support.

When to Claim: The Department of Work and Pensions will write to let you know when to proceed with your claim. As this is a move from DLA to PIP the relevant authorities will have your details and will let you know when to start your claim. It is very important that you respond to the notification; if you do not respond you will cease to get ANY payment.  The DWP have been alerting fixed term and changed circumstance DLA claimants since 2013 (gradually) and, as of July 15th 2013 they will start alerting long-term or indefinte award claimants. The exception, of course, is if you are claiming for the first time. In this case you should file a claim for PIP; if you attempt to claim DLA then the DWP will treat it as a PIP claim but your claim will be delayed.

How to Claim: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) want people to start a claim for PIP by phone. To make a claim, phone them on the PIP new claims phone line.

Personal Independence Payment new claims line

Tel: 0800 917 2222 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
Textphone: 0800 917 7777 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

Calls are free from landlines and most mobile phones. You can ask the DWP to call you back if you're worried about the cost of the call. Tell the DWP if you have any special communication needs, for example, if you need to receive information in Braille or large print or if you need an interpreter. It may be possible for the DWP to dial an interpreter into the call. The phone call will be recorded by the DWP.

The DWP will ask you basic questions to work out whether you're eligible to claim PIP. It will speed up your claim if you have all the information that the DWP needs when you phone them, including: your name National Insurance number date of birth full address and postcode daytime contact number nationality information about time spent abroad in the last three years information about time spent in a care home or hospital now or previously GP or other health professional’s details bank or building society account details. If you're not a British, Irish, Swiss or EEA national, the DWP will also ask about your immigration status. For example, they will want to know whether you have permission to stay in the UK temporarily or permanently, and whether your passport says that you have 'No recourse to public funds'. This is because your immigration status affects whether you can get PIP. At this stage, the DWP won't ask you about your health condition or disability, or how it affects you, unless you're claiming under the Special Rules for terminally ill people if so they'll ask about your illness and about any difficulties you have getting around.

If you can't give all the information required in your first phone call, the DWP should tell you what further information they need. You must provide it within one month if you wish to continue with your claim. This period can be extended if the DWP agrees that it's reasonable to do so. For example, they may agree to an extension if you go into hospital or need to see an adviser. You must phone them to explain that you need an extension and why. If you don’t give them all the information they need within one month or ask for an extension, you may lose money because you’ll have to start your claim again. Your claim cannot be backdated. The call will last at least eight minutes, provided you have the information to hand.

If you can't use the phone, someone else can call the claim line on your behalf. However, you'll need to be with the person making the call so that you can give the DWP permission to speak to that person. If you're unable to use the phone and you can't get anyone to make the call with you, you can write to ask the DWP for a paper claim form PIP1 or ask for a paper claim by textphone on 0800 917 7777. The address to write to is:  Department for Work and Pensions,  Personal Independence Payment, New Claims,  Post Handling Site B,  Wolverhampton WV99 1AH.  The DWP will only provide a paper claim form in exceptional circumstances, so you should tell them why you can't use the phone when you write to them. If you don't do this, they are likely to try to phone you. The paper claim form must be authorised by the DWP and the form will have your name on it when issued. You can't get this form from an advice agency or a friend, or download it from the internet.

You can only claim PIP on behalf of someone else if: you hold Power of Attorney for that person, or you're an appointee who's been authorised by the DWP to claim benefits on behalf of that person, or you're applying to become an appointee, or the person you are claiming for is terminally ill. If none of these circumstances apply, you can still phone the DWP to make the claim, but the claimant must be with you to answer security questions when you make the call.

PIP - the Special Rules for terminally ill people

When the DWP has all the information they need, they'll decide whether you meet the basic eligibility conditions for PIP. If you meet the basic conditions, the DWP will send you form PIP2 to fill in. This form is called the 'How your disability affects you' form. If you don't meet the basic conditions because of your age, the DWP can treat your claim as a claim for Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance instead. They may need to contact you for further information about your claim. If you don't meet the basic conditions for any other reason, the DWP will send you a decision letter refusing your claim. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask them to reconsider it. This is called a Mandatory Reconsideration.

If you're not yet ready to claim PIP, but have a general enquiry about it, don't call the new claims number, but use the PIP enquiry line instead: Department for Work and Pensions Personal Independence Payment Enquiry Line Tel: 0345 850 3322 (Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm) Textphone: 0345 601 6677.