In April 2013, a new disability benefit called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced across the UK. It is being gradually rolled out across the country, with new claimants being the first to trial the scheme. Most people who receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will not be affected until at least 2015.
The PIP consists of two components, the Daily Living Element and the Mobility Element. Both of these have a basic element and an enhanced element. It is paid every four weeks into a bank account and is assessed according to the individual’s needs rather than by condition. If you only have 6 months to live, you will receive the enhanced daily living component.
This new benefit affects working people aged between 16 and 64 and will eventually replace the current DLA. The government has admitted that it will save around 20 per cent each year in the total cost of disability benefits, so it is unlikely that everyone who receives DLA at the moment will continue to receive exactly the same amount of money. Charities and disability support groups fear that the PIP will be assessed more stringently than the DLA and that it will adversely affect the disabled. Even the government admits that over 600,000 people will lose entitlement after the switch-over and still more will receive a lower amount.
The PIP is a benefit that you will have to make a new claim for, even if you now receive an indefinite or lifetime award. Claimants will have to undergo a medical assessment and the claim will also be assessed from the results of a questionnaire. Find out as much as you can before you submit your claim.
What to do if you are worried about PIP:
- Keep a diary detailing your day to day medical condition. Keep any medical evidence you can; hospital appointments, medical notes and any other documentation that is relevant to your claim.
- Visit the government’s website where there is an online calculator (https://www.gov.uk/pip-checker). If you input your details, you will find out what you may be entitled to.
- Contact a charity such as Sense that will have advisers who are prepared to guide you through the transition process.
We here at TPG DisableAids Ltd hope this has made things a little clearer for you, and remember, for the best selection of aids designed to make your life that little bit easier, make us your first choice every time.