Introducing PIP

PIP helps towards the extra living costs that arise from having a long-term physical or mental health condition that is expected to last 12 months or more.

PIP can help with the cost of living if you have;

• a long term physical or mental health condition or disability.
• In addition, you might have difficulty carrying out everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition. These are all qualifying factors.

Claimants need to be present in Great Britain, habitually resident in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and not subject to immigration control. Serving members of His Majesty’s Forces and their families are treated as habitually resident in Great Britain when serving and stationed abroad.
You can receive PIP if you are working, have savings and are in receipt of most other benefits.


PIP eligibility

You can get PIP if all of the following apply to you:

• you are aged 16 or over
• you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
• you have difficulties doing certain everyday tasks or getting around
• you have had these difficulties for at least three months and expect them to last for at least another nine months
• you live in Northern Ireland and usually have lived in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for two out of the last three years
• you are under State Pension age


Taking age into account

Children under the age of 16 are not eligible to claim PIP –they can claim DLA and can continue to do so until they are 16. PIP cannot be claimed from State Pension age except in certain circumstances where there has been a recent reward of benefit. Those who are already in receipt of PIP when they reach State Pension Age can continue to satisfy the conditions of entitlement.


Benefits that overlap

Our team of expert solicitors at Astraea Linskills want to make you aware that there are certain benefits that overlap and have an impact on how much money you can claim. For example, the PIP mobility component overlaps with War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement. The PIP daily living component overlaps with Constant Attendance Allowance. The overlapping benefit is always paid in full, and PIP is reduced by the amount of the overlapping benefit. Those receiving Armed Forces Independence Payment will not be entitled to claim PIP.


Assessment Criteria

There are two parts to PIP:

• a daily living part – if you need help with everyday tasks
• a mobility part – if you need help with getting around

Whether you get one or both parts and how much money you get depends on how difficult you find everyday tasks and getting around.


Daily living part

You might get the daily living part of PIP if you need help with:

• preparing food
• taking nutrition
• managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
• washing and bathing
• managing toilet needs or incontinence
• dressing and undressing
• communicating verbally
• reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
• engaging with other people face to face
• making budgeting decisions


Mobility part

You might get the mobility part of PIP if you need help with:

• planning and following journeys
• moving around

You do not have to have a physical disability to get the mobility part. You might also be eligible if you have difficulty getting around because of a cognitive or mental health condition, like anxiety.

Within each activity there are a number of descriptors, each representing a varying level of ability to carry out the activity. Individuals will receive a point score for each activity, depending on how well they can carry out the task and the help they need to do so. At Astraea Linskills we would advise you to think about how difficult you find things on a particularly bad day when it comes to filling out your form.

The total scores will determine whether a component is payable, and if so, whether at the ‘standard’ or ‘enhanced’ rate. The entitlement threshold for each component is 8 points for the standard rate and 12 points for enhanced.


Guidance on applying the criteria

The assessment will consider a claimant’s ability or inability to carry out activities on the list based solely on their health condition. Health conditions or disabilities may be physical, sensory, mental, intellectual or cognitive, or any combination of these. The PIP assessment will take into account your ability to complete the activity and achieve the stated outcome.

For example, a claimant with severe depression may physically be able to prepare food and feed himself, but may lack the motivation to do so and may need prompting from another person to carry out the task.

However, some activities focus on specific elements of function. For example, moving around relates to the physical aspects of walking, while engaging with other people face to face relates to the mental, cognitive or intellectual aspects of interacting with other people. Claimants with the same condition as you might receive different outcomes in the assessment. It’s all about how the health condition affects the individual.


Gathering evidence

In the first instance, you will need to fill out a ‘How your disability affects you’ form. It strengthens your case if you submit a factual report from your GP and evidence from other health professionals involved in your care such as psychiatrists, your social worker or support worker. Sometimes a decision can be made just by using written information a claimant has put forward, but some people may also be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with a health professional.


Contact us today

We hope this article provides you with a useful insight into claiming PIP. If you have any additional queries and would like any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact a friendly member of our team of solicitors today.


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