Thousands of Londoners could be due a £600 payment from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) under new rules.
PIP – Personal Independence Allowance – is available to people with long-term physical or mental conditions and/or disabilities in order to help with the extra costs of dealing with their health issues.
It can be claimed on top of other benefits such as Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Income Support and Housing Benefit, reports the Manchester Evening News.
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It comes as the extra £20 that Brits were able to claim on Universal Credit is being revoked from October 6.
The Government has produced an updated guide outlining the steps typically taken in getting PIP, including changes made during the Covid pandemic. These are listed below.
How much is PIP – what you get and when
PIP can be claimed by those between the ages of 16 and State Pension age.
You can keep getting it after you reach State Pension age but you cannot put in your initial claim when you are a pensioner.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is made up of two parts – a daily living part and a mobility part.
Whether you get one or both of these and how much you’ll get depends on how severely your condition affects you.
The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £60 for the standard rate or £89.60 for the enhanced rate.
The weekly rate for the mobility part of PIP is either £23.70 standard rate or £62.55 enhanced rate.
So the maximum you could get would be £152.15. And as PIP is paid every four weeks, that means £606.60 would go into your bank account every month.
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PIP claims guide from DWP
There are currently 2.8 million people on the benefit, with a third getting the highest level of payment, according to DWP statistics published last year.
The document also outlines a “typical customer journey” with a 13 step guide to claiming PIP as listed below:
1. A person registers their claim for PIP. To start a claim for PIP, the claimant can contact DWP on 0800 917 2222
2. The DWP issues the ‘How your disability affects you’ (PIP2) form, for completion by the claimant
3. Claimant completes and returns PIP2 form – this can lead to:
- automatic referral to the Assessment Provider (AP)
- disallowance of the claim based on the information in the PIP2 form; or
- disallowance of the claim if the claimant fails to return the PIP2 form without being identified as having additional support needs
4. Under normal circumstances, the applicant may have their claim assessed based on the paper evidence already submitted, or may be called for a face-to-face assessment.
However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, face-to-face assessments were suspended and appointments were carried out by telephone instead. Face-to-face assessments started again in May 2021.
The claimant may: a) attend and participate in their assessment; or b) fail to attend or participate in the assessment, which can lead to disallowance of the claim and no PIP awarded.
5. DWP makes a decision based on the assessor’s advice and any additional evidence received. The outcome may be:
- PIP is awarded (including a monetary amount of the award for both Daily Living and Mobility components, the award type and, if appropriate, the period of time that should be allowed before a review of the award takes place); or
- PIP is disallowed due to failing the assessment
Bear in mind it can often take up to four months from starting the application to getting your money, though if you’re terminally ill your claim will be processed more quickly.
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6. Payment of PIP starts – it is usually paid every four weeks
7. When the claim is receiving PIP, they must report any changes of circumstances – and this may lead to a review of the award
8. Claims are normally for a fixed period of time, typically around two or three years, after which they are reviewed. But if a person’s health condition is obviously severe and unlikely to change, the DWP will agree to pay PIP for the next 10 years, after which the claimant receives what’s called a light touch review. This is for claimants who have:
- very stable needs which are unlikely to change over time
- high level needs which will either stay the same or get worse
- a planned award review date due on or at State Pension age
- a special rules for terminal illness claim due when of State Pension age
These claimants would not usually be expected to have a face-to-face assessment at review.
9. In the case of a reported change of circumstance or a planned award review, an AR1 form is issued
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10. If the claimant disagrees with a decision on their claim, including where an award has been given, they can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), which means it will be looked at again.
11. After the MR has been completed, if the claimant still disagrees with the decision they are able to lodge an appeal with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS)
12. Some appeals are cleared without going through a tribunal hearing, if they are:
- withdrawn by the claimant
- struck out by the tribunal
- lapsed – this means the DWP has changed the decision in the claimant’s favour, so that the tribunal doesn’t have to go ahead
13. Some appeals go on to be heard at a tribunal, where the DWP’s original decision will either be upheld or overturned.
During the restrictions of the Covid pandemic, hearings were held remotely via telephone, video or other technology, alongside paper-based hearings.
But tribunals have begun sitting in person again now. From July 19, 2021, based on Public Health expert advice, courts and tribunals in England reopened fully as lockdown restrictions lifted, with some restrictions in place including:
- requiring all users to wear a face covering in public and communal parts of buildings
- using screens or barriers to separate people from each other where they will come into close proximity with others they do not normally meet
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