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Millions of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants could be eligible for a number of additional ‘freebies’ and discounts, which could have a sizeable impact on monthly finances. From free prescriptions to capped water bills, Britons are being urged to check what other support they’re entitled to claim as living costs remain high.
With inflationary figures sitting at 10.5 percent, households have been feeling the financial pinch. The energy price guarantee is expected to rise to £3,000 in April, while food prices have hit a record high, with reports indicating these are adding a further £788 to annual bills.
Around 22 million Britons claim a combination of DWP benefits to help with the rising cost of living, but many are still struggling to get by. However, there are ways to receive extra financial help that many may not be aware of.
The additional help is offered by the DWP and those already claiming certain benefits are eligible for the support. PIP claimants are one of the groups that could be eligible, and here are eight different freebies and discounts on offer.
Free NHS prescriptions
Depending on the medical condition a PIP claimant may have, they could be entitled to free NHS prescriptions.
Those eligible for a free prescription could also get other services for free, such as medicines for minor common illnesses at some pharmacies through the NHS Minor Ailment Scheme, or the flu jab.
The minor ailments scheme is widely available across Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but only in selected pharmacies across England. However, the medicines covered by the scheme can also be different depending on where the person lives, so people should talk to their local pharmacy to find out what they offer.
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Disabled Person’s Railcard
Some PIP claimants may be eligible for a Disabled Person’s Railcard, which can knock a third off of the price of train travel. The card costs £20 for one year of £54 for three years.
Free bus pass
Some claimants may also be eligible for free local bus travel in England. The disabled person’s bus pass is distributed by local councils as part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme, and claimants should contact them to find out who and how they might be able to receive it.
Blue Badge for parking
The Blue Badge Scheme is also available to people with disabilities, allowing them to park closer to their destinations for greater ease. The badge costs up to £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. The support is currently free in Wales.
The badge lasts up to three years and the person’s local council decides how the fee is to be paid. People can apply using the tool on the Government website.
Those claiming the enhanced rate of PIP might be eligible to apply for the mobility scheme. This allows people to trade some or all of the enhanced mobility component of the benefit towards the cost of a vehicle.
Vehicle tax exemption
Another discount available to those claiming the mobility component of PIP is vehicle tax exemption. Claimants who receive the standard rate of the mobility component could be entitled to 50 percent off, while those who receive the enhanced rate can be entitled to a full-price discount.
Disabled Facilities Grant
Disabled benefit claimants in England could receive up to £30,000 a year if they need to make changes to their home using the Disabled Facilities Grant, while claimants in Wales and Northern Ireland could eligible for grants up to £36,000 and £25,000, respectively.
The money can be used to pay for improvements such as installing a walk-in shower or a stairlift or adapting heating or lighting control systems for greater ease. To apply, claimants have to go through their local council.
Some claimants may also be eligible for the WaterSure scheme, which caps water bills for low-income customers on a meter.
This means eligible households will not pay any more than the average metered bill for the area their water company deals with – which could save hundreds of pounds a month. The scheme is more widely available for those on low-income related benefits, so it’s suggested that those on disability benefits check with their water company to see if they’re offering it.
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