Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim
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PIP, formally known as Personal Independence Payments, help those living with a physical or mental health condition or disability long-term. The condition must make it difficult for a person to perform certain everyday tasks or get around. Individuals can receive PIP even if they are working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
However, some may be reticent to claim PIP because they do not realise they are eligible.
The benefit is not exclusive to those with a physical disability, and those living with mental health conditions such as stress or anxiety may find they are also eligible.
The NHS has said support is available for those who find it hard to cope with anxiety, fear or panic.
Physical symptoms can include feeling lightheaded, headaches, chest pains and breathlessness, while mental symptoms could mean feeling tense or nervous, being unable to relax, or feeling tearful.
PIP could provide financial aid to assist a person in getting the help they need in their day to day lives. The payment is tax-free and not impacted by the income or savings a person has.
It is split into two parts, with what a person receives entirely dependent on how difficult they find everyday activities or getting around.
The daily living part has a £60 lower weekly rate and a higher weekly rate of £89.60.
The mobility element of PIP, however, has a lower weekly rate of £23.70 and a higher rate of £62.55.
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This means that over the course of a month, those on the higher rate of both payments could secure £608 per month.
To claim PIP, people will be sent a form that asks about their condition which they will need to complete and return.
The ‘How your disability affects you’ asks a series of questions about how a person’s day to day life is impacted by their condition – and some, such as Question 13, may be more important than others.
PIP describes Question 13 as one of the key points for those who have stress, anxiety or other mental health conditions.
The question is about how one’s condition makes it a challenge for them to get out and about, for example, planning and following a route to a place a person knows.
It also concerns a person’s ability to cope in places they do not know.
Large crowds, large noises and unexpected changes to a journey could make it more challenging for a person with a mental health condition.
Citizens Advice explains: “The DWP is interested in how you cope with both long and short journeys – think about getting to local places (like a local shop, friend’s house or a place you don’t know).
“They’re not interested in your ability to walk – you can describe your walking difficulties in question 14.”
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Britons should try to say how long they experience anxiety, stress or another condition and how often it occurs.
Citizens Advice states they should make it clear if these feelings mean they cannot plan a journey, follow a route or leave the house.
It could also prove a challenge, for example, to speak with other people, or affect their ability to do other tasks outlined in the PIP claim form.
The group also offered an example of a person’s circumstances where PIP may be necessary.
Their website states: “Theresa’s anxiety make it very difficult for her to be outside – either on her own or with family or friends. It’s even harder if it’s somewhere she doesn’t know.
“The anxiety makes it hard for her to breathe and she sweats and feels faint, which can make it even harder for her to cope.
“When this happened at her local shop in February her friend had to call an ambulance to take care of her.”
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