As you will be aware the government’s plan is well underway now to move Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants to the new welfare benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP). To ensure you receive the correct rate of benefit we have put together a few tips to consider when completing the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim forms.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was previous made up of two components the care component which had 3 bands referred to as lower, middle and higher care. Needs and mobility component which had two bands lower and higher.
The new Personal Independence Payment is made of two components daily living, which has two bands, standard and enhanced and mobility also has two components which are standard and enhanced.
When answering the questions on the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim form answer these questions describing the worst-case scenarios (as if it was your worst day with your condition or disability). For example, how far you can walk on a bad day. If this activity causes you pain or discomfort, and are unable to walk then you should be saying you cannot do this activity.
- One of the questions on the form asks about the care you receive and the care you don’t receive but need. This could be that you may require help showering, washing your hair or washing your back but do not receive it.
- Should you have a visual impairment you may answer this question as follows: I require help to identify and locate products i.e. body wash, conditioner and shampoo. I require help to get in and out of the bath/shower due to slipping on many occasions and causing injury to myself. I require somebody to help me to shave as I miss growth on my face and cut myself often.
- Dressing and undressing is another question on the form and once again if you have a visual impairment you may answer this as follows; I require assistance by another person to help me locate clothing, identify matching clothing, making me aware of any stains or clothing that is in a state of disrepair, sewing buttons or repairing clothing. I am unable to identify if my clothes are creased I require assistance by another person to iron my clothing as I am at risk of burning myself.
- Try to break each task down into segments when thinking about a task, for example cooking. This should include whether or not you can identify food in the fridge, checking expiry dates, carrying the food from the fridge to your preparation area, preparing fresh vegetables i.e. peeling, chopping, slicing etc, carrying saucepans with food and water, cooking the food using the oven or microwave. State if you are at risk or regularly cut or burn yourself, or if you do not cook at all. You may rely on family and friends for your main meal of the day
- Think about what words you are using, for example if your pain is severe, then use the word severe i.e. I have severe pain when trying to complete this activity
- Remember Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is based on how your condition affects you and not the condition itself or the medication you take for it.
- Remember, if you have multiple health conditions, write down how each of your condition can affect you, remembering the worst-case scenario.
- You may not think some questions are applicable to you – think again the more information you use to complete every section and the difficulties you have will aid your application.
- Send as much medical evidence as you have to support the claim for Personal Independence Payments (PIP). Ask your GP and Consultant to support your application, however there may be a fee for this service.
- The form is very long, and it is best done in segments. If you have difficulty completing this form, write on the form that you have had to seek help to do this and how long it actually took you.
- How is your claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessed – Decision makers for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will review your application and your answers will be scored based on their criteria which they refer to as ‘descriptors’. Your scores will be totalled which will indicate your award.
- The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form is an important document that should be completed fully and comprehensively, perhaps with support, answering all questions correctly and concisely, will enhance the probability of receiving a successful award.
There are many services that can help you to complete the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form free of charge i.e. Citizens Advice Bureau and others that will charge a fee. Should you require any help or support to complete your Personal Independent Payment (PIP) form please contact (fee applicable)