Tips for PIPs
Tips for PIP
By Michelle Bower, Financial Inclusion Officer
Personal Independence Payment (or PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16-64 with health conditions who need help with daily living activities or mobility. You must have needed this help for 3 months and expect to need it for another 9 months.
PIP is not means tested and claimants can use the additional money they receive as they wish. Some claimants use the money to pay for extra help, or extra costs. You can start a claim by telephoning 0800 917 2222. You’ll have to give personal information but will not have to give details about your health at this stage.
The application process involves a detailed form about how your health conditions affect you and usually attending a face to face assessment.
How will I know if I might be entitled to PIP?
The PIP assessment looks at how claimants manage different activities. Claimants can receive an award for having difficulties or needing help with daily living activities, mobility activities or both. This can be help a claimant already has or help they need but do not get.
The daily activities are: preparing food, taking nutrition, managing treatments, washing and bathing, managing toilet needs, dressing and undressing, communicating, reading, mixing with other people, and making budgeting decisions.
The mobility activities are: planning and following journeys, and moving around.
How do I make a successful PIP claim?
Points that are awarded for each activity which are broken down into a list of descriptions saying what a claimant can or can’t do. A list of descriptions for each activity is online, simply search “PIP activities and descriptors”. Claimants can receive between 0 and 12 points for each activity, depending on which descriptions they satisfy.
To receive a daily living award, a claimant needs to score at least 8 points across the 10 activities and for a mobility award, you need at least 8 points across the two activities.
How do I get points for an activity?
An assessor will see if you can do an activity “reliably”. These means that you’re able to do the activity safely and to an appropriate standard, repeatedly, and in a timely manner. If you cannot do an activity, even with an aid or appliance, then you’ll be considered unable to do that activity and should get points awarded.
My condition fluctuates – does this matter?
The assessment looks at how you manage activities for most of your time. So, if you can manage an activity without difficulties or help for 4 days out of 7, you wouldn’t receive points for that activity.
What else will help me?
It’s useful to send evidence from health professionals about how your conditions affect you. This could be letters from your doctor or copies of your prescriptions. If you don’t already have this information, you can ask your doctor.
If you have good and bad days it can be useful to keep a diary noting every time you need help or have difficulties with one of the activities.
It is also useful to have help and support completing the forms. Talking Money is one of many advice agencies that can help. To find an advice agency near you, please visit www.acfa.org.uk