The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that in July there were almost 2.8 million people across the UK who applied for support through Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and accessed a wide range of assistance. including council tax reductions, premium benefit-ups and free or discounted public transport.
Of that total, 292,231 Scots now receive financial support of between £23.70 and £152.15 each week. PIP is paid every four weeks, so it works out to between £94.80 and £608.60 each month completely tax-free to help with extra living costs.
To help people make a new claim over the phone, the DWP has now modified the guidance in the Online PIP Manual to clarify that “an National Insurance Number is not required” to start the process; it will be necessary to complete the claim, but not a necessity for the initial call.
The guidance on GOV.UK also states: “The phone call may be made by someone who supports the claimant. The claimant must be present so that they can confirm that their support person has their permission to make the call.”
The guide to preparing for the phone call is clear and concise and is a good checklist for anyone filing a claim.
It says: “It is important for the claimant to have their basic information ready before calling the PIP claim line. Not having this information ready can delay the progress of the claim.”
For the call, new claimants must provide their:
- full name
- date of birth
- full address, including postal code
- Contact number during the day
- National insurance number, if they have one; you can find it in letters about taxes, pensions and benefits.
- nationality or immigration status
- bank account or building society details so that payments can be arranged if the applicant qualifies for the benefit
- Details of the GP or other health professional
You will also need to provide details of:
- any recent stays in hospitals, nursing homes, or hospices
- time spent abroad, if they have been abroad for more than 4 weeks in a row during the last 3 years
- any pension or benefit they or a member of their family may receive from a European Economic Area (EEA) state or from Switzerland
- if they are working or paying for insurance in an EEA state or Switzerland
The end of the year is the perfect time to make sure you’re claiming all the support you’re entitled to and if you think you may qualify for PIP, here’s everything you need to know about the benefit.
We also have a dedicated section on the Daily Record website that covers a variety of PIP related topics; learn more here.
Who is eligible for PIP?
If you are over the age of 16 and below state pension age, you may be eligible for PIP.
You don’t have to have worked or paid National Insurance contributions to qualify for PIP, and it doesn’t matter what your income is, whether you have savings, or whether you’re working, out of work, or on leave.
You must also have a health condition or disability in which:
The DWP will judge the eligibility of your PIP claim over a 12-month period, looking back for three months and looking forward for nine months; They should consider whether their disease changes over time.
Generally, you must have lived in Scotland for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when you apply.
Mobility and daily life PIP test
If you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying for PIP:
preparing, cooking, or eating food
managing your medication
washing, bathing, or using the toilet
dress and undress
relate and communicate with other people
read and understand written information
make decisions about money
plan a trip or follow a route
move – away from home
What is classified as ‘help’ for a PIP claim
You are classified as needing help with an activity if you need a person or device to:
You may also be classified as needing help if you perform an activity yourself, but:
PIP Test Scoring Criteria
PIP scoring criteria awards points for a statement that applies to you for each activity
The DWP will decide which return best fits your situation most of the time. You will get a fixed amount of points ranging from 0 -12 for each activity.
The total number of points you earn for each group of activities will decide if you are eligible for PIP and how much money you will receive.
To earn the standard rate daily living component, you must earn between 8 and 11 total points for activities of daily living. You need 12 points to get the upgraded rate.
To earn the standard rate mobility component, you must earn between 8 and 11 total points for mobility activities. You need 12 points to get the upgraded rate.
How is PIP paid?
PIP is generally paid every four weeks unless you are terminally ill, in which case it is paid weekly.
The PIP will be paid directly into your bank account, mortgage company or credit union.
Current PIP Payment Rates
PIP is made up of two components: daily living and mobility.
Whether you get one or both of these and how much depends on the severity of your condition.
You could receive the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:
Standard Rate – £60.00
Enhanced Rate – £89.60
Standard Rate – £23.70
Enhanced Rate – £62.55
how they evaluate you
An independent health professional will assess you to help the DWP determine the level of help you need.
In-person assessments restarted in May and may be offered alongside phone and video consultations. All screenings will follow strict public health guidelines and put the safety of the claimant first. We have a complete guide on how to prepare for the assessments here.
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How is a PIP claim made?
You can make a new claim by contacting the DWP, you will find all the information you need to apply on the GOV.UK website here.
Once you have contacted the DWP, they will send you a document to complete that consists of 14 questions and a section for any additional information.
The questions focus on how your condition affects you – enter as many relevant details as you can to help the screener understand your physical and mental health needs.
If you have difficulty completing your form or understanding the questions, please contact your local council and ask for help or Citizens Advice Scotland.
We have a breakdown of the 14 questions here and you can take an anonymous self-assessment online at Benefits and Work to see how many points you would be awarded for each answer.
For more information on PIP, visit GOV.UK here.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.