Personal independence payment: How can I apply and does it affect universal credit?

·3 min read
Personal independence payments aim to help those with an illness, disability or mental health condition (PA Wire)
Personal independence payments aim to help those with an illness, disability or mental health condition (PA Wire)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that it is testing a new online application service for those who are seeking the disability benefit known as personal independence payment (PIP).

It is being offered to 60 new claimants who call the PIP phone line to start their application process per day, with the Government using the claimants to “build, develop, and design the service”.

So, what is the personal independence payment, how can you apply for it, and does it affect the amount you receive in universal credit?

Here is everything we know, including the difference between daily living PIP and mobility PIP.

What is the personal independence payment?

PIP is extra money given to individuals by the Government to help those suffering from an illness, disability or mental health condition.

The benefit aims to help these people with their everyday lives and expenses.

Who is eligible for PIP?

Those aged 16 and over who find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a long-term mental or physical condition might be eligible for PIP.

The requirements are that you have found these things hard for two months and expect them to continue to be difficult for another nine months. You also have to be living in England or Wales when you apply. The only exception is if you or a close family member is in the armed forces.

People in Scotland have to apply for the adult disability payment instead.

You must also be under the state pension age if you haven’t received PIP before.

How to apply

Once you’ve checked if you’re eligible, you can start your claim by calling the PIP new claims phone line. During this call, you’ll be asked about your contact details, national insurance number, bank account and medical history. You will then be sent a form that will ask you questions about your condition. In some cases, you might need to have an assessment if more information is needed to make a decision.

Alternatively, you can start a claim by post by sending a letter to the personal independence payment new claims office. However, getting a decision will take longer this way.

Does receiving PIP affect universal credit payments?

Being eligible for PIP isn’t dependent on your income, savings, working status, or other benefits. So, those who are getting employment and support allowance or other benefits can still get PIP.

What’s the difference between daily living PIP and mobility PIP?

How much personal independence payment you receive depends on two things: how difficult you find daily living and how much you struggle with mobility. You will receive an amount of money assigned for each of these factors.

For daily living struggles, the payments range from £61.85 to £92.40. Mobility payments range from £24.45 to £64.50.

If you’re granted mobility PIP, you might also be eligible for a Blue Badge, vehicle tax discount or exemption, or a Motability Scheme vehicle.

If you receive either the daily living or the mobility PIP, you will become eligible for a disabled person’s railcard. You might also be able to receive a discount on your council tax and local bus travel.