Making a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or transferring from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to the benefit could be a lengthy process due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that should not put anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the additional financial support from making a claim. Successful PIP claimants will receive between £23.70 and £152.15 per week - if they are aged 16 or over and have not yet reached State Pension age.
The benefit is paid into a bank or building society account every four weeks in arrears, which means you could receive between £94.80 and £608.60 every month.
PIP is not means-tested or taxed and you can claim it if you are in or out of work. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance states that the purpose of the benefit is to enhance the lives of those living with a long-term health issue, disability or mental health condition.
And it's important to understand that PIP is awarded based on how the condition affects you on a daily basis, not the condition itself.
Once you have submitted the ‘ How Your Disability Affects You’ evidence form you may be invited to attend an assessment with a health professional - face-to-face consultations are starting up again this month, however, telephone, video call and paper-based assessments will also be options available to DWP.
We have a full guide on how to prepare for a PIP assessment here.
How much PIP will I get and when?
Once the health professional submits their findings from the telephone consultation or video call, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will look at all the evidence and make a decision on how much, if any, PIP to award you.
You will receive an ‘Award letter' which will outline which of the components you have been awarded and at what rate.
PIP is made up of a combination of two components:
Whether you get one or both of these and how much depends on how severely your condition affects you.
You will be awarded the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:
The Award letter will also outline the payments process for people receiving their first PIP amount and for those transferring from DLA.
PIP is paid on a specific day, every four weeks - this will be detailed by the DWP in the letter.
For people moving from DLA, which is paid on a Tuesday, this will also outline the new payment date. It will also indicate any payment changes to your DLA until the PIP process has been completed - you continue to receive DLA until 28 days after DWP has made a decision about your PIP claim.
The whole process from making a new claim or doing a reassessment from DLA to PIP can take up to four months.
Is the amount of PIP I receive reviewed?
Your award of PIP may be reviewed by the DWP at any time, even if you have an award for a fixed amount of time.
How do I make a claim for PIP?
To start the process for making a new claim for PIP, phone the DWP on 0800 917 2222.
Before you call, you will need:
Once you have contacted the DWP, they will send you a document to complete which consists of 14 questions and a section for any additional information.
The questions focus on how your condition affects you - put as much relevant detail in as you can to help the assessor understand your needs on a daily basis.
If you have difficulty filling in your form or understanding the questions, contact your local council and ask for help from social services or seek advice from Citizens Advice Scotland.
We have a breakdown of all 14 questions here and you can take an anonymous self-test online at Benefits and Work to see how many points you could be awarded for each response.
For more information about PIP, visit GOV.UK here.
Get the latest money-saving and benefits news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our weekly Money newsletterhere.