PIP assessment rules explained as DWP adds five new medical categories – are you eligible?

Justin Tomlinson gets questioned on PIP assessments

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The DWP recently extended PIP support as five new health conditions were added to the qualifying list which included certain mental health conditions, behavioural conditions, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and dementia or cognitive disorders. Claims for PIP are made over the phone or through the post and claimants will usually have their conditions assessed.

PIP assessment process

To claim PIP, a person will be sent a form asking about their condition following an initial claim. This form will need to be completed and returned to the DWP and if more information is needed, they may need to have an assessment.

The “How your disability affects you” form will usually be sent out within two weeks. As this form is completed, claimants should include supporting documents if they have them, which includes prescription lists, care plans, or information from their doctor or others involved in their care.

Claimants will have one month to return this form and the PIP enquiry line can be called for assistance on this. Claimants may be invited to an assessment with a health professional if more information is needed.

This professional will ask about how their condition affects their daily living and mobility tasks as well as enquire about any treatments they’ve had or will have. They may also ask the claimant to do some simple movements to show how they manage certain activities.

The assessment itself can be done in person, over the phone or by video call. It usually takes around one hour.

Where claimants have their claim accepted, they will be sent a letter confirming when this claim will end and if it will be reviewed. Should a claim be reviewed, they will continue to get paid while their claim is being reviewed.

During the review process, claimants will get a letter asking them to fill in a form called “Award review – how your disability affects you”.

Claimants will need to fill in this form and send it, along with any supporting information they have not shared with the DWP before, within one month.

The DWP will then review this form and if more information is needed, an independent health professional might phone them to ask some questions or send a letter inviting them to an assessment. Following this, claimants will get a letter that tells them what will happen with their PIP. If their needs have changed, their PIP might be increased, reduced or stopped.

Currently, due to coronavirus, a person will only be invited to an assessment in person if more information is needed and they cannot do an assessment by phone or video call. Where claimants disagree with an assessment decision, they can challenge them under mandatory reconsideration rules.

Calls for free bus pass for over 60s as Scotland gets paid travel [INSIGHT]
PIP warning: Claimants may end up in court – what to know [WARNING]
Martin Lewis quizzes Citizens Advice boss on PIP rules

How to prepare for an assessment

Citizens Advice has issued detailed guidance on how claimants can prepare for their assessment(s). This includes tips on how to talk about how their condition affects them and what to say during the assessment.

The charity said: “You should be prepared to talk about how your condition affects you even if you’ve already detailed it on your PIP claim form. It can be hard to do this but it will really help if you can talk about:

  • The kind of things you have difficulty with, or can’t do at all – for example, walking up steps without help or remembering to go to appointments
  • How your condition affects you from day to day
  • What a bad day is like for you – for example, ‘On a bad day, I can’t walk at all because my injured leg hurts so much’ or ‘On a bad day, I’m so depressed I can’t concentrate on anything’.

“It’s a good idea to take a copy of your PIP claim form with you. That way you can refer to it in the assessment and make sure you tell the assessor everything you want them to know about your condition.”

Some claimants may be nervous about the assessment but Citizens Advice urged claimants to remain calm during the process. The charity continued: “The assessor will use the information you gave on your PIP claim form but also draw opinions from what you say and do on the day. For example, they might ask you how you got to the assessment centre. If you say you came on the bus, they’ll make a note that you can travel alone on public transport.

“You might also be asked to carry out some physical tasks during the assessment. Don’t feel you have to do things in the assessment that you wouldn’t normally be able to do. If you do them on assessment day, the assessor may think you can always do them. If you’re not comfortable with something – say so.

“The assessor will also make a note of your mental state during the assessment – for example, they’ll record whether you look depressed or happy, tense or relaxed and how you cope with social interaction.”

It should be noted PIP claimants can take someone with them into the actual assessment if they’re 16 or over. This can include anyone who makes them feel more comfortable, like a friend, relative or carer. This person can also take part in the discussions and take notes.

PIP payments

Where claimants are eligible for PIP, they’ll get a payment based on how difficult they find doing everyday activities (daily living tasks) and getting around (mobility tasks). The PIP payments will be split into two elements, a daily living and mobility part.

Daily living payments will be either £60 or £89.60 per week. Mobility payments will be either £23.70 or £62.55.

PIP is usually paid once every four weeks. A decision letter will break down the date of the first payment, what day of the week they’ll usually be paid, how long they’ll get PIP for and when and if the claim will be reviewed.

Where payments fall on a bank holiday, claimants will usually be paid on the first working day beforehand. All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into a designated bank, building society or credit union account.

Source: Read Full Article