Britons with mental health conditions could get up to £156 a week

Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim

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Thousands of Britons are missing out on payments worth £627 a month because they do not know they are entitled to it. People with ‘hidden’ health problems, including anxiety, depression, autism and diabetes, can qualify for the extra cash.

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on October 10 every year.

The annual event is dedicated to giving everyone in the UK the opportunity to talk openly about mental health in the hopes of breaking down stigma and barriers to support, which includes accessing benefits.

If someone has a mental health condition, whether that’s something recently diagnosed following 18 months of lockdown, or an underlying condition now coming to light, it’s important to understand there is financial support available.

The list of conditions the term ‘mental health’ covers is long and includes:

  • Mixed anxiety and depressive disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorders

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced significant changes to its guidance for health professionals carrying out PIP assessments across the UK earlier this year.

The updated guidance now points out that the severity of a mental health condition “does not necessarily correspond with the type or dosage of medication that the claimant is receiving”.

The guidance highlights that factors such as side effects, problems complying with a medication regime or the medication not being effective for that individual may all result in someone with a severe condition not receiving medication.

The latest figures from the DWP show that at the end of July, 2022 there were more than three million people across the UK claiming support through PIP.

Just over one in three claimants are receiving the highest level of award.

PIP is paid every four weeks. This amounts to between £97.80 and £627.60 every payment period.

How much PIP someone gets depends on how difficult they find:

  • Everyday activities (‘daily living’ tasks)
  • Getting around (‘mobility’ tasks)

The amount someone can receive from the DWP depends on the condition they are living with and how severe it is.

Each component can be paid at either a standard or enhanced rate.

Daily living support

  • Standard rate – £61.85 a week – equivalent to £247.40 a month, or £3,216.20 a year.
  • Enhanced rate – £92.40 a week – equivalent to £369.60 a month, or £4,804.80 a year.

Mobility support

  • Standard rate – £24.45 a week – equivalent to £97.80 a month, or £1,271.40 a year.
  • Enhanced rate – £64.50 a week – equivalent to £258 a month, or £3,354 a year.

More than £8,000 a year is available in state benefits to people who have certain health conditions.

PIP claimants may also be able to receive the £650 cost of living payment.

Recipients must have been claiming between April 26 and May 25, 2022, or begun a successful claim during that time.

The first instalment of £326 was paid in the second half of July. The £324 balance should now be paid in less than a week’s time and should arrive by Saturday, October 1.

The money is paid automatically and payments may show in your bank account as “DWP Cost of Living”.

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