PIP: Britons could get £608 per month for sight loss or other health conditions

Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim

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PIP is a disability benefit provided to people of working age, and it is gradually replacing perhaps a more common benefit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The amount a person gets depends on how their condition affects them, rather than the condition itself, meaning it can be available to a wide range of individuals. One group are those people who are affected by sight loss, something which affects almost two million people across the UK, according to the NHS. Approximately 360,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted.

It can be caused by a number of conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, for instance. 

Vision problems can impact people in a variety of ways, but it could have an effect on performing day to day tasks, or getting out and about.

Some people may lose sight with advancing age, but for others it could be a condition they have been required to navigate for a long period of time. 

Regardless of the situation, many people may feel frustrated by sight loss, especially if they view it as impeding upon activities or tasks they otherwise enjoyed or felt as second-nature.

While there are aids and adaptations which could help in a person’s everyday life, they may also benefit from financial support to help cover the costs of any changes they may need to make.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has also actively encouraged people to look into PIP as they say living with different forms of sight loss can end up being expensive.

People can expect to be assessed by a health professional when making a claim for PIP to work out the amount of support they will be entitled to. 

They will be able to receive PIP if they are eligible, whether they are currently in work or not.

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The payment is also tax-free and non means tested, which is likely to open it up to a wider range of individuals who need this kind of support.

To be eligible for PIP, a person must be aged 16 or over, and usually not have reached state pension age when they are making their claim.

Their physical or mental health condition or disability must have caused them difficulties with daily living or getting around, or both, for three months.

They must also expect these difficulties to continue for at least a nine month period to be able to claim. 

The DWP tends to judge eligibility for PIP on a period of 12 months, hence why they look back for three months and forward for nine, to see if the condition changes over time.

People also usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years and be in one of these countries when submitting their application.

PIP is comprised of two parts: the daily living component, and the mobility element, and whether a person receives one or both depends on the severity of how their condition impacts them.

The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is set at either £60.00 or £89.60, while the rate per week for mobility is either £23.70 or £62.55.

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This means that for those who are on the higher rate of both the daily living and mobility part of PIP, there is a chance to gain support worth up to £608 per month.

To claim PIP, people can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but they will need certain details to hand to support their application.

These include:

  • Contact details, for example telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • Bank or building society account number and sort code
  • Doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • Dates and addresses for any time spent in a care home or hospital
  • Dates for any time spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries visited

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