Justin Tomlinson gets questioned on PIP assessments
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PIP payments offer vital support and are intended to help people with some of the extra costs of living with a health condition in the UK. The amount someone receives is dependent on how their condition affects them, rather than the condition itself. It is for this reason, then, that there is not a prescriptive list of people who can apply for PIP – and many could find they are eligible. One health condition which could end up entitling individuals to receive support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is arthritis – which affects many people, in differing ways.
The NHS estimates that more than 10 million people have arthritis or other similar joint conditions right across the UK – and it can affect people of all ages.
The condition can cause pain and inflammation in one joint or multiple joints, and could be particularly uncomfortable. Some may even need to manage their arthritis with medication.
Other related conditions include fibromyalgia, lupus, gout, polymyalgia rheumatica and cervical spondylosis.
The organisation Versus Arthritis has released guidance which encourages those living with the condition to look into whether they could be eligible for a payment.
Its website states: “If you’re struggling to work because you have arthritis, you may be able to claim Government benefits or get help through financial support schemes.
“You may also be entitled to financial support if your condition is making it difficult to do everyday tasks such as getting about or caring for yourself, and this is causing you extra living expenses.
“These benefits and schemes are available across the UK but may be managed differently within each of the four nations.”
PIP, it says, will be appropriate for those whose arthritis makes their daily life or the ability to get around difficult.
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In this regard, the payment is currently separated into two parts – called daily living and mobility. Whether a person gets one or both is dependent on how severely their arthritis impacts them.
To work this out, Britons can expect to undergo an assessment of their health which will determine how much they will receive.
The rate will then be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure a person is getting the right kind of support.
Importantly, PIP is a tax-free payment. The amount a person will get is not affected by any income or savings they have put away.
As a result, those who are receiving the higher rate of both the daily living part and mobility part can expect to receive £152 per month to assist with their needs.
PIP is usually paid out to individuals who are eligible for the payment once every four weeks, and if their payment date ever falls on a bank holiday, they can usually expect payment before this.
All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into a person’s designated bank, building society or credit union account, so they will not have to take any action to receive the money after their initial claim.
The DWP, however, flags that some people living with a physical or mental health condition or disability might be eligible to receive additional financial help to assist their daily lives – such as housing or transport costs.
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This help could also extend to a person’s carer should they have one, in the form of Carer’s Allowance. However, there are separate eligibility rules worth considering in this kind of circumstance.
PIP can be claimed either by telephone or textphone by contacting the DWP, however, the following information must be provided:
- 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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