HOUSEHOLDS on Universal Credit might not know that they could get up to £170 extra in benefits each week.
If you suffer from long-term health conditions or disabilities, you can get cash help through Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The payments can be worth up to £172.75 a week, so if you don’t claim it already, check to see if you’re eligible.
But some people on Universal Credit are just finding out that they can claim the benefit, alongside PIP.
Writing in the Universal Credit Facebook group, one person said: “Is it true when you’re awarded PIP it will get taken on your UC?
“Asking for a friend, they applied for PIP and are now been told it will be taken away from their Universal Credit?”
But others were quick to comment and correct the misconception.
One helpful social media user wrote: “No, it’s completely separate and won’t be deducted from the Universal Credit claim.”
While another added: “PIP has nothing to do with Universal Credit and won’t affect their benefits.”
To get PIP you must have a health condition or disability where you either have had difficulties with daily living or getting around and you expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 12 months to live).
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But there are strict rules set out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which administers the benefit
If you fail to report one of several changes in your own personal circumstances you could be forced to repay the cash you’ve been paid.
Below, we explain who can claim PIP, how much you could get and how to apply.
Who can get PIP?
PIP is available to those aged 16 or over but not yet at the state pension age.
The current state pension age is 66 but this is set to rise to 68.
You must have lived in England or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be in one of these countries when you apply.
The process is different in Northern Ireland , and there are additional rules if you live abroad or if you’re not a British citizen.
In Scotland , you will need to apply for Adult Disability Payment (ADP) instead.
Crucially, you must also have a health condition or disability where you either have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months, and you expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 12 months to live).
Difficulties with daily living can include:
- Preparing or eating food
- Washing, bathing and using the toilet
- Dressing and undressing
- Reading and communicating
- Managing your medicines or treatments
- Making decisions about money
- Engaging with other people
You can claim PIP at the same time as other benefits, except the armed forces independence payment.
If you receive constant attendance allowance you will receive less of the daily living part of PIP.
If you get war pensioners ‘ mobility supplement you will not get the mobility part of PIP.
Do I have to be in work to get PIP?
No, you can get PIP whether you’re working or not.
You can also claim PIP if you’re already getting limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) payments if you claim Universal Credit.
Households eligible for LCWRA payments usually have a health condition which prevents or limits their ability to work.
How much do I get from PIP?
PIP is made up of two parts and whether you get one or both of these depends on how severely your condition affects you.
How much you get also depends on how your condition affects you.
You may get the mobility part of PIP if you need help going out or moving around. The weekly rate for this is either £26 or £71.
While on the daily living part of PIP, the weekly rate is either £68.10 or £101.75 – and you could get both elements, so up to £172.75 in total.
You’ll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get and your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you’re getting the right support.
Payments are usually made every four weeks directly into your bank account, and they’re tax-free.
Just bear in mind that if you get PIP and constant attendance allowance or war pensioners’ mobility supplement, the daily living part of your PIP will be reduced.
How do I apply for PIP?
You can make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222.
This is the government department tasked with paying out benefits to millions every year.
There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a telephone. See Gov.UK for more information.
When you claim, you’ll need:
- Your contact details
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Bank or building society account number and sort code
- Your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- Dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital
Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call.
You’ll then be sent a form to fill in, after which you’ll be invited for an assessment or your health or social care worker will be asked for information.
After this, you’ll be sent a letter telling you if your claim has been successful.
You can read Citizens Advice’s help on preparing for an assessment .
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]