Health problems such as disabilities that last for a long time bring along a big amount of expenses. And, to be able to keep up with it, you have to make changes in your lifestyle. It could be any costs related to your condition, from medical bills to basic needs, and others. What if there is help available for you in dealing with these expenses?
There are different types of benefits provided by the government to aid people who need them. Among others, there is a benefit offered to disabled people, as well. One of them is the personal independence payment. Apart from disabilities, it is also applicable to many other health problems that last long.
So, if you’re facing such a situation, you might want to check whether this benefit applies to you. You’ll find all the useful information related to a PIP here.
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Does it apply to your case?
A Personal Independence Payment doesn’t apply to all people with disabilities. There are some criteria that you have to fulfil to avail it. There is an age limit for people who can get this benefit. You have to be at least 16 years of age and not above, whatever is decided as the state pension age. Only then will a PIP be available to you. If you used to receive it even before you reached the pension age, you can continue receiving it, provided that your condition hasn’t improved. There are fixed criteria regarding the nature of the problems you’re facing as well.
You should be finding it difficult to fulfil your daily tasks and in going to work among other things. In addition to that, these problems have to be such that they might last for at least the next 9 months. You can’t apply for the benefit if you haven’t been diagnosed with a health problem for at least 3 months. This applies to physical, as well as mental problems.
In many cases, a person may also be terminally ill. If you’re facing such a situation, this benefit applies to you as well. You just have to fulfil a different set of criteria as we shall see.
Lastly, this benefit is available to residents of all countries of the UK except Northern Ireland. Moreover, you have to be a resident of these countries for the last 2 years. There will be an exception made in your case if you or anyone in your immediate family is classified as a refugee. The same goes for the case where you or any of your family is serving in the military.
It must be noted that this benefit depends mainly on the level of difficulties you’re facing, rather than the exact problem or the costs.
How can you Claim it if you have a Terminal Illness?
Before you go ahead and claim it, you need to make sure that it applies to your case. You have to be at least 16 years old and not more than the pension age to be able to avail it. In addition to that, according to medical reports, you have not more than 6 months to live. You’ll have to provide proof for it, such as a note from a doctor or healthcare professional. If you fulfil both these criteria, you can get a personal independence payment.
Provided that it applies to your case, now the question is how to claim it. You can either do that on your own or have someone else do it. There is no need to show up in person for it, and you can claim it with a simple phone call to the PIP number run by the government. Your doctor will need to provide you with a form, as evidence of your condition. They can even send it directly to the concerned authorities.
What if you are in a hospital or nursing home?
In case you’re wondering, you can claim a PIP even when you’re in a hospital. You just have to fulfil all the criteria that are required for it. However, the payment will start only after you get out of there. The only exception to this is in case you are paying for the expenses with hospital insurance. The same goes for the case where someone is in a nursing home.
How is the amount that you’ll receive decided?
Now, you might wonder who decides the money you’ll be paid, and on what basis it’s decided. In that case, you must know that the concerned authorities take the decision based entirely on your condition. That means if there is a change in the deciding factor, the amount will change as well. That’s why you’re required to let the authorities know whenever there are certain types of changes in your condition. That way you’ll be able to get the amount of money that you require in Personal Independence Payment based on the new situation.
Which changes do you require mentioning?
When you have a health problem, there would be improvement or deterioration in your condition. When you’re receiving benefit from the government, these changes will have an impact on the amount you receive. So, you must keep them updated on it, which you can do easily, using the PIP number. Apart from these, you must also inform them whether you are being admitted to a hospital or nursing home for at least a month.
Moreover, you also have to inform them in case you’re taken in legal custody or get released. The same goes for the situation where you have to leave the country for more than three months. Have you changed your residence, name, or bank account? You have to inform the authorities of the changes in these cases as well.
Also, you might be confused sometimes about whether you should inform a change or not. In such cases, it is better to inquire and make sure you are using the PIP number.
Not only is it important to mention the change, but it would also be a good idea to keep proof of the fact that you’ve informed, just in case. This would make sure that you don’t face any kind of hassles later on.
What if you’re neither a refugee nor a citizen?
You might find yourself in a condition where you’re facing a long-term disability, but don’t fulfil the requirements related to citizenship or refugee status. In that case, you need not worry as you can still avail a PIP. You just have to be living in Britain and convince the authorities that you intend to become a citizen. In other words, you need to be planning on settling in this country. In addition to that, you must not be under any kind of regulation, as an immigrant. Provided that you fulfil these conditions, you can apply for this benefit.
What if you’re living abroad?
It is not such an uncommon circumstance for a person living abroad to require long-term disability benefits. Such a situation would naturally be worrying, but there might be a way out for you. Needless to say, you can apply for it without any hassles, if you’re serving in the military.
Otherwise, you can avail the benefit also, if you’re living in the European Union. The money you’ll get will be limited in this case as compared to others. You would only get help with paying for your basic needs.
What does the payment consist of?
You might wonder what are the things for which you’ll be able to get monetary aid. There would be so many expenses that you’d need help with. The personal independence payment would consist of two parts to help you out. One for the daily tasks that you need help with, and another for any difficulties that you face in moving around.
When it comes to daily needs, you can get benefits for your difficulties in bathing, putting on clothes, eating, etc. In addition to these physical tasks, you might also find it difficult to do certain tasks that require mental effort. And, these include interacting with people, making some significant decisions, etc. You’ll get benefits for these as well.
When it comes to difficulties in moving, the money you get will be based on the extent to which you’re facing problems.
For both parts, the amount you’ll receive is fixed at two types of rates-standard and enhanced. These will be granted to you based on the details of your condition.
How long would a PIP last?
Generally speaking, you’ll receive it for a limited duration only. The reply letter to your application, provided that it’s accepted, will tell you how long it’ll last. In some cases, there might be no date mentioned at all. If you see that in the reply letter, it is not an error, it simply means that you’ll receive benefits for an indefinite time. You can renew the claim if you need to continue the payments after the first one has ended.
How frequently will you get the money?
In general, you would receive money every month. But, if you’re suffering from a terminal disease, you can receive it every week.