Personal Independence Payment (PIP)- by Lorraine Moss.

  • thehaveringdaily.co.uk

Havering Welfare Benefits Adviser Lorraine Moss, today writes in the Havering Daily.

Personal Independence Payment was introduced by The Welfare Reform Act in 2012. It began to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  for new claims from April 2013.

Personal Independence payment is a non means tested disability benefit.  This means anyone who meets the criteria can apply regardless of their income.  It is not the actual health conditions that a claimant has but the impact their condition/conditions has on their daily living and or their mobility.  Please see Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Daily Living Component

This component is regarding your day to day care and is payable at two different rates.  The standard rate is £59.70 per week and the enhanced rate is £89.15 per week.  If you are awarded the Daily living Component, someone can claim Carers Allowance (as long as they meet the qualifying criteria) for looking after you.  Or if they are in receipt of Universal Credit they can apply for the Carers Element.  Please see Carer’s Allowance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and Carer – Additional Elements of Universal Credit (UC) – Turn2us.

At the end of this article, I have added the points system which shows how PIP is assessed and how many points you need to be awarded to achieve a successful claim.  This is vital information that is not included when you make an application for PIP.  It helps people to understand the type of information that is required.

The Mobility Component 

This component is also paid at 2 different rated, the standard rate is £23.60 per week and the advanced rate is £62.25.  If you are awarded the advanced rate, you have the option of either receiving the money or leasing a car please see Use PIP to lease a car | Motability Scheme.

How To Apply 

To apply for PIP you have to have been suffering from your health condition/disability for at least 3 months before applying and expect to have these conditions for a further 9 months, please see Personal Independence Payment (PIP): Eligibility – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).  To start the application, you need to call 0800 917 2222.  

You will need the following information ready before calling the DWP:-1) Your full name, address and telephone number;2) Your National Insurance number;3) Your date of birth;4) Your bank or building society account details;5) Details of your GP and any other health professionals who support you;6) Details of any recent stays in hospital or care homes;7) Your nationality or immigration status;8) Details of time spent abroad if you have been abroad for more than four weeks at a time over the last three years.

You will then be sent a very comprehensive application form which you usually have about a month to complete.  If you are struggling with completing your form, you can call the DWP and request an extension. 

Useful Information to Help With Your Claim

It is not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed when you receive the application form and many people think initially that they do not stand a chance of being successful.  However, as I stated earlier, you need to look at the points system that is at the end of this article to help you answer the questions and give as much information as possible. 

Example One

Julie suffers with extreme Arthritis in her hands, she also has problems standing for long periods of time.

One of the questions is;

Can you prepare and cook a simple meal unaided?

This means a meal from scratch where you would have to chop/peel vegetable lift saucepans etc.

Julie lives on her own, so even though she may be able to prepare a meal, it causes her considerable pain and takes twice the time that it would for someone without Julie’s conditions.  Also, after preparing the meal, Julie is in considerable pain as a result of this.  Instead of preparing a health meal in this way, Julie relies on ready made meals that she can simply put in the microwave of oven.  Therefore the answer to this question for Julie would be no.

Example Two

George suffers from Mental illness, some days he does not manage to get out of bed.  He also has a history of self-harming.  If he using the oven, he often forgets about the fact that it is on and burns his food and risks the danger of starting a fire.  His family do not like him having sharp knives in the kitchen because they are worried that he will hurt himself.  George would not eat for days if his Mother did not regularly visit and call him.  Like Julie, George usually has ready meals or meals that his family has prepared for him and he just uses his microwave to heat them up.  Therefore, the answer to this question for George would also be no. 

Physical and Mental Illnesses

PIP if for people with both physical and mental illnesses and disabilities.  For example, when we look at mobility, we immediately think that it means can somebody walk.  However, when someone is suffering from anxiety, they are to scared to leave the house so this has the same impact on their lives. 

There is also a question about washing and bathing.  Julie will have problems with this due to her physical disabilities.  George, if he is suffering from depression, does not wash or get dressed for days unless he receives prompting from his Mother.

What to Include With Your Application 

It is best to provide as much information as possible and include all the medical evidence that you have including details of any medication that you are taking and letters from your Doctor Psychiatrist etc.  It may also help if you ask someone who regularly helps and supports you to write a letter to support your claim. 

Help With Completing The Form

As I stated earlier, these application forms are very overwhelming and many people struggle to complete them.  We are very fortunate in Havering because you can get help and support from Peabody please see  Here to Help Havering (Peabody) | The London Borough Of Havering or you can call them on 01708 776770.  You can also get help from the Citizens Advice Bureau by calling 01708 763531.  Due to Covid 19 neither service are offering face to face support but they will be able to assist you other the phone.

Also make sure that you take a copy of the application form before you send it off because this will help you when you have your assessment.  At the moment assessments are only being done over the phone due to the Covid crisis. 

Next week I will be advising you about the PIP assessment and how to appeal if your application is unsuccessful. 

PIP Points System

 DAILY LIVING ACTIVITIES

1. Preparing food.
a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  2 points.
c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. points. 2 points
d. Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  2 points.
e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  4 points.
f. Cannot prepare and cook food.  8 points.

2. Taking nutrition.
a. Can take nutrition unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs –
(i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or
(ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or
(iii) assistance to be able to cut up food.  2 points.
c. Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition.  2 points.
d. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition.  4 points.
e. Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition.  6 points.
f. Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so.  10 points.

3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition.
a. Either –
(i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or
(ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs any one or more of the following –
(i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication;
(ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication.  
(iii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to monitor a health condition.  1 point.
c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week.  2 points.
d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week.  4 points.
e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week.  6 points.
f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week.  8 points.

4. Washing and bathing.
a. Can wash and bathe unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe.  2 points.
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe.  2 points.
d. Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair or body below the waist.  2 points.
e. Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower.  3 points.
f. Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist.  4 points.
g. Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body.  8 points.

5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence.
a. Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence.  2 points.
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs.  2 points.
d. Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs.  4 points.
e. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel.  6 points.
f. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel.  8 points.

6. Dressing and undressing.
a. Can dress and undress unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress.  2 points.
c. Needs either –
(i) prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or
(ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing.  2 points.
d. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body.  2 points.
e. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body.  4 points.
f. Cannot dress or undress at all.  8 points.

7. Communicating verbally.
a. Can express and understand verbal information unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear.  2 points.
c. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information.  4 points.
d. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information.  8 points.
e. Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support.  12 points.

8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words.
a. Can read and understand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses.  0 points.
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information.  2 points.
c. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information.  2 points.
d. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information.  4 points.
e. Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all.  8 points.

9. Engaging with other people face to face.
a. Can engage with other people unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people.  2 points.
c. Needs social support to be able to engage with other people.  4 points.
d. Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either –
(i) overwhelming
psychological distress to the claimant; or
(ii) the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person. 8 points.

10. Making budgeting decisions.
a. Can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions.  2 points.
c. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make simple budgeting decisions.  4 points.
d. Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all.  6 points.

MOBILITY ACTIVITIES

1. Planning and following journeys.
a. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  4 points.
c. Cannot plan the route of a journey.  8 points.
d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid.  10 points.
e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  10 points.
f.  Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid.  12 points.

2. Moving around.
a. Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided.  0 points.
b. Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided.  4 points.
c. Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.  8 points.
d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.  10 points.
e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided.  12 points.
f. Cannot, either aided or unaided, –
(i) stand; or
(ii) move more than 1 metre.  12 points.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component points scores

To get an award of the daily living component, you need to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For daily living, the points need to be scored from activities 1-10 above. 

You can only score one set of points from each activity, if two or more apply from the same activity only the highest will count.  So, for example, if:

d. Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair or body below the waist.  2 points.
f. Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist.  4 points.

both apply you will receive only the 4 points for the ‘Washing and bathing’ activity.  These can then be added to points for other activities, such as ‘Dressing and undressing’


Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Mobility Component Points Scores

To get an award of the mobility component you need to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For mobility, the points need to be scored from mobility activities 1-2 above. 

As with daily living above, you only score the highest points that apply to you from each activity, but you can add points from activities 1 and 2 together to reach your final total.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) training days

Benefits and Work personal independence training days for support workers are currently available in-house.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Variable and fluctuating conditions
Taking a view of ability over a longer period of time helps to iron out fluctuations and presents a more coherent picture of disabling effects. Therefore the descriptor choice should be based on consideration of a 12-month period.

Scoring descriptors will apply to individuals where their impairment(s) affects their ability to complete an activity on more than 50 per cent of days in the 12 month period. The following rules apply:

If one descriptor in an activity applies on more than 50 per cent of the days in the period – i.e. the activity cannot be completed in the way described on more than 50 per cent of days – then that descriptor should be chosen.

If more than one descriptor in an activity applies on more than 50 per cent of the days in the period, then the descriptor chosen should be the one which applies for the greatest proportion of the time.

Where one single descriptor in an activity is not satisfied on more than 50 per cent of days, but a number of different descriptors in that activity together are satisfied on more than 50 per cent of days – for example, descriptor ‘B’ is satisfied on 40 per cent of days and descriptor ‘C’ on 30 per cent of days – the descriptor satisfied for the highest proportion of the time should be selected.

Awaiting treatment
If someone is awaiting treatment or further intervention it can be difficult to accurately predict its level of success or whether it will even occur. Descriptor choices should therefore be based on the likely continuing impact of the health condition or impairment as if any treatment or further intervention has not occurred.

Reliably, in a timely fashion, repeatedly and safely
An individual must be able to complete an activity descriptor reliably, in a timely fashion, repeatedly and safely; and where indicated, using aids and appliances or with support from another person (or, for activity 10, a support dog). Otherwise they should be considered unable to complete the activity described at that level.

Reliably means to a reasonable standard.

In a timely fashion means in less than twice the time it would take for an individual without any impairment.

Repeatedly means completed as often during the day as the individual activity requires. Consideration needs to be given to the cumulative effects of symptoms such as pain and fatigue – i.e. whether completing the activity adversely affects the individual’s ability to subsequently complete other activities.

Safely means in a fashion that is unlikely to cause harm to the individual, either directly or through vulnerability to the actions of others; or to another person.

Risk and Safety
When considering whether an activity can be undertaken safely it is important to consider the risk of a serious adverse event occurring. However, the risk that a serious adverse event may occur due to impairments is insufficient – there has to be evidence that if the activity was undertaken, the adverse event is likely to occur.

Aids and appliances
The assessment will take some account of aids and appliances which are used in everyday life. In this context:

Aids are devices that help a performance of a function, for example, walking sticks or spectacles.

Appliances are devices that provide or replace a missing function, for example artificial limbs, collecting devices (stomas) and wheelchairs.

The assessment will take into account aids and appliances that individuals normally use and low cost, commonly available ones which someone with their impairment might reasonably be expected to use, even if they are not normally used.

Individuals who use or could reasonably be expected to use aids to carry out an activity will generally receive a higher scoring descriptor than those who can carry out the activity unaided.

Support dogs
We recognise that guide, hearing and dual sensory dogs are not ‘aids’ but have attempted to ensure that the descriptors capture the additional barriers and costs of needing such a dog where they are required to enable individuals to follow a journey safely.

Support from other people
The assessment will take into account where individuals need the support of another person or persons to carry out an activity – including where that person has to carry out the activity for them in its entirety. The criteria refer to three types of support:

Assistance is support that requires the presence and physical intervention of another person i.e. actually doing some or all of the task in question. This specifically excludes non-physical intervention such as prompting or supervision which are defined below. To apply, this only needs to be required for part of the activity.

Prompting is support provided by reminding or encouraging an individual to undertake or complete a task but not physically helping them. To apply, this only needs to be required for part of the activity.

Supervision is a need for the continuous presence of another person to avoid a serious adverse event from occurring to the individual. There must be evidence that any risk would be likely to occur in the absence of such supervision. To apply, this must be required for the full duration of the activity.

Unaided
Within the assessment criteria, the ability to perform an activity ‘unaided’ means without either the use of aids or appliances or assistance/prompting/supervision from another person.

Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a marked example of a fluctuating condition where an individual can have no functional limitation one minute and considerable limitation the next. Assessment should be based on the impact this causes.

Key to assessing individuals with epilepsy is the consideration of risk. Within each activity, the relevant descriptor should apply to a person with epilepsy if there is evidence that a serious adverse event is likely to occur if the person carried out the activity in that descriptor. It is essential to consider the likely effects of any seizure – type and frequency of fit, associated behaviour, the post-ictal phase and whether there is likely to be sufficient warning to mitigate any risk of danger.

a. Either –

(i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or

(ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided.  0 points.

b. Needs any one or more of the following –

(i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication;

(ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication. 

(iii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to monitor a health condition.  1 point.

c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week.  2 points.

d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week.  4 points.

e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week.  6 points.

f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week.  8 points.

Source Benefits and Work website PIP points system (benefitsandwork.co.uk)

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