Unless you’ve been purposefully ignoring the constant government cuts over the last couple of years, I’m sure you’re now aware that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has and is continuing to change to Personal Independence Payment, or PIP, for many claimants. I have just been through the (at times, nerve-wracking) process, and would like to provide some tips and tricks to help those of you who are about to venture into this process. Hopefully this will help your change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment run as smoothly as possible.
So first, back to basics, what is PIP? PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is the benefit that’s gradually replacing DLA (Disability Living Allowance). If you’re on DLA and were 65 or older on 8 April 2013, these changes won’t affect you, you’ll simply stay on DLA and nothing will change. If you’re fortunate enough to be more of a spring chicken though, and are getting DLA at the moment, your claim will stop and you’ll need to claim PIP instead, even if you’ve previously been told your Disability Living Allowance does not have a time limit.
The good news is: you don’t need to do a thing until the DWP writes to you. But what you can do is prepare, to the best of your ability, for when the time comes. Although it is possible that the amount of money you receive on the new PIP scheme may be more than you receive on DLA, what is worrying most people is that they will receive less. So, let’s take a look at how to prepare for the switchover:
Disability Living Allowance and Preparing for PIP
As with most things, change can be extremely scary. Especially when we are looking at a situation that controls, to some extent, our purse strings and independence. This is what you can do to make this pretty startling process less stressful:
The reality is – the change from DLA to PIP takes a while, and there are many steps. Please do not wear yourself out with worry straight away. Take time to relax and read all the information that comes your way from the DWP, a lot of it holds very important information in terms of what help and support you may be entitled to, and what to do next.
Talk to the Professionals
Another good thing to do sooner rather than later is to chat to your GP, physiotherapist, or any other medical professional who may be able to support you with your PIP claim. The DWP will require reports from several of these people that support your claims and medical history. It is a good idea to start collating information of this kind so that you’re ready to send it off when the time comes.
Know the Points System
It is vital that you are aware of the points system that the new PIP scheme is using. In order to receive the standard rate of allowance for either the care or mobility component of the benefit, you must score 8 points through your claims report and assessment, and 12 points to receive the enhanced rate components. This is particularly important if you currently have a Motability car, as this scheme will only continue to work for you if you are eligible for the enhanced rate mobility component (at least 12 points).
Keep a Diary
The DWP wants to know about your good and bad days in living with your condition – try and keep a diary that discusses how you feel each day in order to aid your claim in the future.
Wishing you the best of luck on your PIP journey.