The person you care for maybe entitled to claim benefits because of their condition or disability:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • Introduced April 2013 to replace DLA for people between 16 and 64.
  • Under 16’s will remain on DLA until their 16th birthday.
  • People over 65 on 08/04/2013, who are already on DLA, will remain so.
  • New applicants and everyone else currently on DLA, inc lifetime claimants, will be invited to apply for PIP when their current DLA is expiring and anyone remaining will be swept up at end of 2017, started late 2015.
  • Applying for PIP is optional but your DLA payments will stop if you don’t apply quickly or your application for PIP is unsuccessful. If you wish to continue to receive benefit you have no option but to convert when they ask. Make sure you respond within the short deadlines given.

The process for PIP is entirely different. It relies on a face to face assessment by an independent health professional, not unlike ESA. This assessment is by appointment at their location although some exceptions will be made for home visits. Travel expenses can be paid.

Firstly you need to register your application on the phone when you will be asked basic questions about yourself, bank details, eligibility under immigration rules, details re GP and specialists, etc. If you are not up to making the call yourself a third party can do it, in your presence. You’ll need to pass security questioning.

If they decide you may have a claim they’ll send you an assessment form, specific to you, to be filled in. This is where you describe you problems in a total of 12 categories – 10 relating to Daily Living Activities and 2 to Mobility.  They provide comprehensive notes to help you which explains about conditions that vary, the various categories and how things are assessed. In essence each of the categories have a list of descriptors of varying levels of severity, each carrying a point value which the assessor applies to your answers. A descriptor has to have applied for at least 6 months in the last 12 to apply. It should also be performed safely, reliably, to a good standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time. The highest value descriptor that applies in each category is counted. If you have a varying condition and two levels of points apply they’ll average them.

At the end the assessor will base his recommendation on the total points in the two components – Daily Living Activities (care), and Mobility. For Daily Living activities there only 2 awards – equivalent to Middle and Higher rate DLA care and also two for Mobility.

There is no LR care anymore.

The Higher rate mobility is still a passport to Motability as before.

Payment rates are as per DLA: Standard care £55.10, Enhanced care £82.30,

Standard Mobility £21.80, Enhanced mobility £57.45

To qualify for Standard rate in either component you must score 8 to 11

points. For enhanced it’s 12+. Below 8 means no payment in that component.

It is important that the form is filled in correctly, and therefore, it’s wise to seek help from someone who understands the rules. The assessor will use the form to discuss your abilities to do the various categories and may conduct some simple tests. Make sure you get everything in so you have the best chance.  Call Carers Bucks for expert help and guidance.

Any supporting evidence goes in with the form and these days the more you have the better. A letter from GP, consultant, medical history/records helps enhance your chance of success.

You can take a friend with you for support, which is useful if you are prone to forget things, or you are likely to get stressed.

Awards are likely to be for a shorter time than currently for DLA, and there will be no lifetime awards.

“Special rules” apply:

  • Must have had problems as described for at least 3 months and for the next 9 months..

Claims line number 0800 9172222. They will call you back if using a mobile.

The enquiry line number is 0345 8503322.

Assessment activities

Daily Living: Preparing food, Taking nutrition, Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, Washing and bathing, Managing toilet needs or incontinence, Dressing and undressing, Communicating verbally, Reading and understanding signs symbols and words, Engaging with other people face to face, making budgeting decisions.

Mobility: Planning and following journeys, moving around.

For more information contact Carers Bucks.

Disability Living Allowance – under 65

  • This benefit is now replaced by PIP for any new claimants over 16 and under 65. Claimants under 16 will be expected to claim PIP at 16.
  • Claimants on DLA who were on DLA and over 65 on 08/04/13 will remain on DLA. All others, including most “lifetime” awards, will by the end 2017 have to apply for PIP – when invited – or lose the benefit. This process started late 2015 and you should only apply when asked. Do it quickly.
  • Don’t apply for PIP until asked to, it will usually be when your award runs out. They appear to be doing indefinites now as well.

In many respects the benefit was/is the same as attendance allowance.

Differences: – Qualifying period 3 months, not 6.

Care needs only in home but Mobility needs outdoors.

Extra levels of award – once awarded these extra levels

Carry on past 65 so apply before then if you can.

Awards are usually for a maximum of 3 years.

Mobility needs outdoors: – 2 rates.

Higher – customer has severe mental impairment or is virtually unable to walk because of a physical disability. Registered blind people (not partially sighted).

Lower rate – So severely mentally or physically disabled that they need guidance or supervision walking outdoors.

Care needs indoors: – 3 rates.

Highest rate – as per Attendance Allowance.

Middle rate – as per AA lower rate.

Lowest rate – needing attention for a significant part of the day or being unable to plan or prepare a main meal for themselves.

Care: – Low £21.80, Middle £55.10, High £82.30. All pw

Mobility: – Low £21.80, High £57.45.

You can be awarded care and mobility.

If awarded High Mobility you can forfeit the award in exchange for a Motability car. A similar scheme operates under PIP.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 and over who have physical and/or mental disabilities and need help with personal care or need supervision to remain safe. You can get Attendance Allowance even if you live alone; you do not need to have a carer. It is not means tested, there are no National Insurance Contribution tests.

See Attendance Allowance on Benefits for Carers.