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

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

Carers Bucks does not provide the forms to apply for the above benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in April 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 – 64. People under 16 years old will remain on DLA until their 16th birthday. People who are aged 65 and over, on 08/04/2013, who are already in receipt of 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, where you’ll be asked basic questions about yourself, bank details, eligibility under immigration rules, details of 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 you will be sent an assessment form, specific to you, to be filled in. This is where you describe your 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 Lower rate 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.

  • 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.

The GP is the first person to consult if you are concerned about someone close to you. The GP may then refer the person being diagnosed to a specialist consultant. Assessments can include conversations with the person being diagnosed and members of their family, a physical examination, and memory tests and/or brain scans. The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most commonly used test for complaints of memory problems or when a diagnosis of dementia is being considered.

You are entitled to ask for a referral to a specialist for a second opinion or for support and access to services that such a referral may give. Press for a referral if you feel it would be helpful and the GP does not suggest it.

Currently there is no medical test to determine a diagnosis of dementia and as there could be a number of conditions causing the behaviour a process of elimination will take place before a diagnosis is made.

A diagnosis of dementia can come as a shock. Even if you have been expecting it, this will be a worrying and upsetting time. You and the person you care for will need a great deal of reassurance and support.

Few forms of dementia are curable, but there are some drugs available that appear to alleviate the symptoms in some people. Different conditions respond to treatments and medication in different ways.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed accessing services and support can make a great difference for both the carer and the person with the dementia. Your first step should be to contact your local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society for advice, information and support:

Aylesbury – 01296 331722
High Wycombe – 01494 670909

The Alzheimer’s Society national website has a huge range of useful information for carers, as well as a discussion forum where people can share information and experiences. They also have a helpline 0300 222 1122.

As well as the support groups run by the different branches of the Alzheimer’s Society, there are a number of other groups in Buckinghamshire supporting carers of people with dementia:

Changing Places – for adults caring for a parent with dementia
Church End, Princes Risborough, Bledlow, Princes Risborough

7.30pm, first Wednesday of the month. Contact Helen Robinson

If you are caring for someone with dementia, you may also find Unforgettable.org useful.

If you have any questions or need to speak to someone about caring for someone with dementia contact Carers Bucks on 0300 777 2722 where an experienced support worker can talk to you and help you with any concerns.

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.