Osteoarthritis: Elaine reveals her experience of the condition
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PIP helps with extra living costs if a person has a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability which impacts their ability to carry out everyday tasks, or get around. People can receive the sum even if they are working, have savings or are getting most other benefits. However, a common misconception when it comes to PIP is that the payment is only reserved for individuals with severe physical disabilities.
But as the benefit is based on how a person’s condition affects them, rather than the condition itself, many people could find themselves eligible for a payout.
One such instance could arise for people living with arthritis – a condition which is not a single disease, but instead has many forms, causing pain or inflammation in one joint or many.
The NHS states that in the UK more than 10 million people have arthritis or some other form of joint pain, varying in severity.
In some cases, arthritis can severely impact mobility and could make it challenging to carry out day to day tasks.
As a result, people could receive PIP payments to assist their needs. How much they get, though, can vary.
PIP is split into two parts, and each part has two tiers – the daily living part and the mobility part. The sum is tax-free.
The lower rate for daily living is £60.00, rising to £89.60 – both per week – for health needs. The mobility part has a lower rate of £23.70 and a higher rate of £62.55.
Those who receive the higher rate of both payments could get up to £608 per month to assist them regularly.
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The Government urges Britons to first check if they are eligible before they submit a claim to receive PIP.
In order to claim, individuals will need to call the claims line. They will then be sent a form which asks about their condition.
Once the form is completed and returned, some people will need to have a health assessment if additional information is required.
To get the ball rolling on a claim, Britons will need to provide the following information:
- Contact details, for example telephone number
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number, if a person has one (people can find this on letters about tax, pensions and benefits)
- Bank or building society account number and sort code
- Doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- Dates and addresses for any time spent in a care home or hospital
- Dates for any time spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries visited
A claim can also be started by post, however, the Government warns this may take longer in terms of a decision being made.
People can send a letter to ‘Personal Independence Payment New Claims’, after which they will receive a form they need to complete with their personal details.
Once this is filled in and returned, they will then be sent a form which asks about their disability or condition.
Those who need an assessment will be invited along to one with a health professional, who will ask about how a disability or condition impacts daily life and mobility.
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The health professional may also ask people to do some simple movements to illustrate how they manage certain activities.
An assessment can take place in person, over the phone or via video call, and the process usually lasts for one hour.
Once a decision is made, people will get a letter which tells them whether they will get PIP, and the date of the first payment.
Those who disagree with a decision made can challenge it in a process known as asking for “mandatory reconsideration” – which needs to be requested within one month of the date of the decision.
This can be done by contacting the DWP via phone, letter or filling in and returning a form. The contact details are included in one’s decision letter.
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