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PIP is a valuable state benefit designed for those with disabilities and long term health conditions who may require care needs. The money can help towards the cost of care and help claimants live a more independent life.
Pensioners can get many free benefits living in the UK, such as free prescriptions, parking benefits and specific passes for travel.
Your age can effect which benefits you are able to claim, and when you reach State Pension age, several benefits can be replaced by other benefits or stopped altogether.
Personal Independence Payment, or PIP, is a benefit for disabled people or those with a long term physical or mental condition, who may need contributions to help them pay for care, whether that be professionally or from a friend or family member.
To be able to claim PIP, you must have a long term health condition or disability that affects your ability to function as a person without your condition does in everyday life.
The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you in your own personal circumstances, not on the specifics of the condition you have.
It can take up to four months from the date you started your application to when you get your money, so as soon as you think you need PIP, you should put in a claim.
However, if you are terminally ill your claim will be processed quicker.
There are no restrictions on how you can spend your PIP money, and you do not have to spend it on paying for the care that you need.
There are two components of PIP:
• a daily living component
• a mobility component
Each component can be paid at either:
Standard rate – where your ability to carry out daily living/mobility activities is limited by your physical or mental condition.
Enhanced rate – where your ability to carry out daily living/mobility activities is severely limited by your physical or mental condition.
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When you put in a claim for PIP, a health professional will assess your ability to carry out a range of daily activities that are essential for getting by in everyday life.
This health professional will write a report for the Department of Work and Pensions, and they will make a decision on whether you are entitled to PIP, how much, and for how long.
If your claim is successful you will receive PIP payments every four weeks, and it is paid directly into your bank, building society or credit union account.
How much PIP you get is subject to a review, and your PIP payments will be regularly reviewed in the future.
Currently, if you claim the standard rate you will get £59.70 a week, and if you claim the enhanced rate you will get £89.15.
What happens to my PIP when I reach State Pension age?
If you are claiming PIP and you reach State Pension age, your payments thankfully will not stop.
However, you will need to make a new claim for Attendance Allowance.
Attendance Allowance is similar to PIP and helps to pay for your personal care, whether you are elderly or disabled.
The rate for Attendance Allowance is the same as PIP, so you won’t get less money than someone on PIP.
You cannot make a new claim for PIP if you are over the State Pension Age – you will need to make a fresh claim for Attendance Allowance.
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