PERSONAL Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit designed to help with extra living costs if you have a disability.
If you’re eligible, you may be entitled to extra top ups on other benefits such as housing allowance and income support, as well as council tax discounts.
To qualify for PIP you need to have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability that makes it difficult to do everyday tasks or get around.
You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
There are two main elements to PIP. These are:
- a daily living part – if you need help with everyday tasks
- a mobility part – if you need help with getting around
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will assess how difficult you find daily living and mobility tasks to see whether you qualify.
If you’re eligible for the daily living element, you’ll either get the low rate of £60 a week or the higher rate of £89.60.
The mobility element is £27.30 a week on the lower rate or £62.55 for the higher weekly rate.
As well as your Personal Independence Payment, you should get access to extra help and benefits. Here are some of the main things to consider:
PIP entitlement usually qualifies you to get top ups on various other benefits.
You should be able to get a disability premium if you’re already receiving:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
You might also get the disability element of Working Tax Credit if you’re eligible.
To get the benefits boost you need to contact the office in charge and let them know you’re getting PIP.
You should ask what other help this entitles you to and how much you will get.
You may need to send them a copy of your PIP award letter to get the extra help.
Council tax reduction
If you get either element of PIP, you could get a discount on your council tax.
How much you could get varies from council to council and can depend on which PIP component you’re entitled to.
Contact your local council to see what you could get.
Help with transport
If you get the mobility part of PIP, you might be eligible for a:
- Blue Badge (in England and Wales)
- Vehicle tax discount or exemption
- Motability Scheme vehicle, if you get the higher mobility rate of PIP
The blue badge scheme varies from council to council, but it helps you with access to parking.
For instance, you may be able to park in disabled parking bays, on streets with meters, and on single or double yellow lines.
You can check your eligibility and apply for a Blue Badge on the government website.
If you get PIP, you may also be able to get between 50 and 100% of your vehicle tax paid.
If you’re claiming for a vehicle for the first time, you have to go to a Post Office. You must do this every time you change your car.
The Motability Scheme helps you get mobile by exchanging your qualifying mobility allowance to lease a new affordable car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair.
You can apply at motobility.co.uk.
If you get either the daily living or mobility part of PIP you’re eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard, which gives you a third of rail travel.
Help for carers
If someone helps to care for you, they may be able to get Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Credit.
The allowance means your carer could get £67.60 each week as long as they have caring responsibilities for more than 35 hours.
The easiest way to apply is online through the government website.
Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps carers plug gaps in their National Insurance records.
They can apply by ringing the helpline on 0800 731 0297 or downloading a Carer’s Credit claim form.
If someone gets Carer’s Allowance they’ll get Carer’s Credit automatically.
If you claim PIP for a child
If a child aged between 16 and 22 is still in education or training, you could get more housing benefit.
You might also get money off your council tax bill.
You need to contact the office in charge of your benefit and your local council to see if you qualify for either help.
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