MILLIONS suffering from long-term health conditions or disabilities can get extra help through Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
If you think that you might be eligible, you’ll be keen to know long long the PIP application process takes and when you’ll get your first payment.
It can be worth up to £172.75 a week, so it’s well worth seeing if you are entitled to any money.
But you have to meet certain criteria and it can take months to receive your first payment.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Am I eligible for PIP?
PIP is available to those aged 16 or over but not yet at the state pension age.
The current state pension age is 66 but this is set to rise to 68.
You also have to be suffering from a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability.
Those conditions mean you struggle with everyday tasks such as:
- preparing or eating food
- washing, bathing and using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- reading and communicating
- managing your medicines or treatments
- making decisions about money
- engaging with other people
Crucially, you must have been experiencing the difficulties for three months, and expect them to continue for at least nine months.
That’s unless you are terminally ill and with less than six months to live.
You can claim PIP at the same time as other benefits, except the armed forces independence payment.
If you receive constant attendance allowance you will receive less of the daily living part of PIP.
If you get war pensioners’ mobility supplement you will not get the mobility part of PIP.
How do I apply?
You can make a new PIP claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222.
This is the Government department that handles benefit payments.
If you don’t want to call through, you can apply via post.
You have to send a letter to Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.
Make sure you having the following to hand before starting your application:
- your contact details
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number
- your Bank or building society account number and sort code
- your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital
If you can’t call to process an application, someone can on your behalf. But you need to be with them when they call.
After the initial contact with the DWP, you’ll be sent a form to fill in and return, after which you might be invited for a medical assessment via letter.
You should be sent a letter after the assessment telling you if your claim has been successful.
The letter will tell you the date of your first payment.
If you have less than six months to live, the application process is different.
You should visit the Government’s website for more information on this.
How long does it take to claim and when will I get my first payment?
It can take up to six months from when you first contact the DWP to getting your first payment.
But your claim could take less or more time, this is just an average time frame.
Your first PIP payment will be backdated to when you first made a claim, so you will likely get a lump sum back payment.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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