The person you care for may be eligible to receive certain benefits. The two main benefits are:

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all new claimants from June 2013. Most existing DLA recipients are due to be reassessed for PIP during the period from October 2013 to 2018. There are two parts to PIP: Daily Living and Mobility.

If you qualify for PIP you will get money for one or both parts. The amount that you get is based on how your health condition or disability affects how well you carry out the ‘everyday activities’ shown below, the difficulties that you face and the help that you would need to do them, even if you don’t actually get any help.

How to claim PIP

To start your claim for PIP, you will need to telephone 0345 850 3322 or textphone 0345 601 6677. Please visit PIP for further information.

Someone else can call on your behalf to make the claim, but the claimant will need to be present too. The following basic information will need to be provided during this phone call:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Name, full address, including postcode
  • Date of birth
  • Bank or building society account details (so that payments can be arranged if eligible for the PIP)
  • Daytime contact telephone number
  • GP or other health professionals’ details
  • If you are terminally ill you will need to discuss your condition during this initial claim

You will also be asked if you have spent time abroad, whether you are currently in a care home or hospital, or have been recently.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will then check basic eligibility conditions and if these are not met then a disallowance letter is sent. Otherwise an individually barcoded form will be sent to you.

You have one month to return the completed form. Failure to return the form without good cause can result in the claim being terminated. If you are unable to complete the form within the given timescales you should contact the DWP by phone to ask for an extension.

Terminal illness

Claims for terminally ill people can be made without the ill person’s knowledge or authority.  Claims are made under ‘special rules’. The GP would need to complete a form DS1500, detailing their medical condition. Claims under these criteria mean that the claim will be dealt with more quickly and will not require a face to face consultation. The enhanced rate of the Daily Living part will be paid straight away. Eligibility for the Mobility part is dependent on the mobility needs.

If you have a terminal illness you will not have to complete the ‘How your disability affects you’ form. You will also not need a face-to-face consultation. Instead you or the person claiming on your behalf will be asked some extra questions about your condition whilst you are on the phone making your initial claim.

To claim under these special rules you will need to telephone 0800 917 222.

Assessment

The form and any additional information are then sent to a health professional. If there is enough information the assessment can be completed at this stage but most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation. The DWP says that claimants will be encouraged to take someone along with them to the consultation. Failure to attend the consultation without good cause can result in the claim being terminated.

The health professional then sends a report to the decision maker who decides whether you will be awarded PIP, and if so at what rate it will be awarded.

Current rates at April 2017 for Daily Living Component are:

  • Enhanced rate – £83.10
  • Standard rate – £55.65

Current rates at April 2017 for Mobility Component are:

  • Enhanced rate – £58.00
  • Standard rate – £22.00

What if I am not happy with the decision?

There are new rules which mean that for all PIP decisions you will have to go through the internal revision process (called a mandatory reconsideration) before you can apply for an appeal to an independent tribunal. The time limits for this are one calendar month from the date on your decision letter (late revisions can be granted if there are special reasons).

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax free benefit to help with the extra cost you may have because you are ill or disabled.  The amount that you may get is based on the help you need as a result of your disability or condition. It is only available to people over the age of 65. You will only be able to claim if you have needed additional help for at least six months. It is not means tested, so having savings or other income won’t affect whether you can claim.  There are two rates of Attendance Allowance.

  • Lower rate – £55.65 (April 2017)
  • Higher rate – £83.10 (April 2017)

You may get the lower rate if you need:

  • Help to care for yourself frequently throughout the day
  • Help to care for yourself frequently at night
  • Someone to supervise you throughout the day so that you do not put yourself or other people in danger
  • Someone to watch over you at night, so that you do not put yourself of other people in danger
  • Someone with you, when you are on dialysis

You may get the higher rate if you need:

  • Help to care for yourself, or supervision throughout the day and at night
  • You may also get this rate if you are terminally ill (the special rules apply to Attendance Allowance as they do for PIP)

How do I know if I would be eligible for Attendance Allowance?

If you have difficulty, need prompting or need help with personal care in any of the following, you would be eligible to apply.

  • Getting in and out of, or settling in bed
  • Getting washed or dressed
  • Using the toilet
  • Moving around indoors – this includes using stairs, getting in or out of any type of chair or wheelchair
  • Eating or drinking
  • Taking medication, or having therapy – this includes oxygen, injections, inhalers and coping with side effects
  • Communicating (such as hearing, speech, reading and writing)
  • Supervision to keep you safe – this includes being a danger to yourself or others, being at risk of neglecting or harming yourself, wandering or falling, being confused or have seizures or blackouts
  • Dealing socially with other people

You can call 0345 605 6055 or textphone 0345 722 4433 to obtain a claim form.

The start date of the claim will be taken from the date that DWP sent out your form, as long as it is returned within six weeks. Please visit Attendence Allowance for further information.