PIP claimants can provide evidence to the health professional assessing their claim, which in turn can give the DWP a clearer picture of how their condition affects them. It can also give the claimant a better chance of being assessed properly and receiving the correct amount of support.
This evidence can include letters, reports or care plans and claimants can send this information in at any time before the DWP makes a decision on their application.
Citizens Advice advises claimants to keep a “PIP diary” which breaks down how their condition affects them day to day.
The charity said: “If your condition fluctuates (you have good and bad days) it can be helpful to keep a diary. A diary is a handy way to record your bad days and how they affected you.
“You could use a diary as evidence as well as use it to help you fill in your PIP claim form. To help you, you can use our template diary. You can also ask someone to help you write it.”
When assessing claimants, the DWP will look at how the condition limits the claimants ability to do 12 tasks. This includes preparing a cooked meal, eating and drinking, managing treatments and washing and bathing among others.
To help with this, claimants can utilise evidence from a range of sources and external health professionals.
This includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors, support workers, consultants, nurses, doctors or GPs.
It should be noted some health professionals won’t help with benefit applications and others may charge a fee for doing so.
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Citizens Advice continued: “It’s a good idea to check what the health professional is able to do for you and if there’s a fee before you write to them.
“Get them to send their evidence to you and not to the DWP. This way you can check that you’re happy with it and decide whether or not you want to include it in your claim.
“Remember, it should show the DWP how your condition affects you and not be just confirmation of your condition or the medication you take.”
It also warned claimants should not delay returning their PIP claim form or attending an assessment because they’re waiting on supporting evidence. Claimants can always tell the DWP that they’ll send the evidence at a later date.
PIP itself can be claimed by those who need help with extra living costs if they have both a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability and difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of their condition.
There are two elements to PIP. A daily living part is issued for everyday tasks and mobility payments are awarded where help is needed getting around.
These payments are awarded where claimants are aged between 16 and state pension age and they expect the difficulties to last for at least 12 months from when they started.
The daily living component of PIP will pay either £60 or £89.60 per week. Mobility payments will be either £23.70 or £62.55.
Claims for PIP can be made by calling the “PIP new claims” phone line on 0800 917 2222 or by writing to the DWP.
Claimants will be sent a form to complete and return to the Government and from here, assessments may be needed.
The assessments themselves can be done over the phone or by video call and they can take up to an hour to complete.
In some instances, these assessments will need to be done in person and claimants will be sent an invitation letter which will explain how to attend the appointment safely.