As the cost of living crisis continues and energy bills keep increasing, any extra cash could be a lifeline for families on low incomes feeling the financial squeeze. If someone needs help due to an illness, disability or mental health condition, they may qualify for extra financial support from DWP.
Millions of people across the UK receive financial boost through Universal Credit, a benefit intended to help those out of work or on a low income with daily living costs.
In January 2022, there were 5.6million claimants however this figure is expected to rise this year after changes to the taper rate and work allowance rule in November now means that an estimated 500,000 more people may now be eligible for support through Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
However, many new and existing benefit claimants may not be aware that they could also be eligible for additional support on top of a Universal Credit claim through Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
On the Government website it states that people might get an extra amount of Universal Credit if they have a health condition or disability that prevents them from working or preparing for work.
Their monthly payment is based on their circumstances, for example their health condition or disability, income and housing costs.
PIP is a benefit for those over 16 and under State Pension age, that can help with daily living costs and mobility needs as the result of a long-term illness, disability or mental health condition – and it could be worth hundreds of pounds every month.
There are nearly 2.9million people in the UK, receiving financial support of between £24.45 and £156.90 each week.
PIP is paid every four weeks – this amounts to between £97.80 and £627.60 every payment period.
People don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP.
It isn’t means-tested either, so it doesn’t matter what someone’s income is, how much they have in savings, or whether they’re currently employed.
PIP is a benefit aimed at providing support for people with an ever-evolving list of “hidden” conditions, including stress, anxiety and depression.
It is not just awarded to those with outwardly visible physical, long-term health conditions or disabilities.
To be eligible for PIP, people must have a health condition or disability where they:
- Have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months
- Expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
People usually need to have lived in the UK for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when they apply.
People will need an assessment to work out the level of financial help they will receive and their rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure they are getting the right support.
PIP is made up of two components:
Whether someone gets one or both of these, and how much, depends on how severely their condition affects them.
People will be paid the following amounts per week depending on their circumstances:
- Standard rate: £61.85
- Enhanced rate: £92.40
- Standard rate: £24.45
- Enhanced rate: £64.50
People can get PIP if they need help completing certain tasks due to their condition.
This can include preparing, cooking or eating food, managing ones’s medication, washing, bathing or using the toilet, dressing and undressing or engaging and communicating with other people.
Some people may also struggle with reading and understanding written information, making decisions about money, planning a journey or following a route or moving around, which PIP can help with.
If someone is terminally ill and the health professional said they might have 12 months or less to live, they may get extra money for Universal Credit.
If they are making a new claim, they can declare this during their application.
If someone has already made a claim, they’ll need to report this as a change of circumstances.