Personal Independence Payment
Who can claim?
You may qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if your ability to get out and about, or to look after yourself without help, is severely impaired. You can work and claim this benefit, which is designed to help meet the extra daily costs experienced by people with disability. It is not means-tested so is not affected by your income, and it is tax free.
There are two parts to PIP. The first part is looking at your mobility (whether you can walk even short distances, or if you need someone with you when you go out). The second part (the daily living component) looks at what sort of help you need at home.
If you get an award of the daily living part, someone who looks after you may be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance.
If you do get an award of the mobility part of this benefit, you may be entitled to a Blue Badge or to buy a vehicle through the Motability Scheme.
How is it assessed?
You will need to attend an assessment to find out which level of support you can get, and awards will be reviewed regularly. The only exceptions are for anyone with a terminal illness, or where there has been enough medical and other evidence provided that a decision can be made just using the written evidence.
There are four assessment centres for PIP in Norfolk (although you can ask for a home visit if required):
St Francis House on Queens Road Norwich, 11 Prince of Wales Road Norwich, TICCS in Great Yarmouth Business Park and Laird Health & Business Centre at Croxton Road in Thetford.
PIP is assessed using a scoring system made up of descriptors. You can view the scoring system in this document from page 83 onwards.
During the assessment, it is important to provide details about your difficulties to show the assessor how you score the points. You can ask them to slow down or take a break at any point and it may be helpful to take someone along with you for support.
There are two companies that assess for PIP in Norfolk. Independent Assessment Services (IAS) cover most of Norfolk and Capita cover PE postcodes. They both have useful information pages on PIP which you can view here for IAS and here for Capita.
Working and claiming PIP
You can work full time whilst receiving PIP. Although starting work is a change of circumstances and legally you must report it to the DWP if you are already receiving benefits.
You need to explain the work you are doing and show that it does not mean that you might now be capable of tasks that you previously could not perform.
You should also explain your functional difficulties (such as problems with walking, repeating certain tasks or lifting and carrying) to any new or potential prospective employer, as they have a duty of care to you in the workplace.
Find out more
You can call our advice line to get further information about PIP, on 01508 491210 option 3, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also ask us a question through our Facebook page.
If you find yourself needing to claim benefits a useful place to start is to use a free benefits calculator. You’ll need information about any income, existing benefits, savings and your current living costs. Try Turn2Us or entitledto.