The Department for Work and Pensions has detailed how it can give financial support for those who are struggling with long-term health problems and disabilities.
Personal Independence Payment or PIP was introduced in 2013 as the eventual replacement for Disability Living Allowance.
But can you get PIP for mental health issues as well? Do these come under the scope of a disability benefit?
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According to the DWP’s latest figures, there are 2.8 million claimants on PIP with just over one in three cases (35 per cent) receiving the highest level of award.
And those with mental health problems can indeed qualify. The DWP records them under psychiatric disorders.
Which mental health conditions get PIP?
DWP statistics show that 81 per cent of new claims and 88 per cent of those moving across from Disability Living Allowance are recorded as having one of five most common disabling conditions.
- psychiatric disorders
- musculoskeletal disease (general)
- musculoskeletal disease (regional)
- neurological disease
- respiratory disease
The two most commonly recorded disabling conditions for claims under normal rules are psychiatric disorder (36 percent of claims), and musculoskeletal disease (general) (a further 21 percent of claims).
There are 994,018 people in the UK getting PIP for psychiatric disorders.
Mixed anxiety and depressive disorders – 37,372 claimants
Mood disorders – 11, 346 claimants
Stress – 3,897 claimants
Anxiety – 3,758 claimants
But it is also worth pointing out that when PIP cases undergo a review, those with psychiatric disorders are most likely of all the medical conditions to have their payments decreased or disallowed.
Figures show that when a review takes place, 42 per cent of those claiming with a psychiatric disorder end up keeping the same payouts, 18 per cent get more money, 12 per cent get less and the remaining 28 per cent see their benefit stopped.
The majority of all new claimants (76 per cent) are awarded PIP for two years or less before their case is reviewed. That includes 78 per cent of people who receive PIP for a psychiatric disorder – the highest proportion to get this short-term benefit award of all the listed conditions.
But the DWP explains PIP is given for the way an illness or disability affects your life rather than for the condition itself.
How to get PIP
You need to be 16 or over and expect your health challenges to last for at least 12 months after they started.
There are two parts to PIP:
- a daily living part – if you need help with everyday tasks
- a mobility part – if you need help with getting around
Whether you get one or both parts and how much you get depends on how difficult you find everyday tasks and getting around.
Daily living part
You might get the daily living part of PIP if you need help with:
- eating, drinking or preparing food
- washing, bathing and using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- reading and communicating
- managing your medicines or treatments
- making decisions about money
- socializing and being around other people
You might get the mobility part of PIP if you need help with:
- working out a route and following it
- physically moving around
- leaving your home
The DWP explains that you do not have to have a physical disability to get the mobility part. You might also be eligible if you have difficulty getting around because of a cognitive or mental health condition, like anxiety.
How much is PIP?
As part of the benefits uprating of 3.1 per cent for the next financial year, PIP allowances will increase from April 11, 2022. These are as follows:
Daily living component
Standard – increasing from £60 a week to £61.85 a week
Enhanced – increasing from £89.60 a week to £92.40 a week
Standard – increasing from £23.70 a week to £24.45 a week
Enhanced – increasing from £62.55 a week to £64.50 a week
Although the rises are listed in weekly amounts, PIP is paid into accounts every four weeks.
The maximum you can get is the enhanced rate of both components, currently totaling £608.60 and going up to £627.60 from April.
Some people are only deemed eligible for one component.
To start a claim for PIP, call 0800 917 2222. You’ll need to give the following information:
- contact details, such as phone number
- date of birth
- National Insurance number, if you have one
- bank or building society account number and sort code
- doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- dates and addresses for any time spent in a care home or hospital
- dates for any time you spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries you visited
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