Voiceover: Benefits are changing for people with a long-term illness or disability.
The new benefit is called Personal Independence Payment or PIP. It’s replacing Disability Living Allowance or DLA.
So who is going to be affected by these changes?
PIP is not going to affect children under 16 receiving DLA and it won’t affect most people over 65 receiving DLA. However if you were between 16 and 64 on the 8th April 2013 you will be affected and will eventually have to apply for PIP.
The change does not happen automatically. You’ll receive a letter telling you when you need to claim. You’ll need to claim even if you were promised DLA for the rest of your life.
You must not ignore this letter. If you haven’t claimed PIP within four weeks of receiving the letter, your DLA payments may end.
If you need help to complete the form and reply to the letter the advice agencies listed at the end of this video will be able to help.
Claimant “What’s the difference? I’ve received DLA for years. What’s going to happen to me?”
Adviser “You will have to apply for the new benefit. When you get your letter telling you it’s time to apply you MUST respond within four weeks. If you do that then you will keep getting your DLA payments until after it’s been decided whether you are entitled to PIP. If you don’t respond within four weeks you could lose your DLA.
Claimant “What do I have to do?”
Adviser “You’ll get a letter explaining everything and giving you a phone number to call. You will have to give basic information about your condition and your contact details. If you are eligible for PIP you will then get a form to fill in asking you how your condition affects your life. You can get help from friends, family or the agencies listed at the end of this video. They can even make the phone call for you as long as you are there when they do.”
Claimant “Why do I have to apply? After all my condition hasn’t improved?”
Adviser “ The transfer to the new kind of benefit isn’t automatic. When you were given DLA it was often based on information given by you and your doctor. PIP is different. You will need to attend a medical arranged by the Department of Work and Pensions – the DWP.
Claimant “So if I get PIP will it continue in the same way as DLA?”
Adviser “Not quite. Unlike DLA, PIP will be reviewed on a regular basis, even if your condition is not expected to improve”.
Voiceover: It doesn’t matter whether you are working or how high or low your income is – PIP is based on how your disability or condition affects your life. There are two parts to PIP: -
One is Daily Living, which includes needing help with things like communication, managing medicines or treatments, washing and bathing etc.
The other is Mobility, if you need help with going out or moving around.
Claimant “How do they decide how much I will get under PIP?”
Adviser “ Points are awarded during the assessment. It will look at a number of everyday activities and decide how badly you are affected. There is a standard rate and for those with the most severe problems, an enhanced rate.”
Claimant “Am I going to be better or worse off than I am with DLA?”
Adviser “We won’t know that until after you have been assessed. The amount a person receives will be based on how their condition affects their life.”
Voiceover: Remember – it’s very important to respond as soon as possible when the letter asking you to apply for PIP arrives. If you are already receiving DLA and you reply to the letter quickly there should be no break in the payments. If you don’t do anything about the letter, then after four weeks your DLA payments will stop.
The agencies listed at the end of this video will help you if you have any problems. They can also help you to appeal if you think the decisions affecting you are wrong.
So don’t put it off. When the letter arrives deal with it and make the phone call as soon as possible.