By: Jack Claridge
Those of us who are unwell to the point where we cannot hold down a job or manage by ourselves can apply for help with additional benefits. The most current benefits open to those of us who fit these criteria are Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you’re aged 16 to 64, the amount you can claim depends on how your condition ‘affects’ you. An assessment will take place through a qualified health professional who will work out the level of help you can get. This will be subject to regular reviews and PIP will soon fully replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
What is Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit given to those individuals who cannot work and find it difficult to cope by themselves. This benefit is split into three levels and each level is representative of the nature of your condition. There is a low, middle and high rate of benefit awarded and each rate was awarded depending on the nature and circumstances of the illness. You can keep getting DLA if you’re under 16 or you were born on or before 8 April 1948 and have an existing claim. You’ll continue getting DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) invites you to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?
Personal Independence Payment(PIP)is similar to DLA and is only given to those individuals who qualify. In order to qualify you must complete a medical assessment which is carried out by an independent doctor once your application has been received and processed. This examination will determine whether or not the information you have provided in your application is correct and will also assess at what level you may qualify for assistance.
You can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you are under 65, have a disability of a physical or mental nature and are unable to walk – or if your condition is severe enough that you need assistance when it comes to looking after yourself. There is a daily living part of the claim and a mobility part. Whether you get one or both of these and how much you’ll get depends on how your condition affects you.
What is Mobility?
Mobility is the second component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)and is paid at two rates – either what is described as the lower or higher rate, depending on your condition. This addition sum is paid on a weekly basis and may be paid if you need assistance with travel. You or your carer might also qualify for other financial help, for example Carer’s Allowance, or help with housing or transport costs.
Am I Eligible with Fibromyalgia?
As we have already discussed Fibromyalgia – along with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – is a difficult illness to diagnose so it may take some time initially before your doctor reaches a diagnosis. You should expect a lengthy wait as – although Personal Independence Payment (PIP) does cover this illness there are more rigorous assessments to undergo before agreement is reached.
If your application has been turned down then you should make grounds for appeal as soon as you can if you feel that your case is justified.