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Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence payment (PIP) is a payment to support people with a long term physical or mental health condition or disability.  If the claimant struggles with preparing and cooking food, taking medication, eating and drinking, washing and bathing, toilet needs, dressing and undressing, reading and writing, communicating, engaging with others or budgeting skills.  There is also a mobility component to PIP if the claimant has difficulty walking or planning and following a journey.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week if they receive the enhanced rate or £86.30 if they receive the standard rate.  The claimant needs to receive 8 points overall on the10 daily living questions and 2 mobility questions to get standard rate and 12 points for enhanced.

There is now a massive backlog from when a person applies for PIP to when they are awarded PIP which is causing claimants to miss out on essential money to assist with their disability.   When claimants raise a challenge in the form a Mandatory Reconsideration this is coming back as a generic response where previously it was individual to the client prompting people to now have to go to appeal to gain the benefit.

In July 2022 the waiting list for assessments was 327,000 people with an average wait time of 5 months and this has increased not decreased.  This means according to Citizens Advice website that £294 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up.  This is the figure if you get PIP straight off but if are turned down and need to undertake a mandatory reconsideration or appeal the wait is even longer.

Once the decision has been made that the claimant has not been awarded PIP the process of appealing it can then take another 30 weeks or more on top of the initially wait for the initial assessment after completing the form.  Therefore, in total PIP awards are taking up to a year or more to be granted if successful.

PIP reviews are also in turmoil with claimants firstly granted extra award time due to Covid and then when sent out a review pack having to wait a year or more for the award to be reviewed.

This is having a substantial impact on applying for other benefits connected to PIP such as a blue badge, bus pass, disabled rail card or CEA card (Cinema Exhibition Association) which all provide great discounts to claimants.  Without an ongoing PIP award of 12 months or more claimants are unable to obtain or renew these extra benefits. Claimants who are due to renew or obtain a motability vehicle can’t until their PIP is rewarded or reviewed.

Article by Marie Frizelle

marie with Z

Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire is an independent, local charity reliant on raising our own funds to carry out our work to improve the lives of residents in North Hertfordshire and parts of South Cambridgeshire. 

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Free Advice Line:

0800 144 88 48

The number above is for the Hertfordshire Citizens Advice Line.   Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

If you would like to contact Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire directly please call us on 01462 689801 and leave a message.

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If you would like advice over the phone you can call the National Citizens Adviceline on 0800 144 88 48