PIP Assessment | What Is It & How Can You Benefit?
For those of us with a stoma and underlying medical conditions then PIP (Personal Independence Payment) may well be a thing that you may be able to claim. For those who aren’t aware, PIP is a disability benefit that can be claimed even if you work. It is a benefit that is not means-tested. I also found that it is a benefit that puts the fear of God into people regarding the interview process and as to if you will qualify. The qualifying age is from the age of 16 to retirement age.
I am not in the habit of broadcasting my personal information but in the last year, I have been moved from the old style DLA (Disability Living Allowance) to PIP. It has been a daunting experience that I worked up so much anxiety over I can’t even explain how bad I felt at the time.
What is PIP?
From what I found, Personal Independence Payment is a disability benefit that aims to help with both your medical needs and give financial assistance to those that are affected day to day by their illness. You can still work whilst claiming this as it’s not means-tested.
My research found that these are the current PIP rates:
- – Daily living Standard rate – £59.70
- – Daily living enhanced rate – £89.15
- – Mobility Standard rate – £23.60
- – Mobility enhanced rate – £62.25
How do you apply?
From experience, if you are completely new to PIP and wishing to see if you qualify then you can phone them and they will send you out a rather long-winded questionnaire. You can get help from the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureaux) to fill this in or you can fill it in yourself. If you have a nominated carer then they can help you and fill it in on your behalf.
For those of you who get letters from your consultants explaining the ins and outs of each appointment then that is absolutely great, this will help you with your application. As far as I know, everything they base your application on has to be within the last six months. Anything out of that remit will be looked at but may not be taken into consideration.
From what I found, they have 3 ways of interviewing you:
- – Face to face interview at a centre near you
- – Home interview – this can be requested when they give you the date to attend the centre but you will need to have valid reasons for them to come out as it’s all done by a case by case basis
- – Telephone interview – for those of you like me who have an endless amount of paper-based evidence proving your underlying health issues along with mobility issues.
Any interview like this is scary and daunting. You can have an advocate with you or a family friend.
I had a telephone interview due to paper-based reports and Coronavirus. This doesn’t make the process any less daunting but they may ask you relevant questions to your illness, current health, mobility and how it affects your day to day life.
The assessor may ask you the same question several times so please be aware of your responses. They may ask you what a normal day is to you. In my opinion you will have to be clear and concise that your days are worse than great.
It is best to keep copies of the original application form as they may well ask you what was put down for this section etc.
As far as I understand, this award system is based on points. Anything over 12 points for each section may get you the enhanced rate, points below that then it is the standard living rate.
I think when you research PIP, you only ever get the negative experiences. It’s the same with the media, you only get the published bad views from those who have been unsuccessful either rightly or wrongly.
For me it was an experience but that due to previously taking DLA through the appeals process back in 2012.
This is a benefit that you either qualify for with two different rates or you don’t qualify for it. There is an appeal process which you can undertake should this be the case.
For me it was a process of mixed emotions. It was daunting but thankfully I was able to provide well documented medical advice from all my medical teams.
I can say it was a mixed bag of emotions and some pointless time spent over-analyzing things as I am now covered for the next 3 years and I can spend that time keeping my relevant medical documents for the next process.
Any questions then please don’t hesitate to message me.
Hoping this helps
Many thanks for reading
Louise uses our Platinum Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. If you’d like to try a sample, click here.
This blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine or if you are experiencing any health issues.