THOUSANDS with long-term health conditions and disabilities can get extra benefits known as personal independent payments (PIP).
But there are actually a few freebies and discounts you can get along with this – which we'll explore below.
PIP is for those aged 16 or over who have not reached state pension age.
You must have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be in one of these countries when you apply.
The process is different in Northern Ireland, and there are additional rules if you live abroad or if you’re not a British citizen.
You need to have a health condition or disability where you've had trouble with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months, and/or you expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than six months to live).
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PIP is made up of two parts and whether you get one or both of these depends on how severely your condition affects you.
How much you get also depends on how your condition affects you.
You may get the mobility part of PIP if you need help going out or moving around. The weekly rate for this is either £24.45 or £64.50.
While on the daily living part of PIP, the weekly rate is either £61.85 or £92.40 – and you could get both elements, so up to £156.90 in total.
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But there are freebies available with the support too, including things like a Blue Badge for parking spots.
We've put together a list of four possible discounts you could get with PIP.
If you're on certain benefits, you might be eligible for top ups or what's called a disability premium.
Roughly six million people across the UK receive disability benefits which are exempt from tax.
For example, millions received a £150 disability cost of living support payment last month from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
But you'll need to be receiving one of the following along with PIP to be eligible for top ups:
- Housing benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income support
- Working Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance – you need to be on the daily living part of PIP
- Pension credit – also needs to be alongside the daily living part of PIP
You should get in touch with the DWP if you're not sure what help you're entitled to.
You may need to send them a copy of your PIP award letter.
When you reach state pension age (66 currently) you can also be entitled to attendance allowance if you also have problematic health conditions – this is paid at two different rates weekly, depending on the care you need.
Council tax discounts
You might also be able to get a council tax discount if you claim the living or mobility part of PIP.
You'll need to contact your local council to find out though – which you can do by searching "local council finder".
Just pop in a post code and you're there.
Again, they might need to see you your PIP award letter.
How much you'll get off widely depends on what your personal situation is and how much PIP you're claiming – so it's best to call up and have a discussion.
Your PIP award letter can allow you apply for a Blue Badge, although some councils can charge for this.
The most they can ask for is £10, though.
You should contact your local council once more to apply – but if you're on certain benefits as well then it should be easy to get.
These benefits include:
- Disability Living Allowance
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8)
Parking spaces reserved for blue badge holders tend to be closer to entrances and cover bigger areas.
Blue badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours as long as there are no loading or unloading restrictions.
They must display their badge with the parking clock set to the time the person arrived.
Anyone with a disability that limits their ability to walk is eligible for a blue badge.
You must either be unable to walk, have difficultly walking, come to harm or cause harm while walking.
If you are registered blind or have disability in your arms you can also get a blue badge.
Many badge holders are also eligible for road tax exemption and you get a full refund for the remaining months when you apply for exemption.
Disabled person's railcard
This could give you up to a third off rail fares – roughly £4.26 per journey or £91 per year.
It depends how often you get the train, of course.
You can contact your local council to learn more about how to apply – and make sure to have your award letter on you.
This could be especially useful since ticket fines are rising next year.
The fee, which is currently £20, will go up by another £80 in January 2023.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently revealed it will be hiking charges up to £100 due to taxpayer concerns:
It said: "Fare evasion is estimated to cost taxpayers around £240m a year.
“We need penalty fares to act as a proper deterrent, and we are putting in place a modern system that will help create a more sustainable railway.”
How do I apply for PIP?
You can make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222.
There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a telephone. See Gov.uk for more information.
When you claim, you'll need:
- Your contact details
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Bank or building society account number and sort code
- Your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- Dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital
Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call.
You'll then be sent a form to fill in, after which you'll be invited for an assessment or your health or social care worker will be asked for information.
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After this you'll be sent a letter telling you if your claim has been successful.
You can read Citizens Advice’s help on preparing for an assessment.
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