Personal Independence Payment (or PIP) is a welfare benefit in the UK that is intended to help adults with the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability. It replaced DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and if you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability, and are over the age of 16, you may be entitled to benefits.
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia you may be entitled to a range of welfare benefits, including:
- Attendance Allowance (AA),
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA),
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
PIP provides extra money to help with everyday living expenses and eligibility is not affected by your income, savings, or employment status. Eligibility is not determined by the condition you have, but instead by the amount of help you need as a result of how the condition affects you.
To be eligible for PIP, as a result of your condition, you must:
- have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months; and
- expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months.
Once you have checked you are eligible, to claim PIP, you need to:
- Call the PIP new claims line on 0800 917 2222 to start your claim. You’ll then be sent a form that asks about your condition.
- Complete and return the form.
- You might need to have an assessment if more information is needed. At the assessment, you will be asked questions about your ability to carry out activities and how your condition affects your daily life.
Before calling the DWP, make sure you have your National Insurance number; your bank or building society account number and sort code; your doctor or health worker’s details; dates, and addresses for any time you’ve spent in a care home or hospital; and dates for any time you spent abroad for more than 4 weeks at a time, and the countries you visited, all to hand.
Visit the government website to find out more: https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim
There is much greater acceptance now that the condition of fibromyalgia is real and figures show that people with Fibromyalgia account for 3.5% of all applications for PIP. However as it is often seen as a hidden disability, make sure you are prepared before applying for PIP. Ensure your GP is up to date on how affected you are (from physical challenges to fibro fog) and see if they will refer you to a specialist. It can also be useful to contact your local authority to have an occupational health therapy assessment carried out and make sure you get a copy of this report as it could be useful when claiming for PIP.
If your application is declined, you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration and the DWP will look over it again.
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