Benefit entitlements for disabled people – Personal Independence Payments

Benefit entitlements for disabled people – Personal Independence Payments

Disability benefits are supposed to be there to improve an individual’s quality of life, but it is not always necessarily easy or straightforward to apply for them. Some of our clients who suffer from disabilities come to us for information about their entitlement to benefits and this is something we regularly advise on.

One benefit which is available to people with an illness, disability or mental health condition is PIP (Personal Independence Payment), which is paid on top of Employment and Support Allowance or other benefits. However, applicants for PIP must attend a detailed assessment, organised by the Department of Work & Pensions but currently carried out by two private companies, prior to a decision being made about eligibility.

In the last year 100,000 people have been wrongly assessed for PIP and had their claims rejected, which has resulted in complaints being made about the quality of assessments and lengthy appeals being made. These claims resulted in success for 71% of people who appealed; having their assessments for PIP being quashed by a tribunal in the first three months of 2018.

The good news is that the government has now decided to end unnecessary PIP reviews later this year for people with the most severe health conditions. This will mean that those with severe or progressive conditions will receive an award which reflects the fact that their condition will not improve. They will receive ongoing PIPs with a short review every ten years, rather than having to attend an annual, detailed assessment.

There is however ongoing concern and criticism about the quality of assessments and this is currently under review by the government.

For more information on Personal Independence Payments or for assistance with the management of personal affairs, please contact a member of our Personal Affairs team.