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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Questions and Answers

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week.

The rate depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your rate will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support.

For more information, go to www.gov.uk/pip/overview 

If you are working for an organisation supporting deaf people to claim PIP and are coming across issues about the claiming process or the assessments, please contact Mandy, our Policy Officer, at mandy@scod.org.uk as she has been working directly with the DWP on PIP and can give feedback directly to the PIP “Running Live” Team.

Some information about PIP

Not everyone who gets DLA will get PIP. Case law that applies to DLA will no longer be valid for PIP which means that people who are turned down for PIP by a Case Manager, at the mandatory reconsideration stage or at Tribunal will have to go back to court to challenge the decisions.

You get DLA at the moment, why do I need to know about PIP?

If you are between the ages of 16 and 64 and on DLA, you will be sent a letter inviting you to apply for PIP. Do NOT ignore this letter. If you ignore this letter and any others that come to you from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), your DLA will stop. The DWP has stopped paying out DLA to adults. The letter will look like this.

My child is under 16 years old, will they still get DLA?

Children and young people under 16 years old can still claim DLA at the moment. This is not set to change in the near future although it will be reviewed in the future. Once your child is nearing 16 years of age, the DWP will write to you or your child to tell them that their DLA will be coming to an end and that they will have to apply for PIP once they receive the letter from the DWP. The letter will look like this. If your child has been “invited” to apply for PIP and doesn’t, then their DLA will be stopped.

I am over 65 years of age and got a lifetime award for DLA, what will happen to me?

Adults older than 65 years in April 2013 and receiving DLA will still receive this payment until the review takes place in the future.

What should I do when I get the letter from the DWP about PIP?

If the letter states that your DLA is coming to an end and you have to apply for PIP, you need to apply for PIP. If you do not apply, your DLA will stop and you will not receive any money from the DWP. There is no automatic transfer from DLA to PIP. They are totally separate payment schemes and even if you were given a lifetime award for DLA, your award will come to an end and you will have to apply for PIP.

There is only a textphone and telephone number on the PIP letter. I can’t use either. What do I do?

If you have access to the internet, and you are a Deaf BSL user, please email SCoD on admin@scod.org.uk and we will give you an email address so that you can start your claim.

Otherwise you will need to make an appointment with

  • your local deaf organisation – for more information, click here. Or
  • your local independent advocacy organisation, click here. Or
  • your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, click here.

If you get DLA at the present time because you are deaf and have no other disability, the support organisation might ask you to pay for your own language/communication support for the first appointment.

I am a support worker and need to help a deaf person apply for PIP, how do I do that?

The DWP has produced a PIP Toolkit to give you the information you need to help the person apply for PIP. It will not give you the email address that the deaf person can use to contact the DWP to start the claim. If you contact SCoD on admin@scod.org.uk, we will give you the email address.

I have my PIP2 form. What information do I need to give?

You need to give as much information as you possibly can to show that you are deaf and how your deafness affects your daily life. If you have an additional disability, you need to give as much information as you can about how your additional disability affects you. If you do not have an audiology report to show the level of your deafness, do not wait until you can get an appointment, as this will delay your claim and your DLA can be stopped in the meantime. If you need an audiology report, wait until the DWP ask you to get it and ask for an extension. You should also ask for your DLA claim file to be taken into consideration as it may have information in it that can support your claim for PIP. For example, your audiology report from when you were younger.

I have been given a date from Atos for my assessment. What do I have to do now?

You have to contact Atos or the organisation in the letter and tell them that you are deaf and what your language/communication support needs are. It is up to Atos to provide this. If you need a BSL/English Interpreter or an Electronic Notetaker or a Speech to Text Reporter or a Palantypist or a Lip speaker, Atos has to book the support. If you have never had language or communication support before and need more inf0rmation, click here. You should also tell Atos that you are bringing a supporter with you.

I have to go to my assessment. What can I expect to happen?

You can be assessed before you get into the assessment centre. If the health professional who is assessing you sees you walking into the assessment centre without supports or with no stops to take a breath, and you have put in your PIP2 form that you cannot walk 50m without aids and you need to stop every few steps, then the health professional can write in their assessment of you that they saw you walking with no bother and you were not out of breath.

If you have put in your PIP2 form that you need a BSL/English Interpreter every time you meet a new person and especially for health appointment and you have asked for one for your assessment, you need to know that if the interpreter does not show up or hasn’t been booked and you go into your assessment without an interpreter, then the health professional can note in your assessment form that you did not seem to have any problems understanding the questions and did not seem to need an interpreter. If this is the case, then you may not receive enough points to receive the standard rate of PIP. There is no lower rate.

You can take a supporter – family member, friend, support worker, independent advocate – into the assessment with you, in addition to your language/communication support. Your supporter can refuse to provide language/communication support if this has not been booked or has not shown up. If this happens, you should ask for another appointment. You should not ask your supporter to carry out this role.

Language/communication support – it is as important for the health professional as it is for you to have appropriate, professional registered language/communication support at your assessment so that the health professional who is assessing you is sure that you have understood the process and the questions you have been asked as well as understanding the answers you have given.

I had my assessment. I received a letter from the DWP to say that I am not entitled to PIP. What can I do now?

When you get the letter explaining why you’re not entitled to PIP, you can contact DWP to discuss the decision. The contact details will be on the letter.

You can tell them why you don’t agree and give more information to support your argument, for example, if your circumstances have changed.

Contact DWP as soon as possible if you think they’ve missed something or if your situation has changed.

I am not getting PIP. What now?

You can formally ask them to look at their decision again. This is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’ – you have to do this before you can appeal a decision.

You can ask for this during your first discussion with DWP or after but you must ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of the date on your decision letter. You can write to DWP using the details on your decision letter.

You must give reasons why you’re asking for a reconsideration. You might want to include further information to support your case.

You’ll receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ as a response.

If you haven’t gone to a local support organisation, you might want to do so now for help to ask for the reconsideration. You can contact local support organisations by clicking the links below:

  • your local deaf organisation – for more information, click here. Or
  • your local independent advocacy organisation, click here. Or
  • your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, click here.

I had a mandatory reconsideration and have been told I am not entitled to PIP. Is this the end of the process?

No.

You can appeal your decision if you’re still not happy with DWP’s response in the mandatory reconsideration notice.

Fill in the form ‘Notice of appeal against a decision of the Department for Work and Pensions – SSCS1’ and send it to the address on the form.

You must send form SSCS1 within 1 calendar month of the date on the mandatory reconsideration decision letter and include your mandatory reconsideration notice.

If I go through all of this and am still not entitled to PIP, will I keep my DLA?

No. If you apply for PIP and are unsuccessful, your DLA will stop anyway as this benefit is no longer available to people aged between 16 and 64 years. If you have had a mobility car as part of your DLA payment and you do not qualify for the enhanced rate of PIP, then you will have to give up your mobility car or find another way to pay for it.

If you have received other benefits through your DLA, then you may have to give them up if your PIP claim is unsuccessful – for example, a travel entitlement card or national concessionary travel pass or blue badge. You will have to check with the issuing body whether or not you are entitled to these “benefits” without PIP.

I don’t think it is fair that I am no longer getting DLA and that I am not entitled to PIP. What can I do?

You can talk to your MP as it is the Westminster Government who has decided who is eligible for PIP and to get rid of DLA. You can find out who your MP is by going to your local library or by going to a website called “They Work for You“.

Or you can talk to your MSP since in 2021, PIP will be a devolved benefit in the new Scottish Social Security system and the Scottish Government are starting to look at who should get what payments and what the application measures will be. You can find out who your MSP is from the same website but on a different page – “They Work for You“.

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