In this article, we are answering the following question: “Can I claim PIP for osteoarthritis?”
We also explain what osteoarthritis is and what is the procedure of claiming Personal Independent Payment (PIP).
Claiming PIP for osteoarthritis
PIP is awarded on the effect your disability has on your daily life and not a diagnosis.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps cover the extra costs you may face if you need help in taking part in everyday life or find it difficult to get around.
You do not need to have a carer or someone helping you to qualify.
PIP is not taxable and you don’t need to have paid National Insurance contributions to get it.
PIP payments are made directly to you, and you can spend them on anything you like.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.
It develops when cartilage, the flexible tissue that allows bones in a joint to glide over each other, breaks down.
Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the affected joints.
While it is most common among adults over age 65, people of any age can develop it.
Osteoarthritis can affect joints in the hands and fingers, hips, knees, feet, and spine.
Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint pain or tenderness
- Limited range of motion
- Joint swelling or enlargement
- Crepitus (crackling or grinding of the joints)
- Joint deformity or malalignment
Based on X-ray evidence, the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints of the hand are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis, though they may not be associated with typical symptoms.
The hips and knees are the next most common sites of osteoarthritis and are almost always symptomatic.
The first metatarsal phalangeal and carpometacarpal joints also are common sites of osteoarthritis observed on X-ray.
The shoulder, elbow, wrist, and metacarpophalangeal joints are rare sites of osteoarthritis unless related to injury, trauma, or occupation.
Causes of osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis has long been explained as the result of the breakdown of cartilage in one or more joints.
Cartilage is composed of 65% to 80% water, collagen (fibrous proteins), proteoglycans (proteins and sugars that interweave with collagen), and chondrocytes (cells that produce cartilage).
This hard, but slippery tissue serves as a cushion between the bones of joints, allowing for movement and shock absorption.
When cartilage loss occurs, joints can deteriorate to the point of rubbing bone against bone.
Changes in structures that surround joints (muscles and tendons), fluid accumulation, and bony overgrowth (osteophytes or bone spurs) can develop, leading to severe chronic pain, loss of mobility, and disability.
While the aforementioned explanation of wear and tear (cartilage degeneration) is not inaccurate, it is incomplete.
Many other factors play a role in the development of osteoarthritis, and they may be genetic, metabolic, environmental, or traumatic.
Diagnosis of osteoarthritis
Early, accurate diagnosis of osteoarthritis is key in getting proper treatment.
Your doctor must determine if you have osteoarthritis or one of the many other types of arthritis.
It can be difficult to determine when osteoarthritis onset occurs and which joint tissues are affected early on unless there is a traumatic event that can be pinpointed, such as a torn ligament.
While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies can detect early structural changes consistent with osteoarthritis, conventional X-rays are routinely ordered—at least initially.
But, by the time there is X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis, the disease can be quite advanced.
Coping with osteoarthritis
A diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be unnerving, but there are steps you can take to feel better, both physically and mentally.
Follow your treatment plan and reassess regularly to ensure it’s working for you.
Gentle exercise can help strengthen and improve your range of motion. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
But also rest when you need it. Ask family and friends for help, make adjustments at work if necessary, and listen to your body.
How can I claim PIP for osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a painful, degenerative type of arthritis that can make prolonged physical activity and work difficult or impossible for patients.
Sometimes the condition becomes so severe and limiting that people with osteoarthritis are forced to stop working.
Who is eligible for PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is not paid simply because you have osteoarthritis, but because of the effect that the symptoms of the osteoarthritis have on your life.
There are basic qualifying conditions that you must meet before you can qualify for PIP. You must meet the disability conditions.
- The disability conditions look at your daily living needs and your mobility needs.
- You must have met the disability conditions for a ‘qualifying period’ of three months before you can be paid
- You must also be likely to continue to meet them for a period of nine months in the future.
How is PIP made up?
PIP comes in two parts: the ‘daily living component’ and the ‘mobility component’.
You can be awarded either, or both, of these components. Each component is paid at two different rates: a standard rate and an enhanced rate.
The daily living component
The daily living component helps cover the extra costs that you may face if you need help taking part in everyday life.
The rate you are paid depends on whether your ability to carry out daily living activities is limited or severely limited.
This is tested under the PIP assessment.
The mobility component
The mobility component helps cover the extra costs that you may face if you have difficulties in getting around.
The rate you are paid depends on whether your ability to carry out mobility activities is limited or severely limited. This is tested under the PIP assessment.
The PIP assessment
The PIP assessment tests your ability to take part in everyday life. It is a points-related assessment.
It is based on your ability to perform ten different activities relating to your daily living needs and two activities relating to your mobility.
The number of points you score will determine whether or not you are entitled to either component of PIP and, if you are, at which rate.
The ten daily living activities
Your ability to carry out daily living activities is assessed by focusing on ten types of such activity. These are:
- Preparing food
- Taking nutrition
- Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- Washing and bathing
- Managing toilet needs or incontinence
- Dressing and undressing
- Communicating verbally
- Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
- Engaging with other people face-to-face
- Making budgeting decisions
The two mobility activities
Your ability to carry out mobility activities is assessed by focusing on two types of such activity.
- Planning and following journeys
- Moving around
Starting the PIP claim for osteoarthritis
You can start your PIP claim by calling 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777) or in Northern Ireland 0800 012 1573 (textphone 0800 012 1574).
The lines are open between 8 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday and are free on BT landlines.
Someone else can make this call on your behalf, but you need to be with them when they do so.
During the call, basic details will be obtained from you, including:
- Your personal contact details and National Insurance number
- The name and contact details of the healthcare professional who is supporting you
- Information about your nationality and whether you have been abroad for any periods over the last three years
- Whether you are in hospital, a hospice or a care home or have been in one of these over the last four weeks
- Details of your bank or building society (for payment purposes)
- Whether you find it difficult to return forms (for instance if you have memory problems)
If you can, have this information ready when you make the call. The information you provide should allow the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), or the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland, to decide whether or not you meet the basic qualifying conditions for PIP.
In this article, we answered the following question: “Can I claim PIP for osteoarthritis?”
We also explained what osteoarthritis is and what is the procedure of claiming Personal Independent Payment (PIP).
In conclusion, PIP is not awarded based on someone’s diagnosis, but on how the condition is affecting one’s day-to-day tasks.
If in doubt, is better to contact the DWP and get advice.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the comments section below.
FAQ on Can I claim PIP for osteoarthritis
Is osteoarthritis classed as a disability?
In some cases, osteoarthritis can be disabling.
The Social Security Administration has specific criteria osteoarthritis must meet to qualify for disability payments such as anatomical deformity of joints, loss of range of motion, and chronic pain.
Can I claim PIP for arthritis?
You can claim PIP for arthritis, but be aware that PIP is not paid simply because you arthritis, but because of the effect that the symptoms of it have on your everyday life.
Will osteoarthritis cripple me?
Osteoarthritis is rarely crippling, but it can have a major impact on a person’s life.
Many people miss work days or skip favorite activities when the pain flares up.
What are the 4 stages of osteoarthritis?
The 4 stages of osteoarthritis are:
Stage 0- Normal.
Stage 1- Minor.
Stage 3- Moderate.
Stage 4- Severe.
What conditions automatically qualify you for PIP?
To be eligible for PIP you must be aged 16 or over, have been born after 8 April 1948 and have a long-term disability or health condition, and need help or support with daily living, or with mobility, or both.
How do doctors check for osteoarthritis?
Doctors check for osteoarthritis by analyzing your blood or joint fluid.
Although there’s no blood test for osteoarthritis, certain tests can help rule out other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
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