In this guide, we will discuss how to claim PIP for depression.
How to claim PIP for depression?
You may be wondering “How to claim PIP for depression?”, well, first of all, PIP means a Personal Independence Payment. But, what is a PIP?
Well, this is considered a disability benefit you can get, if you need help with the extra cost of living because of ill health or disability (Rethink Mental Illness).
Here are some key aspects:
- PIP will replace Disability Living Allowance for people of working age (16 to 64 years).
- PIP is made up of 2 parts, ‘daily living’ and ‘mobility’. These are known as components.
- Each component can be paid at either a ‘standard’ or ‘enhanced’ rate.
- You will need to fill in a form to say how your mental illness affects your daily activities.
- You may have to go to a face to face medical assessment.
- Try to get supporting evidence from your health care professionals.
Glenn Brooks, a legal specialist indicates that “A properly completed pip claim form is the foundation for getting the right outcome on your claim, whether you end up with the right award when your claim is first dealt with, after a Mandatory Reconsideration or an appeal to an independent tribunal. You need to know where the Healthcare Professional and Decision Maker are coming from, as well as what the law says the words and phrases in the test mean.”
PIP is not based on the condition you have or the medication you take.
It is based on the level of help you need because of how your condition affects you.
You’re assessed on the level of help you need with specific activities.
It’s hard to say if the level of help you need will qualify you for PIP.
The help you get may be from a person, an aid (such as a walking stick or guide dog) or an adaptation to your home or car.
You may be eligible for PIP if you’re under State Pension age (and over 16) and need help with daily living activities or getting around, or both.
If you’re awarded PIP before you’re of State Pension age, you’ll continue to receive it after too.
You can still make a claim if you’re working.
Jan 2018 PIP changes
“In December 2017 the courts ruled that recent restrictions to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) discriminated against people with mental health problems. The Government has now said that they won’t appeal this ruling (mind.org.uk).”
In addition, “PIP is awarded in two parts. If you are claiming PIP for a mental health problem, one part will look at how your mental health affects your daily life, and the other will look at how your mental health affects your ability to travel and make journeys. In March 2017 the Government changed the law so that people who find it hard to make journeys because they experience overwhelming distress are entitled to less support from PIP than other people.”
According to www.gov.uk, to be eligible for PIP you must be between 16 and your State Pension age.
You can check your State Pension age here. In addition, you must also:
- find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition – you can make a claim whether you get help from another person or not
- have found these things hard for 3 months and expect it to continue for another 9 months
- usually be living in England, Scotland or Wales when you apply
- have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 years – unless you’re a refugee or an immediate family member of a refugee
There are some exceptions if you’re terminally ill or if you are part of the armed forces or a close family member of someone who is, the above rules on living in England, Wales or Scotland won’t apply.
Also, if you’re already getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the Department for Work Pensions (DWP) asks you to claim PIP there are other rules.
However, if you have a terminal illness the rules about how long you’ve found things hard and been living in England, Wales or Scotland for 2 years don’t apply.
You can get PIP if you have a mental or physical condition that is significantly affecting your day to day life activities.
These activities include:
- Preparing food and eating
- Washing and bathing
- Planning and following journeys
- Shopping and paying bills
- Speaking to others
What can I spend my PIP on?
PIP is paid to help with the extra costs that come with having a long-term health problem.
But there are no restrictions on what you can spend your PIP on. You might use your PIP to get taxis if traveling by public transport is difficult.
Or you might pay someone to help you around the home.
Or you could use your PIP for everyday living costs.
If you get help from your local authority (LA) under the Care Act, which is often known as ‘social care’ or ‘community care,’ your LA will do a financial assessment to see if you should pay anything towards your care.
If you get the daily living component of PIP, they may take this into account when doing your financial assessment.
They should ignore the mobility component of PIP.
You can find more information about, Welfare benefits and mental illness, Employments and Support Allowances, Benefits for carers, Charging for Social Care at www.rethink.org. Or call our General Enquiries team on 0121 522 7007 and ask them to send you a copy of their factsheet.
When to apply for PIP?
If you are applying for the first time, due to disability or long-term health condition, you will need to apply for PIP and you can do it at any time.
But if you have been receiving DLA before and were born after 8 April 1948, the DWP will write to you to explain how to re-apply for PIP.
Additionally, if getting DLA, and there has been a change in your condition, you need to contact the Disability Service Center on 0800 121 4433 (textphone 0800 121 4493) to tell them about this change.
You may be asked whether you would like to claim PIP straightaway.
How do I start my PIP claim?
Step one: To start your claim call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777).
They will ask for basic information and then send you a claim form.
Step two: Fill in the claim form. If you need any help with this, contact your local Age UK.
Step three: Your claim will be assessed by a healthcare professional and you might have a face-to-face assessment.
Step four: You’ll get a score based on how much help you need and this will affect how much PIP you’ll receive.
Step five: You will be informed of the decision on your claim. If your claim is turned down you can challenge it.
Questions you will be asked
When you call in to apply for PIP, you will be asked to provide some information to check that you are eligible to make a claim.
This call should not take more than 20 mins and it can help you to get prepared in advance.
According to the epilepsysociety.org.uk, you will be asked:
- Your personal contact details (DOB, National insurance number)
- The information from your GP or neurologist (name, address, and postcode)
- Your bank account details, so you can get paid directly into your account if your claim is successful.
- Whether you have spent any time living abroad (your ‘residency’). To qualify for PIP you must have been in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years, and you must usually live in Great Britain;
- About any time you have spent in hospital or a care home in the last year, as this may affect your claim; and.
What you’ll get
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is usually paid every 4 weeks and it is tax-free.
In addition, you can get it whether you’re in or out of work.
“You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you’ll get. Your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you’re getting the right support. PIP is made up of 2 parts. Whether you get one or both of these and how much you’ll get depends on how severely your condition affects you (gov.uk).”
Daily living part
The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £58.70 or £87.65.
The weekly rate for the mobility part of PIP is either £23.20 or £61.20.
You’ll get the higher daily living part if you’re not expected to live more than 6 months.
The rate of the mobility part depends on your needs.
How other benefits affect your PIP
If you get PIP and Constant Attendance Allowance, the ‘daily living’ part of your PIP will be reduced by the amount of Constant Attendance Allowance you get.
How you’re paid
All benefits, pension, and allowances are paid into an account, for example, your bank account.
When will I get notified?
The DWP will assess your claim and will decide whether you are entitled to receive PIP, at what rate and for how long through a letter about the decision and specifications.
If the claim is unsuccessful, or if your situation has changed you can challenge this (within the 1-month calendar of the date of the decision) by asking for mandatory consideration.
If you are not satisfied with this reconsideration outcome, you can appeal, and you need to do this within the 1-month calendar of the mandatory reconsideration response letter.
The epilepsysociety.org.uk indicates that “The latest government statistics show that more than half of PIP decisions are changed after mandatory reconsideration or appeal.”
Why is this blog about “How to claim PIP for depression” important?
If you suffer from depression you know how disabling it can be.
However, you have heard about a PIP claim where you can get support from the Government to cover your needs.
It is important to be aware of how to claim PIP, what are the steps and what to do if you claim unsuccessful.
Also, it is important to remember that DLA and PIP are difficult to compare because they have different criteria for you to receive a higher rate of living allowance.
For many people, it was discouraging that they could only get PIP if they had a physical disability and not being mentally ill.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section below!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.