Local Talk

From Richmond AID

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JonquilleTW Tue 09-Jul-13 20:40:57

The Summer edition of our Disability News, and an information sheet about the new disability benefit Personal Independence Payments (which has now replaced DLA for adults for all new claims). In it you will find news on new buddy schemes in Richmond and Kingston, Twickenham Town Centre, changes to library services and more.

Do contact any of Richmond AID’s services, staff and volunteers if we can advise or support on anything relating to the newsletter, or anything else.


Richmond AID

Personal Independence Payments
J. Atkinson, Benefits Advisor, Richmond AID

Background The new benefit Personal Independence Payments (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance from 10 June 2013 for all new claims for adults (between the ages of 16 to 64).

People who are currently receiving DLA will, in the future, be invited to claim PIP and they will have to complete the full application process for the new benefit. This will be a gradual process and many people receiving DLA now will not be affected until 2015-17. There is information about how this new benefit affects existing and new claimants of disability benefits below.

Similarities of PIP to DLA:
1. PIP will not be means tested or taxable.
2. It is payable on top of other benefits.
3. It is payable whether you are in work or not.
4. It links to other ‘passported’ benefits, for example premiums and other schemes like the Blue Badge scheme.
5. Special rules apply for terminally ill claimants.

Differences between DLA and PIP:
1. A longer qualifying period – you have to have had the disability or health condition for at least three months and to be likely for it to continue for at least nine months
2. Fewer components – PIP has a ‘standard’ and ‘enhanced’ rate for the mobility and daily living components
3. No indefinite awards – all awards will be reviewed from time to time
4. Face to face assessments for some or most PIP claims
5. New assessment criteria
6. Changes to the appeals process.

Timetable
April 2013: ​PIP introduced for new claimants in selected areas
June 2013: ​PIP extended to all new claimants in all areas of the country
October 2013: The DWP will start to write to the following DLA claimants inviting them to claim PIP.
1. Those claimants who report a change in their needs
2. Those who are reaching the end of a fixed period award (other than if it ends before 24 Feb 2014 in which case they will be able to renew their DLA)
3. Children who reach the age of 16 on or after 7 October
4. Those who choose to switch to PIP
October 2015 – September 2017: All remaining DLA claimants who were between the ages of 16 – 64 on the date PIP was introduced (April 2013) will be contacted about re-assessment under PIP
May 2018: All current DLA cases should have been re-assessed for PIP.

The Application Process

Making a claim

Initial claim:
The first stage is a phone call to DWP to advise that you wish to claim PIP. They will ask a number of preliminary questions. This includes personal details, name address etc. However a large part of the form deals with information about nationality and residence. Paper claims will not be used but an on line claim form should be available from Spring 2014 (18 pages). The DWP will then send out the main claim form.

Telling your story:
Claimant completes the ‘How your disability affects you’ claim form. This covers a range of activities and your ability to carry them out, on both good and bad days. You should also send any supporting information.

Assessment:
Claim is passed to a ‘medical professional’ in our case this will be ATOS.
Most people will be called for a face to face consultation although they can make a decision based on the information provided. It is thought that about 25% will not need the face to face assessment.

The medical professional will assess the claimant against the daily living and mobility criteria. The majority of them will be NHS staff and there is the possibility that local hospitals could be used for the assessment. All venues should be accessible. Home visits can be made where appropriate. It is estimated that around 8% will take place in the home.

The decision:
ATOS will provide a report for the DWP case manager who will allocate the appropriate points. They will also decide on the length of the award. The maximum length of award will be 10 years.

Assessment criteria

Components:
There will be two components of PIP. The daily living component and the mobility component. Each one will be payable at either the standard or the enhanced rate.

Daily Living Activities range​​​​​​Points

1. Preparing food​​​​​​​0 - 8
2. Taking nutrition​​​​​​​0 - 10
3. Managing therapy or monitoring health condition​​0 - 8
4. Washing and bathing​​​​​​0 - 8
5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence​​​​0 - 8
6. Dressing and undressing​​​​​​0 - 8
7. Communicating verbally​​​​​​0 - 12
8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words​0 - 8
9. Engaging with others face to face​​​​​0 - 8
10. Making budget decisions​​​​​​0 - 6

Mobility activities

1. Planning and following journeys​​​​​0 - 12
2. Moving around​​​​​​​0 - 12


The award:
The decision maker will award points for each criteria and will add them up to establish the rate of the benefit that is payable. 8 to 11 points will entitle the claimant to the standard rate. 12 points and over will entitle the claimant to the enhanced rate.

The decision maker should take into consideration the impact of the condition and how this affects the claimant’s ability to live independently.
Like DLA, it is not the condition itself but the way the condition affects the individual.

In order to assess the claimant against the descriptors they must be able to undertake the activity ‘reliably’. This means;

• Safely – in a manner unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity.
• To an acceptable standard.
• Repeatedly – as often as reasonably required.
• In a reasonable time period - no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non disabled person would normally take.

Aids and appliances:
The assessment takes account of where an aid or appliance is needed to complete an activity. This includes an aid the claimant actually uses or could reasonably be expected to use. In order to assess reasonableness the decision maker will take into account;

• Is the aid or appliance widely available?
• Is it available at no or low cost
• Is it medically reasonable for the claimant to use it?
• Is the claimant able to use and store the aid or appliance?
• Has the claimant been given professional advice about using an aid or appliance, or would have been given such advise by a medical professional
• Is the claimant able to use the aid or appliance due to their physical or mental health condition?

Needing to use an aid or appliance would normally receive a higher points score than if you can carry out the activity without the aid or appliance.


Appeals

‘Mandatory reconsideration’:
A new step has been introduced so that you are no longer able to go straight to appeal. If you wish to query the PIP award you will need to contact the DWP and explain why you are unhappy about the award and send them any additional information and reports that you may have.

You need to ask the Department for Work and Pensions for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. You’ll receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ as a response.

Appeals:
If you are still unhappy with the decision you can then take the case forward to an appeals tribunal. Fill in ‘Notice of appeal against a decision of the Department for Work and Pensions - SSCS1’ and send it to the address on the form. Include the mandatory reconsideration notice with your paperwork. You have a calendar month from the date of mandatory reconsideration notice to make your appeal.

As far as we are aware the process from here on is the same as DLA appeals.



Richmond AID
4 Waldegrave road
Teddington
TW11 8HT
http://www.richmondaid.org.uk/
advice@richmondaid.org.uk
SMS/ text
07894 215835

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