US News

Claim PIP for poor eyesight and you could get up to £608 a month from DWP

There are around 188,000 people in Scotland affected by sight loss with that figure expected to double by 2031, according to the charity, Sight Scotland, formerly knows as Royal Blind.

Three out of four Scots with sight loss are aged over 65 with around 8,000 people of working age are registered blind or partially sighted. For adults that lose their sight in later life, it can be very distressing as they feel they are no longer able to enjoy some of the activities they love to do, such as driving, taking part in sports, reading and cooking. Mobility can also be affected and with that comes independence and travel issues.

The latest Personal Independence Payment (PIP) figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that there are 52,614 people claiming the benefit for a visual disease, impairment or condition, including 4,531 Scots.

The shortfall between 188,000 people in Scotland living with sight loss and only 4,318 claiming PIP could be down to a number of factors.

These include:

  • Children under 16 would be claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the new Child Disability payment and not PIP

  • Anyone over State Pension age, who had not previously been on PIP before they started drawing their pension, would be claiming Attendance Allowance

  • People haven’t switched from DLA to PIP yet – this will happen for everyone by 2024

  • People may not realise they are eligible to claim PIP

The most common eye conditions that PIP claimants are living with include:

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

  • Macular Degeneration – Wet and Dry (also referred to as age-related MD)

  • Retina and optic nerve – other diseases of / type not known

  • Diabetic Retinopathy (a condition that can cause vision loss in people with diabetes)

If you have daily living and, or mobility needs, because of a sight condition or low vision, you may be eligible for PIP and should consider making a claim to the DWP.

If you use a white cane – long or short – to help you safely move around outside, you could be eligible for the enhanced rate of the mobility component which is worth £62.55 a week or £250.20 a month.

The legal question on the ‘How Your Disability Affects You’ PIP claim form awards 12 points if you answer ‘yes’ to the following:

  • Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid (for example a white cane)

What are the types of low vision?

The type of low vision that you have depends on the disease or condition that caused your low vision.

The most common types of low vision are:

  • Central vision loss (not being able to see things in the centre of your vision)
  • Peripheral vision loss (not being able to see things out of the corners of your eyes)
  • Night blindness (not being able to see in low light)
  • Blurry or hazy vision

If you have low vision, a degenerative condition in one or both eyes, you may be eligible for PIP

What causes low vision?

Many different eye conditions can cause low vision, but the most common causes are:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Glaucoma

Find out if you can claim PIP by checking the criteria set out by the DWP below.

Who is eligible for PIP?

You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance contributions to qualify for PIP, and it doesn’t matter what your income is, if you have any savings or if you’re in or out of work – or on furlough.

You must also have a health condition or disability where you:

The DWP will judge the eligibility of your PIP claim on a period of 12 months, looking back for three months and forward for nine months – they must consider if your illness changes over time.

You usually need to have lived in Scotland for at least two of the last three years and be in the country when you apply.

PIP daily living and mobility test

If you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying for PIP:

  • preparing, cooking or eating food

  • managing your medication

  • washing, bathing or using the toilet

  • dressing and undressing

  • engaging and communicating with other people

  • reading and understanding written information

  • making decisions about money

  • planning a journey or following a route

  • moving around – outside the home

What is classified as ‘help’ for a PIP claim

You are classified as needing help to do an activity if you need a person or a device to:

You may also be classified as needing help if you do an activity yourself but:

PIP test scoring criteria

The PIP scoring criteria awards points for a statement which applies to you for each activity

The DWP will decide which statement best fits your situation most of the time. You will get a set amount of points ranging from 0 -12 points for each activity.

The total number of points you get for each group of activities will decide whether you are entitled to PIP, and how much money you will receive.

To get the standard rate daily living component, you need to score 8 to 11 points in total for the daily living activities. You need 12 points to get the enhanced rate.

To get the standard rate mobility component, you need to score 8 to 11 points in total for the mobility activities. You need 12 points to get the enhanced rate.

Help Claiming PIP from DWP

How is PIP paid?

PIP is usually paid every four weeks unless you are terminally ill, in which case it is paid every week.

PIP will be paid directly into your bank, building society or credit union account.

What are the PIP payment rates for 2021/22?

PIP is made up of two components – daily living and mobility.

Whether you get one or both of these and how much depends on how severely your condition affects you.

You can get the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:

  • Daily living : standard rate – £60.00

  • Daily living: enhanced rate – £89.60

  • Mobility: standard rate – £23.70

  • Mobility : enhanced rate – £62.55

How you are assessed

You will be assessed by an independent healthcare professional to help the DWP work out the level of help you need.

Face-to-face assessments have restarted and are now being offered alongside telephone interviews and video call consultations. We have full details on preparing for any of these types of assessments here.

Claim PIP for poor eyesight and you could get up to £608 a month from DWP

Did you know there are a number of ways you can stay up to date with the latest money saving and benefits news from the Daily Record?

You can join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for money-saving tips, benefits news, consumer help and advice plus the latest shopping deals.

Sign up to our weekly Record Money newsletter to get our best stories sent straight to your inbox. You can sign up either by entering your email address in the sign up box further up this page or click here.

You can also follow our Twitter account @Recordmoney_ for regular updates here.

How do you make a claim for PIP?

You can make a new claim by contacting the DWP, you’ll find all the information you need to apply on the website here.

Before you call, you’ll need:

  • your contact details, for example telephone number

  • your date of birth

  • your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits

  • your bank or building society account number and sort code

  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number

  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

Once you’ve contacted the DWP, they will send you a document to complete which consists of 14 questions and a section for any additional information.

The questions focus on how your condition affects you – put as much relevant detail in as you can to help the assessor understand your physical and mental health needs.

If you have difficulty filling in your form or understanding the questions, contact your local council and ask for help or Citizens Advice Scotland.

We have a breakdown of all 14 questions here and you can take an anonymous self-test online at Benefits and Work to see how many points you would be awarded for each response.

For more information about PIP, visit GOV.UK here.

Get the latest money-saving and benefits news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our weekly Money newsletterhere.

Source link

Back to top button