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How to make sure Personal Independence Payment (PIP) works for you

Whether you previously received Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or you’re receiving a mobility allowance for the first time, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a new payment with new processes, so it’s important to know how these might affect you.

PIP is issued by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with everyday tasks and mobility. It replaces the old DLA, so now anyone making a disability claim applies for PIP. We’ve rounded up some of the key things you should know when you’re new to PIP and how the Motability Scheme could help you.

What’s the difference between DLA and PIP?

The DLA has two parts: mobility, paid at two different rates; and care, paid at three rates. This rate is dependent on how much personal care you need and how difficult it is for you to get around outdoors. DLA will only available to some people: those under 16 and over 65.

PIP also has two parts: daily living and mobility. Both have a standard or enhanced rate, awarded after a points-based assessment with a health professional. To receive PIP for mobility, you will be assessed on your ability to get around, but also your ability to plan for and undertake a journey.

For more information on how PIP is assessed, you can visit the GOV UK website.

Motability Scheme customer sitting in car

You might qualify for mobility allowance for the first time with PIP

PIP and your Blue Badge

People who received the higher rate of the DLA mobility component are automatically eligible for a Blue Badge under PIP. However, not all PIP recipients will be able to apply for a Blue Badge. Under PIP, you will need to have scored at least 8 points in the ‘moving around’ section of the assessment before you can apply for a Blue Badge.

How long does PIP last for?

After the assessment, a decision letter explains how long you will receive PIP. Remember that PIP is not open-ended; your award will usually be for a fixed period, with another assessment before it is renewed. While there may be some exceptions where an ongoing award continues, you should expect a fixed period.

Even so, your eligibility may be reassessed halfway through that fixed period or closer to the end. You should look out for any letters in the post from the DWP about your award and respond to them straight away. According to gov.uk, “Your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you’re getting the right support”.

What happens if your allowance stops unexpectedly

There are some circumstances that might stop you from receiving more payments. The DWP can sometimes contact you by letter far in advance of your award period ending and if you don’t respond, they may stop the payments.

You should let the DWP know if your circumstances change; for instance, if your condition improves or worsens, you go abroad for over four weeks, or you get public funds to help with the costs of running a car (find out more about what circumstances may change at the Citizens Advice Bureau).

If the DWP decide to reduce your payments and you think that this is unfair, you can challenge their decision within a month. It costs nothing to do this, and statistics show that over half of PIP decisions are changed after reconsideration or appeals to a tribunal—so it’s worth the effort if you think you that the DWP is not fully aware of your needs. You can check out the CAB website for more information on the appeals process.

Motability Scheme customer in cafe

You can appeal the decision from the DLA if your allowance ends

How to renew your allowance in time

Because most PIP awards are for a fixed period, you’ll need to renew the application before your term runs out—don’t assume that there will be an automatic renewal! It’s normal for the DWP to write to you around three months before the renewal date to give you a reminder about making a new claim.

We would recommend making a new claim before this, however. You can actually apply up to six months before your fixed term end and if you get your application in early, there is less chance of a gap between the two periods of PIP while the new application is considered.

You may also hear from the DWP at any time asking for a review of your PIP. This involves filling a straightforward review form, and you can get some good advice on how to fill out your review form from CAB. Make sure that you always respond to any requests from the DWP to review your needs to make sure your allowance continues.

Motability Scheme customer in car

Filling out a review form from the DWP is very straightforward and there’s help available

How the Motability Scheme can help

If you qualify for the mobility allowance through PIP and you didn’t previously do so with DLA, you might not know about the Motability Scheme and what it can do for you. The Motability Scheme enables you to exchange this allowance for leasing a car (including adaptations you might need), mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. This lease lasts for three years and is hassle-free — insurance, road tax etc is all covered! After three years, if you so wish, you can switch your car for a new model.

If your PIP ends during your Motability Scheme lease

There is always a possibility that your PIP might end before the end of your lease with the Motability Scheme, due to a review of your award or a change in your circumstances. If the DWP decide you are no longer eligible for the higher rate mobility allowance, you are responsible for keeping us informed and we will need to make arrangements to collect the vehicle. You will only need to pay the cost of the lease until the vehicle is returned and if you paid an Advance Payment, we may refund this to you on a pro-rata basis.

If your allowance stops following an unsuccessful DLA to PIP reassessment, we’ll be in touch to support you through the transition.

Find out if you qualify for the Scheme

It’s very easy to see if you qualify for the Scheme using our eligibility checker. You can also find out more by ordering a free information pack that includes details on joining and a list of featured cars on the Scheme. If you are eligible to join, it’s incredibly simple to sort out your lease, choose a vehicle, and enjoy the freedom the Scheme can give you!

Read more articles like this:

Everything you need to know about PIP

Dealer Jonathan talks us through joining the Motability Scheme

Choosing the right mobility scooter for you

Enhancements to PIP Transitional Support Package

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