Here at the MS-UK Helpline we’ve noticed that we have had a lot more calls lately from clients about Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is not entirely unexpected as PIP has been in the news a lot lately. There has been confusion over proposed changes to PIP assessments and the fact that the government is now not going to implement their proposed change to the benefit after all.
We’ve also noticed that many people who have been receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on ‘lifetime’ awards are only now receiving letters from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) inviting them to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
We thought that we would share with blog readers some of the useful tools and guides we use when helping clients.
One of the great resources that we use when helping clients with welfare rights issues is the ‘Disability Rights Handbook’ published by Disability Rights UK. Disability Rights UK is a national charity run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions. MS-UK are a member organisation working with Disability Rights UK, meaning that along with over three hundred and twenty other organisations we can access their high level benefits support service. This means that if we cannot answer a client’s benefits enquiry ourselves we can tap into the expertise that is needed.
The Disability Rights Handbook is updated yearly and is a detailed guide to both disability benefits and independent living. Although available to the public, the Handbook is mainly used by advisors as it can be quite complicated to read due to its thorough and incredibly detailed content. The Handbook is an essential tool for our Helpline team!
Disability Rights UK also produce some really useful factsheets and guides which are all listed and available to download from their website. One of the guides we have been sharing with clients a lot recently is: Disability Rights UK Factsheet ‘F60’ – ‘Personal Independence Payment – free guide to making a claim’. A hard copy of the guide can be ordered from Disability Rights UK’s shop or downloaded for free as a word document.
One of the things the Helpline team really like about this guide is that it makes suggestions for people with fluctuating conditions to keep and submit a diary with their PIP claim and it even gives an example diary of someone with MS, which is really useful.
If PIP affects you, we hope that by knowing about these resources it helps you to be able to be as informed as you can be. If you need support, we want you to know that the Helpline team is here if you need us. The Helpline team all have benefits training and are able to give quality information and support to people contacting our service. We can spend time you and support you to understand the processes involved and to be able to articulate you needs to the DWP in a way that we hope will help you gain the right level of benefits for your personal circumstances.
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