Personal Independence Payments (PIP) claimants may risk losing money if they don't mention they’re going on holiday.
Benefit claimants who receive PIP must notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if they are planning to go abroad for four weeks or more. Official guidance states a temporary absence abroad for up to 13 weeks may be allowed, or up to 26 weeks for medical treatment, reports the Mirror.
Anything above this amount could affect your benefit payments. The DWP guidance states: “This change may affect the claimant’s entitlement to PIP. We will need to know the date the claimant is leaving the country, how long they are planning to be out of the country, which country they are going to and why they are going abroad.”
In order to report a change of circumstances, claimants should contact the PIP enquiry line on 0800 121 4433 – lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
What is PIP?
PIP was launched in 2013 to gradually replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It is designed to provide financial support for those who have an illness, disability or mental health condition.
The decision to award you this benefit is based on how your condition affects your life, rather than the illness itself. For example, you may be entitled to the extra support if your condition means you struggle with moving around.
Unlike Universal Credit, PIP isn’t means-tested so it doesn’t matter how much you’re earning, or how much you have in savings.
Applicants are assessed by a health professional to work out what you could be entitled to, and your benefit will be regularly reviewed. Those who can claim PIP must be aged between 16 and the state pension age.
You also need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the previous three years. A claimant's condition will be assessed against the following:
It has caused you difficulties with daily living or getting around for three months
You expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
You should consider applying for PIP if you have trouble with the following:
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
There are different rules if you are terminally ill – see the GOV.uk website for more information. If you qualify for PIP, you could currently get between £23.70 and £152.15 per week – over four weeks, this would add up to £94.80, or a maximum of £608.60.
But the benefit rates are rising from April 6 – as outlined below. PIP is made up of two components – a daily living rate and a mobility rate – and you can be entitled to both or just one of these.
You will be paid the following amounts per week depending on your circumstances:
Standard rate: £60.00 (rising to £61.85 from April 6)
Enhanced rate: £89.60 (rising to £92.40 from April 6)
Standard rate: £23.70 (rising to £24.45 from April 6)
Enhanced rate: £62.55 (rising to £64.50 from April 6)
PIP is usually paid directly to your bank account every four weeks unless you are terminally ill, in which case it is paid every week.