MILLIONS of Brits with 'hidden disabilities' could be missing out on hundreds of pounds in vital support.
People with non-visible health conditions may be eligible for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which can be awarded even if you're working or receiving other benefits.
People with 'hidden' health problems, including anxiety, depression, autism and diabetes, can qualify for the extra cash.
The Department of Work and Pensions has seen a record surge in claims for the PIP payments this year.
Over 3 million people are on PIP across the UK, with over 200,000 Brits registering for the support in the first quarter of 2022.
But despite PIP registrations reaching their highest levels since the benefit was introduced in 2013, millions may be unaware that they are also eligible.
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Government guidance by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) explains: "Disabilities occur in many different forms.
"Some people will experience a disability that is outwardly visible to others, whilst others will experience a disability that has no, or little, outward visible signs.
"As you walk down the street or travel by bus or train, you may instantly recognise that a person is disabled.
"For example, they may be in a wheelchair, have difficulty walking, or carry a white stick.
"However, as you look around there may be equally as many, if not more, disabled people you cannot see.
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"For example, they may have autism, a disabling mental health condition, or be living with significant chronic pain. They have a non-visible disability.
"Having a non-visible disability can be just as life-affecting for a person as a visible one.
"There is a wide range of disabilities that are not necessarily ‘visible’ to other people.
What hidden health conditions qualify for PIP?
The DPTAC created a list of non-visible health conditions that would fall under the criteria for a PIP payment:
- Mental health conditions – for example, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, personality disorders
- Autism and Asperger syndrome
- Sensory processing difficulties
- Cognitive impairment, such as dementia, traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities
- 'Non-visible' physical health conditions, such as chronic pain, respiratory conditions, diabetes, incontinence
- Hearing loss
- Low or restricted vision
Figures show that the most common ailment to receive PIP payments is those with a 'psychiatric disorder', which makes up 37% of claims.
How much is PIP?
There are two different amounts, with high and low rates for each one.
Daily living support
- Standard rate – £61.85 a week – equivalent to £247.40 a month, or £3,216.20 a year.
- Enhanced rate – £92.40 a week – equivalent to £369.60 a month, or £4,804.80 a year.
- Standard rate – £24.45 a week – equivalent to £97.80 a month, or £1,271.40 a year.
- Enhanced rate – £64.50 a week – equivalent to £258 a month, or £3,354 a year.
Receiving PIP payments also qualifies recipients for the £150 cost of living payment in September.
The September payment will also go to Brits have received any of the following:
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance for adults
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Personal Independence Payment
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
You must have been eligible for the payments on May 25, 2022.
How to claim PIP payments
You qualify for the support if you meet the following criteria:
- You are aged 16 or over
- You have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
- You have difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around
- You expect the difficulties to last for at least 12 months from when they started
- You are under State Pension age (currently 66) if you have not claimed PIP before
The Personal Independence Payment new claims helpline can be reached for support Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm:
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 917 2222
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What information will I need?
When calling the helpline, the you will need to provide:
- Contact details, such as phone number
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Bank or building society account number and sort code
- Doctor or health worker's name, address and phone number
- Dates and addresses for any time spent in a care home or hospital
- Dates for any time you spent abroad for more than four weeks at a time, and the countries you visited
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