Help with Claiming Benefits
Claiming benefits can be a complex and frustrating process. Our principal advice for Behçet’s patients and carers is ‘never give up’. Keep enquiring until you are clear of your full entitlement. We have provided some information here to assist you.
Benefits and Work: Guides you can trust
Click here for an excellent information website that offers detailed advice for people claiming benefits of every kind. They offer template letters and advice on how to fill in appeals etc.
Click here to see details of benefits that could be available to you.
It is more important than ever that patients collect evidence to support PIP applications, recent consultant letters are the most accurate record of current state of health.
Support Coordinators can signpost patients to agencies for more detailed benefits or money advice.
Support Co-ordinators write general support letters to go with benefits application and explain how Behcet’s impacts on daily life.
Patients should be aware that they are not necessarily entitled to PIP and other benefits and that an award is not guaranteed.
Support Coordinators can support patients to stay in work and education by liaising with employers, schools, colleges and Universities for example in discussing reasonable adjustments and by providing the relevant support letters.
Personal Independent Payment (PIP) is a non means-tested benefit that is designed to support people with disabilities and long-term health conditions that impact on their activities of daily living and/or mobility.
It recognises that people living with a disability or chronic health condition are likely to have higher living costs.
The PIP application and award is split into those two components (daily living and mobility) so some people just receive an award for daily living or mobility.
Others might receive a daily living and mobility component.
Before you decide whether to apply for PIP, you need to read the Government ‘eligibility criteria’. Having a disability or chronic illness does not make you automatically eligible and instead relies on the extent to which your condition impacts on your day-to-day life.
PIP isn’t an easy benefit to apply for so our advice is to be well prepared before you begin the process.
The score system is;
- to get standard rate for care and or mobility you need to score a minimum of 8;
- for the enhanced rate a score of 12.
The assessor may not know a lot about the condition as it is not common, so you will need to inform them.
Take your Behçet’s information pack with you.
If you disagree with the decision that’s been made about your Personal Independence Claim (PIP), you can challenge it within one month of the date on the letter.
You can challenge the decision if:
- You didn’t get it at all
- you got a lower rate than you expected
- you think your award isn’t long enough
For your information: Whenever a case is opened, the entire award can be withdrawn and or, the component scoring can end up being lowered.
If the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) did not change their decision when you asked them to look at it again during the Mandatory Reconsideration stage, you can appeal to an independent panel, called Tribunal.
The Tribunal is part of the court system, it is not part of the DWP.
Worth knowing: According to the Citizens Advice Bureau website, more than 50% of the people appealing a PIP decision win at tribunal. So, although the process can be draining, if you feel the decision is wrong, don’t be put off.
The Tribunal looks at the evidence from both sides, then makes a final decision.