As a Claimant lawyer representing those who have suffered serious injuries which cause significant disability, such as a spinal cord injury, welfare benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can be essential in helping someone financially whilst their claim is in the early stages before an interim payment is secured from the other party's insurance company.

PIP is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of a long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64. It is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The rate depends on how the condition affects a person with daily living and getting around, not the condition itself. It is made up of 2 components (parts); daily living component and mobility component. Whether you get one or both of these will depends on how the condition affects that person. You must have had these difficulties for 3 months and expect them to last for at least 9 months.

Daily living difficulties include needing help with such things as:

preparing or eating food

washing, bathing and using the toilet

dressing and undressing

reading and communicating

managing your medicines or treatments

making decisions about money

engaging with other people

In addition the mobility component of PIP will apply if you need help going out or moving around.

A quote from the Department for Work and Pensions website states;-

'Recent legal judgments have interpreted the assessment criteria for PIP in ways that are different to what was originally intended. The government is now making amendments to clarify the criteria, to restore the original aim of the policy and ensure support goes to those most in need.'

Many charities claim people will be left without vital financial support. The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) said about 160,000 recipients of Personal Independence Payments would be affected if the changes go ahead.

Let's hope that any changes will not result in any claimants seeing a reduction in the amount of PIP previously awarded