15 years of stammeringlaw 1999-2014
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Personal independence payment

Personal independence payment (PIP) has replaced Disability living allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64. As from June 2013, all new claims by people between those ages are for PIP rather than DLA. Stammering in itself should not normally give an entitlement to PIP. The equivalent benefit for people of retirement age is Attendance allowance.

Introduction to PIP

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with a long-term health condition or impairment. It is paid to make a contribution to the extra costs that disabled people may face, to help them lead full, active and independent lives. Claimants must be age 16-64.

Who is entitled to PIP?

Regulations set out a list of activities, grouped into 'daily living' and 'mobility'. A person can score points under these depending on whether they fit within one of the descriptions ('descriptors') under an activity. Particular numbers of points entitle the person to the daily living component or mobility component of PIP, either at the standard rate or enhanced rate. For details, see Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Factsheet F60 (link to Disability Rights UK), which sets out the rules and has an appendix listing the activities and scores.

One of the descriptors under Activity 7 (Communicating verbally) is: "Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information". This scores 8 points, which is enough to qualify for the daily living component of PIP at the standard rate. If the person scored an additional 4 points under another 'daily living' activity, he or she could claim the enhanced rate (which requires 12 points).

The main Activities relating to speech, and social interaction or anxiety, are:

Much more detailed guidance is given in the DWP's PIP Assessment Guide (pdf, link to dwp.gov.uk). Treatment of fluctuating conditions is dealt with from para 3.2.8. Also para 3.3 deals at length with the important point that the individual is treated as unable to do something unless they can do it 'reliably', ie safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly, and in a timely manner. It also gives commentary on the individual Activities.

Timetable

For new claims by people aged 16-64, PIP took effect in many parts of Northern England from April 2013. In the rest of the country, PIP applies to new claims in that age group as from 10th June 2013.

For existing DLA claimants, there is a phased approach to re-assessment. From 28th October 2013 claimants in Wales, East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia are being invited to claim PIP if certain trigger points happen, for example if an individual reports a change in how a disability affects them. From October 2015 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will start to contact everyone else receiving DLA. So most people getting DLA won't be affected by PIP until 2015 or later.

More: www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/disability/personal-independence-payment/ and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Factsheet F60 (link to Disability Rights UK).

Links on PIP

Attendance allowance

Attendance allowance is the 'equivalent' of PIP and DLA for people aged 65 or over. Quite a high level of disablity is required, and I have not heard of anyone successfully claiming Attendance Allowance for stammering. So far as relevant to stammering, one may be entitled to attendance allowance if one is so severely disabled physically or mentally that one requires from another person frequent 'attention in connection with one's bodily functions' throughout the day. 'Bodily functions' can include speech.

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Last updated 26th October, 2013