Universal Credit has become the most common type of benefit and is for people who are out of work or in low-paid employment. It also replaces Employment and Support Allowance. You can get Universal Credit if you are unfit for work but you have to have a serious health problem in order to claim an increased payment.
Important disability-related benefits are:
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Carer's Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance is for people who are ill or have disabilities which make it hard for them to work. ESA is being replaced by Universal Credit, but it is still important for many people. In due course, the Department for Work and Pensions will move you from ESA to Universal Credit. This is called "migration". The transfer from ESA to UC can potentially reduce your payment. It is very important to get advice and maximise your claim.
The Law Centre can assist clients with any ESA assessment forms, and if the DWP decides after an assessment that you are fit for work we can ask for a review and appeal your case to a tribunal if appropriate. The Law Centre can also arrange for a medical report from a consultant which can be very helpful in establishing the true extent of your illness or disability.
Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment is for people who have more serious disabilities. It is the successor to Disability Living Allowance. You might have extra care needs or difficulty getting around. The Law Centre can assist clients in claiming PIP.This involves calling the relevant department to ask for a form. The PIP form is extremely lengthy and claimants have to comply with a number of conditions, known as “descriptors”, in order to qualify. We can assist with filling in the form and ask for a review or an appeal if your claim is unsuccessful.
Carer’s Allowance is for people who spend at least 35 hours per week providing regular care to someone who has a disability. The person who you care for must be getting a relevant benefit such as Personal Independence Payment. The Law Centre can assist you in applying. In addition, we can also advise you how getting carer’s allowance can affect any other benefits you get. This can be very important - an award of Carer's Allowance might have an effect on other benefits you or a member of your family receive. So be sure to get advice.