PIP

PIP or Personal Independent Payment is the Government's new disability allowance. It has had it's fair share of controversy and criticism – but the current system is what we are stuck with.

The PIP is divided into two components;

  • Daily living, and
  • Mobility

Each component is then spit into two rates;

  • Standard, and
  • Enhanced.

To apply for the PIP you need to give the helpline a call and they will send you a form to complete. When you call, they will ask you some initial questions and then send the form. The form will have the date that you need to send it back – make sure you do send it back before the date because they are very strict. 

Before you start filling the form out, to make a list of how the dialysis/the CKD affects you and your ability to do anything. Also thinking about the stuff you can do but  you need help with or have to make adjustments to do. You might have been adjusting for so long that it might feel normal the way you do it – but it still should go on the list.

You will need as much detail as possible to give an accurate explanation as to how your condition affects you in relation to the point scoring activities.

Include any problems caused by the effects of any medication or treatment you receive.

Your condition will be assessed as it is likely to be over the course of 12 months. The description you should give is the one which is correct for the majority of the time.

The form will take you through the following categories;

Preparing food

  • Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided
  • Needs to use an aid or appliance to either prepare or cook a simple meal
  • Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave
  • Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal
  • Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal
  • Cannot prepare and cook food

Taking nutrition

  • Can take nutrition unaided

Needs:

  • to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition
  • supervision to be able to take nutrition
  • assistance to be able to cut up food

  • Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition
  • Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition
  • Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so

Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

Either:

  • Does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; 
  • Can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided

Needs either :

  • To use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or
  • Supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition

  • Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition that takes no more than 3.5 hours per week
  • As above, but more than 3.5 hours but no more than 7 hours per week
  • As above, but more than 7 hours but no more than 14 hours per week
  • As above, but more than 14 hours per week

Washing and bathing

  • Can wash and bath unaided
  • Needs to use an aid or appliance
  • Needs supervision or prompting
  • Needs assistance to be able to wash their hair or body below the waist
  • Needs assistance to be able to get in and out of a bath or shower
  • Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist
  • Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body

Managing toilet needs or incontinence

  • Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided
  • Needs to use an aid or appliance
  • Needs supervision or prompting
  • Needs assistance to manage toilet needs
  • Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel

Dressing and undressing

  • Can dress and undress unaided
  • Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress

Needs either:

  • Prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or
  • Prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing

  • Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress the lower body

As above, but upper body

  • Cannot dress or undress at all

Communicating Verbally 

  • Can express and understand verbal information unaided
  • Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear
  • Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information
  • Needs communication support to be able to understand basic verbal information
  • Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support

Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words

Engaging with other people face to face

Making budgeting decisions

Planning and following journeys.

  • Assessing the ability to plan, follow and take a journey unaided (particular relevance in mental health, learning disability, sensory loss).

Moving around

  • Assessing the ability to stand and then walk.

While thinking about what you can and can not do and what adjustments you have to make – use everyday examples to show the reality of our dialysis/CKD affects your life.

If you find the form daunting or confusing then there is a lot of help out there for you. Citizens Advice is very good – they can help with the whole process. Kidney charities have information on their websites for PIP. And most kidney/dialysis units have a renal social worker who you can speak too.

With your form, you will also need to supply evidence. As an example, with mine I provided;

  • A list of my medication,
  • A letter from the Renal Psychologist,
  • A letter from the nephrology consultant, and
  • A letter from the GP.

Once the form is filled out and send off with your evidence, the DWP will assess your form and you'll receive an assessment date with either Capita or ATOS. The assessment is about an hour with someone assessing you – they will ask you questions, ask you to do some simple things and all the time, they are assessing you.

You can take someone with you and I would recommend this.

After the assessment you normally receive a response from the DWP within 12 weeks. They will tell you how many points you got for each section and if you are entitled to any money – and if so, how much.

Payments are made into your bank once every 4 weeks and are tax free. PIP is not means tested.

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