Britons with Long Covid may get up to £608 per month via PIP
Personal Independence Payment: Advice on how to claim
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New research shows two million people may have had Long Covid in the UK which is when symptoms last for 12 weeks or more. However, despite the fact that it is thought to have affected a third of all Britons, the majority are unaware that they could have been claiming extra financial help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are for UK residents who are living with a health condition or disability that affects everyday life.
Although Long Covid symptoms such as extreme tiredness, shortness of breath or depression and anxiety fall into this category, experts fear that not enough people know that they could be entitled to claim.
The figures show that since July 2021 only 105 people across England, Scotland and Wales have made a claim for PIP because they are, or have been, suffering with Long Covid that has affected their ability to work or complete everyday tasks.
This would appear to indicate that millions of Britons are suffering in silence because they aren’t aware that they could get extra financial help from the Government.
People can make a claim even if they haven’t claimed PIP before, or if Covid has made a previous disability or condition worse.
These payments are not means tested, so how much income or savings a person has doesn’t affect a person’s claim.
There are two parts to PIP – the first part is the daily living component, set at either £60.00 or £89.60 per week.
The weekly sum for the mobility part is either £23.70 or £62.55, so Britons who qualify for both parts will get £608 a month.
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What are the symptoms of Long Covid?
Some of the common symptoms of Long Covid include tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness and problems with memory and concentration.
Other problems which could affect someone’s ability to get back to normal are: difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, dizziness pins and needles, joint pain and depression and anxiety.
Lesser known problems that can linger for 12 weeks are earache, feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite, headaches and rashes.
Applicants will be assessed by an independent healthcare professional to help the DWP work out how much they are entitled to.
Although in person assessments have now restarted, these are being used in combination with telephone and video based assessments.
Even if people haven’t had Long Covid, there is a lack of knowledge around other conditions that could make Britons eligible for PIP payments which are slowly replacing disability benefits.
There’s a full list of conditions on the Citizens Advice website but some examples include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety disorders and panic disorder as well as more obvious physical conditions.
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People who think they could be eligible for this extra payment are being urged to apply on the gov.uk website.
Meanwhile, thousands of people could be due up to £15,000 in backdated Personal Independence Payments (PIP) because they haven’t been paid the correct amount.
More than 320,000 Britons are thought to have been underpaid PIP by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which is now checking for potential underpayments which could add up to the sum of £15,000.
This follows a Supreme Court judgement in July 2019 which found that the DWP had not been awarding the correct points to some claimants with mental health conditions.
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