DWP benefits you can claim on top of PIP as thousands face cash cuts in reforms

A woman sat at a table overwhelmed with financial issues, with a child sat on her lap
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


People receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition may be able to boost their income with other benefits. Concerns are being expressed by many claimants over proposals that could replace their PIP cash payments with vouchers, leaving them out of pocket by up to £9,500 a year.

A Green Paper on the changes, put forward by the DWP under the previous Conservative government, is out for consultation until July 22. Labour has indicated it will study the plans and the feedback given by disabled people and campaigners.

PIP currently pays between £114.80 and £737.20 every four weeks. It's not means-tested so the amount is not affected by income or savings, though only 14 per cent of PIP claimants are in work. With the possibility of cash payments being scrapped, here are the other forms of financial support that may be available.

READ MORE:

The Department for Work and Pensions says there is a wide range of disability-related financial help on offer. This can include Universal Credit, which has a top-up called LCWRA (limited capability for work and work-related activity) for those who are medically unfit to work.

Being in the LCWRA category pays an extra £416 a month after a work capability assessment. In future, this is set to be replaced by a Universal Credit Health Element which can only be accessed by those who already receive PIP. So a successful application for PIP will become crucial for this.

Another benefit that could help is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). While income-related ESA is no longer open to new claims because it's a legacy benefit and is being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit, New Style ESA could be an option if you have paid NI contributions in the past two to three years.

You can claim New Style ESA even if your partner works or you and your partner have savings over £16,000 because - unlike many means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit - it has no capital limits. It is a regular fortnightly payment and also provides you with Class 1 National Insurance credits, which can help towards your State Pension and other contributory benefits in the future.

But be warned that if New Style ESA is claimed along with Universal Credit, it's counted as income and is deducted from your payment, leaving you no better off overall. New Style ESA is paid at a rate of £90.50 a week if you are in the work-related activity group (where you are expected to prepare for finding a job) and £138.20 a week if you are in the support group (which has no work requirements).

You may qualify for a top-up called a disability premium if you are on PIP and also get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), or Housing Benefit. Working Tax Credit has a disability element too.

However, all these are being replaced by Universal Credit so no new applications are being accepted and only existing claimants can get the premiums added. If you are receiving one of these benefits with a disability premium and have to move to Universal Credit under the DWP's managed migration, the total amount you receive will initially be kept at the same level by what's called transitional protection.

If you get the mobility element of PIP, you might be eligible for a Blue Badge and a vehicle tax discount or exemption. You may also qualify for a Motability Scheme vehicle if you get the enhanced rate of the mobility component.

In addition, people receiving either the daily living or mobility part of PIP can get a Disabled Persons Railcard and may be able to obtain a discount on their council tax and local bus travel. Council Tax Support criteria vary with each local authority so you would need to check.

If someone helps to look after you, they may be able to get Carer's Allowance or Carer's Credit. You could also get Carer's Allowance on top of your own PIP if you are able to provide care for someone else because they have different disability needs to your own.

Some other benefit claims can end up reducing your PIP, however. If you get Constant Attendance Allowance you will get less of the daily living part of PIP and if you get War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement you will not get the mobility part of PIP.

Get all the latest money, shopping and DWP stories on BirminghamLive's Money Saving Group on WhatsApp. Join our dedicated community for up-to-date news, helpful tips and essential information. You can also get a daily round-up and breaking news updates by signing up to our Money Saving Newsletter with a selection of top stories on benefits, pensions, finances, bills and shopping discounts.