Frequently asked questions

What is PIP?


PIP is currently replacing DLA in both Mobility and Care component. Unlike DLA it will only have 2 levels they are Standard and Enhanced in both Daily living (was Care on DLA) and Mobility. This may mean that people that are on the lower rate currently may move up or not be able to have all elements of PIP. Like DLA PIP is not means tested but need tested. You can claim if you are in or out of work and you can spend the money how you like. PIP is for people between 16-64, applicants over 64 on 8th April 2013 will need to apply for attendance allowance. There is a point based system that has taken into account fluctuating needs and communication difficulties. Unlike DLA there is access to how people are scored, this can be helpful to know what the assessor is looking for.




How do I apply for PIP?


For new applicants: You will need to make a call to (DWP) Department of Work and Pensions (08009172222) with the individual that you are applying for to give information on: · Claimants personal details and contact details · Residency details · Any periods spent in hospital, residential care · If claiming under special rule for terminally ill · Payment details (where the money is going to be paid) Please have these details with you when making the call as well as the individual’s National insurance number. If you are unable to claim by phone, then paper claim forms are available. This initial claim form is called a PIP1. You can see a copy of this form on the DWP website but you cannot print a copy to use. If you live in Great Britain and want to use a paper claim form then you must write to the address below to claim a PIP1. Personal Independence Payment New Claims Post Handling Site B Wolverhampton WV99 1AH For people with DLA: If you are between 16-64 on 8th April 2013 you do not need to do anything the DWP will contact you, with information on how to apply and a date to do this by.




What help is there to complete the PIP form?


Make yourself aware of the points system, prompting is classed as helping and always think of what happen most of the time not as an occasional skill. To receive PIP you need to score 8 points for Standard rate Daily living and 12 points for enhanced daily living and mobility. Also National Autistic Society have a good link to the points system for ASD adults which you can see from https://www.autism.org.uk/about/benefits-care/benefits/pip.aspx Be honest on the form, complete on what would be the worse day scenario and use some of the key words in the scoring, writing the worst first. A fluctuated condition has been thought of in the assessment. As long as the condition effects the individual for at least half the year in total (ie one week ok the next week not, or can talk to the bus driver but unable to talk to anyone else) you are entitled to apply. Please send additional evidence with form (Diagnosis, specialists, prescriptions, behavioural support, care needs assessment, GP report etc.) If you are still struggling contact Emilymay on emilymay@kentautistic.com with the date it is due back and the town you would like to meet and she will try and organise a time to meet NOTE: PHOTOCOPY, SCAN OR PHOTOGRAPH ALL DOCUMENTS BEFORE SENDING




What help is there completing the ESA form?


Confirm it is a ESA50 form which will say on the front page. Answer the question how you feel most of the time, and they need to know the worst days rather than the best. The form has two parts, Physical function and Mental, Cognitive and Intellectual, each will have a score system for each question. Make yourself aware of the point system and use key words from this when completing the form. National Autism Society have a good help page and link to completing the form https://www.autism.org.uk/about/benefits-care/benefits/esa.aspx Please send additional evidence with form (Diagnosis, specialists, prescriptions, behavioural support, care needs assessment, GP report etc.) If you are still struggling contact Emilymay on emilymay@kentautistic.com with the date it is due back and the town you would like to meet and she will try and organise a time to meet. NOTE: PHOTOCOPY, SCAN OR PHOTOGRAPH ALL DOCUMENTS BEFORE SENDING




How to claim for ESA?


The basic rules for ESA are that:

  • you must be aged between 16 and state pension age
  • you must have a ‘limited capability for work’ (see below for how this is decided)
  • you must meet certain rules about being resident in the UK and about your immigration status
  • the general rule is that you cannot work and get ESA, but certain types of ‘permitted work’ are allowed
  • you must not be getting Statutory Sick Pay (but you can claim ESA once the Statutory Sick Pay ends)
  • you must meet at least one of the following three conditions:
- at the start of your ESA claim you had paid enough national insurance contributions to qualify - your income and savings are low enough to qualify - you have been transferred off Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance and onto ESA, or you have qualified under the ESA in Youth rules before April 2012 Note: It is possible to get ESA whilst you are in full time education, if you meet certain rules. If you are receiving Income support you will be sent a letter explaining the change and you will have to contact the DWP to ask for the form. For new applicants: If you are a new applicant you will have to ask the GP for a sick note that will need to be sent to DWP once you have talked to them. Call 08003289344, the applicant would need to be there when the call is made, even if this is to say it is ok to talk to someone else. You will need to give the following information: · National Insurance number of applicant · Medical certificate · GP details · Bank details · Savings · Rent or mortgage details · Council tax bill · Details of earning of the claimant or partner · Any other benefits. · Make it clear you are applying for limited capability to work




What is ESA?


Firstly there are different forms of ESA but in this information I will be looking at ESA 50. ESA is a replacement for Incapacity benefit, people that were on Incapacity Benefit should now be on ESA. ESA is for people that are unable to work due to disability or mental health. You can also claim if you are unable to cope with the demands of Job Seekers and feel you are unable to work even with support due to the effects it will cause. Limited Capability for Work has two levels one is Work related which means the individual will have to attend courses to increase the likelihood of working often you do not need to attend the Job centre for regular meetings. The other is the Support group, this group does not have to attend the Job centre at all and are deemed as unable to cope with the demands of work. There is a score system that is public and for each element of the form and you have to achieve the appropriate score for the group you are placed in.




What happens if I disagree with the PIP decision?


When the DWP make a decision regarding PIP they will send a letter outlining where you have received points and why they have come to their decision. If you disagree with their finding and had a medical assessment I would suggest you contact the DWP saying you disagree and would like a copy of the full medical assessment report to outline your case for reconsideration. Once you receive this report go through page by page and write a letter outlining the points you disagree with and why. If the report is not a true representation of what happened please make a complaint to https://www.mypipassessment.co.uk/feedback/ or https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-case-examiner If you didn’t have a medical assessment call and request reconsideration, respond to the decision letter. Contact anyone you have named on the form and ask for a letter of support (often a good idea to make them aware of the criteria), DWP may not have contacted them, if there is anyone else that can support your claim contact them too for a supporting report or letter. Any evidence being sent ensure it has the national insurance number and is only a copy of the original. It is likely that even after reconsideration you will not get the result you expected, don’t be disheartened there is a greater success in tribunal. To apply for tribunal you will need to complete the SSC1 form or online, here is a link to both https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeal-a-social-security-benefits-decision-form-sscs1 If you would like further information please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com




What Happens in the medical assessment?


I would recommend where possible taking someone with you, one to support you and two as an observer of what happened in the assessment. You can request a home visit for a medical assessment they will grant one if you have supporting documentation stating it is in your best interest to have a home visit. The assessment is supposed to made adaptations for your needs not the other way. They will aim the questions mainly at the individual applying for the benefit, when answering question talk about what happens most of the time not the once in a while I can do times, as this will not give the assessor a true understanding of you needs. If you don’t understand say, if you know doing one of the tasks will have ongoing issues in then explain why you can’t do this. If you are struggling to interact ask them to talk to the person with you where possible. If you are supporting someone you can interject if you feel the questions are leading, too ambiguous, or too much pressure to answer. If you feel the claimant is not fully explaining the support they have you can prompt them with your own question, for example “when was the last time you went out alone?”, “what happened last night while cooking pizza?” “How do you feel when someone disagrees with your choices?” etc.




What is Universal Credits?


Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit for people aged between 18 and pension credit age including people who are carers, parents, people in work, people looking for work and people who cannot work due to their condition or disability. Some 16 and 17 year olds are able to apply for Universal Credit. It is a means tested benefit for people who have a low income or no income and whose savings are below £16,000. Find out if you are eligible for Universal Credit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility Universal Credit is replacing six other benefits not including Carers Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Child Benefit.




What happens if I disagree with the ESA decision?


When the DWP make a decision regarding ESA they will send a letter outlining where you have received points and why they have come to their decision. If you disagree with their finding and had a medical assessment I would suggest you contact the DWP saying you disagree and would like a copy of the full medical assessment report to outline your case for reconsideration. Once you receive this report go through page by page and write a letter outlining the points you disagree with and why. If the report is not a true representation of what happened please make a complaint to complaints for ESA on 0844 409 8262 or to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-case-examiner If you didn’t have a medical assessment call and request reconsideration, respond to the decision letter. Contact anyone you have named on the form and ask for a letter of support (often a good idea to make them aware of the criteria), DWP may not have contacted them, if there is anyone else that can support your claim contact them too for a supporting report or letter. Any evidence being sent ensure it has the national insurance number and is only a copy of the original. It is likely that even after reconsideration you will not get the result you expected, don’t be disheartened there is a greater success in tribunal. To apply for tribunal you will need to complete the SSC1 form or online, here is a link to both https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeal-a-social-security-benefits-decision-form-sscs1 If you would like further information please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com




How to apply for Universal credit?


You need to apply for Universal Credit online. You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You do not need to be married. You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply. To make a claim you will need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
  • an email address · information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
  • details of your income, for example payslips
  • details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
  • details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get. You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card
Here is a link to claim https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim Please send additional evidence with form (Diagnosis, specialists, prescriptions, behavioural support, care needs assessment, GP report etc.) If you are still struggling contact Emilymay on emilymay@kentautistic.com with the date it is due back and the town you would like to meet and she will try and organise a time to meet, please be aware that she can only help with the Limited capability to work element of UC. NOTE: PHOTOCOPY, SCAN OR PHOTOGRAPH ALL DOCUMENTS BEFORE SENDING




What happens if I disagree with the Universal Credit decision?


Asking for a mandatory reconsideration When you ask for the mandatory reconsideration you’ll need to include:

  • the date of the decision
  • specific reasons why you disagree
  • your name, address and National Insurance number
There are 4 ways you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration. You can:
  • write a message in your Universal Credit online account, if you have one · fill in a CRMR1 mandatory reconsideration request form on GOV.UK - if you print it out, send it to the address on the top of your decision letter
  • write a letter to the DWP - send it to the address on the decision letter
  • call the number on the decision letter if you’re near the deadline - you should write to the DWP after you call saying why you want a mandatory reconsideration
If you’re writing a letter Check your decision letter for the address you need to send your letter to. This is different depending on where you live. If you can’t find your decision letter or there's no address on it, contact the DWP to get the address. You should:
  • write a message in your online journal
  • call the Universal Credit helpline if you don’t have an online account
Universal Credit helpline Telephone: 0800 328 5644 Textphone: 0800 328 1344 Telephone (Welsh language): 0800 012 1888 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Calls to this number are free. It’s best to call from the phone number you gave the DWP when you set up your Universal Credit account. You'll have a shorter wait and be put through to the same person who handled previous calls you've made. Ask the Post Office for free proof of postage - you might need to show when you sent your letter. To apply for tribunal you will need to complete the SSC1 form or online, here is a link to both https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/appeal-a-social-security-benefits-decision-form-sscs1 If you would like further information please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com , please be aware she can only help with limited capability to work element.




How do I get an adult assessment for Autism?


If you are 18 and above you are entitled to an Autism Assessment under the Autism Act. If you are hoping to go through the NHS you would need to first book an appointment with your GP and outline the reasons you feel you maybe on the spectrum. They should then apply for funding for this assessment and refer you to your local assessment service. Once you have been placed on this list it may take up to a year before you meet with anyone. They will send you forms to complete about your history so often it is good to do this with someone you trust that has known you since childhood. The two services in Kent do assessment process differently please contact the assessors for further details of the process, East Kent is under South London and Maudsley Hospital (SLAM) 020 3228 4879/4653 and West Kent and Medway are under Psicon 01227 379 099. If you would like to do your assessment privately contact emilymay@kentautisitc.com and she can provide you with a list of local assessment providers. Please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com if you need further information.




Applying for housing


Please note that we are unable to provide supporting letters for housing, this is due to their criteria of professionals they will accept supporting letters from. Applying for Medway this link will give you all the details https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200154/housing_options/109/apply_for_social_housing Appling in Kent this link will give you all the details https://www.kenthomechoice.org.uk/choice/default.aspx Please be aware if you are applying as a single person often placements in hostels or shared housing is all that is available. If you have a diagnosis of Autism and you are unable to share space due to your needs and coping skills the process is to apply under medical grounds. To help with this you will require evidence from medical bodies (GP, Consultants, Therapists etc) and/or social care support (care manager, case manager etc).




Who can help with employment?


Unfortunately help with employment is very limited and what services are available are depending on the area you live. Under Medway Council there are no current contract with specialised employment services. Royal British Legion Institute are able to provide some support as they have funding to help people back into work. Medway Youth trust can help younger people https://www.themytrust.org with work related skills. Under Kent Council they have a contract with Kent Supported Employment, who help people with a range of disabilities into work and help support them while they are employed. Currently referral is through social services. Also Royal British Legion Institute are able to provide some support as they have funding to help people back into work. Youth trust can help younger people https://www.themytrust.org with work related skills. If you have more questions please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com




What is advocacy?


An Advocate helps someone to talk about their needs and wishes. Advocates listen to people and help them to have their voices heard. Advocates represent people who need support to make sure that decisions are made in their best interests. The advocacy services in Kent are issue based, this means they will help support someone through one issue are not available to help long term. Many have different contracts with Local Authority about what they can support with and who meets the criteria for this support. It is best to contact social services to see who holds the contract for the advocacy you require. We do not provide advocacy but please contact emilymay@kentautistic.com if you have further questions.





© 2018 The Kent Autistic Trust Family Support    -    Registered Charity Number:  801965

Accessibility    -     Privacy Policy

Website by - The Art Of Design