PIP problems are top issue reported to Citizens Advice Cymru

By agency reporter
October 24, 2018

One in three people reporting benefit problems to Citizens Advice Cymru needed help with Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the charity has revealed.

New figures show that between April 2017 and March 2018, the charity helped almost 17,000 people with PIP problems.

Of the people Citizens Advice Cymru helped with PIP problems:

  • 88 per cent had issues with eligibility
  • One in three had trouble making and managing a claim
  • One in six faced problems challenging a decision
  • One in five needed help with appeals

PIP is a benefit that helps with the extra costs people with disabilities or long-term health conditions may have. For example, it can be used to employ a carer to help people get washed and dressed, or to buy a mobility scooter to travel to work.

It was introduced in 2013 to start to replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). People have to go through a new application process in order to receive it.

Figures from the charity's annual Advice Trends in Wales report also reveal that, on average last year, each person who sought help from Citizens Advice Cymru had four problems.

In one example, Citizens Advice helped a man with multiple long-term health conditions who after moving from DLA to PIP, was receiving less benefit. He contacted the charity for assistance with a PIP appeal where it was also worked out he was entitled to Pension Credit. Citizens Advice helped him make the claim which helped to ease the burden of the reduction in the disability benefit.

The top two issues reported to the charity during 2017/18 were:

  • Benefits and tax credits (40 per cent)
  • Debt (28 per cent)

These were followed by problems with financial services and capability (six per cent), employment (four per cent) and housing (three per cent).

Fran Targett, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru, said: "Last year we helped more than 100,000 people in Wales resolve their problems. No one else sees so many people with so many different kinds of problems and that gives us unique insight into the challenges people are facing today.

"Each week, we continue to help hundreds of people with PIP - it's our top issue. While PIP can be a lifeline if you're living with a disability or long-term health condition, problems with the system can have a huge impact. They can stop you from getting the help you need to complete everyday tasks such as getting to work or cleaning the house.

"As more people move over to PIP from the Disability Living Allowance, we expect the number of people coming to us for help to increase.

"Don't struggle in silence. The Welsh Government currently funds quality-assured, specialist welfare benefit advice across Wales so your local Citizens Advice can help you with making a PIP claim or appealing a decision."

*Read Advice Trends in Wales 2017-2018 here

* Citizens Advice Cymru https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/

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