How to claim PIP for depression?

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This blog discusses how one can go about claiming PIP for depression. 

The blog also briefly discusses what PIP is, how it is assessed, the criteria for eligibility, and what depression is. 

How to claim PIP for depression?

Claiming financial assistance Personal Independence Payments for Depression and mental disorders follow the process of claiming PIP for any disability since UK disability laws protect individuals with mental disorders. 

To claim PIP for depression and other mental health disorders, you can go through the following process:

The phone call

Citizens of England, Wales or Scotland can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222. Citizens of Northern Ireland, can call the Social Security Agency on 0800 012 1573.

During this phone call, you will be asked to share their basic personal details and it is important that it is the claimant, the appointee or the prospective appointee who makes the call.

If someone else calls on your behalf, you will be required to speak on the phone and pass an identity check. If you are unable to claim by phone due to your disability you can make a paper claim called PIP1. 

The form is available to view on the DWP website but to avail the form you can write to the address below to claim a PIP1.

Personal Independence Payment New Claims

Post Handling Site B

Wolverhampton

WV99 1AH

The PIP2 Form

Now, after you have made the initial claim either by phone call or in writing, a form will be sent to you called the PIP2.

You have to fill up the details of this form and return it. The form will ask details about your disability, you will be required to hand in documents related to your depression diagnosis, and the challenges you face and the help that you need.

The face-to-face assessment

The next step of the process, most people are asked to attend an assessment with a health professional from an independent company to run these assessments. 

These companies will contact you and may ask you to attend an appointment at an assessment centre, or arrange for the assessor to visit you at home if moving around is an issue for you due to your condition. 

The assessment involves an interview with the assessor where they explore issues related to your diagnosis of depression and how it impacts your life. Questions that are asked explored includes issues related to:

  • Your diagnosis- who and when.
  • How your diagnosis manifests in terms of symptoms and variations in symptoms.
  • Your treatments and medications that you are currently under- be it antidepressants or therapy. 
  • How it impacts your activities such as eating, running errands etc. 
  • How it impacts you safety
  • How it impacts your social life
  • How it impacts your daily needs of diet, toilet management, sleep etc. 
  • How it impacts your mobility and movement. 

While it is possible for you to do an at home visit, you must explain why it is not possible for you to travel to the assessment and you need not have evidence of proof since home consultations are considered necessary if the context demands it. 

While face to face assessments are recommended, you need not have one. If you can provide enough evidence about your difficulties with reports and assessments, the PIP decision can be done without face to face assessment. 

What is PIP?

PIP stands for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which is a financial benefit that is paid to between the ages of 16-64 who need financial help because of a long-term illness, disability or mental health condition. 

PIP is a financial assistance and benefit that does not affect your income, capital or savings of the individual and you can also claim other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit even if one claims PIP.

An individual can apply for and be paid PIP even if when they are in and out of work and one’s payment to National Insurance does not affect PIP. However PIP might affect Constant Attendance Allowance or war pensioners’ mobility supplement.

You can claim PIP in case you have a condition that affects you day to day life and these conditions- mental or physical-limits you in any of the following ways:

  • Speaking to other people
  • Shopping and paying bills
  • Planning and following journeys
  • Preparing food and eating- diet and nutrition. 
  • Washing and bathing- hygiene.

PIP consists of two components, and people can qualify for both components or only one. These components are:

  • Daily living component
  • Mobility component

PIP claims upon approval are paid into your bank or post office account every four weeks after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) assesses you as eligible for the claim and also determines what rate you are to be paid. 

Awards of PIP are for fixed periods of time like a certain number of months or years and once this period ends you can make another claim to receive these awards.

How is PIP assessed?

Once you have applied for PIP, the next step of the process involves assessment to see if you meet the criteria which determines your eligibility. 

The assessment process involves assessing the documents and pros of evidence you provide along with your application and a face-to-face appointment with a healthcare professional who assesses how the condition has affected your physical, mental, and social well-being. 

The assessment process also involves a three month observation period where You must meet the criteria for three months before the payments start.

After the payments start, you will also be observed further in the sense that you must continue to meet the criteria for a further nine months so as to prevent entitlement based on short-term conditions.

What are the criteria for PIP?

PIP assessments has criterias for two components (mobility and daily living) and these criterias that are assessed includes the following:

Daily living

Criteria related to daily living activities includes having difficulty in the following areas:

  • Needing prompting or supervision to cook and prepare food
  • Needing prompting or supervision to eat food
  • Needing help managing therapy or monitoring a health condition 
  • needing prompting or supervision to maintain hygiene. 
  • Needing assistance in managing toilet needs 
  • Needing assistance in dressing and undressing 
  • Needing communication support)
  • Needing prompting to read or understand written information and reading.
  • Unable to interact in an appropriate manner, understand body language and establish relationships
  • They need assistance when planning a budget or managing and paying bills

Mobility 

Criteria related to Mobility includes having difficulty in the following areas:

  • planning and following a journey. Needs assistance to make a journey and take care of all details related to making this journey like scheduling, planning, billing etc. 
  • Struggle with limited physical ability to move around.

What is Depression according to the DSM- V?

Depression or clinically known as major depressive disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, is a  serious mood disorder where people affected by it experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. 

Apart from these emotional distress, people with depression can also experience physical symptoms such as chronic pain, or changes in their behaviour such as social withdrawal or slowed movements.

For someone to be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Let us look at the various symptoms that must meet the criteria for a diagnosis of depression. 

What is the DSM criteria for Depression diagnosis?

The Diagnostic and statistical manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed) DSM-V outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. 

The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. 

These symptoms should indicate change from normal functioning. 

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia. 
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

These symptoms should also not be the result of substance abuse or another medical condition.

Conclusion

This blog discussed how one can go about claiming PIP for depression. 

The blog also briefly discussed what PIP is, how it is assessed, the criteria for eligibility, and what depression is. 

How do I pass a PIP assessment for mental health?

A few things that you can do to increase your changes at claiming PIP include:

  • Prepare for your PIP assessment
  • Read your PIP form thoroughly. 
  • Make notes of all and any changes in your diagnosis
  • Read the PIP questions or descriptors and understand them
  • Make sure you stress your points across using the descriptors. 
  • Make sure you highlight how the condition affects your life even if this is overlooked by the assessors. 

Can you get benefits for depression?

If you’re unable to work as a result of your depression, you are eligible for benefits based on your diagnosis and circumstances. 

Can you get disability for depression and anxiety?

Yes, you can get disability aid for Depression and anxiety as well as any other mental disorder diagnosis as mental disorders are also protected by disability laws.

What conditions automatically qualify you for PIP UK?

The criteria that makes you qualify for PIP include:

  • you’re 16 or over.
  • you have a long-term physical or mental health condition that also causes disability
  • you have difficulty doing certain tasks or issues related to mobility
  • you expect the difficulties to last for at least one year

Does PIP contact your doctor?

To claim PIP, the DWP will usually contact your doctor when you submit a PIP or ESA claim based on the information you have filled in as you made your claim. 

References

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

Questions asked at PIP Assessment. Disability Claims. Retrieved on 7th February 2022. https://disabilityclaims.uk/questions-asked-at-pip-assessment/

About Mental Health. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. 28th June, 2021. Retrieved on 7th February 2022. . https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm

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