Will ap­pli­ca­tion hin­der ap­peal?

Sunderland Echo - - Comment - BY LOUISE YOUNG, FROM CIT­I­ZENS AD­VICE

Q. My Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance was re­assessed re­cently and I was told that I would have to go onto Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment. I com­pleted the forms and went for an as­sess­ment, but they de­cided that I was not en­ti­tled to be paid any­more. I am ap­peal­ing this de­ci­sion as my health has only got worse since I was last as­sessed. I was ad­vised to make an ap­pli­ca­tion for At­ten­dance Al­lowance while my ap­peal is go­ing through, but would that af­fect my chances of suc­cess?

A. You could make an ap­pli­ca­tion for At­ten­dance Al­lowance which would be treated as an en­tirely new claim and would be as­sessed on its own mer­its. The cri­te­ria for At­ten­dance Al­lowance is dif­fer­ent to Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment although it looks at some sim­i­lar ac­tiv­i­ties such as get­ting dressed, get­ting washed and deal­ing with your med­i­ca­tion. There is no mo­bil­ity com­po­nent to At­ten­dance Al­lowance which can of­ten make Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment the pre­ferred ben­e­fit for peo­ple. If your Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment ap­peal is suc­cess­ful then that would take ef­fect and you would re­ceive any short­fall of pay­ments that you had missed out on. If your ap­peal is not suc­cess­ful then you will be able to con­tinue claim­ing At­ten­dance Al­lowance.

Q. I am car­ing for my mother who has spinal prob­lems. She is go­ing into hospi­tal and is ex­pected to be in hospi­tal for around 6 weeks. I un­der­stand that her dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits will stop af­ter 4 weeks, but I am won­der­ing about my Carer’s Al­lowance pay­ments as I will still be vis­it­ing her ev­ery day and do­ing jobs at home for her.

A. You are cor­rect that your Mother’s dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits will stop af­ter 4 weeks of be­ing in hospi­tal; this is the case for Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance, Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ment and At­ten­dance Al­lowance, un­less paid for a child or some­one who is ter­mi­nally ill. Un­for­tu­nately, your Carer’s Al­lowance will also stop at the point that the dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit ceases to be paid. If you are re­ceiv­ing In­come Sup­port as a Carer then you can con­tinue to re­ceive that for up to 8 weeks af­ter your Carer’s Al­lowance ends, which would be 12 weeks in to­tal from when your Mother goes into hospi­tal. As In­come Sup­port is a means tested ben­e­fit, your pay­ments would in­crease while your Carer’s Al­lowance is not in pay­ment, so you would ac­tu­ally re­ceive In­come Sup­port at the same rate as In­come Sup­port and Carer’s Al­lowance usu­ally are as a com­bined pay­ment mean­ing that you will not be worse off fi­nan­cially.

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