As a person with PCD under the age of 65, you are entitled to make a claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
DLA/PIP is a social security benefit for people who have an illness or disability. It is a tax-free benefit, does not reduce the amount of any other benefits which you may get and is not based on how much money you earn or have. It is intended to provide extra money for people who need:
It can be hard to fill in the claim forms for DLA because you must focus on all the extra or difficult things, which you need because of PCD.
- Help with personal care – this is the care component
- Help with or when walking – this is the mobility component
- Do you have hearing loss?
- Do you have limited mobility because of reduced lung function?
- What are you unable to do because of PCD?
- How often do you have to attend hospital/clinics?
- How often do you wake in the night due to coughing? Do you need help to go back to sleep?
- What medications do you have to take and how long do they take to administer?
- Do you have any side effects from the medication? e.g., having to use extra sunscreen because your skins goes orange when on particular medication!
- How often and for how long do you have to have physio? Can you do it for yourself?
- Try to demonstrate in the form how your day-to-day routine revolves around what you need to do keep well e.g. physiotherapy, nebulisers, taking medication etc.
Help with completing the forms
The key to a successful claim is demonstrating how your needs are greater than a comparable person without PCD. It is a good idea to get specialised help to complete the forms as it is difficult to know what facts are relevant – ask your specialist respiratory nurse, visit the Citizens Advice Bureau or you can contact Fightback4justice for help.
If you do not already claim DLA, an application pack can be obtained by calling the Benefits Agency on 0845 712 3456 (voice) or 0845 722 4433 (text only). You need to ask for forms DLA1. If you prefer you can request a pack from: Disability Living Allowance, Warbreck House, Warbreck Hill, Blackpool FY2 OYJ. Alternatively, you can print off an application form or find out more information from the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Once you have submitted your form it will be assessed, and you will be notified about which rate you will be awarded. Occasionally people have had their applications turned down or are awarded a lower rate than they think they are entitled to – if this happens do not despair. Ask the Benefits Agency for a decision in writing and appeal. Please note that the time to record your appeal is limited to one month. Help can be obtained in how to fill out the forms and how to appeal from the Benefits Inquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00. Further helpful information about benefits can be found on the Contact A Family website.
Personal independence payment
Personal independence payment (PIP) is a benefit for people who need help taking part in everyday life or who find it difficult to get around. It replaces disability living allowance for people between the ages of 16 and 64 inclusive. Like DLA, it can sometimes be difficult to fill in the claim forms for PIP. If you require support and guidance you can visit the Citizens Advice Bureau page. You can also visit the Disability Rights UK support page for further information and support.
Apply for a blue badge
You may be entitled to a Blue Badge if you find walking difficult of your lung condition. There is useful information here.