Claiming and qualifying for benefits has become increasingly difficult in recent years. That is particularly the case for people suffering Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
Despite suffering the most painful condition classified by medical science (McGill Pain Index), CRPS sufferers often struggle to receive any financial support at all from the Government.
CRPS and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP is still commonly referred to as Disability Living Allowance. Among the most common benefits-related question we receive from clients is “what’s the situation with CRPS and Disability Living Allowance?” In 2013, for people aged between 16 and 64, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Qualifying for PIP does not depend upon either the nature of the condition from which you suffer or your ability to work.
As with almost all applicants, a CRPS sufferer claiming PIP will be required to undergo an eligibility assessment. The amount of benefit varies according to the assessed level of disability. The assessment largely relates to an applicant’s mobility on a level surface and their ability to carry out a range of daily activities.
The huge problem faced by CRPS sufferers is that the application is very ‘black and white’. Criteria such as “Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided”, are problematic. As one client told us “I can, at a push, walk on my crutches over 200 metres, although not much more than that, but it hurts like hell after about 20 to 30 metres.” That client scored 0 out of a maximum of 12 points for that section of the application.
Applicants should find out as much as possible about the qualifying criteria before making their application. More information on PIP can be found here.
If applicants still have questions then they should seek advice from their solicitor or from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Despite the ‘black and white’ nature of these applications, it’s always worth asking your solicitor whether any of the medical reports obtained in your personal injury claim may also be able to assist you in your benefits application.
CRPS and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid to people whose long term illness or disability is affecting their ability to find work. Like PIP, the assessment for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a points’ based system. More information about the points can be found here.
Again, as with PIP, applicants should find out as much as possible about the qualifying criteria before making their application. More information on ESA can be found here.
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