Disability news

Additional bonuses for PIP claimants

the bottom halves of a wheelchair user in a busy street

If you claim Personal Independence Payment [PIP] there may be a few bonuses which you are entitled to that you may not be aware of.

The benefit is handed out to disabled people and individuals living with a long-term mental or physical health condition by the Department for Work and Pensions [DWP] which can see claimants receive up to £172.75 a week (£691 a month) to help with their daily living costs.

But on top of that, there are a few extra perks which come with the handy allowance package, such as:

Discount on your Council Tax

People claiming the daily living or mobility component of PIP may be eligible for up to 100% off their council tax, depending on how generous their local council is. 

To see if you qualify, contact your local authority and tell them you receive PIP, they may ask for a copy of your PIP award letter - so try to have one to hand.

If you are living with a “serious mental impairment” [SMI] and live by yourself you can claim free council tax.

People living with someone who has SMI is classed as “disregarded” and eligible for a discount, those who fall into this category are not counted by the local authority when calculating council tax for a household. If you believe this applies to you, contact your local council.

Discount on Travel

Claim PIP? Well you can also claim free bus travel in England by applying for a disabled person’s bus pass as part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme

Similar schemes are available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • You are eligible for a free bus pass if:
  • You’re blind or partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak
  • You can’t walk very far because of a disability, illness or injury
  • You don’t have arms or can’t use your arms
  • You have a severe learning disability
  • You’ve been refused a driving licence because of your health - but not because of problems with drugs or alcohol

To apply for a disabled person’s bus pass visit your local council’s website where you will find a step-by-step guide.

If you live in London you can claim for a Freedom Pass which entitles you to free travel across the city, including bus, tube and Transport for London [TfL] rail.

People claiming PIP may also be eligible for a Disabled Person’s Railcard, which offers a third off on train tickets. 

The railcard currently costs £20 a year or £54 for three years.

A number of toll roads across the country also offer discounts or free fares for those claiming the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, most of these discounts need to be requested online.

Exempt from Vehicle Tax

Drivers who are on the mobility component of PIP may be exempt from vehicle road tax. Those who receive the payment are entitled to a 50 percent discount, people on the enhanced rate are given a 100 percent discount.

Both exemptions only apply to one vehicle at a time.

To claim, you need to register on the Government’s website.

If you drive a disabled passenger vehicle, mobility vehicle or a powered wheelchair these are automatically exempt from tax. 

For the full list of vehicles exempt from tax visit the Government website.

You don’t have to pay for prescriptions.

It’s just what the doctors ordered - free prescriptions for patients with a medical or a disability who require medication on a regular basis.

If you live with health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, cancer or a physical health problem which means you need to be supported by someone to go out you should be eligible for free prescriptions.

You will need a MedEx certificate, which lasts for five years, to claim the discount.

For more information and the list of conditions which entitle you to free prescriptions visit the Business Services Authority website.

Discount on your TV licence

Goggleboxers who are registered blind or with severe vision loss could be entitled to a blind concession TV licence which can slash the price by 50 percent from £159 a year to £79.50 for a colour TV and £26.75 for a black and white TV licence.

You can claim for a blind concession TV licence certificate from your local authority or ophthalmologist stating that you are registered blind or severely sight impaired.

To claim for a blind TV licence online visit the TV licence website, the discount does not apply to people classed as partially sighted.

[ According to recent DWP figures around three million people claim Personal Independence Payment across the UK ]

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