Financial support

You may be entitled to financial support if you’re 16 years or older and under the state pension age. Sometimes people don’t realise they’re entitled to benefits, however if you’re unsure, you can get in touch with one of the following organisations to check.

Department for Work and Pensions
PIP claims 0800 917 2222
Disability Service Centre 0345 850 3322

Citizens Advice
England 03444 111 444
Contact your local Citizens Advice office
Scotland 0808 800 9060
Northern Ireland – Contact your local Citizens Advice
Wales 03444 77 20 20

Your local MP

You can find your local MP here.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is a monthly benefit available to people in the UK facing financial hardship.

 

Who can claim?

You can apply for UC if you’re in a low paid job (both self-employed and those in part-time employment), if you have no income, or if you’re unable to work. To claim UC, you must be over the age of 18, although there are some exceptions, you must be under the state pension age and live in the UK. You cannot claim UC if you have more than £16,000 in money, savings and investments.

 

How much am I entitled to?

The amount of money you receive will be calculated and made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts you’re entitled to. For example, if you have children, a disability, or a health condition like endometriosis which prevents you from working, you can apply for extra support.

UC is made in monthly payments, or two monthly payments depending on where abouts you are. For example, in Scotland, some people may receive two monthly payments.

 

Applying for UC

The Government have produced an easy read guide to what UC is and how you can make a claim. Click here to find out how much benefit you’ll be entitled to.

How to claim

You can apply for UC by simply completing an online application form. All you’ll need to do is ensure you have your banking details, an email address and phone number. You’ll need to create an account and you must complete your claim within 28 days from the date you create it.

If you live with your partner, you will both need to make an account. If you cannot claim online, you can call the UC helpline.

 

Once your application has been received, you’ll be invited to either a phone or face to face assessment where you can discuss your needs in further details. Once your application has been accepted, you’ll be assigned a coach who can help guide and keep up to date with your health concerns. Your coach can also help you prepare to get back to work, so be sure to update them on all your achievements.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit available in the UK for people who have a long-term health condition or disability that affects their ability to carry out their usual daily activities, regardless of whether they are working, in education or receiving other benefits such as Universal Credit. This benefit is not means-tested, meaning the amount of money you have does not reflect on your claim.

Applying for PIP

The Government has produced an easy read guide to what PIP is and how to you can make a claim. Click here to find out how much benefit you’ll be entitled to.

How is PIP assessed?

The assessment usually includes completing an application form along with a face-to-face appointment with a healthcare professional.

PIP payments are generally awarded for a fixed period of time - meaning you will be given a time frame whether that be one year or two where you’ll receive PIP. Once this period of time comes to an end, if you still feel you are entitled to this benefit, you can make another claim.  

PIP is assessed on two components, an individual’s ‘daily living’ and ‘mobility’. You can qualify for either or both components and each payment is usually given at different rates. These components are based on points. For each component, there is a list of statements known as descriptors, each descriptor is worth a certain number of points and if that descriptor applies to you, you’ll score that number of points.

Your overall points score will determine whether or not you are entitled to receive PIP along with the amount of money you will be entitled to.

PIP is available to those with disabilities and long-term health conditions such as endometriosis, preventing entitlement to PIP payments based on short-term conditions. You must have met the criteria for three months prior to when the payments start, you must also be likely to continue to meet the criteria for a further nine months after making your claim.

How to apply?

Applications can be made by either phone or by post.

If you reside in England, Scotland, or Wales, you can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the following telephone number 0800 917 2222

If you reside in Northern Island, you can call the Social Security Agency on 0800 012 1573

When calling to make a PIP claim, you will usually need to give your basic personal details. If someone else is making the call on your behalf, you may need to speak to the appointee on the phone to pass the security check.

If you reside in England, Scotland, or Wales you can claim by writing to the address shown below to request a paper claims form called a PIP1. To our knowledge, the Northern Ireland Government does not publish an address you can write to, to ask for a paper claims form.

Personal Independence Payment New Claims

Post Handling Site B

Wolverhampton

WV99 1AH

Click here to see a copy of the PIP1 paper claim form available via the Government website. You can review this copy, but you cannot print it or use it.

Once you have completed the initial claims form (PIP1) by either phone or by post, a further form will be sent to you. This form is called a PIP2. You can access a copy of this form here, but again you cannot print it or use it. Once you have completed and returned the PIP2 form, you will usually be invited to attend a face-to-face assessment.

If you are unable to attend a face-to-face appointment at an assessment centre, you can request a home visit. If you can provide enough evidence through reports and assessments about your difficulties and support needs, sometimes a decision can be made without the need of a face-to-face assessment.

How long will I have to wait for my claim to be assessed?

There may be delays with PIP claims and payments will not be made while you are waiting for a decision. However, if PIP is awarded, the payments will be backdated to the date you started your claim.

5 tips for applying for PIP

 

Understand the criteria

The PIP2 form is part of the assessment which is used to determine what rate of PIP you qualify for. Start by looking at the criteria and identifying which points you should score. This can help you by understanding what information is relevant to include in your application.

 

Know that the person reading the form may not have heard of Endometriosis.

Sadly, Endometriosis is widely under-recognised therefore, you cannot assume the person reading your form will understand your condition.

 

 

Ask for help

If you need help, you may be able to find a welfare rights advisor or a local benefits advice service through your local council or community groups. Alternatively, you can ask a family member, friend, or reach out to community support groups where you can connect with others who may be in a similar position.

 

Don’t hold back

When completing your application and your face-to-face assessment, be honest and try to provide as much detail and as many examples as you can. For each question, there are tick boxes along with comment boxes for additional information. Provide as much information as you can about the difficulties you have and the help you need.

 

You can include additional paperwork

If you have medial notes, reports, or assessments you feel would help the assessor understand your difficulties and support needs, you can send a copy along with the PIP2 form when you return it.

For more information about PIP, see below a list of useful resources:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment guide for assessment providers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

PIP leaflet.pdf (nidirect.gov.uk)

The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (legislation.gov.uk)

Personal Independence Payment - Citizens Advice

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) | Disability Rights UK