Age NI Can Help With Advice About New Benefits

Age NI is urging people who are unsure about the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit and how it may affect them to call the Age NI Advice Service for help.

The introduction of the Welfare Reform Act has meant significant changes to many benefits in Northern Ireland – some will be replaced and some will apply different rules when claiming. As such, a growing number of people are turning to Age NI for advice as they struggle to make sense of welfare changes, with many concerned about having enough money to live well in later life.

unnamed-6Brenda Kearns, Head of Advice and Advocacy at Age NI, said: “In recent months, our team has received queries about Personal Independence Payment (PIP), a new benefit that is designed to support people dealing with the challenges of a disability or a long term health condition.

“From 20 June 2016, PIP will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for those of working age. However, the uncertainty and confusion around the introduction of this new benefit has caused anxiety for many older people, their families and carers. Many feel unsure about what these changes mean to them – will they be affected by this new benefit and, if so, will they lose out financially.’

“As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, DLA will still remain for anyone aged 65 and over on this date. If you are currently claiming DLA, and you’re aged between 16 and 64 years old from 20 June 2016, you’ll be assessed to find out if you’re eligible for PIP, and you will no longer be able to receive DLA. Everyone will be invited to claim PIP by December 2018.

“A phased approach will be undertaken for claimants. We would urge everyone to read any official correspondence they receive through the post relating to welfare changes or benefits.’

If you are unsure about PIP and how it will affect your personal circumstances, please call the Age NI Advice Service on freephone 0808 808 7575 for advice about eligibility and how to claim.