Sufferers of Long Covid can claim up to £608 a month from benefits scheme

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People suffering from severe Long Covid symptoms could be entitled to up to £608 a month if their condition affects their daily lives.

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP), run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), allows anyone to claim financial support to cover the extra costs Long Covid ailments may create.

If you’re health condition stops you from moving around or completing regular tasks for at least three months, and is expected to continue for a further nine months, then you may be eligible to claim for PIP.

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PIP is designed to support people with these long-term health and disability problems.

Signage for the Department for Work and Pensions in Westminster, London.Signage for the Department for Work and Pensions in Westminster, London.
Signage for the Department for Work and Pensions in Westminster, London.

Some of the 15 debilitating side-effects of Long Covid listed by the NHS – including chest pains, heart palpitations and extreme post-viral fatigue – have been known to last for months and can exacerbated existing health conditions.

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Long Covid can also lead to many losing their jobs, and the requirements for claiming PIP can be flexible.

No formal diagnosis is necessary to claim and you may not need to show a positive Covid-19 test result.

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DWP staff are told: ‘Claimants do not have to have had a positive test result to be diagnosed with the syndrome; we have to remember that testing has not always been easily available.’

The initial bout of Covid-19 also doesn’t need to be severe, as long as the symptoms persist.

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state “there is no correlation between the severity of initial infection and the likelihood of experiencing Long-Covid.”

The money for those claiming the benefit can range from £23.70 to £152.15 a week.

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With PIP being paid in four week instalments, the entitlement is between £94.80 and £608.60 a month.

DWP statistics show that by April 2021, 20 claimants were receiving PIP in England, Scotland, and Wales, with Long-Covid listed as the primary health condition, and these numbers may increase.

In the same time-period, over 2.7m people are claiming PIP for various physical and mental health conditions and disabilities, with 7,454 people from the Portsmouth local authority.

Your income status and National Insurance contributions are not considered when applying, and you usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for two of the last years, and be a resident when making a claim.

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You do not need to have claimed PIP before to be entitled, or on an enhanced payment rate if you’re already receiving the benefit.

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