Concern for Gosport residents who want to claim PIP benefits

Advisor Jan Almond giving advice
Advisor Jan Almond giving advice
Debbie Cartmell from the QA delivers a gift to a resident at Bluewater Care Home as part of last year's appeal

QA Hospital staff collect gifts to donate to people in care homes

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More and more people are having to turn to Citizens Advice Gosport for help with getting Personal Independence Payments.

Citizens Advice Gosport has helped people in Gosport with 626 issues with PIP since the benefit was introduced three years ago and since the start of 2015 the local charity has had more than 329 enquiries about it.

In April 2013 PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance, and it is designed to help people with a disability or a long-term health condition with the extra costs they face.

For instance someone with multiple sclerosis might need help to pay for specialist mobility aids, or for someone to come in to support them with household chores.

However, three years on and sick and disabled people are still being let down by benefit payments, according to Citizens Advice Gosport.

Citizens Advice Gosport chief officer, Anita Muff, said: ‘The Personal Independence Payment system is three years old now and still not fit for purpose.

‘Too many sick and disabled people are being let down by PIP failures and a growing number of people are turning to us for help as they struggle to get the benefit.

‘Problems with PIP not only cause unnecessary stress but can also put people’s financial security at risk and jeopardise their ability to stay in or return to work.

‘The government needs to make sure the PIP application process is quick and effective, and that medical assessments get it right first time to avoid delays.’

The top three PIP problems reported to Citizens Advice Gosport since its introduction three years ago are 245 queries about eligibility for PIP, 324 making and managing a claim issues, including problems with delays and 57 problems with challenges and appeals.

Citizens Advice Gosport can provide help or support with your PIP application and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9.30am-3pm and Wednesdays from 5pm-7pm for drop-in advice.

It is located at Martin Snape House, 96 Pavilion Way. Alternatively, call the local rate number on 03444 111 306.