Q. I have claimed Disability Living Allowance for a number of years, but was recently transferred to Personal Independence Payment.
My personal care rate has stayed the same, but my mobility payment has gone from low rate to nothing at all. I have submitted an appeal and it is currently with the Tribunal Service, but I am worried about losing the personal care component if I appeal.
A. When you appeal to the Tribunal Service it will make a decision on the whole claim, including both the personal care and the mobility components. It could put you back onto the mobility component and leave your personal care component as it is, but there is also the chance that things could be reduced or stay the same. You could benefit from speaking to a benefits adviser regarding your likelihood of success, and whether or not you want to continue with the appeal or stick with what you have been awarded so far.
Q. I have been claiming Employment and Support Allowance for three years in the Support Group and I have started wondering about going back to work. I know my health is not as good as it used to be, and I don’t know how well I would cope with being back at work, but I think I need to try. Is there anything that I can claim when I return to work?
A. The DWP have a scheme of Permitted Work where you can work less than 16 hours per week and earn up to £115.50 per week without the wages affecting your benefit entitlement. You are now able to do this for an unlimited period, as the previous time limit has now been removed, but you must have the permitted work approved by the DWP. In practice this means that you can attempt going back to work without your benefit income being affected, and if you find that you are not able to cope with working then you can end the employment and continue with your benefit claims. If you find that you are coping well with the return to work then you could consider increasing your hours to 16+, but you would need to end the Employment and Support Allowance claim. You may be entitled to other benefits such as Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit, depending on the area in which you live, so it is also worthwhile getting a benefit check if you decided to do so.