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How moving from DLA to PIP can affect your benefits - and what you can do about it

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Q My daughter has been receiving DLA since the age of 10 and recently turned 16, so we were sent the forms to switch to Personal Independence Payments.

She was paid money for her care and mobility when she got DLA, but on the PIP claim the mobility payment is no longer paid and the amount of money for her care has dropped from about £80 per week to £57.

There has been no change in her condition, so why would her benefit amounts change so drastically?

A The rules for PIP and DLA do vary substantially, and many claimants may find their benefit rates change when moving from DLA to PIP even if their health needs remain unchanged.

For example, DLA takes into account care needs during the day and night, but there is no time distinction for PIP claimants.

Instead, PIP assesses a person against a number of set activities, and awards points if it is accepted you have difficulties doing these activities or if you need help.

DLA had a broader definition of activities that could be taken into account.

The same is true for the mobility components of both DLA and PIP.

You can request a mandatory reconsideration of the decision within a month of the notification award if you feel the decision is wrong.

But it is always best to seek advice before proceeding and to remember the benefit rules do differ.

You may also find that other benefits you get may change as a result of the new benefit award, so make sure you notify other agencies such as the DWP, Tax Credits if you get these, and the council if you get council tax or housing benefit, as the revised benefit award is not always disclosed to all relevant bodies.

This will avoid a potential overpayment of benefits whilst you challenge the decision.