You might be entitled to PIP

Fri 13 October 2023

MS Benefits Advisers

Lots of people who call us on the MS Helpline think they won’t be entitled to the benefit PIP - because they’re not ‘disabled enough’ or because no one helps to care for them. But PIP is actually for people who find it harder to do everyday activities because of their health condition. So of course that includes a lot of people with MS. 

Common MS symptoms could mean you’re eligible for PIP

Symptoms like numbness in your hands, poor balance or fatigue might mean you’ve had to make significant changes in your life to adapt. You might be entitled to the ‘standard rate’ payments from PIP.

PIP is a points-based system. If you get enough points in the assessment you can get PIP. The impact of lots of common MS symptoms could add up to show you are entitled to the benefit. We have practical support to help you apply for PIP.

You can get points for not being able to chop and peel vegetables because of numbness in your hands or the fatigue this causes you. You can get points if you can’t do things as often as you would like to. For example, if fatigue means you can only shower once a week.

You might be working and living alone, with no desire for anyone to help you out. But you could still be entitled to PIP. You can get points for needing an ‘aid’ such as a shower seat, or grab rails next to the toilet to help with poor balance.

If you make everyday adjustments, you might be entitled to PIP

Some of the everyday ways you adjust to life with MS might mean you qualify for PIP. For example, that could be:

  • buying pre-chopped vegetables and ready meals
  • only eating soft food so you don’t need to use a knife
  • wearing slip-on shoes and clothes without buttons or zips
  • only showering when you know someone is in the house close by

Or maybe you’ve installed a walk in shower, or use a perching stool in the kitchen.

If your symptoms or difficulties come and go, you might still be entitled to PIP

You don’t need to have symptoms or difficulties doing activities every day to be eligible for PIP. It’s enough for PIP if it happens on over half the days of the year. You can use phrases like ‘most days’ on your application form to make this clear.

And even if you can do daily activities, you might get PIP if you can’t do them ‘reliably’. For PIP, that means ‘safely’, ‘to a reasonable standard’, ‘repeatedly’ or ‘in a reasonable time period’.

Use our information and get in touch if we can help

If you’re eligible for PIP, it can be an extra £26 or even £128 every week. So it really could be worth looking into.

We’ve got a free step-by-step guide to applying for PIP, and you can get in touch through our MS Helpline for PIP advice and support.

To help you apply, or consider if you should, you may find it helpful to keep a diary of your symptoms. In particular, how they affect your ability to do things like preparing food, washing, dressing and moving around.

Get in touch if you’d like help claiming benefits or have any more questions about PIP.