PIP, boot camp and Moon
Getting a job once school finishes, deciding on whether or not to pursue further education, or taking that step to leaving home; all tough decisions faced by young people. But are there higher barriers to attaining these milestones if you are visually impaired? The charity Action for Blind People thinks so. That's why it's developed a residential transition programme called "Boot Camps". Catering for the 18-25-year age group, they are designed to provide advice on finding employment or further training, and perhaps most importantly, giving visually impaired young people an opportunity to meet and network. Lee Kumutat visits one of the first courses to find out some of the challenges being faced by the participants.
Braille is the preferred choice for most visually impaired readers, nowadays. And with its growth in popularity, the use of Moon - an alternative alphabet where shapes are raised - has declined. First published by Dr William Moon in 1845, the characters are fairly large, with over half the letters bearing a strong resemblance to the print equivalent. That's why some people find it much easier to read than braille. However, the RNIB has now stopped most of their Moon products and services, but is there an argument for it continuing? We speak to people in favour of its use as a simpler alternative alphabet which still has a value for the visually impaired.
On last week's programme, Peter White spoke to the Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, about Personal Independence Payments, or PIP, the new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance. The interview prompted many questions about how to claim for PIP, and whether other benefits will be affected, which we'll answer in this week's programme.
Presenter: Peter White
Producer: Katy Takatsuki.
PIP - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I am in my late 70's and on Disability living Allowance low rate care and low rate mobility. I am also Blind and have been informed that people in my age group are not having any change at all. Please could you advise me if this information is correct.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Correct - those aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will not be affected by the changes.
The minister implied that people over 65 would need to re-apply for PIP. I understood that people over 65 would not be affected by the changes, and would continue to receive DLA - in the past those receiving DLA were not transferred to Attendance Allowance when they reach 65. Is this changing?
People aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 will not be affected by the changes, and will remain on DLA. If you were born on or before 8 April 1948 you will not be affected by these changes.
A couple of people emailed to say they’d understood from the minister that if you got your forms in on time, you would be assessed for PIP – is this the case?
We will start to invite DLA recipients (aged 16-64 on or after 8th April 2013) to claim PIP from October 2013 on a gradual basis (starting with DLA fixed term awards coming up for renewal, and claimants reporting a change in their needs DLA care and/or mobility needs, and young people turning age 16); the vast majority however will not start to be invited to claim PIP until October 2015.
Are you able to continue on PIP from DLA if you have got to the age when, as you a new applicant, you would have to apply for Attendance Allowance before you have been reassessed?
As for DLA, the rules will allow those who are in receipt of PIP when they reach the upper age limit to continue to receive their existing award for as long as they remain entitled.
Do I need to initiate a claim for PIP? My current DLA award lasts until my 65th birthday in December 2016. I had a face-to-face assessment a couple of years ago, will I need to be seen again or will DWP already have sufficient recent information to complete my assessment for PIP?
We will invite you nearer the end of your current DLA award, as you will be in scope for the new benefit and you will be able to make a claim for PIP.
There’s also an advice line you can call - 0845 345 4345. (the Community Legal Services National Specialist Welfare Benefits Advice Line)