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PIP problems top the list of benefit issues reported to Local Citizens Advice

“Don’t struggle in silence”, says local Citizens Advice in North Wales

Our network of local Citizens Advice in North Wales helped over 4,400 people with problems related to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) last year.

PIP is a benefit that helps people to meet the extra costs of being disabled or having a long term health condition. For example it allows them to employ a carer who can help them get washed and dressed in the mornings, or to have a mobility scooter so they can travel to work.

Most people who contacted us across North Wales about PIP wanted help to:

● Make a claim or check their eligibility
● Challenge the outcome of their assessment decision
● Take their appeal to tribunal

In one example, Citizens Advice helped a man with multiple long-term health conditions who after moving from DLA to PIP, was receiving less benefit. He contacted the charity for assistance with a PIP appeal where it was also worked out he was entitled to Pension Credit. Citizens Advice helped him make the claim which helped to ease the burden of the reduction in the disability benefit.

As detailed in the report, in total last year, Citizens Advice Wales helped more than 100,000 people resolve their problems. PIP problems were the most common advice issue for the charity with 17,000 people seeking its help.

The top three issues reported to local Citizens Advice in North Wales in 2017/18 were:

1. Benefits and tax credits – 14,854
2. Debt – 7,261
3. Employment – 3,385

Fran Targett, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru, said:

“No one else sees so many people with so many different kinds of problems and that gives us unique insight into the challenges people are facing today.”

“A wrong PIP assessment decision can lead to people missing out on the everyday support they need. The daily reality of living with a disability can often be overlooked during the PIP assessment so it’s important that people know they can try to overturn this decision by asking for a reconsideration or appealing their case at tribunal.”

“Don’t struggle in silence. The Welsh Government currently funds quality-assured, specialist welfare benefit advice across Wales and we’re here to help.”

“Anyone who wants to make a PIP appeal, or has a more general query about the benefit, should contact their local Citizens Advice to understand their next steps.”

Background

Our network of Local Citizens Advice in North Wales cover the local authority areas of Ynys Môn, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

The charities run face-to-face sessions, as well as a phone helpline to make it easier for people to access its free and impartial advice service.

Anyone in Gwynedd requiring advice or support can contact the local Adviceline on 0345 450 3064.

It is also possible to get help online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or find their local Citizens Advice office.

There is also a dedicated phone line for consumer issues on 03454 04 05 06. For Welsh speaking advisers dial 03454 04 05 05.

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