Many organisations and companies offer a great range of money off discounts and additional financial help if you have a disability. You can also sign up to specialist schemes that could help you to save some extra money in the long-term. If you or a member of your family currently receives the PIP (Personal Independence Payment) benefit, here's our top money-saving PIP tips!
PIP is a tax-free, non-means tested benefit for people with a disability (or a long-term health condition) aged 16 and over who haven't reached the state pension age yet. It was introduced to help people deal with the extra costs caused by a disability and is gradually replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). It is paid every four weeks and is made up of two parts or components - a 'daily living' part and a 'mobility' part. How much money you’ll receive depends on how severely your condition affects you.
Here, we've rounded up as many money-saving tips for people with a disability who currently receive PIP as we can.
Depending on the level of income support you receive through PIP, you may be eligible for extra money for benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance or Working Tax Credit. These types of benefits are usually known as 'premiums', and for some of them, a person can only apply if they also receive the daily living component of PIP. You'll need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (or whoever is responsible for your benefits), to see if you are eligible for any of these premiums.
You will need your PIP confirmation letter (the letter you received that confirms that you were awarded PIP and the PIP components you get) as proof that you have been awarded PIP.
The Motability Scheme helps people with a disability to lease a new car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), powered wheelchair or mobility scooter, depending on whether they receive certain disability benefits. To get involved, one of the eligible benefits that you can use is the higher rate mobility allowance part of PIP (currently worth £71.00 a week), which you exchange all or a part of to lease a brand new car, WAV, scooter or a powered wheelchair.
The vehicle lease part of the Motability Scheme includes insurance (for up to 3 drivers), road tax, breakdown cover and maintenance costs, and there's a great choice of vehicles available from over 30 different car manufacturers, including electric vehicles. The payments for the vehicle are automatically taken from your qualifying PIP mobility allowance, so the only additional costs you’ll incur are for the fuel to drive it! Many specialist driving and access adaptations are free of charge as well.
Leasing a brand new car or a WAV through the Motability Scheme is usually far better value than a private lease, plus there's also additional help available through the Motability Grants team if you need help to pay for an Advance Payment or driving lessons (as a customer you can apply for up to 40 hours of driving lessons to help you pass your driving test).
PIP recipients who lease a Motability Scheme vehicle can save up to an extra 15% when booking a break with Haven holidays (use code Z_MOT2). There's also 10% off all trips booked with specialist tour operator Enable Holidays (use code MOTA 1).
If you currently tax your own vehicle (also known as Vehicle Excise Duty or VED) and you receive a PIP disability benefit, you may not have to pay for annual road tax.
If you have your own vehicle and receive the standard PIP mobility rate, you are eligible for a vehicle tax discount of 50%.
If you get the enhanced PIP mobility rate, you are eligible for a vehicle tax discount of 100%.
Discounts are also available if someone receives a number of other disability benefits, including the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Armed Forces Independence Payment and the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement).
The Blue Badge scheme was launched to help people with a disability find appropriate free parking close to where they need to go. If you are eligible for PIP, you should also be eligible for a Blue Badge, and should contact your local council to start your application.
As a Blue Badge holder, you can also ask the council for a disabled parking place to be created close to your home. You'll need to contact the roads department in your local council to find out more.
There are many toll roads and bridges in the UK that offer concessions for disabled people and PIP recipients, including the M6 Toll, the Dartford Crossing, the Humber Bridge and the Mersey tunnels and bridges. Other road charging schemes, including the London Congestion Charge scheme, also offer discounts or exemptions for motorists and passengers with a disability.
The application process differs depending on the operator, so it is advisable to check directly with them before you travel as you may have to apply in advance to get a discount.
You are automatically eligible for the Disabled Persons Railcard if you receive PIP. With a Disabled Persons Railcard you can get a third off of most rail fares, plus you can also save money for a family member or carer too. You do have to initially purchase the railcard, which currently costs £20 for 12 months (or £56 for 3 years). Disabled people can also receive support from rail firms when getting on and off the train, and help with luggage, which is completely free. If you live in London you can also apply for a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass, which offers free travel across London.
If you receive PIP you may be able to get money off your Council Tax bill. Your local council will be able to tell you exactly how much discount you are entitled to, as it depends on factors including the component and rate of PIP you receive.
You may also be able to get a disability-related Council Tax reduction if you live in a larger property because of your disability, or you have had to have a property extension to make your house larger. This scheme is known as the 'Disabled Band Reduction Scheme'. For instance, if you had to build an extension on your property to create a bathroom that was wheelchair accessible, increasing the size of your home and pushing you into the next Council Tax band, you may be able to get your Council Tax bill reduced so that you pay the same amount that you did before your property was extended.
English Heritage and the National Trust offer discounted and free entry to disabled visitors and their companions or carers. The person with a disability usually pays to enter, while their companions often go free. Disabled people can also apply for a card from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA), which gives one free ticket to any companions who may come along with you to watch a movie. Many theatres also offer disabled people discounted tickets to shows, while leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools often have different schemes, memberships, and benefits for people with a disability.
Here are some useful links:
With the way groceries, utilities and other costs are rising year on year, it makes sense to find out helpful ways in which you can save money. If you have a disability, saving money can often be that little bit harder. Hopefully, this guide has given you a few more pointers on some ways to make things a little easier on the purse strings.