There has been a 25 fold increase in awards of personal independence payment (PIP) for Long Covid in just one year, DWP statistics have revealed. Over one in five successful claimants is receiving the enhanced rates of both components, totalling £156.90 a week
In July 2021 there were just 108 PIP awards for Long Covid, but by July 2022 – the most recent month for which figures are available – that number had leapt to 2,794.
The success rate for claims based on Long Covid is 47%.
Of those who get an award, 1,233 are receiving the enhanced rate of the mobility component and 722 are getting the enhanced rate of the daily living component.
633 (23%) are getting the enhanced rate for both components.
Yet the level of awards is still tiny compared to the number of people likely to be eligible.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 1.1 million people have had self-reported Long Covid for at least one year and 514,000 for at least two years.
Long Covid symptoms adversely affect the day-to-day activities of 1.6 million people, with 342,000 reporting that their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been “limited a lot”.
It is very likely that many of these people would be eligible for an award of PIP.
Fatigue is the most common symptom reported in connection with Long Covid (69%), followed by difficulty concentrating (45%), shortness of breath (42%) and muscle ache (40%).
All of these symptoms would be highly relevant to a PIP claim and would be likely to lead to points being scored for in relation to activities such as:
- Preparing food
- Managing therapy and monitoring a health condition
- Washing and bathing
- Dressing and undressing
- Engaging with others face-to-face
- Planning and following a journey
- Moving around
It is more than a little surprising then, that in spite of the large increase in the number of awards, there are still so few people claiming PIP for Long Covid
You can read more about PIP for Long Covid and the fact that many thousands of people are likely to be missing out on an award.
Benefits and Work members can download a 7-page, Long Covid PIP supplement, to be used in conjunction with our Guide to PIP Claims and Reviews.
Benefits and Work have also published a short, introductory video on the subject.