Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP is a benefit for people aged between 16 and 64 who may need help with extra costs because of a long-term illness or disability. This benefit is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA). If you already get DLA and your claim is coming to an end soon, it is likely that you will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telling you that you will need to apply and be assessed for PIP.
If you use drugs and/or alcohol problematically you will have to show how this, and any other health conditions you may have, affects your ability to carry out daily living tasks and how your mobility may also be affected.
When you are assessed for PIP the DWP will consider your ability to carry out specific activities. These activities are divided into Daily Living and Mobility Activities. Daily Living activities are to do with how able you are to carry out tasks such as preparing a meal. Mobility Activities are used to assess how and to what extent your health issues impact your ability to complete tasks such as planning and following a journey.
To qualify for PIP you will need to score a minimum of 8 points from the Daily Living Activities or the Mobility Activities. If you score 8 points you will be entitled to PIP at the basic rate.
Enhanced rate PIP is awarded when you score 12 or more points in the Daily Living Activities or the Mobility Activities. If you are awarded enhanced rate you will be entitled to a higher rate in order to meet your needs.
It is possible in some cases to be awarded PIP where you have scored 8 points or more from the Daily Living Activities and 0 points from the Mobility Activities and vice versa.
Further guidance and a full list of the PIP Daily Living Activities and the Mobility Activities are available here.
As with Employment and Support Allowance you should try to get strong supporting letters and reports from people who helping you.
Universal Credit is a new benefit for people of working age which is due to replace many of the existing benefits and tax credits. It is a single benefit that combines means-tested support for adults, children and housing costs into a single benefit and is paid once a month.
This means that it replaces benefits such as Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
It is being rolled out in some parts of the country; however, it is expected that all claimants will be transferred over by 2022.
In the meantime the main benefits available to you depending on your circumstances are Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and some Social Fund Payments.
You can find further guidance on Universal Credit here.
Drug use might have a direct or indirect effect on your housing situation in some way.
- Department for Work & Pensions: A guide to Employment and Support Allowance – The Work Capability Assessment
- Department for Communities and Local Government: Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities