East Midlands Autism charity says don’t delay applying for Personal Inependence Payment

An autism charity has advised adults with autism not to delay applying for their Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

NORSACA, the largest specialist autism charity in the East Midlands, warns the new replacement for Disability Living Allowance will have several impacts on people with autism.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16-64 being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

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Linsey Atkins, Principal Office of NORSACA’s Family Services said: “Although the criteria for PIP applications includes multiple sections on seemingly simple daily tasks such as taking nutrition, bathing and managing toilet needs. It also accounts for the ability to communicate and engage socially, which better reflects the specific needs of people with autism.”

She said people should be aware that DLA will eventually be stopped for all ‘working age’ people, including those who have an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA, and there is no automatic transfer onto PIP.

Those claiming DLA will be invited to make a PIP claim and they will continue to receive DLA whilst they are waiting for the decision about their entitlement to PIP. Providing they complete and return the forms on time and attend the face-to-face assessment for PIP when invited.

She added: “If you already receive DLA, and were aged 65 or older on 8 April 2013, you will continue to receive DLA if you continue to meet the criteria. If you make a new claim and are 65 or older you have to claim Attendance Allowance not DLA or PIP.

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“The Government is waiting to see how the changes to DLA work for people of working age before changing child DLA.

“If you claim DLA for someone under 16, you can continue to do so until they are 16 years old, should the child continue to meet the criteria, and new DLA claims can still be made for children.

“If you have any questions on how these changes may affect you, then contact the Department for Work & Pensions or Citizens Advice.”

NORSACA also offers family services, a specialist school, outreach and supported living services, as well as residential and day services for young people and adults with autism. It also provides telephone advice and counselling and runs specialist training for parents and professionals. It operates one of the very few autism-specific diagnostic and assessment centres in the country.

Visit www.norsaca.org.uk.