Around 2.7 million people in England and Wales claim PIP which is a benefit paid to working-age people who have extra care or mobility needs due to a medical condition or disability. In the current cost of living crisis, financial support is more valuable than ever. When managing a medical condition or disability people can sometimes find themselves needing to receive hospital care.
Under the current rules, if a person has to remain in hospital, or a similar institution, for more than 28 days they will see their PIP suspended.
The payments will then remain paused until the person comes out of hospital.
However, some claimants are exempt from these rules and they include those who are under the age of 18 years when they enter hospital and those who a paying privately for their stay.
This exemption will remain with those who turn 18 during their hospital stay as well, so they will keep receiving their benefits.
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Once people leave the hospital they will need to contact the DWP to inform them of the change.
Once they have done this, they should be able to receive their PIP payment once again.
People should also note that hospital stays within the 28 days limits all count as the same stay.
If someone goes into hospital for 20 days and then 10 days later they have to return to the hospital for care this will class as 30 days.
This can include a one-night or longer stay in hospital, a one-night or longer stay in a care home or rehabilitation centre, and if someone misses a Jobcentre Plus appointment because you’re in hospital or have a medical appointment
If someone is unable to contact the relevant department, the DWP says that a friend or relative can do it for them.
When reporting the stay, people will need to provide their full name, date of birth, National Insurance number and partner’s detail if they are on the claim.
If someone is calling on behalf of the claimant then this person will also need to give their name and contact details too.
People will also need to give the DWP details of their hospital stay when they report it.
Someone will need to provide the exact date they went into hospital and the exact date they have left, the name of the hospital and the name of the ward they were on, and whether they changed hospitals during their stay.
People should also report where they were discharged to, such as their home or a care home.
The rules do not only apply to disability payments such as PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Hospital stays can affect benefits such as Universal Credit, Chil benefit, Housing benefit, Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the state pension.