Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64 with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Find out what PIP is, how to claim it, how much it is worth and how its introduction affects you if you are already receiving DLA.

What is PIP?

Being ill or having a disability can often make life more expensive. PIP is a benefit that is meant to help you with the extra costs caused by illness or disability – including sight loss.

PIP is also a benefit aimed at a particular age group: people aged 16 to 64. If you are:

  • 65 or older, PIP is not the benefit that you will claim to help with extra costs. If you are claiming help for the first time, it will be Attendance Allowance. If you are 65 or over and already receive DLA, you will remain on DLA.
  • under 16 and claiming help for the first time, you should make a claim for DLA. When you turn 16, you will then have to make a claim for PIP.

To make a claim for PIP you must:

  • be habitually resident in the UK (this is decided by looking at a number of factors including reasons for coming to the UK, the length of your stay, future intentions, and previous links with the country)
  • and satisfy the past presence test (you must have been present in the UK for 104 out of the previous 156 weeks).

These two rules are complicated and there are some exceptions - if you live in a European Economic Area country, for example - so contact our Helpline if you think you may have difficulty passing these tests.

PIP is meant to help with daily living activities and getting out and around. Because of this, it is split into two parts or 'components': a daily living component and a mobility component. You might be successful in claiming one or both of these components.

Each component then has two rates:

  • a standard rate for people who the DWP decide have a limited ability to carry out daily living or mobility activities because of their physical or mental condition
  • an enhanced rate for people who the DWP decide have a severely limited ability to carry out daily living or mobility activities because of their physical or mental condition.

It is not a means-tested benefit – so you can claim it no matter what your income is – and the DWP pays it tax free.

How much is PIP worth?

The daily living component:

  • the standard rate is £54.45 a week
  • the enhanced rate is £81.30 a week.

The mobility component:

  • the standard rate is £21.55 a week.
  • the enhanced rate is £56.75 a week.

The rates for PIP will rise with inflation each year.

How do I make a new claim for PIP?

Please note that, although PIP was introduced in June 2013 for all new claims, the Assembly of Northern Ireland has not yet agreed to introduce it there, so you still apply for DLA in Northern Ireland.

Call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for free on 0800 917 22 22 (0800 917 77 77 if you use a textphone). The DWP will take initial details of your claim while you are on the phone.

The DWP will then automatically generate a claim form for you and send it to you. Your claim form will include a barcode (to uniquely identify your form) and some parts of it will already be completed for you (your name, address and date of birth, for example). You then complete the rest of the form and send it back to the DWP.

The claim form for PIP

The idea of filling out a claim form can be a little daunting, however we feel that the PIP claim form is clearly laid out and quite straightforward to fill in. You are given lots of prompts throughout the form on what information to include, and there is also a useful information booklet which accompanies the form.

When completing the form, it is important to include as much information and supporting evidence as possible. This may include copies of prescriptions of any medicines you require or a supporting letter from a health care professional who helps you. You could also include a care diary, which is a written record of all the help and assistance you need carrying out everyday tasks throughout a whole day. More information on what sort of information to include in a care diary can be found in our factsheet.

The medical assessment for PIP

When you claim PIP, it is almost certain that the DWP will ask you to attend a face-to-face consultation which will consider your individual circumstances across twelve activities.

For each activity, there are different descriptors which describe a person's ability to do something. Each of these descriptors has a score associated with it and you will score points based on the descriptors that apply to you.

For each descriptor to apply you must show that you are unable to carry out the activity "reliably, repeatedly, safely and in a timely manner".

Of the twelve activities, ten relate to the daily living component (such as “preparing food and drink” and “reading and understanding signs, symbols and words”) while two relate to the mobility component (“moving around”, for example)

You can score points in more than one activity. For the DWP to award you the standard rate, you have to score at least 8 points in total for the relevant activities. To receive the enhanced rate you have to score at least 12 points in total.

If an assessor asks you to attend an assessment it is very important that you attend a face-to-face consultation. If you do not do this and do not have a good reason (good cause) then this could mean that the DWP reject your claim for PIP.

When and how PIP affects you if you receive DLA

If you are aged 16 to 64 and receive DLA, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will eventually ask you to make a claim for PIP. Only once you have passed the assessment for PIP will you start to receive the new benefit – you will not automatically be transferred on to it.

The DWP has stated that the majority of people will be asked to make a claim for PIP from October 2015.

Before that, however, the DWP has started to ask some recipients of DLA in certain parts of the country to make a claim for PIP already. These are people who live in Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, some parts of Scotland and parts of the North of England, and one of the following applies to them:

  • they report a change in their circumstances
  • their DLA award is due to expire
  • they turn 16 years old (unless they were awarded DLA under the Special Rules for terminally ill people)
  • or they choose to claim PIP instead of DLA.

When the DWP contact you inviting you to make a claim for PIP, it is vital that you contact them to start your claim within four weeks. If you do not start your claim within four weeks, the DWP will suspend your DLA. You can still make a claim for PIP after this, and if you do it within a further four weeks the DWP will reinstate your DLA whilst you are making your claim for PIP.

PIP appeals

If your claim for PIP is unsuccessful or you are unhappy with the rates you have been awarded you have the right to appeal.

Getting help with PIP

We have produced a factsheet on PIP that contains lots of useful information and more details about how to make an effective claim for it:

If you have any concerns about the introduction of PIP or need help with your claim, you can speak to one of our trained benefits advisers by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. You can also email helpline@rnib.org.uk with your questions.

Please note that we can only give advice about benefits for blind and partially sighted people and their carers or dependants.

Tell us about your experience

We want to hear about your experience with the PIP application process, please get in touch by emailing campaigns@rnib.org.uk

 

Related links

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