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.
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 only for people aged 16 to 64. If you are:
To make a claim for PIP you must:
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:
It is not a means-tested benefit – so you can claim it no matter what your income is – and PIP is not taxable.
The daily living component:
The rates for PIP will rise with inflation each year.
The mobility component:
You should 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 idea of filling out a claim form can be a little daunting, so to help you complete your form we have created a handy PIP Toolkit. Our Toolkit identifies the questions on the PIP application form that are most relevant for many blind and partially sighted people and contains our top tips to help you complete the form effectively.
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.
If you would like some advice or help with completing the claim form please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999, open 8am to 8pm weekdays and Saturday 9am to 1pm, or email [email protected]. We will be able to put you in touch with our specialist advice services and form filling service.
When you claim PIP, it's 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.
We've put together a factsheet of top tips to help you prepare for your face to face assessment:
From now until 2017, people living in Great Britain who were receiving DLA and are aged over 16 or were aged under 65 on 8 April 2013 will be invited to claim PIP. We cannot tell you exactly when this will happen to you, but during this period the DWP plans to contact people by letter and explain to them what they need to do next.
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.
If your claim for PIP is unsuccessful or you are unhappy with the rates you have been awarded you have the right to appeal.
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 would like some advice or help with completing the claim form please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999, open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm, or email [email protected]. We will be able to put you in touch with our specialist advice services and form filling service.
Please note that we can only give advice about benefits for blind and partially sighted people and their carers or dependants.
We want to hear about your experience with the PIP application process, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].