Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the disability benefit for people of working age that has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
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.
You can get PIP if you are aged 16 or over and under state pension age when you start your claim. If you are:
- state pension age or older and were born before 8 April 1948 (or born before 20 June 1951 if you live in Northern Ireland) PIP is not the benefit that you can claim to help with extra costs. If you are claiming help for the first time, it will be Attendance Allowance. If you have reached your state pension age 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, 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 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 have a severely limited ability to carry out daily living or mobility activities because of their physical or mental condition.
PIP is not a means-tested benefit – so you can claim it no matter what your income is – and it is not taxable.
You can hear about PIP and how to claim it in our audio Q and A.
How much is PIP worth?
The daily living component:
- the standard rate is £59.70 a week
- the enhanced rate is £89.15 a week.
The mobility component:
- the standard rate is £23.60 a week.
- the enhanced rate is £62.25 a week.
The rates for PIP will rise with inflation each year.
How do I make a new claim for PIP?
If you live in Great Britain call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for free on 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777). If you live in Northern Ireland call the Department for Communities on 0800 012 1573 (textphone 0800 587 0937). The DWP or DfC will take initial details of your claim while you are on the phone.
The DWP/DfC 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/DfC.
Please note that you can also request that you are sent (and can return) the PIP2 form electronically. You must provide an email address to which DWP/DfC will send you a message containing information and guidance on accessing and returning the PIP2 PDF.
What should I include with my claim form when I submit it?
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.
What does the medical assessment for PIP entail?
When you claim PIP, it's very likely that you will be asked 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 you to get 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 your claim for PIP is rejected.
We've put together a factsheet of top tips to help you prepare for your face to face assessment:
How PIP affects you if you receive DLA
Any people who were receiving DLA and were aged over 16 and under 65 on 8 April 2013 (or under 65 on 20 June 2016 if you live in Northern Ireland) are being invited to claim PIP. If you are in the relevant age group and have not yet had an invitation to claim PIP, you will eventually get a letter from DWP/DfC which will explain what you need to do to begin your claim.
When you are invited to make a claim for PIP, it is vital that you contact the DWP/DfC to start your claim within four weeks. If you do not start your claim within four weeks, the DWP/DfC will suspend your DLA. You can still make a claim for PIP after this, and if you do it within a further four weeks your DLA will be reinstated 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.
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 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.
Tell us about your experience
We want to hear about your experience with the PIP application process, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].