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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the disability benefit for people of working age if you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Image: A younger woman reading paperwork to an older woman.

If you live in Scotland PIP is being replaced by Adult Disability Payments. You can find out more on our Benefits in Scotland webpage.

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.

Alternatively, if you are:

  • Over state pension age and not claiming DLA find out more about Attendance Allowance
  • Over state pension age and already receive DLA, find out more about DLA for adults.
  • under 16, find out more about DLA for Children

To make a claim for PIP you must:

  • be habitually resident in the UK (this is decided by looking at several 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 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.

How do I make a new claim for PIP?

If you live in England or Wales, 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 (DfC) 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.

Once the PIP claim process has started, 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.

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.

The DWP are also currently rolling out a process by which the whole claim can be carried out electronically, including the initial phone call application (known as the PIP1). This method of claiming is currently only available in certain parts of the UK. You can check if it’s possible for you to make an online claim in your area using the PIP eligibility checker.

Can I get help with making a claim?

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.

You can also download our PIP Toolkit factsheet:

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].

What does the medical assessment for PIP entail?

When you claim PIP, it's very likely that you will be asked to attend a consultation which will consider your individual circumstances across twelve activities. This consultation could be held in person, over the phone or via a video call. 

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 must 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 do so. If you do not do this and do not have a good reason (good cause) then this could mean that your claim for PIP is rejected.

We've put together a factsheet of top tips to help you prepare for your assessment:

Your PIP assessment: top tips (Word)

How PIP affects you if you receive DLA

The majority of DLA claimants aged 16 or over have now been invited to claim PIP. 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 four weeks your DLA will be reinstated whilst you are making your claim for PIP.

If you are currently claiming DLA and are over 65 years of age but were aged under 65 on 8 April 2013 (or under 65 on 20 June 2016 if you live in Northern Ireland) then you will be asked to claim for PIP if you report a change of circumstances or your award is reviewed.

DLA claimants who were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 (or 20 June 2016 if you live in Northern Ireland) will always remain on DLA as long as they continue to meet the criteria and will not be asked to claim PIP instead.

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 challenge the decision.

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:

PIP factsheet (Word)

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.

Advice you can trust

Our Advisers receive specialist training on topics related to living with sight loss, and many have personal experience of sight loss themselves.

Advisers are accredited with the Advice Quality Standard, an independent accreditation for organisations giving advice to the general public.

The Advice Quality Standard logo

The Advice Quality Standard logo