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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

​​man in a wheelchair getting onto a busDo you or your partner suffer from any disabilities or illnesses?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help people with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability.  

It is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance for adults aged 16 or over and who were aged under 65 on 8 April 2013.

An award of Personal Independence Payment can dramatically increase your income – so if you or your partner or a child aged 16 or over have an illness or disability – whether physical, mental health or learning difficulty, contact an experienced adviser to see if it is worth making a claim.

Most people who are currently getting Disability Living Allowance – except under 16s and those who were aged 65 on 8 April 2013 - are gradually being reassessed for Personal Independence Payment instead.  If you are currently getting Disability Living Allowance and are not sure if you are going to be affected by this change you can use this ‘checker.

  
Accordion Description
  
You can claim Personal Independence Payment if you have a long-term health condition or disability, are aged 16 or over, and under 65.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in or out of work and doesn’t take account of your income or savings.

Personal Independence Payment considers how your disability / health condition affects your ability to complete certain everyday activities. You will be asked to fill in a questionnaire and have to attend a medical assessment.  If you score enough “points” from these you will be awarded Personal Independence Payment. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on these “points”.

Note:  you might have a health problem but not consider yourself to be disabled. If your illness means that you need help, or take longer to do the task, or cannot do it reliably, repeatedly or safely, or you use aids and/or appliances to live a more independent live, then you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment.

Note: to be able to claim you will need to have had the problems that mean you qualify for Personal Independence Payment for a period of three months before making a claim, and be expected to continue to have these problems for a further nine months after making the claim. But these rules do not apply if you are terminally ill, or if you move onto Personal Independence Payment from Disability Living Allowance. 

Parents of children under 16 can claim Disability Living Allowance for them instead.

If you are aged 65 or over you can claim Attendance Allowance instead.
  

​Claims are made over the telephone: 0800 917 2222. Lines are open 8am - 6pm Monday – Friday.

If you would prefer to complete a paper form just explain this when you call – but don’t delay completing and returning the form as an award will only be made from the date the DWP receive the form.

Once you’ve made this initial claim you will then be sent a questionnaire to complete about how your illness / disability affects you.

Most people who claim Personal Independence Payment will have to attend a face-to face consultation  (medical) with a healthcare professional, although there are exceptions: e.g. for some people who are terminally ill.

The questionnaire and the medical are to work out how many points you score – so make sure you explain your problems and the support you need, as fully as possible.


  

There are two components of Personal Independence Payment. One for daily living and one for mobility needs.

Each component has a standard rate and an enhanced rate.

People with care / support needs get a Daily Living Component.

People with problems walking / moving around / getting from place to place - for physical or other reasons - get a Mobility Component.

Some people will be entitled to both.

How much you can get depends on which component/s you are awarded and at what level.

​2016/17 Rates​Daily Living Component​Mobility ​​Component
​Standard Rate​£55.10​£21.80
Enhanced Rate​£82.30​£57.45

  

​When you are assessed to see if you qualify for Personal Independence Payment, your difficulties with daily life and your mobility problems are looked at as separate “activities”. For each activity, there is a list of ‘descriptors’, which are sentences that describe different levels of support. Each descriptor has a point score. The greater the need for support, the higher the points scored.

There are 10 “daily living” activities; these are:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating or taking nutrition any other way (eg through a tube)
  • Managing medication or therapy, or monitoring your health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing your toilet needs or incontinence issues
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading, and understanding signs and symbols
  • Budgeting
  • Engaging with people face to face. 

There are two “mobility” activities; these are:
  • Planning and following a journey
  • Moving around.

The Personal Independence Payment assessment Guide​ – gives guidance to assessors on the points that should be given - see page 97 onwards.

When you fill in the medical questionnaire, and when you see a medical assessor (see below), you will be asked about your abilities to do these activities and what problems you have in completing them.  If you have no problems you score no points for that activity. But if you need some support you score points – and the more difficulty you have, the higher your points for each activity. If you score enough points on one or a combination of activities you will be awarded Personal Independence Payment – this could be the daily living component or the mobility component or a combination.

  

No! In fact it may have just the opposite affect - an award of Personal Independence Payment can sometimes mean extra money is awarded in other benefits – so if you do get an award of Personal Independence Payment it is important to let all the benefit authorities know.

For example, if you are affected by the Benefit Cap, an award of Personal Independence Payment to anyone in the benefit family will mean that the Benefit Cap will no longer apply.

And if you are getting Housing Benefit or help with your rent through Universal Credit and you or your partner are awarded a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment this will remove any non-dependant deductions (due to you having, for example,  a grown up son or daughter living with you).​

  

​​If you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 then you will stay on Disability Living Allowance.

But if you were under 65 on 8 April 2013 then you will need to be assessed to see if you can be awarded Personal Independence Payment instead. The DWP will write to you to let you know when you need to do this. Your Disability Living Allowance award will then be brought to an end – even if you have an indefinite or life award and you will need to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment – for most people this will be at some point between 2015 and 2018.

No-one on Disability Living Allowance is guaranteed an award of Personal Independence Payment – it depends how many points you score on the assessment. So when you receive the letter from the DWP telling you your DLA is due to end it is important that you get advice from an experienced adviser.

If you don’t make a claim for Personal Independence Payment within 4 weeks of this letter your Disability Living Allowance payments will stop.

If you do make a claim for Personal Independence Payment, then your Disability Living Allowance will continue to be paid until a decision on your Personal Independence Payment claim is made.

The decision could be that you are entitled to Personal Independence Payment, and this could be at the same rate, a higher or a lower amount than your current Disability Living Allowance award.

​The decision could be that you are not entitled to Personal Independence Payment at all – your Disability Living Allowance award will end at this point. You will be sent a letter explaining why you do not qualify, and you can write back, within a calendar month, asking the DWP to reconsider their decision. If they still disagree you can then appeal. It is very important to seek advice if you decide to challenge the decision.  Contact us.​


  

The rules on who will get an award are different - this means that some people currently getting Disability Living Allowance may not get awarded Personal Independence Payment or get it awarded at a lower amount.

But it also means that some people who could not claim Disability Living Allowance may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment. And that some people who do currently claim Disability Living Allowance may be awarded Personal Independence Payment at a higher rate. This could include:

  • People who use aids and appliances.
  • People who have support needs due to literacy and / or numeracy problems.​
  

The rules on who will get an award are different - this means that some people currently getting Disability Living Allowance may not get awarded Personal Independence Payment or get it awarded at a lower amount.

If, when the time comes for your Disability Living Allowance claim to end and for you to claim Personal Independence Payment, it is decided that you do not qualify for Personal Independence Payment then your claim for Disability Living Allowance will come to an end.

If you are told that you do not qualify for Personal Independence Payment, you can write to the DWP, within a calendar month, asking them to reconsider their decision. If they still disagree you can then appeal. It is very important to seek advice if you decide to challenge the decision.

If you are 65 or over at this time you could try for Attendance Allowance.

If you were on Disability Living Allowance but now don't qualify for Personal Independence Payment, it might be that you had been getting extra benefits or services because you were on Disability Living Allowance. In this case these would also come to an end. These could include: extra money via other benefits including Tax Credits, exclusion from non-dependant deductions, bus pass, motability car, blue parking badge, exclusion from the Benefit Cap.  If you lose your mobility car, you may qualify for a one-off payment from Motability​.

So when you are invited to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment – which will be at some point before 2018 depending on where you live – seek advice immediately and get help from an experienced adviser.​

  
It is best to get specialist advice first. This is because you would be asking another decision maker (or an appeal tribunal) to look at your award again and it is possible that they may decide your award should actually be lower, or they may decide you are not entitled to any PIP! 

A specialist adviser will be able to assess your chances of getting an increase and the risks of you losing what you have so you can make an informed decision about what you want to do. 

  

​Yes! The DWP can review your PIP award at any time, to check you are getting the correct award. If you do not send this form back by the deadline, your current award may be terminated – well before it was due to end!