Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for adults of working age who have problems getting around out of doors, or who need personal care, supervision, or support, due to a disability.
PIP has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age, although a small number of people still get DLA because they have not yet been transferred over to PIP.
PIP is a non-taxable benefit that can be paid whether you are working or not. It is not means-tested so it is not affected by any income or savings that you or your partner have.
People aged under 16 can still claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA). When your child is approaching the age of 16 you will receive a letter inviting them to claim PIP. See this page for more information about Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
People over pension age can continue to receive DLA or PIP if you were receiving it before reaching pension age. If you are claiming for the first time over pension age, you can claim Attendance Allowance. See this page for more information on Attendance Allowance.
Who can qualify for PIP
You can claim PIP if you have a physical, mental health or learning disability that affects your ability to live a full, active and independent life.
You must have had the problems for at least the past 3 months and be likely to last for at least another 9 months. If you are terminally ill this qualifying period does not apply and you are entitled to PIP immediately.
PIP has two components: the daily living component and the mobility component.
Daily Living Component
There are two rates of the Daily Living Component of PIP. The standard rate is £61.85 per week and the enhanced rate is £92.40 per week. This component covers activities such as toileting, washing and bathing, dressing and undressing, preparing food and drink, taking nutrition, managing a therapy or monitoring a health condition, communicating, engaging with other people, and making budgeting decisions.
There are two rates of the Mobility Component of PIP. The standard rate is £24.45 per week and the enhanced rate of £64.50 per week. The mobility component is based on your difficulties walking outdoors and also any help getting around out of doors or planning and following a journey.
How PIP is assessed
Your needs for help with daily living and mobility are assessed by a point-scoring test, which looks at several different mobility and daily living activities. The more help you need with these activities, the more points you will score:
Daily Living Component (activities 1-9)
Standard rate: 8 points
Enhanced rate: 12 points
Mobility Component (activities 10-11)
Standard rate: 8 points
Enhanced rate: 12 points
How to claim PIP
Phone the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222. Visit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for alternative methods of claiming.
The telephone call can be made by someone supporting you as long as you are present to confirm your permission to make the claim.
Various details will be taken during the initial call including the name and address of your GP and any hospital specialists, details of any recent stays in hospitals, care homes or hospices, dates of any time spent abroad or income from abroad.
You will then be sent a questionnaire to explain 'How your disability affects you'. This is called form PIP 2 and you have a month to send it back.
Most people have to attend an assessment with a health professional which can take place either face-to-face, by telephone or by video.
PIP - the assessment activities and descriptors
This page explains in more detail how Personal Independence Payment is assessed and gives tips on filling in your PIP claim form.
Your PIP decision
The decision maker is supposed to take account of all the evidence available, such as the questionnaire you completed, the report by the health professional, and any other medical evidence that has been supplied.
You will receive a decision in writing, which should contain an explanation of how the decision was arrived at and outline the steps you can take if you are not happy with the decision. You will be given an opportunity to discuss the decision, which will probably be over the phone.
Disputing a decision
If you do not agree with the decision you have the right to ask the DWP to look at it again. This is called a "mandatory reconsideration". You will have one month from the date of the decision in which to request this reconsideration, or longer if you have special circumstances for requesting it late.
After the DWP has looked again at the decision they will notify you of the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration in writing. If you are not happy with the new decision you will have a further month in which to appeal against it. The appeal must be made on form SSCS1 or you can appeal online at Form SSCS1: Appeal a social security benefits decision
It's always a good idea to seek advice when making a request for reconsideration or an appeal. See disputing a benefit decision for more information about this.
Further advice and information
If you live in County Durham and want to know more about PIP you can contact the Welfare Rights Service for free and confidential advice on benefit issues.