Personal Independence Payment (NMT/NC)
In England, Scotland and Wales, Personal Independence Payment has replaced Disability Living Allowance for new claimants of working age.
Personal Independence Payment can help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term health conditions or disabilities. It’s based on how a person’s condition affects them, not on the condition they have. To get Personal Independence Payment, you must have difficulties related to daily living and/or mobility.
You must have had these difficulties for three months before you qualify and expect them to last for at least nine months.
You can claim Personal Independence Payment whether you are working or not. Receiving it doesn’t normally reduce other benefits – in some cases your other benefits may actually increase.
Personal Independence Payment replaces Disability Living Allowance as the benefit for people aged 16–64 who have a long-term disability.
It is similar in some ways to Disability Living Allowance. For example, it has two components: a daily living component (similar to the care component of Disability Living Allowance) and a mobility component. However, there are some key differences.
New claims are normally started over the phone and then a personalised form will be posted to you to complete.
Personal Independence Payment claims include an assessment of individual needs by a health professional. Most people will have face-to-face consultation as part of their claim. It’s a good idea to have a family member or friend with you at the consultation for support.
The assessment looks at how well you can move around and do daily activities. You must also be likely to meet the requirements of this assessment for the majority of the time. When the DWP assesses your claim, it looks at whether you are able to carry out certain activities:
to an acceptable standard
within a reasonable period of time.
You may get the daily living component if you need help with things like preparing food, washing, bathing and dressing.
You may get the mobility component if you need help with going out or moving around. Awards will also be reviewed regularly based on how likely it is that your condition or disability will change.
Everyone aged 16–64 who makes a new claim for disability benefits will be applying for Personal Independence Payment.
People aged 65 or over should claim Attendance Allowance instead of Personal Independence Payment.
But if you claimed or received Personal Independence Payment before you reached the age of 65, you’ll still be able to receive it after 65 while you remain entitled to it.
If you already get Disability Living Allowance
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If you’re aged 16–64 and currently get Disability Living Allowance, you will eventually be invited to claim Personal Independence payment. However, in most areas this won’t happen until 2015 at the earliest. It will only happen before 2015 if you live in a certain postcode area and your circumstances change or your award expires.
The DWP will write to you to tell you when your Disability Living Allowance is due to end. They will explain how you can make a claim for Personal Independence Payment.
If you’re currently claiming Disability Living Allowance, you don’t need to do anything until the DWP contacts you.
No one will be automatically entitled to receive Personal Independence Payment, even where an indefinite or lifetime Disability Living Allowance award has been made. If an existing Disability Living Allowance recipient makes a claim for Personal Independence Payment, then their Disability Living Allowance would normally continue until a decision on their Personal Independence Payment claim is made. If Personal Independence Payment is not awarded or not claimed then Disability Living Allowance will stop.
How much you’ll get – weekly rates
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Each component can be paid weekly at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate, depending on your needs:
Daily living component
Standard - £54.45
Enhanced - £81.30
If you’re terminally ill and are expected to live less than six months, you will automatically receive the daily living component at the enhanced rate. You’ll also be able to apply for the mobility component and receive it immediately if you qualify.
You can make a claim by calling the DWP on 0800 917 2222. You should not try to claim Personal Independence Payment by using a Disability Living Allowance claim form, as it can delay your claim.
You’ll need to have some basic information ready, such as your national insurance number, details of healthcare contacts (such as your GP) and your bank account details. You won’t have to answer any detailed questions about your health when you call.
If you can’t phone yourself, then someone else can call for you, but you’ll need to be with them when they call.
The DWP will then post you a form that will ask you to explain how your disability or health condition affects you. It’s a good idea to get help from an experienced welfare rights adviser to fill the form in – you can do this by calling the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00. It’s also a good idea to get evidence about your illness from those treating you, for example your doctor, cancer specialist or a support worker. This evidence should be submitted with your claim or soon afterwards.
Welfare reform in Northern Ireland - Summer 2014 update
The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Bill is still under consideration. The latest news on the reforms can be found on our welfare reform page and also at nidirect.gov.uk
Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with Citizens Advice, provides a dedicated Welfare Rights Service to people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland. For information and support, or to arrange an appointment, please call 0300 1 233 233. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
For benefits information and support in Northern Ireland please visit nidirect.gov.uk or call 0800 232 1271.
You can also contact the Northern Ireland Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674, or textphone 028 9031 1092 if you are deaf or hard of hearing.