Personal Independence Payment

To qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you must be aged 16 to 64 and have problems moving around or caring for yourself. You must have had these problems for 3 months and expect them to last for more than 9 months. You can claim PIP whether you are working or not.

If you claim PIP, a health professional will assess your mobility.

There are two components to Personal Independence Payment:

  • A daily living component, which includes help with preparing food, bathing and dressing. You will receive either £57.30 or £85.60 per week.
  • A mobility component, if you need help getting around. You will receive either £22.65 or £59.75 per week.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 to claim. In Northern Ireland, you can claim by calling the Department for Communities (DfC) on 0800 012 1573.

What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64. It is for people who have problems moving around or looking after themselves.

If you are aged 65 or over and making a new claim, you should claim Attendance Allowance instead of PIP. If you have received PIP before the age of 65, you can continue to get it.

PIP has replaced an older benefit called Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults. If you are aged between 16 and 64 and making a new claim, you will need to apply for PIP.

You will also have to apply for PIP if you are getting DLA, unless you were born on or before 8 April 1948. It is important to tell the Department for Work and Pensions if your circumstances change.


Who can claim?

To get PIP, you must have problems moving around or looking after yourself. You must have had these problems for 3 months, and expect them to last for at least 9 months.

This does not necessarily mean you will need to wait 3 months to claim. The qualifying period starts when your needs started, not when you make a claim.

However, there are special rules (see Terminal illness below) for people who are terminally ill.

To claim PIP, you must also meet these requirements:

  • You must be living in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands when you apply.
  • You must have lived in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for at least 2 of the last 3 years (unless you are terminally ill).
  • You must be living legally in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. You must be planning to make that area your home for now.

It is also important to know that:

  • you can claim PIP whether you are working or not
  • you do not need to have paid National Insurance to claim PIP
  • your income and savings will not affect your claim
  • if you are awarded PIP your other benefits will not be reduced – they may even increase
  • PIP payments are tax-free
  • PIP is based on how your condition affects you, not on the condition you have
  • it does not matter if you do not have a carer
  • PIP can still be paid if your health condition changes.

PIP has two parts. They are:

  • the daily living component
  • the mobility component.

You may get one or both parts.

The daily living component

You might be entitled to the daily living component if you have problems with at least one of the following:

  • preparing food
  • eating and drinking
  • taking medication and managing treatments
  • monitoring a health condition
  • washing and bathing
  • using the toilet or managing incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating with other people
  • reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • engaging with others face to face
  • making financial decisions.

The mobility component

The mobility component is for people who have problems with:

  • planning and going on journeys
  • moving around (for example, walking or doing things around the house).


Terminal illness (special rules)

If you are terminally ill, and your doctor thinks you may be expected to live for less than 6 months, you can apply using a fast-track process called special rules. You should get your payment within 2 weeks of applying.

Claiming PIP under special rules means:

  • you do not need to have had mobility or care problems for the last 3 months
  • you do not need to have a face-to-face consultation
  • your claim will be dealt with quickly
  • you will get the daily living component at the enhanced rate
  • the money is paid weekly
  • you may also be able to apply for the mobility component, depending on your needs
  • someone can make the claim on your behalf.


How you will be assessed

If you apply for PIP, you will need to complete a form that asks personal questions about how your health problems affect your daily life. It has a list of day-to-day activities on it. For each one, there is a list of descriptors. These are statements that describe how much and what type of support you need to do the activity. For example, one descriptor is ‘Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker, but is able to do so using a microwave’.

Each descriptor has a point score. The number of points you get will depend on how much help you need. Your scores for the activities are added together and the total will affect how much benefit you get.

You will only be considered able to do an activity if you can do it:

  • safely
  • repeatedly
  • to an acceptable standard
  • within a reasonable period of time.

The claim form is long and you should set aside a good amount of time to fill it in. You may find it helpful to read through the form before you start filling it in, so that you can get all the information you need before you start. It will help your application if you include as much detail as possible.

It is a good idea to get evidence about your illness from the people looking after you. You could ask for evidence from your doctor, cancer specialist, support worker or carer. You should submit this evidence with your claim, or soon afterwards.

You will have one calendar month to complete and return the form. If you cannot complete the form within the month, you can ring the PIP helpline and ask for an extension.

Recording the problems that you have every day in a diary can help you show how your disability or illness affects your daily life. We have a diary that you can use to record this.

Face-to-face assessments

A health professional will then look at the information you have given in your form. Sometimes they can assess you using just the written information. But most people also have a face-to-face assessment. This may be at a PIP assessment centre. You can take someone with you for support if you want to.

If you need to travel to an assessment centre, you can claim help with your travel costs. You can find out more about this from the assessment centre.

If you are too unwell to travel, you can ask for a home visit for the assessment. You may need a letter from your doctor or consultant to support your request.

If you miss your face-to-face assessment, or you cannot make your appointment, contact the assessment centre straight away to ask if they can reschedule it. The number to call is on your appointment letter. Missing an appointment could mean your PIP claim will be rejected and you will have to start the application process again.

You will not need to have a face-to-face assessment if you are claiming under special rules.

Getting help from a welfare rights adviser

You have a better chance of a successful application if you get help from an experienced welfare rights adviser.

You can speak to a Macmillan welfare rights adviser free by calling 0808 808 00 00. Or visit macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea to find out whether you can see a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person.

You could also contact your local Citizens Advice.

My welfare rights adviser helped me fill out my application form for Personal Independence Payment. I wouldn’t have been able to do that myself as it was quite lengthy.

Shola


How much you could get

Each component is paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate, depending on your needs:

  • The weekly daily living component is £57.30 at the standard rate, and £85.60 at the enhanced race.
  • The weekly mobility component is £22.65 at the standard rate, and £59.75 at the enhanced rate.

The point score you were given at your assessment will affect how much benefit you get.

If you get 8 to 11 points, you will get the standard rate of each component. If you get 12 points or more, you will get the enhanced rate.

If you get under 8 points in either the daily living or the mobility component, you will not be able to get that part of PIP.


How to claim

  • If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims line on 0800 917 2222 or use textphone 0800 917 7777.
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, you can call the Department for Communities (DfC) Personal Independence Payment (PIP) centre on 0800 012 1573 or use textphone 0800 012 1574.

Someone else can call on your behalf to apply, but you will need to be with them when they call. You will need to give your permission for the DWP or DfC to speak to that person about your claim. You will not need to do this if you are claiming under special rules.

It is important to have the following information with you when applying:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your full address, including postcode
  • your date of birth
  • your bank or building society account details that payments can be made into
  • a daytime contact number
  • your GP or other health professional’s details
  • details of any time you have spent abroad in the past 3 years
  • details of any recent time you have spent in a care home or hospital.

You will not have to answer any detailed questions about your health when you call.

The DWP or DfC will then post you a claim form to fill in.

Macmillan helped me with claiming benefits. They got all the forms and helped me fill them in.

Alan, helped by Macmillan


If your claim is approved

You will be sent a decision about your claim in writing. If your claim is approved, you will be told how much you will get. You will also be told when this decision will be reviewed to make sure that it still meets your needs.

The money is paid directly into your bank, building society or credit union account. It can also be paid to someone on your behalf if you are unable to make a claim yourself.

The benefit you get is worked out at a weekly amount. It is usually paid as a lump sum every 4 weeks. If you have applied for PIP under special rules, it can be paid weekly.

If you are entitled to PIP, you may also be entitled to other benefits. You can speak to a welfare rights adviser for more information. They can also check that you are being paid the right amount.


If your situation changes

If your situation changes, your PIP claim may be affected. For example, if your condition gets worse, you might be able to get the higher rate.

Your benefit payments may be affected if you go abroad, or if you go into hospital or a care home for more than 4 weeks. This can be either one stay, or several stays where the gap is less than 4 weeks each time.

The rules are complicated, so it is a good idea to get advice from a welfare rights adviser. You can call our welfare rights advisers on 0808 808 00 00. Or visit macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea to find out whether you can see a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person near to where you live.

You should let the benefits service know if anything changes.

  • If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can do this by calling the PIP helpline on 0800 121 4433 or use textphone 0800 121 4493.
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, you can contact the PIP centre on 0800 587 0932 or use textphone 0800 587 0937.


If you are refused Personal Independence Payment

If you are refused PIP, or are given less money that you previously got for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you can ask the DWP or DfC to reconsider its decision within a month of the decision being made. This is known as mandatory reconsideration.

You can also ask for a mandatory reconsideration if your PIP is reduced after a review or renewal claim.

You will need to explain why you think the decision is wrong and provide more evidence if you can.

If you miss the deadline, your request might still be accepted if you have a good reason. For example, if you were unable to contact the DWP or DfC earlier because you were in hospital. If you are unsure, speak to a welfare rights adviser about your situation.

If the DWP or DfC will not change the decision, you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. You need to do this within a month of receiving a mandatory reconsideration decision letter. Time limits for appeals are very strict, but if there are special circumstances, it is possible to appeal up to 13 months after the date of the original benefit decision. If you are unsure, speak to a welfare rights adviser about your situation.

For more information about appealing a benefits decision, visit:

You can also speak to a Macmillan welfare rights adviser by calling the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00. Or visit macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea to find out whether you can see a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person near where you live.

Back to Disability-related benefits

Attendance Allowance

You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you are aged 65 or over and have difficulty looking after yourself.

Keeping a diary

Keeping a diary can help you complete a claims form for benefits that support people with a disability or illness.