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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

 

Personal Independence Payment provides extra money if you have a long-term physical or mental illness or disability. It doesn’t matter what your condition is – what matters is how it affects you. If you have difficulty with everyday tasks such as washing and dressing, or with getting around outside, you may be eligible. It also doesn't matter what your income or savings are as it is not means-tested.

You may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if:   

  • you have a long-term illness, health condition or disability and
  • you’re over 16 and under State Pension age. 

If you’re over State Pension age, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance

If you’re under 16, you may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance

In Scotland, a new disability benefit called Adult Disability Payment has been introduced and replaces Personal Independence Payment. It is administered by Social Security Scotland and you can find out more at: mygov.scot/adult-disability-payment.

 

See below for more details about PIP

Frequently asked questions


PIP isn’t means-tested, so it doesn’t matter what your income or savings are. You can get PIP even if you’re working or studying.  

If you’re awarded PIP, you can spend it on whatever you want that makes life easier. You don’t have to spend it on paying for care. However, your local council or trust can take PIP into account when working out how much you need to pay for care services. 

Getting PIP won’t reduce your other benefits. In fact, it could even increase them. See ‘What other help is available’ for more details. 

 


For 2022/23, the weekly rates for PIP are as follows: 

  Standard    Enhanced  
Daily living £61.85 £92.40
Mobility £24.45 £64.50

 


You can claim PIP if all the following apply:
 

  • You have a long-term physical or mental illness or disability. 
  • You’ve had difficulties with everyday tasks and/or moving around for at least three months before claiming, and expect them to continue for at least nine months after claiming. 
  • You’re over 16 and under State Pension age (or you claim DLA and you’re being reassessed for PIP  see below). 

You must also meet the residence and presence conditions, and immigration rules. See our guidance.

If you’re a carer with an illness or disability, you can claim PIP for yourself and it won’t affect any Carer’s Allowance you’re receiving.  

You can’t make a new claim for PIP once you’ve reached State Pension age. (However, if you’re already claiming it, you can continue to receive it.)  

Note: If you’re already claiming DLA, you do not need to take any action regarding your PIP re-assessment until you are told to do so by the Department of Work and Pensions or Department for Communities in Northern Ireland. 

If you’re looking to make a new claim and you’ve reached State Pension Age, you could look into the possibility of claiming Attendance Allowance instead. See our webpage Attendance Allowance explained for more information.  

If you’re terminally ill, there are simpler rules that make it easier to apply See our guidance. 


There are two parts to PIP:
 

  • Daily living  if you have difficulty with everyday tasks 
  • Mobility  if you have difficulty getting around. 

To qualify for PIP, you will have to score a certain number of points for each part, based on how hard you find it to carry out different activities. You can be awarded one or both parts, depending on how your illness or disability affects you.  

Each part can be paid at either a standard rate or enhanced rate, depending on your level of difficulty. See our Personal Independence Payment factsheet for more details on this. 

Daily living – what does this include? 

The activities are: 

  • preparing or eating food 
  • washing, bathing and using the toilet 
  • dressing and undressing 
  • reading and communicating 
  • managing your medicines or treatments 
  • making decisions about money 
  • engaging with other people. 

See our Personal Independence Payment factsheet for more detail (pages 5-11). 

 

Mobility – what does this include? 

The activities covered are: 

  • Moving around - This relates to how easily you can move around without severe discomfort such as breathlessness, fatigue or pain.  
  • Planning and following a journey - This relates to your mental or sensory ability to get around. The environment is also taken into consideration, looking at how crowds or loud noises might affect you for example. 

See our Personal Independence Payment factsheet for more detail (pages 10-11).

 


Adults can no longer make a new claim for DLA. If you were already receiving DLA when PIP was brought in, you may eventually be reassessed for PIP.

When this happens will depend on your age and circumstances. You don’t need to do anything, just wait for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or PIP Centre in Northern Ireland to contact you about your PIP reassessment. Make sure you act as soon as you get a letter about being reassessed.

If a child is claiming DLA, they will need to claim PIP once they reach 16 (unless they’re claiming DLA under special rules for terminal illness). 


Step one: You can make an initial claim by calling the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone: 0800 917 7777). In Northern Ireland, call the PIP Centre on 0800 012 1573 (textphone: 0800 012 1574).   
Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them. If you find it difficult to use a phone, you can request a form by post 

It’s best to call up for a form, as it will be stamped with the date you called. If your claim is successful, it will be paid from this date (as long as you return it within six weeks). If you download a form and post it, your claim will start from the date it’s received.  

Step two: The DWP or PIP Centre will check you’re eligible to claim. If so, you’ll be sent a form called ‘How your disability affects you.’ It comes with notes on how to fill it in.  

Step three: When you are ready to complete the form, also see our 'Tips for completing the form' in the tab below to help. 

 

 

  1. It’s a long and detailed form so take your time to complete it – you don’t have to do it all in one go. Many applicants decide to ask for help from a local advice agency – you can find one on the Advicelocal website.

  2. Look at the different activities and work out which ones are relevant to you. There is a section for ‘additional information’ where carers, friends or family could also provide details, unless you feel you’ve already covered everything. It might be worth asking a trusted friend or carer to take an overall look to make sure you don’t miss anything out.

  3. Remember that what matters is that you need help with an activity, not that you’re already getting help. Point out any adjustments you’ve also already made to help.

  4. Try keeping a diary for a week if you’re not sure how much help you need, or how long things take. This can be particularly useful if your condition changes.

  5. If you’re applying for the mobility part, measure out how far you can walk and how long it takes you.

  6. Evidence is important, so send in as much as you can with your claim form. This could include a report from a consultant, information from your doctor or support worker, or a statement from a carer, friend or relative.

  7. The Citizens Advice website has useful advice on how to complete the form.

  8. Keep a copy of your form and any evidence you send in. It will be useful during your assessment, or if you need to appeal.

  9. You have a month to return the form. If you need longer, contact the DWP or PIP Centre to ask for an extension.

  10. If you’re terminally ill, you won’t have to complete the ‘How your disability affects you’ form. Read Claiming a disability benefit if you’re terminally ill for more details.

See our benefit adviser's video tips for further guidance on how to complete the claim form.


What happens next?
 

Once the DWP or PIP Centre receives your form, they will decide whether you need a medical assessment before they can award you PIP. Most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with an independent, trained healthcare professional. It’s a good idea to bring someone with you. Make sure you attend, or your PIP claim will likely be rejected. 

The Citizens Advice website has useful guidance on preparing for the assessment.


After the assessment, you’ll get a letter saying whether you can claim PIP and how much it will be. If you’re awarded PIP, you’ll be regularly reassessed to see if your condition has changed. 

If you’re terminally ill, the process is different - see our information page about disability benefits if you’re terminally ill. 

 


If you’re turned down, or awarded the standard rate when you think you should get the enhanced rate, you can question the decision. Over 70% of PIP appeals are successful, so it’s worth challenging the decision.
 

See our page on challenging a benefits decision.


You need to tell the DWP (or Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland) as soon as possible if your condition or circumstances change, because this could affect your entitlement to PIP.  

A change in your condition could include: 

  • your illness or disability getting better or worse 
  • changes to the level of help you need with daily living or mobility  
  • going into a hospital or care home for more than 28 days (if you’re under 18 when you go into hospital, your PIP won’t be affected) 
  • going into a hospice (if you’re terminally ill and receive PIP under special rules (link to terminal illness page), your claim won’t be affected). 

If you’re paid the lower rate of PIP for either part and the help you need increases, you can contact the DWP (Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland) and ask for your case to be looked at again. Be aware there is always a risk that your benefit could be decreased rather than increased, so it’s a good idea to get help from a local advice agency first. Visit the Advicelocal website to find one. 

A change in circumstances could include: 

  • going abroad for more than 13 weeks 
  • changing your name, address or bank details 
  • going into prison. 

These are just a few examples of changes that could affect your PIP. If you’re not sure if a change affects your PIP, report it to the DWP or Social Security Agency anyway.
 


An increase in means-tested benefits? 

Getting PIP could mean an increase in any means-tested benefits or tax credits you receive, or that you are eligible for them for the first time. If you’re responsible for a child who is awarded PIP, this could also mean an increase in your means-tested benefits or tax credits. Contact the offices that pay these benefits to find out more. 

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to and how much you should be getting by doing an online benefits check, or arrange one with one of our advisers at advice@carersuk.org (specifying where you are based in the UK as guidance varies by nation).

You can get an online benefit check by visiting either: 

 

Exemption from the benefit cap 

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit your household can receive. Getting PIP means your household won’t be affected by the benefit cap. 

 

Help with transport costs 

There are different ways that getting PIP may cut your transport costs. 

 

Motability. If you get the enhanced rate mobility part of PIP, you may be able to apply to the Motability scheme. This lets you use the mobility part to rent or buy a car, wheelchair or scooter. You may also qualify for a grant to pay for driving lessons or for a deposit for a car. Contact Motability to find out more. 

 

Blue Badge scheme. The Blue Badge scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you have difficulty walking. For example, a Blue Badge lets you park free at parking meters and in pay and display areas. 

Depending on the number of points you receive in the mobility part of PIP, you may be eligible for a Blue Badge. Contact your local council or trust for further information. 

 

Exemption from road tax. You may not have to pay road tax if you get the enhanced mobility rate of PIP. If you get the standard mobility rate, you may get a 50% discount on your road tax. Visit GOV.UK for how to apply. 

 

Money off train travel. You can buy a Disabled Person’s Railcard to cut train fares for you and a friend. Call 0345 605 0525 or visit the Disabled Persons Railcard website. This isn’t available in Northern Ireland. 

 

Help with the cost of public transport. You may be eligible for public transport concessions if you receive PIP. Eligibility is different depending on where you live in the UK. Contact the following for more information. 

England:
Contact your local council.

Wales
Visit the 
Transport for Wales website or call them on 0300 303 4240 

Scotland:
Contact 
Transport Scotland on 0141 272 7100 or your local authority. You may also be entitled to a Companion Card, allowing someone to travel with you for free. 

Northern Ireland: Contact Translink on 0845 600 0049 or your local trust. 

Our Personal Independence Payment factsheet contains a listing at the end of organisations that could provide further specialist help and support. 

Factsheet

Download our factsheet for more information on Personal Independence Payment.

Personal Independence Payment April 2022 23

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