How To Apply For PIP

Are you going to apply for PIP? Our step-by-step guide will help make applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) feel less daunting. We’ll walk you through PIP eligibility, the application process and how to appeal if your application is unsuccessful.

What is PIP?

PIP, an abbreviation of Personal Independence Payment, offers essential financial support if you need help with everyday tasks or mobility due to a disability. Whether you’re apply for PIP online or by paper, knowing the correct process is will help you avoid delays or rejections. Applying for PIP online requires you to complete the application yourself, while a paper application requires thorough documentation proving your disability. Timing is also key; you must wait 24 hours after starting an online application before submitting, and five working days for a paper application. Ensuring you meet all these requirements can significantly improve your chances of a successful claim.

Who can get Personal Independence Payment?

You can get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you’re aged 16 to State Pension age and have difficulty with daily living or mobility activities due to a physical or mental condition. PIP isn’t means-tested, so your income and savings won’t affect your eligibility. Residency rules require you to have lived in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland for at least two of the last three years.

Criteria for Daily Living and Mobility Components

PIP assessments consider your ability to undertake daily living tasks and mobility activities. To qualify for the daily living component, you should need assistance with activities like preparing food, eating, managing medication, washing, dressing, managing toilet needs, or communicating. Mobility component eligibility involves difficulty planning or following journeys, or physically moving around.

Points System

PIP uses a points system to evaluate your need for assistance. You earn points based on your ability to perform specific activities. The more difficulty you have, the higher the points awarded. You need at least eight points to get the standard rate and 12 points for the enhanced rate, for either component.

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances apply if you’re terminally ill. You can complete the entire application over the phone. Social Security Scotland oversees applications in Scotland, where PIP has been replaced by Adult Disability Payment. If you submit a PIP application and live in Scotland, it will be treated as an Adult Disability Payment application without needing a separate form.

Support for Communication Needs

If you communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL), you can contact the PIP centre using these languages. Services like Contact Scotland help facilitate communication with Social Security Scotland for BSL users. Understanding these eligibility criteria and special considerations will help streamline your PIP application process.

How to apply

You can apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) either online or by filling out a paper form. If you choose the online application, you won’t be able to switch to a paper form later. The online application must be completed by the claimant.

Online Application

  1. Start the Application: Begin your online application through the myaccount portal.
  2. Initial Submission: Submit part 1 of your application within 14 days.
  3. Final Submission: Submit part 2 within 56 days. If needed, you can request additional time.
You’ll need to register with a username and password and provide personal details if you’re accessing myaccount for the first time.

Paper Application

If you opt for a paper application, you must include documentation that proves your disability. This documentation needs to meet the requirements listed in the PIP award notice. Ensure you provide thorough and accurate information to avoid delays.

Important Considerations

  • Mandatory Reconsideration: Apply for a mandatory reconsideration within one calendar month of receiving your decision notice if you wish to challenge the decision.
  • Documentation: Proper documentation is crucial. Include all relevant medical records, assessment reports, and any other evidence supporting your claim.
  • Support Services: Organisations like The Disability Resource Centre offer support for submitting PIP applications. They can assist with understanding the process and ensuring your claim is accurate and complete.

Special Circumstances

If you apply for PIP on behalf of someone terminally ill, the process is expedited, and only one part of the application is needed. This aims to relieve some of the administrative burdens during a difficult time.

Contact Information

For more information or to start your application, visit the PIP application portal. By following these steps and ensuring your application is complete, you increase the likelihood of a successful claim.

Make sure you’re getting the benefits you’re entitled to

Understanding Your PIP Benefits

You may qualify for various PIP benefits that can help with your daily living and mobility needs. These benefits include:
  • Extra Money for Living Costs: This payment helps cover additional costs of living with a disability, such as increased electricity bills and transport expenses.
  • Extra Money for Medical Costs: If your disability affects mobility, self-care, hygiene, or money management, you can receive extra funds for medical expenses.
  • Extra Money for Household Help: Receive additional money if you need assistance with household tasks like shopping or housework.
  • Extra Money for Equipment: If your impairment affects mobility, you can receive funds to buy equipment like a wheelchair or lift.
  • Extra Money for Adaptations: Get financial support for adaptations like ramps and lifts to improve your mobility around the house.

Keeping a PIP Diary

A PIP diary helps assessors understand how often you struggle with tasks and the time required for daily activities. Keep diary sheets for two weeks, noting:
  • Frequency of Struggles: How often you encounter difficulties performing tasks.
  • Duration of Tasks: How long each task takes, including any help you require.
  • Assistance Needed: Specify any help you receive to perform daily tasks.
Send these sheets with your PIP claim.

Gathering Evidence

Take copies of all evidence submitted with your claim. This includes:
  • Medical Reports: Documentation from healthcare professionals about your condition.
  • Care Plans: Details about any care you receive from social services.
  • Statements from Carers: Accounts from anyone who assists you daily.

Assessment Process

A health professional reviews your information and writes a report for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If additional details are needed:
  • Face-to-Face Assessment: You may be invited for an in-person evaluation.
  • Questions on Daily Life: Expect questions about how your condition affects your daily activities.

Decision Letter

You will receive a letter stating:
  • PIP Award Details: The amount you will receive.
  • Payment Schedule: When you will be paid.
  • Review Date: When your PIP will be reviewed to ensure continued support.
By thoroughly documenting your struggles and daily needs, you ensure receiving the benefits you’re entitled to.

How to get a PIP form

To start your PIP claim, you can request a form by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Providing your personal details and the nature of your health condition initiates this process. Once requested, you will receive either a paper form in the post, usually within two weeks, or a link to an online form.

If You Run Out of Space on the Form

If the allocated space on the PIP form is insufficient, you can attach additional sheets. Use the notes provided with the form to guide what information to include. Write your name, National Insurance number, and the question number at the top of each extra page to ensure all your information is correctly filed.

If You Need More Help with the Form

Assistance is available if you feel challenged in completing the PIP form. Contact the PIP Centre to ask for an extension if necessary, particularly if you have a disability that makes it difficult. You can seek help from specialist nurses, community psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, GPs, hospital doctors, physiotherapists, or support workers for completing the form.

Sending the Form

After filling out the form and gathering any supporting evidence, send it back in the provided envelope. The form explains what information to include and where to send it. If you do not return the form promptly or don’t contact the PIP Centre for an extension, your claim may be affected. Upon receipt of your form, you’ll get a text message confirmation from the PIP Centre.

Start your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim

To start your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to State Pension age.

England and Wales

In England and Wales, initiate your PIP claim by calling the DWP. Use the following contact details:
  • Telephone: 0800 917 2222
  • Textphone: 0800 917 7777
If you cannot hear or speak on the phone, use the Relay UK service here or the Video Relay Service for British Sign Language. Alternatively, write to the following address:
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AH

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, start your PIP claim by calling the PIP Centre. Use the following contact details:
  • Telephone: 0800 012 1573
  • Textphone: 0800 587 0937
Alternatively, write to the following address:
PO Box 42
BT49 4AN
You can also use the British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL) via this link. To simplify the process, ensure you have all the necessary documents before you call or write. These may include personal details, medical evidence, and information about how your condition affects you.

Claiming under special rules

Special rules apply if you’re nearing the end of life and not expected to live more than 12 months. When you meet the criteria, you won’t need to fill in the form “How your disability affects you”. There will be no requirement for an assessment. You’ll automatically get the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP. Your entitlement to the mobility part of PIP depends on your mobility needs. You can claim PIP under the special rules by phoning the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre. During the call, they’ll ask extra questions about your condition and how it affects your ability to get around. Someone else can make the call on your behalf. Address the PIP Centre through post at: Personal Independence Payment New Claims Post Handling Site B Wolverhampton WV99 1AH The PIP2 form you’ll receive helps describe the impact of your disability or health conditions. Detail the specialist equipment and assistance you require. Describe difficulties in each activity on the form. For instance, if you need help to cook food, mention what assistance you need and why. Explain potential consequences without such help. Refer to guidance on how to fill out the PIP2 form by visiting relevant pages. Although not mandatory, keeping a detailed diary of how long everyday tasks take you and how you do them differently due to your condition can be beneficial. Special rules do not automatically grant the mobility component. You’ll need to fill out the mobility activities part of the claim form and attend a medical assessment if you aim to get the mobility component.

Thank you

After submitting your PIP application, you’ll receive a letter of acknowledgment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This letter includes your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) reference number. It’s essential to keep this number safe.

Importance of Acknowledgment

The acknowledgment letter confirms that DWP has received your claim. It serves as your reference for any follow-up communication. If contacting DWP regarding your claim, always mention your PIP reference number to expedite the process.

Next Steps

Your application goes through several stages before a decision is made. These steps include:
  1. Initial Review: DWP checks your form for completeness and ensures all necessary documents are attached.
  2. Health Assessment: Most applicants undergo an assessment conducted by a health professional. You’ll receive a letter with the appointment details.
  3. Decision: DWP reviews the assessment report and your application details to decide your PIP award.

If Additional Information is Needed

DWP might request more information. They’ll send a letter detailing what’s required, outlining how to provide the supplementary data. This could include medical evidence, comments from carers, or extra documentation.

Appeal Process

If you’re unhappy with the decision, you can request a Mandatory Reconsideration. This process involves DWP reviewing your application again. Should the decision remain unchanged, you can then appeal to an Independent Appeal Tribunal. Supply new or additional evidence at this stage for a more robust case.

Contact DWP for Support

For inquiries or assistance with your PIP claim, contact DWP using the details provided in your acknowledgment letter. If you experience delays, use your PIP reference number for efficient tracking and resolution. For more information on the appeals process, visit the nidirect website.

Complaints Procedure

If dissatisfied with any aspect of the service, submit a complaint to the Department for Communities (DfC) without impacting your claim. For more details, refer to the DfC complaints procedure. Keep your acknowledgment letter, contact details, and PIP reference number handy for any future correspondence. Following these guidelines ensures a smooth application and appeals process.

Check benefit entitlement

To receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP), ensure all these conditions are met:
  1. Age Requirement: You must be aged 16 or over and under State Pension age. Check your State Pension age through the relevant government website.
  2. Health Condition: You need a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability.
  3. Daily Difficulties: You should face difficulties performing everyday tasks or getting around.
  4. Duration of Difficulties: Your difficulties must have existed for at least three months and expect them to last for at least nine more months.
  5. Residency Requirement: You should reside in Northern Ireland or have lived in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Isle of Man, Jersey, or Guernsey for two out of the last three years.
If over State Pension age, apply for Attendance Allowance instead of PIP. For those who’ve received PIP before and were eligible the previous year before reaching State Pension age, a new claim can still be made.

Applying When Living Abroad

You may still be entitled to claim benefits if you reside in another European country. Check government guidelines for specific conditions and eligibility.

Communication Needs

Part 9: Talking, Listening, and Understanding

  • 9a: Tick the box if you find it hard to talk, listen, and understand others.
  • 9b: Explain the difficulties you face in these areas and provide examples of the help you need.

Reading Difficulties

Part 10: Reading

  • 10a: Tick the box if reading words and symbols is challenging.
  • 10b: Describe the problems you encounter while reading, demonstrating instances where help is required.

Social Interaction

  • 11a: Tick the box if meeting and mixing with other people is difficult.
  • 11b: Elaborate on the challenges you face in social settings and mention specific support that aids you.
Using these detailed checks ensures that you accurately identify and document your entitlement to PIP, streamlining your application process.

Find an adviser

Finding an adviser can streamline the PIP application process and ensure that you address all necessary aspects clearly. Advisers provide crucial support, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the application requirements or have specific difficulties that need expert guidance.

Types of Advisers

  • Citizens Advice: Offers free, confidential, and independent advice. They can help you fill out forms and guide you through legal queries.
  • Disability Organisations: Groups like Scope or Mencap provide tailored advice based on specific disabilities. They offer resources, advocacy, and support services.
  • Local Council Services: Many councils offer free or low-cost advice services for residents, including advice on benefits and available support.

How to Access Adviser Services

  • Online Resources: Most advisory organisations have websites with comprehensive guides and contact details. Use these to access FAQs, chat support, and email assistance.
  • Telephone Support: Call the advisory service to speak directly to an adviser. Citizens Advice, for instance, has helplines specifically for benefits advice.
  • In-person Appointments: Some organisations provide face-to-face consultations. Check your local council or nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for available appointments.
  • Community Centres: Many community centres host sessions with advisers who specialise in benefits and disability support.

Benefits of Using an Adviser

Advisers help you understand PIP application forms and ensure you provide complete and accurate information. They guide you through difficult sections such as:
  • Part 9b: Explaining difficulties with talking, listening, and understanding others.
  • Part 10b: Detailing problems with reading words and symbols.
  • Part 11b: Illustrating issues with meeting and mixing with other people.
  • Part 12: Making decisions about daily activities.
Involving an adviser can improve the accuracy of your responses and increase the likelihood of your application being successful. Their expertise in navigating complex questions and offering personalised advice ensures your needs are fully represented.

How to fill in your PIP form

Filling in the PIP form correctly is crucial for a successful application. To ensure all necessary details are included, follow these guidelines:

How to Answer the Questions on Your PIP Claim Form

Answer each question thoroughly and honestly. Describe how your disability affects your daily life and mobility using specific examples. Avoid general statements; instead, use detailed descriptions to illustrate your difficulties and the help you need. For tick-box questions, ensure you select the option that best reflects your situation.

Include as Much Evidence as Possible

Supporting evidence strengthens your claim. Include medical reports, prescription lists, letters from healthcare professionals, and any other documentation that explains your condition. Attach a PIP diary if applicable, detailing how your disability impacts you over a typical two-week period. More evidence increases your application’s credibility.

Get Support to Help You Fill It Out

Ask for help if you find the form challenging. Seek assistance from advisors, such as those from Citizens Advice or disability organisations. They can provide guidance on answering difficult questions and help document your needs accurately. Contact the PIP Centre if you need more time or additional support.

Keep a Copy of Your Answers and a Record of Your Postage

Make a photocopy of your completed form before sending it. This is useful for reference before your assessment. Send your form via recorded delivery to track its arrival. Keep proof of postage, as it serves as evidence that you submitted your form on time.

Claiming for someone else

When claiming for someone else, it’s crucial to follow the correct procedures to ensure a smooth application process.


Claiming PIP for another adult requires an appointee arrangement checked by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). You can start the claim on behalf of someone else if they are with you when you phone or give you consent to do so. The DWP will verify if you’re a suitable appointee by arranging a meeting, checking that the person needs an appointee, and completing the BF56 form. You will only become the appointee once you receive the BF57 confirmation letter. If you plan to apply for someone terminally ill, you can complete the entire application over the phone. The application process for PIP involves providing detailed information about the individual’s care and mobility needs. You may need to fill out the part of the claim form concerning mobility activities and attend a medical assessment. If the person has a mental health condition, learning difficulty, or behavioural condition, mention this during the application to check if extra support is needed.


You can claim PIP for your child if they are transitioning from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP. Children receiving DLA will need to claim PIP when they turn 16 unless they lack mental capacity. In that case, you can apply as their appointee. The DWP will inform you ahead of your child’s 16th birthday to guide you through the process. The initial claim can be made over the phone, asking for basic details. A more detailed questionnaire focusing on their care and mobility needs will follow by post. Your child may have to attend a consultation with a health professional. If your child cannot claim PIP due to being in the hospital, they can delay their claim until they return home. For terminally ill children, DLA will continue until the award period ends.

Going to your PIP assessment

During your PIP assessment, be ready for a detailed evaluation of your condition. Your assessor will ask specific questions to understand your daily challenges.

Be Prepared To Answer The Same Questions Again

Assessors often repeat questions to ensure consistency in your responses. This tactic verifies the accuracy of your answers. Offer detailed, honest descriptions each time, avoiding exaggeration or understatement.

Remember You’re Being Observed

From the moment you arrive at the assessment centre, your actions might be monitored. Cameras capture your behaviour, so be yourself but aware. At-home assessments also involve observations of your environment, so keep this in mind.

Ask For The Assessment To Be Recorded

Request your assessment be recorded to ensure an accurate account of the conversation. Inform the assessor beforehand, even if it means rescheduling. A recording provides crucial evidence if you need to challenge the assessment outcome later.

Have Somebody You Trust With You

Bring a friend or family member for support. They can assist with answering questions, reading, signing documents, and offering emotional support. Their presence can ease stress and help you navigate the process smoothly.

How long does a PIP decision take?

Once you submit your PIP application, processing the decision usually takes about three months. This timeline includes assessing your eligibility and reviewing your claim form and any additional information you’ve provided.

Factors Influencing Decision Time

  1. Completeness of Application Submitting a fully completed application with all necessary supporting documents ensures faster processing.
  2. Medical Evidence Providing thorough medical evidence from healthcare professionals can expedite the decision process.
  3. Assessment Appointment Scheduling and attending the PIP assessment promptly helps in faster decision-making. Missed appointments can cause significant delays.
  4. Backlog and Complexity The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) handles many applications. Complex cases or high application volumes can extend the decision time.

Tracking Your Application

You can track the status of your PIP application by contacting the DWP. Keep your National Insurance number handy when making inquiries to expedite the process.
Contact InformationDetails
Phone0800 121 4433
Textphone0800 121 4493
OnlineAccessible via DWP website

Decision Notification

You’ll receive the decision by post. The letter explains whether your claim is successful, the amount awarded if applicable, and the duration of the award. If the claim is denied, the letter outlines reasons and information on how to appeal the decision.
  1. Incomplete Forms Forms missing information or lacking detail can return for clarification, causing delays.
  2. Medical Appointment Availability Limited availability for medical appointments can postpone assessments, leading to extended waiting times.
  3. Verification Delays Verifying medical information or clarifying any discrepancies can also prolong the process.
Review your application thoroughly before submission. Doing so helps avoid common errors and ensures a smoother, quicker decision-making process.

What happens if your PIP claim is rejected

If your PIP claim is rejected, you have several options to consider. First, you can request a Mandatory Reconsideration. This process involves asking the Department for Communities to review their decision. Make this request within one month of receiving your decision letter. Provide sufficient evidence to support your claim. Include medical records, prescription details, and letters from healthcare professionals. This evidence can strengthen your case for reconsideration. If the reconsideration doesn’t change the decision, you can appeal to an independent tribunal. To do this, submit an SSCS1 form to the tribunal service. Prepare to present additional evidence or bring witnesses who can attest to your condition’s impact on your daily life and mobility. While awaiting reconsideration or appeal, consider seeking advice from organisations experienced with PIP claims. They can provide guidance to improve your chances of success. Many organisations offer free advice on how to gather the necessary documentation and support your case effectively. If a tribunal upholds your appeal, you’ll receive back-pay for any PIP payments owed since the date of your original claim. This can offer significant financial relief and make up for the period you didn’t receive support. Lastly, review your application carefully to understand why it was rejected. Identifying weaknesses in your initial submission can help you avoid similar issues in future applications. Keep track of all correspondence and documents related to your claim, as they may be needed for any further steps. These actions ensure you’re prepared to address a PIP claim rejection effectively.

Things that won’t prevent you getting Personal Independence Payment

Your financial situation or employment status won’t affect your eligibility for PIP. It’s assessed solely on how your condition impacts your daily life and mobility. Don’t worry if you have savings or a job; these factors aren’t considered in the evaluation process. Remember that PIP is available regardless of whether you’re currently receiving other benefits. The focus is on your needs and how well you can manage daily activities. Even if you’ve been denied PIP before, it’s worth reapplying if your circumstances change. Always keep detailed records and seek advice from experienced organisations. This can significantly improve your chances of a successful claim. By understanding the process and being prepared, you’ll be in a stronger position to secure the support you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for a PIP form online?

You can apply for PIP online in some areas. You’ll need to check your postcode when starting your application. You will need your National Insurance number to begin your claim online.

What are the 14 questions on the PIP form?

The 14 questions on the PIP form include:
  • Preparing Food
  • Taking Nutrition
  • Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading and understanding signs, symbols, and words

What illness qualifies for PIP?

Illnesses that qualify for PIP include:
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendonitis

What conditions are awarded PIP?

You must be 16 or over, have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability, and have difficulty performing certain everyday tasks or getting around.

How do I prove eligibility for PIP?

To prove eligibility for PIP, you must find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around due to a physical or mental condition. These difficulties must have lasted for 3 months and be expected to continue for another 9 months.