What is the Personal Independence Payment or PIP?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with the extra costs of a long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64. You can spend it on whatever it is you need to help you complete daily tasks easily or live with more independence.

It is a new benefit that will replace the older Disability Living Allowance (DLA). If you currently receive DLA, don’t worry, the government will be in touch when they’re ready for you to switch over.

PIP is not a means tested benefit which means it doesn’t take into consideration what income or savings you have. The amount you get depends on your disability or illness and how much it affects your daily life.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to claim PIP…

  • You need to have a disability or illness that affects your independence. The condition will probably make it difficult to complete daily tasks, and you may need some assistance around the house.
  • You are older than 16 but younger than 65. If you claim before your 65th birthday, the PIP will continue after your birthday.
  • Your condition needs to be more than 3 months old. You should also expect to suffer from it for more than a year.
  • If you have a terminal illness, it doesn’t matter how long you have had your condition. You should be eligible for PIP.

If your 65th birthday has already passed and you haven’t claimed DLA or PIP before, you are no longer eligible to apply. You should apply for Attendance Allowance instead. You can find more information about it here:

https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance

If you are younger than 16 or if you’re a parent of someone under 16, you should look at claiming DLA instead.

How much could I get?

PIP is made up of two parts. These parts are added together to make your overall payment. You may be eligible to claim both, or you may only be able to claim one part. Depending on the severity of your condition, you will either claim the standard amount or the higher enhanced component.

Daily Living Component – this amount is based on how difficult you find completing day-to-day tasks.

Mobility Component – this amount is based on the difficulty you have getting around.

The amounts for 2018/19 are as follows:

Daily Living Component:

  • Standard = £57.30 every week
  • Enhanced = £85.60 every week

Mobility Component:

  • Standard = £22.65 every week
  • Enhanced = £59.75 every week

How to claim PIP

If you think you are eligible for PIP, you should call the Department for Work and Pensions PIP claim line. If you already claim DLA, you don’t need to contact anyone. The government will get in touch when they’re ready for you to switch over.

0800 917 2222

For text calls:

0800 917 1573

If you live in Northern Ireland:

0800 012 1573

For text calls in Northern Ireland:

0800 012 1574

(Lines are open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm.)

You will need to give the advisor your name and address so they will be able to send you a claim form. This is the ‘How your condition affects you form’ which you will need to complete to make a claim.

Once you fill in the claim, you should return it to the address on the form. After this, usually the DWP will get in touch with you to arrange a healthcare assessment.

After your assessment, a PIP advisor will look at your claim and give you an overall score. This score determines how much you’ll get in PIP each week and which components you’ll get. You will then receive a letter telling you if your claim was successful and how much you’ll receive.

The assessor will look at:

  • The information you provided on your form.
  • The information you provide during the healthcare assessment.
  • The evidence you sent along with your claim form.
  • How you can carry out tasks every day.

The charity c-App have a self-test if you want to get an idea of what you might score:

http://www.pip-assessment.support/#activities

The Personal Independence Payment Assessment

The PIP assessment will take place with a healthcare professional. This is usually an independent doctor who will look at your condition and how it affects your daily life and mobility.

Advice for the assessment:

  • Be honest with on your claim form and with the healthcare professional. Don’t downplay your condition to be strong about it, as this won’t help your claim. Similarly, don’t exaggerate your condition or give false answers to the doctor, as this could affect your application.
  • If your condition changes from day to day or week to week, try keeping a journal or diary each day which you can then show to the assessor and doctor.
  • You can bring someone along to the assessment with you if that would make you feel more comfortable.
  • You can also claim back any money you had to spend to get to the healthcare centre for your assessment. Remember to keep any receipts from things like bus fares or taxis.
  • Make sure to plan your journey to the centre in advance so you don’t miss it, as you won’t receive back pay for this.
  • If you feel that the doctor or healthcare professional wasn’t fair to you, or you have a different complaint, you have the right to tell the DWP.
  • If your condition has got better or worse between when you filled in the form and the day of the assessment, this is OK. You just need to tell your GP who can then write a letter explaining the change to the DWP.

Mandatory reconsideration

You will receive a letter from the DWP telling you the outcome of your claim. They will explain how the decision was made and all the different points you scored during your assessment.

If the government says you aren’t eligible for PIP, you can challenge the decision. This is a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

You can do this with any of the benefits the government offer.

You need to be careful, as the time limits for challenging the decision are quite strict. You have one month from the date of rejection to submit a challenge.

Turn2Us has a useful guide for challenging decisions:

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Challenging-Department-for-Work-and-Pensions-benef/What-are-my-options

Currently claiming DLA?

If you’re currently in receipt of DLA, the government will contact you when they’re ready for you to switch over to PIP. This will happen at the latest by December 2018.

If your circumstances change on DLA (for example, you get married) then you will switch over straight away to PIP.

If you switch from DLA to PIP but your benefit goes down by more than £10 a week, then the government will make this up.

For a year after you switch over, the government will make up 75% of what you’re losing in DLA.

Terminally ill?

If you are terminally ill and your life expectancy is less than six months, you won’t have to go through the whole application process above.

You won’t need to fill out any forms, go to the medical assessment or have your condition evaluated.

You just need to call the helpline and provide some details of your condition. This will then be confirmed with your GP and you will automatically receive the enhanced rate of PIP.

Sources

https://patient.info/health/personal-health-budgets/personal-independence-payment

https://www.gov.uk/pip

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/personal-independence-payment

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/personal-independence-payment-an-introduction

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Personal-Independence-Payment-(PIP)-Test/What-is-the-PIP-test

http://www.pip-assessment.support/#resume