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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people who have an illness or disability which means they have needs for help with daily living and/or mobility.

PIP can be claimed by someone aged over 16 and under state retirement pension age.

PIP is a non-taxable benefit, and can be paid on top of other benefits or income. It can be claimed whether you're in or out of work, and your income and savings are not taken into account when PIP is assessed.

If you already get DLA or Attendance Allowance

All DLA awards are gradually being reassessed as PIP awards. This includes lifetime and indefinite awards. If you're still receiving DLA and you were under 65 on 8 April 2013, you'll eventually be invited to replace your DLA claim with PIP, even if you have a 'lifetime' or 'indefinite' award.

However, if you get DLA and you were born before 8 April 1948 (that is you were 65 on before 8 April 2013) you're not affected by this change.

DLA awards may continue for some time yet. But if you report a change in your condition (for instance a deterioration), or you come to the end of a fixed-term award, or you're about to turn 16, you'll be invited to claim PIP. Between now and early 2021 (when all claims are due to have moved to PIP) you may receive an invitation to claim PIP even if there's no change in your circumstances.

Please contact the helpline for further advice on the change-over to PIP.

This change only affects those aged 16 or over. However, if you have a child who receives DLA and who will be 16 soon, you will receive an 'invitation' to claim PIP.

You're not affected if you get Attendance Allowance.

Your DLA claim will not automatically be changed to PIP. You'll need to make a claim.

When your claim is to be transferred over to PIP you'll receive a letter inviting you to claim the new benefit.

If you're claiming for a child who is reaching 16, you'll be contacted to ask if you want to claim PIP.

It's very important to reply to the letter or to seek help at this point. You'll have 4 weeks to apply for PIP, and if you do not do so, your DLA claim will be suspended and then brought to an end.

If you cannot respond in time, contact PIP to ask for more time. Contact our helpline for further advice.

What PIP is made up of

Daily living component

This assesses 'ability to carry out daily living activities' which may be affected by physical or mental health problems, such as:

  • making a simple meal
  • coping with eating and drinking
  • managing personal health needs
  • washing and bathing
  • dressing and undressing
  • managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • communicating verbally
  • reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • engaging with people face to face
  • making simple or complex budgeting decisions

Mobility component

This assesses 'ability to carry out mobility activities' which may be affected by physical or mental health problems - your ability to stand up and walk both inside and outside your home. Mobility activities include the ability to plan and follow a journey, and whether you need someone else with you.

Standard and enhanced rates

The 'daily living' and 'mobility' components will each have 2 rates:

  • standard rate - if you have limited ability to carry out daily living activities and/or mobility
  • enhanced rate - if you have a severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities and/or mobility

How much is PIP?

Daily Living Component:

  • standard rate: £61.85
  • enhanced rate: £92.40

Mobility component:

  • standard rate: £24.45
  • enhanced rate: £64.50

How PIP is assessed

PIP works on a 'points' system. Your answers about your illness or disability will be checked against a set of 'descriptors' - daily living and mobility activities which you can or cannot carry out in a 'reliable, safe and timely manner'. The assessment should look at how you are on most days – not, for instance, unusually good or bad days.

Each 'descriptor' has a set of points attached to it – from 0 if you have no problem, to 4, 8, 10 or even 12 points if you have increasingly severe difficulties.

You can score points if you need to use aids and adaptations in order to carry out an activity.

As an example, look at ‘moving around’ under the mobility activities. If you can stand and then move:

  • more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided you get 0 points
  • more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided you get 4 points
  • unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres you get 8 points
  • using an aid or appliance, more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres you get 10 points
  • more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, with aided or unaided or you cannot stand or move more than 1 metre you get 12 points

You'll have to score at least 8 points for the standard rate and 12 or more for the enhanced rate.

Claiming PIP

Unlike with most other benefits, we cannot send you a claim form for PIP.

But you can send a claim form to us for checking and for us to keep a copy of the form on your behalf. Please contact us:

We also have advice on filling in the form.

You can start a claim for PIP by phone on Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm:

You'll be asked for information such as:

  • your contact details and date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • bank or building society details
  • doctor's or health worker's name
  • details of any time you've spent abroad, or in a care home or hospital

Someone else can call on your behalf, but you'll need to be with them when they call so that PIP may obtain your permission for the call to be made.

If you can't use the phone, you may write asking for a form to send the information by post. This can delay the decision on your claim: seek advice if this causes problems. Write to:

  • Personal Independent Payment new claims
    Post Handling Site B
    WV99 1AH

Once you have begun your claim, DWP will send you a form, the PIP2 - 'How your condition affects you'. It comes with notes to help you fill it in.

Medical assessment

A health professional working for the DWP will look at your claim and at any medical evidence that you provide from your GP or consultant.

You're likely to be asked to attend a medical assessment or face-to-face consultation, after which a 'decision maker' at the Department for Work and Pensions will make the decision on your claim.

Failure to provide information that you're asked for or to attend a medical examination without good cause may lead to the refusal of your claim.

People who are terminally ill will not be required to have a face-to-face consultation.

People who have the most severe disabilities may not need a face-to-face consultation. Seek advice if you are having problems with asking for your case to be considered without a consultation.

How long you get PIP for

The length of any award will be based on your needs and the likelihood of your condition changing.

If you have a PIP award that runs to a fixed date, you may find that you're asked to fill in new forms quite some time before the award is due to stop. It's DWP policy to check awards in this way, and your award letter will usually tell you the date after which you may expect this to happen.

If you claim PIP before you are of state retirement age you'll continue to get it after that date providing you still meet the criteria. If you're of state pension age and still getting PIP, your benefit may only be reviewed every 10 years.

If you go into hospital or a care home

PIP 'daily living' component will not be paid (though your claim does not stop) after 28 days in a care home, unless you are funding your own stay.

PIP mobility component is not affected.

If you're 18 years old or over and you're a hospital in-patient, you'll not be paid either component of PIP after 28 days. Your claim does not stop and payments can be restarted when you are no longer a patient.

If you've already been in hospital or care recently your PIP may stop earlier, as periods in hospital or care separated by less than 28 days link together and count as one period

If you're under 18 when you go in to hospital, payment will continue.

If you're terminally ill and in a hospice, you need to advise DWP of the situation in writing so that PIP may continue.

You should always tell the PIP office at once when you go into care of hospital. This will avoid you being over-paid benefit.

Tell PIP promptly when you come home, as payments can then be restarted.

Seek advice on how the hospital or care rules apply to you, as they're quite detailed.

Also seek advice if you receive other benefits as well as PIP. They may be affected when PIP payments stop.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is payable to your carer if you're getting either of the daily living components of PIP and they spend at least 35 hours a week looking after you.

Further evidence if you are claiming PIP or challenging a decision

Making an initial claim

If you're claiming PIP, you'll be asked on the claim form to provide details of any medical professionals who are helping you.

It will be useful for you to provide further evidence with your claim (or to send it in shortly afterwards) rather than wait for the DWP to do this, so that an accurate decision may be made first time.

Challenging a PIP decision

If you're challenging a PIP decision, you'll be asked for your reasons why you're challenging the decision, and for any 'further medical evidence' that you may have to support your claim. DWP will usually not seek any further evidence at this point and the onus is on you to provide further details.

What 'further medical evidence' is

Letters from your GP and any other medical professional who is helping you can be helpful. But a letter simply stating that you are not fit for work or that you have a particular illness probably won't provide sufficient details for a PIP decision.

Rather than strictly medical evidence, it's better to try to obtain evidence from someone who knows you well which explains how your illness or disability affects your daily life.

The evidence should reflect the level of your ability or otherwise to manage the daily living and mobility tasks set out in the PIP rules.

They include:

  • ability to prepare and cook a simple meal for yourself
  • eating and drinking
  • managing medication and/or therapy
  • washing and bathing
  • managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • understanding spoken information and making yourself understood
  • reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • dealing with other people face to face
  • managing money and budgeting
  • whether you can plan and follow a journey
  • how far you can walk after standing up

You might have difficulties with these owing to physical or mental health problems, or both. The PIP rules say that your claim should be assessed on whether you can do these things:

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

Further details from someone who knows you well should make it clear if any of these tasks:

  • can't be done as and when needed
  • causes danger to you or to others
  • causes you pain
  • takes you a long time
  • require aids and adaptations to help you

Or if:

  • you need to be supervised to do the task properly
  • you need someone else's help
  • you need to be reminded and prompted to do things
  • trying to manage a task causes you mental distress

So, helpful evidence from others could include details from:

  • GP
  • specialist
  • occupational therapist
  • community mental health team
  • your carer
  • a member of your family or a friend who knows you well
  • social worker
  • a social care plan drawn up by adult care

These are just examples of people and things that may be helpful. Make sure that you seek evidence from someone who knows you well and can comment on how your condition affects you most of the time – not just on a very good day or a very bad one, if your condition varies.

It will be worth explaining what is needed to the person providing the evidence.

If you're asked to pay a fee for further evidence and can't afford to pay

Make the PIP office aware that evidence is available but that you will have to pay a fee in order to get it. Seek advice from us.