Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced as part of the Welfare Reform Act in 2013 and is gradually replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Lots of DLA claimants have already been migrated across to the new benefit and all new claims must be submitted under the PIP system.
PIP is a benefit used to help with costs caused by a health condition or disability. It is non-means-tested, non-contributory, and is not linked to a person’s employment status even though it can only be received by people of working age (16 – 64). The other key difference between PIP and the old DLA is that claims are based on the effects of a condition on a person rather than on the condition itself.
In order to claim PIP there are a handful of basic criteria, as follows:
- Be aged 16 to 64.
- Have a long-term health condition or disability and difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and or mobility.
- Be in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, eg: members and family members of the Armed Forces.
- Have been in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years.
- Be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
- Not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant). There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living or coming from another EEA country or Switzerland.
Before your assessment you must:
- Have a long-term health condition or disability and have difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and or mobility.
- Have had these difficulties for three months and expect them to last for at least nine months. If you’re terminally ill (ie: not expected to live more than six months), you don’t need to have had these difficulties for three months.
Your assessment will decide whether you meet the criteria for PIP and as previously mentioned, will look at how your condition or disabilities affects the way you live. A points tally based on your answers to questions about different aspects of daily living is used to guide the decision as to whether you receive the benefit. You may be able to claim PIP therefore, if you have difficulties in preparing or eating food, washing, bathing and using the toilet or dressing and undressing. Other cognitive difficulties are also considered such as reading and communicating, managing your medicines or treatments, making decisions about money and engaging with other people.
There is also a separate section that looks specifically at mobility and how you get around and examines how easy or difficult it is for you to get out and about.
Assessments are carried out by independent healthcare professionals who will advise the DWP on the level of benefit you need. A physical examination and face-to-face consultation is not always required but if it is you’ll receive a letter telling you where and when to attend. The decision about your claim is based on the results of the assessment, your application and any other supporting evidence you include.
In order that you continue to receive the correct level of benefit you will be regularly reassessed and you’ll be required to tell DWP immediately if there are any changes in how your condition affects you.
PIP claimants can receive between £21.80 and £139.75 a week.
How to claim
If you live in Great Britain you can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to make a new PIP claim. (The process is different for claims in Northern Ireland.)
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm