What is PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit which was introduced in 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The benefit is paid to you if you have a disability or health condition which affects you with your daily activities on a daily basis.
Please note that this benefit only affects people aged 16-66 and you fall into this category, you can still make claims for DLA and Attendance Allowance respectively.
There are two different components to this benefit, the daily living part which assesses your ability to complete a range of daily tasks (listed below) and the mobility component which assesses your ability to move around outdoors.
This is a benefit separate to Employment and Support Allowance and does not assess your ability to work.
The benefit can be awarded at the following rates:
Standard Rate £68.10
Enhanced Rate £101.75
Standard Rate £26.90
Enhanced Rate £71.00
How Do I Make a Claim?
You will need to make an initial claim over the phone requesting that a claim form be sent to you. The number to make the claim is 0800 917 2222.
Once you receive the form, you will need to complete this by the date stated on the front of the form, if you will return this late or need additional time, you can contact PIP on the above number to request an extension.
Within the claim form, you will be given the opportunity to tell the decision maker how your disability or health condition affects your ability to complete the activity. The decision maker is looking as to whether you can complete the activity safely, to a reasonable standard, in a timely fashion and what assistance you may need to help such as aids. It is also important to mention that if you have side effects from any medication that impacts on your ability to complete these activities to mention this to, such as; tiredness and dizziness.
The regulations state that if your health condition or disability affects your ability to complete this activity more than 50% of the time you should be awarded points for this – as described below.
It is also important to submit any medical information you may have such as doctor’s letters, medical reports and prescriptions.
What happens next?
Once you have returned the form, you will be invited to a medical assessment with an independent assessor who will assess you against a set of criteria listed below. It is always a good idea to ask someone to come with you to the centre as it is perfectly normal to be scared or anxious. You should also take note of the medical professionals details and area of expertise as this may be needed should you decide to appeal/challenge the decision. You should also ask if the assessment could be recorded and this request cannot be unreasonably denied.
It is extremely important to answer the questions honestly letting the medical professional know that you struggle with the activity rather than saying that don’t.
The information from this assessment will be passed back to a decision maker at DWP and they will make a decision on your entitlement.
You will then receive a letter with a breakdown of the assessment and your scores informing you whether you have an award or not. If you have been awarded PIP the letter will state how long the award is for.
In order to get an award of PIP you need to get the following scores against the descriptors for both daily living and mobility.
Enhanced Award 12 Points
Standard Award 8 Points
If I am awarded PIP, what other services are available?
If you are awarded either rate of PIP daily living, this will entitle someone to claim Carers Allowance for looking after you if applicable, subject to the Carers Allowance rules (see Carers Allowance factsheet). If you are awarded the PIP mobility component and score a minimum of 8 points for the activity of moving around or activity 1e for planning journey, this will attract an automatic entitlement to a blue badge/bus pass. Any award of PIP mobility will also entitle you to a discount or full exemption from your road tax.
An award of PIP could also increase your current benefits.
What to do if I am not happy with the outcome?
As with other DWP benefits, you can ask the decision maker to look at the decision again if you believe that something has been missed in making the decision, and have one month to do this called a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. If the decision is upheld you can apply to an independent tribunal to look at the original decision. Please refer to the challenges factsheet for more information.
I am already claiming DLA what should I do?
As mentioned, DLA has now been replaced with PIP, and now that the claims process has been completed the DWP are now in the process of migrating everyone on DLA (between the ages of 16-66) onto PIP.
You will receive a letter from the DWP stating that you have been invited to claim PIP and you will need to call the number above and make a new claim over the phone and complete the new form when it arrives. You will need to do this within 1 month of receiving the letter otherwise your DLA claim will end on the date stated. If you respond in time, your DLA will be paid up until your PIP medical assessment. Therefore, you will not be financially worse off during this period.
What if I notice a change in my circumstances?
You are able to request a review of your PIP claim at anytime, with this resulting in a review form being issued to you for completion. The normal rules apply in that the change must have occurred within the last three months on the expectation that this will continue for the following nine months.
Any review may require a reassessment medical appointment.
Is it worth making a claim?
PIP can be a difficult benefit to claim with many horror stories of people who do not want to claim or have not challenged any decision. It is always worth challenging these decisions due to the high success rate and we are happy to support you with this.
The PIP scoring system is provided below.
The PIP Medical Descriptors
Daily Living Activities
*In Scotland parts of the Social Security system have been devolved to Social Security Scotland. Claims for Personal Independence Payment have been replaced by Adult Disability Payment (16 – State Pension Age). Although devolved, they are assessed in the same way. Claims can be started by contacting Social Security Scotland on the following numbers
Adult Disability Payment – 0800 182 2222 or online at https://www.mygov.scot/adult-disability-payment/how-to-apply
This advice is provided by our Benefits Advisor, Robert Mandelstam. The information provided above is up to date for the financial year ending 5th April 2024.
We have factsheets and advice on the following topics (these are up to date for the financial year 2023/2024):
If you would like to access this support service, please complete the referral form linked below:
Once you have completed this form, we will be in touch to book you in with our Benefit Advisor (keep an eye on your junk folder just in case the email goes there!). This service is offered to our six communities without charge. If you have any questions about this service, please email email@example.com
Robert Mandelstam is a Welfare Benefit Advisor at The Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Marsden, a charity focused on providing financial, emotional and practical support to those living with cancer. He is now also working to support our six charities as part of the Better Together project. Robert has been working in the field of welfare benefit advice for over 10 years in a range of different settings, namely, the NHS, local authority/housing providers and other third sector organisations. Robert aims to break down the barriers which exist around accessing support for some of the most vulnerable people in society and is adept at providing advice from the initial stages of a claim, through to representation at benefit tribunals.