Personal independence payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 or over who have difficulty with daily living activities or mobility. You may qualify for PIP if you have a physical disability, a long-term health condition, mental health problem or a learning disability.
PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for those aged 16 and over. If you still get DLA, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will invite you to apply for PIP when your DLA claim is due for renewal, or possibly sooner.
DLA can still be claimed on behalf of those aged under 16.
Like DLA, you can claim PIP if you're in or out of work, or if you're studying, and it's not affected by your income or any savings you might have. You don’t need to have paid national insurance contributions. PIP uses a points system to decide whether you qualify, and at what rate.
Who can claim?
To claim you must:
- be 16 or over
- have been present in Great Britain for at least 2 out of the past 3 years*
- score enough points to pass the daily living and/or mobility assessment*
- have satisfied the daily living and/or mobility assessment for at least 3 months before claiming and be likely to satisfy the assessment for at least 9 months after claiming.*
* These rules don't apply to children turning 16 who are terminally ill.
Special rules for terminally ill children
Terminally ill children who turn 16 can continue to get DLA rather than PIP. A DLA award under the special rules for the terminally ill child will continue until the end of the existing award, or until your child is selected to claim PIP as part of the process of moving all remaining adult DLA claimants onto PIP.
If your child is seriously ill and death is a possibility within 6 months, they will automatically qualify for the enhanced rate of the daily living component and they won’t have to take part in an assessment. If this applies to your child, ask their doctor for a DS1500 certificate and send this to the DWP after you have phoned to make a claim.
What can the money be used for?
PIP helps meet the extra costs associated with living with a disability or a long term health condition, including:
- higher heating bills
- special diets, clothing or equipment
- taxi fares
- additional laundry or cleaning.
It can also be spent on whatever you wish, such as outings, special interests or holidays, or put away into a savings account (although beware of saving it beyond £6000 if you get any means-tested benefit, as it would reduce or even stop that benefit being paid).
The benefit is made up of 2 parts, called components:
- help with daily activities such as personal care
- help with getting around (mobility)
Depending on your needs, you may qualify for one of these components, or for both at the same time.
How to apply
Call the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP):
PIP new claims line:
0800 917 2222
Textphone 0800 917 7777
If you are your young person's appointee you can make the call on their behalf.
You’ll be asked to complete 2 forms:
1. Personal Independence Payment claim form (PIP1 form)
- Usually completed over the phone with a DWP worker. If you have difficulties using a phone, a paper form can be sent by post.
- The form asks basic questions such as your name, contact details, nationality, bank account details and for details of the main health professional supporting them.
- This form is also used to check that your young person meets the main basic qualifying conditions. For example, that they are at least 16 and meet certain tests linked to their immigration status and presence in the UK.
- Once the DWP has received the signed PIP1 form and established that your young person meets the basic qualifying conditions, you'll be sent a questionnaire called 'How Your Disability Affects You' (PIP2).
2. How your Disability Affects You questionnaire (PIP2 form)
- This form focusses on gathering information about your young person's ability to do a range of different activities. It's your opportunity to give a detailed explanation of how their condition affects them, so be sure to give as much detail as possible.
- You can send evidence to support your claim, such as a letter from your GP, school, social worker or other professionals and people who support your young person.
- The more supporting evidence you provide, the better the chances that a decision can be made without the need for a face-to-face assessment.
- You must complete and return the form within 1 month of the date it was posted to you. If you need longer, call the PIP Enquiry Line on 0800 121 4433 to ask for an extension.
For help you can read the completing the PIP form guide.
After returning the form, you’ll probably be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with an independent health professional.
The points system
To get PIP you must score a certain number of points according to how well you can carry out 10 daily living activities and 2 mobility activities. You cannot score points for anything not on the list.
10 daily living activities
• preparing food
• eating and drinking (taking nutrition)
• managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
• washing and bathing
• managing toilet needs or incontinence
• dressing and undressing
• speaking (communicating verbally)
• reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
• mixing with people (engaging with other people face-to-face)
• making decisions about money (making budgeting decisions).
2 mobility activities
• planning and following a journey
• moving around.