Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged between 16 to 64 years. PIP and DLA cannot be claimed at the same time.

PIP has been designed to help towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long-term health condition or disability that is expected to last for 12 months or longer. It is assessed on how a person's condition affects their daily life, not the condition they have.

Listen to the mp3 audio file about the Personal Independence Payment.

This information is also available from the Department for Communities Guide to the Personal Independence Payment benefit: 

The information is also available in British and Irish Sign Language:

PIP was introduced in Northern Ireland on 20 June 2016.  People aged between16 to 64 years are no longer able to make a claim to DLA, instead they should make a claim for PIP. 

Existing DLA claimants aged 16 to 64 years, whose benefit is due to come to an end or who report a change in their care or mobility needs, will be invited to claim PIP.  

If you are aged between 16 to 64 years and have an indefinite or lifetime award for DLA, you will be randomly selected for assessment and invited to claim PIP.  This will happen over a number of years between December 2016 and December 2018.

DLA will remain for children up to the age of 16 years, whether they are existing or new claimants. 

We will write to them and their parent/ guardian in plenty of time to explain how to apply for PIP, when they need to claim and what will happen to their DLA.

If you are aged 65 years or over on 20 June 2016 you will continue to receive DLA provided you continue to meet their eligibility criteria.

What is PIP?

PIP has been designed to help towards some of the extra costs that come from having a long-term health condition or disability that is expected to last 12 months or longer.

Entitlement to PIP is based on the effect a long term health condition or disability has on your daily life and not the condition or disability itself.

PIP is made up of two parts (components), a Daily Living component and a Mobility component.

Each component has two rates, standard and enhanced. 

More information on the components and the activities is available in the guide below.

PIP is not affected by income or savings, it is not taxable and you can get it whether you are in work or not.

What will happen to my DLA award/payments?

If you currently receive DLA and were aged 16 to 64 on 20 June 2016 you will be impacted by the introduction of PIP, even if you have an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA.

During the assessment process you will continue to receive your DLA award until your eligibility for PIP is determined, provided you make a claim when requested to do so and fully engage with the process.

Rates and how do I claim PIP?

There are four steps to claiming PIP.

1. You can make a PIP claim by phoning the PIP Centre:

  • phone: 0800 012 1573
  • textphone: 0800 012 1574

Textphone is available for people with hearing difficulties.

You’ll be asked for information such as:

  • your contact details
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society details
  • name and contact details for your GP or other healthcare professionals
  • 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.

2. Tell us how your disability affects you

You’ll be sent a ‘How your disability affects you’ form. It comes with notes to help you fill it in. It asks you to explain how your condition affects your daily life, both on good and bad days and over a range of activities.

It is important that you complete this form and return it to the PIP Centre along with any other supporting evidence that you already have about your condition as soon as possible.

3. Assessment

 Your claim will be assessed by an independent Health Professional to help work out the level of help you need. They will look at the information you provided and may ask your GP or other contacts you’ve given on your form for any extra information they need.

Sometimes they can assess your claim by just using the written information, but most people will be asked to have a face-to-face consultation with the Health Professional. If a face-to-face consultation is needed the Health Professional will contact you to arrange it.

The consultation will give you the chance to explain your needs in your own words. You can take someone with you for support and they can take part in the discussion too.

4. Decision

Once the assessment has been completed, it will be returned and a PIP Case Manager will consider all the information, including the advice from the health professional and any information you have provided.

The Case Manager will make a decision on your claim and write to tell you how they made it.

If you qualify for PIP, the claim will look at regularly to make sure that you are getting the right support.  


  Weekly rates 2016/17
PIP Daily Living Enhanced Rate  £82.30 
PIP Daily Living Standard Rate  £55.10 
PIP Mobility Enhanced Rate  £57.45 
PIP Mobility Standard Rate  £21.80 

What if I’m terminally ill?

There are special rules for people who have a terminal illness and are not expected to live for more than six months.

If you meet the criteria for the special rules you:

  • will not have to complete the form ‘How your disability affects you’
  • will not need a face to face consultation
  • will be entitled to an award of the enhanced rate of the Daily Living component of PIP without having to satisfy the normal qualifying period
  • may also be entitled to the Mobility component of PIP depending on your mobility needs

You can make a claim to PIP under the special rules by phoning the PIP Centre on:

  • phone: 0800 012 1573
  • textphone: 0800 012 1574

Some extra questions will be asked whilst on the phone about your condition and how it affects your ability to get around. Someone else can make the call on your behalf.

If you have a terminal illness you are encouraged to obtain a DS1500 form from your doctor, specialist or consultant to support your claim.  If you have sent a DS1500 form for PIP or any other benefit in the last six months you do not need to re-supply it.

The DS1500 is a report about your medical condition. You won’t have to pay for it.

You can ask the doctor’s receptionist, a nurse or a social worker to arrange it for you. You don’t have to see the doctor.  A completed DS1500 cannot be treated as a claim to PIP.

What support is available if you are already receiving DLA and are affected by PIP?

The Northern Ireland Executive has put in place some measures to support people who are currently receiving DLA and are financially worse off after they have been assessed for PIP.

There are three categories of supplementary payments for PIP:

1. If someone does not qualify for PIP:

If a person does not qualify for PIP after their assessment they must lodge an appeal in order to be eligible for a supplementary payment.

Supplementary payments will be paid until the appeal decision is made and will be equal to the original DLA award.

2. When someone receives less on PIP than they did on DLA:

When someone qualifies for PIP, but at a reduced rate, and their weekly loss is more than £10, they will be eligible for a supplementary payment which covers 75 per cent of the loss. For example, if the difference is £20 they will receive £15.

3. When someone has a disability or illness as result of a Northern Ireland conflict related injury:

 A person who does not qualify for PIP but can show that their disability or illness is as a result of a Northern Ireland conflict related injury may be entitled to supplementary payments. A person must have received between four and seven or more points in their PIP assessment to be considered

How is it paid?

A person can only receive a PIP supplementary payment for one category at any one time.

These supplementary payments may last for up to 12 months. Payments will be made every four weeks in arrears

Supplementary payments for people receiving additions to benefits because of a disability 

If after your assessment you do not qualify for PIP or do not qualify at the same rate as you were receiving under DLA, this could affect certain additions known as Disability Premiums which are included in some other benefits paid to them such as, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support.

If you are impacted in this way you will receive a supplementary payment to cover this loss for up to one year. Payments will be made every four weeks in arrears.

Carer's supplementary payments

A person will no longer be entitled to Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Premium if the person in receipt of DLA, who they currently provide care for, doesn’t qualify for PIP after their assessment. However, in these circumstances a supplementary payment will be paid for up to one year.

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