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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between 16 and State Pension age. PIP and DLA cannot be claimed at the same time.

About Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

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

DLA will stay for children up to the age of 16, both for existing or new claimants. Existing claimants who were aged 65 or over on 20 June 2016 will continue to receive DLA, provided you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

This information is also available in leaflets, and in British and Irish Sign Language: 

If you are between 16 and State Pension age, you can no longer make a claim to DLA. Instead, you should claim for PIP. 

If you are an existing DLA claimant between 16 and the day before State Pension age, and your benefit is due to come to an end or if you report a change in your care or mobility needs, you will be invited to claim PIP.  

If you are between 16 and State Pension age, and have an indefinite or lifetime award for DLA, you will be randomly selected for assessment and invited to claim PIP.  This will happen up until December 2018.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 years who is receiving DLA, the Department of Communities will write to you and your child before they turn 16 to explain how to apply for PIP, when to claim and what will happen to DLA.

How PIP is made up

PIP is made up of two components (parts); a 'daily living component' and a 'mobility component'.

Each component has two rates; standard and enhanced. If you qualify for PIP, you will get money for one or both components.

More information on the components and the activities is 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 happens to your DLA 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 decided, provided you make a claim when requested to do so and fully engage in the process.

How to claim Personal Independence Payment

There are four steps to claiming Personal Independence Payment.

Step one: Contact the PIP Centre by phone or using sign language

If you use sign language, you might be able to use the video relay or remote interpreting service to claim PIP using British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL). To access the service, go to:

To make a claim you'll be asked for information including:

  • your contact details
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society details
  • the name and contact details of your GP or other healthcare professionals
  • details of any time you’ve spent abroad, or in a care home or hospital

If you already claim DLA you can request that your previous medical evidence is also made available.

Someone else can call on your behalf but you’ll need to be with them when they call.

Step two: explain 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 you complete this form and return it in the envelope provided along with any other supporting evidence you already have about your condition as soon as possible.  If you don’t return this form your claim to PIP may be disallowed.

Step three: assessment

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

Sometimes they can assess your claim by just using the written information but most people will be asked to go to a face-to-face assessment with the health assessor. If a face-to-face assessment is needed, the health assessor will contact you to arrange it. It can take place in your home if you prefer.

The assessment 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.

Step four: 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 assessor and information you have provided.

The case manager will make a decision on your claim and write to you with a clear explanation of how it was made.

If you qualify for PIP, your claim will be periodically reviewed to make sure you are getting the right support.  

If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal.

PIP rates

PIP rate Weekly rates 2019/2020
PIP Daily Living Enhanced Rate  £87.65
PIP Daily Living Standard Rate  £58.70
PIP Mobility Enhanced Rate  £61.20
PIP Mobility Standard Rate  £23.20

If you're terminally ill

There are special rules if you 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’
  • you will not need a face-to-face assessment
  • you 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
  • you 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 Personal Independence Payment Centre.

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 get a DS1500 form from your doctor, specialist or consultant to support your claim unless you have sent one for PIP or any other benefit in the last six months. 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.

SMS messages

When claiming PIP you may receive text messages (SMS) from the Department for Communities (DfC). They will always be clearly marked as DfC and will never ask you to give, or click a link to give, personal information or financial details by message or email.

If you’re concerned or unsure about any text messages (SMS) you receive about PIP, you should contact the PIP Centre directly. If you suspect you have received a fraudulent message as a scam, contact the PIP Centre immediately.

  • Further information is available at: scamwiseni

    If your circumstances change

    If your circumstances change, for example, your address or contact number, you go into hospital or leave the country, you must report these to the PIP Centre.

    Support if you receive DLA and are affected by PIP

    Measures are in place to support you if you currently receive DLA and are financially worse off after you have been assessed for PIP.

    There are three categories of supplementary payments for PIP. You can only receive a PIP supplementary payment for one category at any one time.

    If you don't qualify for PIP

    If you do not qualify for PIP after your assessment and lodge an appeal, a supplementary payment may be provided, equal to your DLA payment, until your appeal is heard and a decision is made. Supplementary payments will be available until March 2020.

    If you receive less on PIP than DLA

    If you qualify for PIP but at a reduced rate and your weekly loss is more than £10, you will be eligible for a supplementary payment for up to one year equal to 75 per cent of the difference in benefit. For example, if the difference is £20 you will receive £15.

    If you have an NI conflict-related injury

    If you do not qualify for PIP but can show that your disability or illness is as a result of a Northern Ireland conflict-related injury, you may be entitled to a supplementary payment. You must have received between four and seven points in your PIP assessment to be considered.  A supplementary payment would be paid for up to one year, until March 2020.

    Disability premiums included in other benefits

    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 you may be receiving such as, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Pension Credit.

    If you are impacted in this way you will receive a supplementary payment to cover this loss for up to one year until March 2020.

    Carer's supplementary payments

    You will no longer be entitled to Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Premium if the person getting DLA, who you currently provide care for, doesn’t qualify for PIP after their assessment. However, in these circumstances a supplementary payment will be paid to you for up to one year, until March 2020.

    Claiming a supplementary payment

    You do not need to apply for a supplementary payment. There is further information on the following page:

    Information videos

    A series of five videos help explain the key stages in the PIP customer journey. These are also available in British and Irish Sign Language, and with subtitles.

    More useful links

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