Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit which has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between 16 and State Pension age.
This is for Northern Ireland residents only.
If you are in England, Scotland or Wales visit Gov.uk
Introduction to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP helps towards some of the extra living costs arising from having a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability that is expected to last for 12 months or longer.
What PIP is for
PIP can help with extra living costs if you have both:
- a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
- difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
You can get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if all of the following apply to you:
- you are aged 16 or over
- you have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
- you have difficulties doing certain everyday tasks or getting around
- you have had these difficulties for at least three months and expect them to last for at least another nine months
- you live in Northern Ireland and usually have lived in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for two out of the last three years
- you are under State Pension age
- Check your State Pension age
If you’re over State Pension age, you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead. Or if you’ve received PIP before, you can still make a new claim if you were eligible for it in the year before you reached State Pension age.
If you live abroad, you may be entitled to claim benefits in another European country
If you have moved to the UK from abroad and are not a British or Irish citizen, you may still be entitled to benefits
How PIP works
There are two parts to PIP:
- a daily living part - if you need help with everyday tasks
- a mobility part - if you need help with getting around
Whether you get one or both parts and how much you get depends on how difficult you find everyday tasks and getting around.
Daily living part
You might get the daily living part of PIP if you need help with:
- preparing food
- taking nutrition
- managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating verbally
- reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
- engaging with other people face to face
- making budgeting decisions
You might get the mobility part of PIP if you need help with:
- planning and following journeys
- moving around
You do not have to have a physical disability to get the mobility part. You might also be eligible if you have difficulty getting around because of a cognitive or mental health condition, like anxiety.
PIP is not affected by income or savings, it is not taxable and you can get it whether you are in work or not.
Claiming PIP if you might have 12 months or less to live
There are special rules if you're nearing the end of life and are not expected to live for more than 12 months.
If you have been given a diagnosis of less than 12 months to live, you’ll automatically get the daily living part. Whether you get the mobility part depends on your needs.
Find out how to claim and how much you’ll get if you're nearing the end of life
If you get Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
DLA will continue to be paid for children up to the age of 16, both for existing or new claimants.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 years who is receiving DLA, you will receive a letter before your child turns 16. It will explain how to apply for PIP, when to claim and what will happen to DLA.
Measures are in place to support you if you received DLA and are financially worse off after you have been assessed for PIP.
More information is available to find out more about welfare supplementary payments
How to claim PIP
As part of your claim for this benefit, or a review of an existing claim, you may need to have a health assessment.
There are four steps to claiming Personal Independence Payment.
Contact the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre by phone, by post or by using sign language. If you use sign language, you might be able to use the video relay service to claim PIP. This information is available in Easy Read format.
If you use sign language
You can use British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL) to contact the Personal Independence Payment Centre.
To use the video relay service:
- check that you can use the BSL video relay service
- check that you can use the ISL video relay service
- contact the Personal Independence Payment Centre via the video relay service
- The interpreter will check whether you require BSL or ISL
Claiming PIP by post
If you cannot use a phone or the video relay service or have no one to support you to make your claim by phone, you can make a claim by post instead. This means it takes longer to get a decision. You can write to the PIP Independence Payment (PIP) Centre at the address on the following link to ask for a paper claim form:
- contact information for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre
Information you’ll be asked for
To make a claim you'll be asked for information, including:
- your contact details
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number (if you have one)
- 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 have claimed DLA before you can ask that your earlier medical evidence is also made available. Start collecting any other supporting evidence you might want to send.
Someone else can call on your behalf but you’ll need to be with them when they call.
Explain how your disability affects you
You’ll be sent a ‘How your disability affects you’ form (also known as PIP2). It comes with notes to help you fill it in and has useful information on the types of evidence to send to PIP. It also 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 fill in this form and return it in the envelope given as soon as possible. If you need help to fill in the form you can contact the Department for Communities Make the Call Service.
You have one month to return the form. If you need more time to return your ‘How your disability affects you’ or PIP2 form, more time is available. You should contact the PIP Centre to arrange this.
You should include any other supporting evidence you already have about your condition with the PIP2 form.
This is important and could mean you do not need to have an assessment. If you do not return this form your claim to PIP may be disallowed.
Information to support your claim
Information from the following people or places could help to support your PIP claim:
- specialist nurses
- community psychiatric nurses
- social workers
- occupational therapists
- hospital doctors
- support workers
You could also send care or treatment plans from:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
- community psychiatric nurses
- learning disability support teams
Other sources of information that can help are:
- hospital discharge or outpatient clinic letters
- a statement of special educational needs
- a certificate of visual impairment
- repeat prescription lists
- photographs or x-rays
- letters about other benefits
- test results like scans, diagnostic tests or audiology
Letters from people who know you are only helpful if they can give you information about how your condition affects you.
Your claim will be assessed by an independent health assessor to help work out the level of help you need. Assessments can be in person or over the phone.
The health assessor will look at the information you give and may ask your GP or other contacts you’ve given for more information if they think they need it. This means they can sometimes assess your claim by just using the written information.
Some assessments can take place at home but you may be asked to come to an assessment with a health assessor. If an assessment is needed, the health assessor will contact you to arrange it.
The assessment will give you the chance to explain your needs in your own words. You can have someone with you for support and they can take part in the discussion too.
You can now also have your assessment recorded. Contact the health assessor before your appointment to arrange this. After your appointment you will receive a link to your recording by text message or email.
Once the assessment has finished, it will be returned and a PIP case manager will consider all the information, including the report from the independent health assessor and information you have given.
The case manager will make a decision on your claim and write to you with a clear explanation of how it was made.
You can get a copy of the report completed by the independent health assessor. Contact the PIP Centre to request this.
If you qualify for PIP, your claim will be periodically reviewed to make sure you are getting the right support.
How much you’ll get
How much PIP you get depends on how difficult you find:
- everyday activities (‘daily living’ tasks)
- getting around (‘mobility’ tasks)
Find out what tasks count as daily living and mobility tasks.
|2023/24 rates||Standard weekly rate||Enhanced weekly rate|
|Daily living part||£68.10||£101.75|
PIP is tax free and is paid every four weeks. The amount you get is not affected by your income or savings and you can get it whether you are in work or not.
Tell the Department for Communities (DfC) straight away if there’s a change in your personal circumstances or how your condition affects you.
If your PIP Claim is reviewed
The letter you got when your PIP was approved will tell you when your claim will end and if it will be reviewed.
How a PIP review works
PIP will contact you if your award is to be reviewed.
You do not need to do anything before then unless your circumstances have changed. Your current PIP award will continue to be paid while your claim is being reviewed.
If your circumstances have changed contact the PIP Centre.
- you will get a letter and a form
- fill in the form using the notes that come with it
- send your completed form and any supporting information you have not shared with PIP before
- the form explains what information to include and where to send it
If you need more time to complete and return your form, or if you need assistance with completing the form, you should contact the PIP Centre.
When your review form is returned
When you return your form, the PIP Centre will send you a text message to let you know your completed form has been received.
If you do not return your form and do not contact the PIP Centre, your PIP award may be affected.
PIP will review your form and will send you updates on what is happening with it. Your current PIP award will continue to be paid while the review is taking place. You only need to contact PIP if your circumstances change.
If PIP need more information, an independent health professional might phone you to ask some questions or send you a letter inviting you to an assessment which can be in person or over the phone. Not all reviews will require an assessment.
If you do have an assessment, the health professional will send PIP a report. PIP will then look at all the information and make a decision. Your current PIP award will continue to be paid while this is happening.
When your review is completed
Following completion of your PIP review, you will get a PIP decision letter, telling you about your PIP award.
Your PIP award might stay the same or, if your needs have changed, your PIP award might could be increased, reduced or in some cases stopped. The letter will also tell you what to do if you do not agree with the PIP decision.
If you're nearing the end of life
There are special rules if you're nearing the end of life and are not expected to live for more than 12 months.
If you meet the criteria for the special rules for end of life:
- you will not have to fill in the form ‘How your disability affects you’
- you will not need an assessment
- you will be entitled to an award of the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP without having to satisfy the normal qualifying period
- you may also be entitled to the mobility part of PIP depending on your mobility needs
You can make a claim to PIP under the special rules by phoning the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 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're nearing the end of life you are encouraged to get an SR1 form from a medical professional such as a GP, hospital or hospice doctor or registered nurse, for example, Macmillan nurses or specialist nurses to support your claim unless you have sent one for PIP or any other benefit in the last 11 months. The SR1 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 SR1 cannot be treated as a claim to PIP.
If your circumstances change
You must contact the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) enquiry line if:
- your personal details change, for example your name, address or doctor
- the help you need or your condition changes
- your condition has worsened and you’re not expected to live more than 12 months
- you go into hospital or a care home
- you go abroad
- you’re imprisoned or held in detention
- your immigration status has changed, if you’re not a British or Irish citizen
Contact the PIP Centre to report a change of circumstances.
Disability premiums, other benefits and PIP
You may get a top-up (called a Disability Premium) if you get:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
You might get the disability element of Working Tax Credit if you’re eligible.
If you get Constant Attendance Allowance you’ll get less of the daily part of PIP.
If you get War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement you will not get the mobility part of PIP.
Cost of Living Support Payment 2023/2024
A Cost of Living Support package has been put in place that includes one-off payments to those on income related benefits, disabled claimants and pensioners. These payments are intended to provide support with the current rise in the cost of living.
Find out more about Cost of Living support
Contacting the PIP Centre
Use the following link to contact the PIP Centre by phone, post or using sign language:
Other help you can get
If you receive the mobility part of PIP, you might be eligible for a:
- Blue Badge
- Vehicle Tax Discount or exemption
- Motability Scheme vehicle - if you get the higher mobility rate of PIP
A series of videos help explain the key stages when claiming PIP. Videos are also available in British and Irish Sign Language, and with subtitles.
- PIP information videos
- PIP information videos - British Sign Language
- PIP information videos - Irish Sign Language
What to do if you disagree with the decision
If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal. This is called asking for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ and means the PIP Centre will look at the decision again. Your decision letter will explain if you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration and explain how to apply for one.
You must apply for a mandatory reconsideration within one calendar month of the date on your decision notice. If you don’t apply within this time limit, you may not be able to appeal against the decision.
The time limit for applying for a mandatory reconsideration can be extended in exceptional circumstances. For more information on these circumstances, contact the PIP Centre.
You cannot appeal to the Appeals Service until you have had a mandatory reconsideration.
How to apply for a mandatory reconsideration
You can ask for a mandatory reconsideration by contacting the PIP Centre:
- by phone
- by letter
- by filling in and returning an MR2(NI) request form
If you want to send evidence
This needs to show why the decision was wrong. It could, for example, be:
- new medical evidence
- reports or care plans from specialists, therapists or nurses
- bank statements or payslips
Only include evidence you have not already sent.
Write your full name, date of birth and National Insurance number at the top of each piece of evidence and send it to the PIP Centre.
What happens next
A case manager who was not involved in making the original benefit decision will look at the decision again. You’ll get a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice (MRN) telling you whether they’ve changed the decision. It’ll explain the reasons for that decision and the evidence it was based on.
This is your opportunity to say why you think the decision is wrong. You must include any information that shows the wrong decision has been made. If you disagree with more than one part of the decision, say why you disagree with each part.
Once you have received the MRN, if you are still unhappy with the decision, you can appeal to an Independent Appeal Tribunal.
The case will be reviewed again before it goes to an Independent Appeal Tribunal. New or more evidence can be sent to support your appeal at this stage.
You will be written to if this review changes your decision. The letter will tell you what happens if you accept the new decision and what this means for your appeal to the Independent Tribunal.
Information on the appeals process is on the following page:
How to complain about the service you get
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service given you can make a complaint to the Department for Communities (DfC). You can contact DfC about any aspect of the service you’ve received. This will not affect your claim.
Further information is available at:
How to complain about the PIP Assessment Service Provider
You can make a complaint about a service from the PIP Assessment Service Provider - Capita PIP Northern Ireland.
A complaint will not affect your PIP claim.
There are circumstances when you may be paid too much benefit and you will be asked to repay this. To make a repayment contact Debt Management.
If you require further support, contact Debt Management as soon as possible to discuss an affordable repayment plan and other potential options.
Help and support
If you would like independent help and advice on Personal Independence Payment or any other welfare changes, you can visit any independent advice office or contact Advice NI.