Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a new benefit replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults aged 16-64. DLA will continue as seperate benefit for children aged under 16 years.

Initially PIP only applied to those making a new claim, but it is now also replacing existing DLA awards for some claimants.

How is Personal Independence Payment (PIP) being introduced?

PIP has already replaced DLA for new claims by disabled adults aged 16 or over. This is the case everywhere in England, Wales and Scotland. A timetable for PIP's introduction in Northern Ireland has yet to be announced.

PIP is now replacing DLA awards for existing claimants. The date this applies from depends on which postcode area [PDF] you live in and your individual circumstances.

Children turning 16

Children turning 16 who currently claim DLA will be asked to claim PIP after their 16th birthday.

Initially this only applied to young people who lived in certain postcode areas. It now applies to all children turning 16 no matter where in England, Wales or Scotland they live.

Young people turning 16 who get DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill are exempt and will continue to get DLA.  

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you when your child is 15 years and 7 months. They will explain what will happen and check whether your child has the mental capacity to deal their own benefit claims or whether they will need an appointee to act on their behalf.

They will follow this up with a second letter once your child is 15 years and 10 months. Finally the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact them shortly after their birthday to invite them to claim PIP.

Once your son or daughter is invited to claim PIP they (or you if you are their appointee) must do so within 28 days, by phoning the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 free.

Their DLA payments will continue until a decision is made on their PIP claim. This applies even if their existing DLA award was scheduled to end when they turned 16. However if they fail to claim PIP when invited, their DLA payments will stop.

All other claimants aged 16 and above

Apart from young people turning 16, three other groups are invited to claim PIP regardless of where in the country they live. These are DLA claimants who are :

  • aged 16 or above and who report a change in their care or mobility needs
  • aged 16 or above and who volunteer to claim PIP
  • already aged 16 or above and whose existing DLA award is coming to an end.

The DWP has also started the process of of re-assessing all other adult DLA claimants under the PIP rules i.e. those whose DLA award is ending after Sept 2017 or who have no end date on their DLA award. This is being done gradually over a two year period starting with some claimants in postcodes areas beginning BA, BB, BH BL, BR, BS, CB, CF, CM, CO, CT, CW, DA, DE, DH, DT, FY, GL, HX, HD, L, LA, LE, LU, M, NR, OL, PL, PO, PR, RG, RM, SK, SO, SP, SS, ST, TA, TQ, TR, WA and WN.

Not all claimants in these postcode areas will be invited to claim PIP right away. The DWP say that claimants can be contacted at anytime between now and 30 Sept 2017.

Qualifying for Personal Independence Payment

Like DLA, PIP is made up of two parts. There is a mobility component based on your ability to get around and a daily living component based on your ability to carry out key activities necessary to participate in daily life.

Depending on their circumstances your child might qualify for one or both. 

In addition:

  • it is not means tested or based or national insurance contributions
  • it can be paid to both those in and out of work
  • there are special rules for the terminally ill
  • those getting the enhanced rate of the mobility component of  PIP can make use of the Motability scheme
  • an award of the daily living component can lead to a carer getting Carer's Allowance.

How much will I receive?

Both components of PIP are paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate depending on the level of your child's needs.

The daily living component weekly rates are:

  • Standard rate - £55.10
  • Enhanced rate - £82.30

The mobility component weekly rates are:

  • Standard rate - £21.80
  • Enhanced rate - £57.45

How will my claim for PIP be assessed?

As well as having to complete a claim form over the telephone and a paper questionnaire, most people will be asked to attend a face to face assessment undertaken by a health care professional working on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions.

PIP uses a points-based system to decide whether someone qualifies for the benefit, and if so, at what rate. You receive points depending on the level of difficulty you experience in the following areas:

  • preparing food
  • eating and drinking
  • managing treatment
  • washing and bathing
  • managing toilet needs
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating verbally
  • reading
  • mixing with other people
  • making decisions about money
  • planning and following journeys
  • moving around.

The number of points you score in the last two categories are added together to decide if you get the mobility component, and at what rate. Your scores in the other categories are added together to decide whether you get the daily living component.

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