Personal independence payment (PIP)

A new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults aged 16-64.

Initially PIP only applies to those making a new claim but from October 2013 onwards it is gradually being extended to replace some existing DLA claims in certain postcode areas [PDF]. DLA will continue as a separate benefit for children aged under 16 years.

When will personal independence payment (PIP) be introduced?

  • June 2013 - since June, it has applied to all new claims by disabled adults over 16 years.
  • October 2013 - since 28 October, adults over 16 years whose existing DLA award is coming to an end, or who report a change of circumstances or volunteer to claim PIP, have started to be reassessed under the new system. However initially this only applies in certain postcode areas [PDF]. DLA claimants who turn 16 will also be reassessed under PIP, but only if they live in one of the designated postcode areas [PDF].
  • October 2015 - all other adults claiming DLA are expected to be reassessed for PIP between October 2015 and late 2017. 

These dates apply in England, Scotland and Wales. The date of PIP's introduction in Northern Ireland has yet to be finalised.

What will happen to your child's DLA claim when they turn 16?

Reassessment areas

This depends where in the country they live. If your child gets DLA and lives in a 'reassessment area', the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact them shortly after their birthday to invite them to claim PIP.

The current reassessment areas are those postcode areas in Wales, the West Midlands,the East Midlands, East Anglia, Southern Scotland, the Scottish Borders and those parts of northern England with a postcode that begins with:

  • CA,
  • DL,
  • HG
  • LA, or
  • YO
  • CH
  • M
  • L, or
  • HD

From 26 January 2015, PIP will be rolled out to 7 new areas. These are postcodes starting with:

  • IV
  • G
  • NE
  • DH
  • SR
  • WN, or
  • WA

If your child lives in an assessment area

If your child lives in one of these areas they will be invited to claim PIP when they turn 16. The only exception to this will be if they get DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill.

If you live in one of these postcodes and your child turns 16 on or after the 26 January, they should be invited to claim PIP unless they are claiming DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill.

Seek advice from our free helpline if your son or daughter lives in one of these postcode areas, is turning 16 after 25 January but has already been sent a DLA renewal pack.

If 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. 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.

A postcode map of all the reassessment areas [PDF] is available from the DWP website.

If your child does not live in an assessment area

Gradually PIP will be extended to existing claimants in other areas. However in the meantime if your son or daughter is turning 16 and does not live in a reassessment area they should continue to fall under the DLA system. This means that if their current DLA award is ending on their sixteenth birthday, they should be asked to make a renewal claim for DLA as an adult.

The Department of Work and Pensions has the power to invite you to claim PIP even if you live outside a re-assessment area, but so far as not announced any plans to do this. If you do not live in a re-assessment area and your son or daughter is invited to claim PIP, contact our free helpline for urgent advice. 

How similar is PIP to DLA?

The new PIP appears similar to DLA in many ways. It is not means-tested, nor based on national insurance contributions and can be paid to those both in and out of work. In addition:

  • it has two separate components - 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
  • 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 opens the way for a carer to claim Carer's Allowance.

While it looks similar in some respects, PIP uses an entirely new set of criteria to decide whether someone qualifies for the benefit.

The way in which PIP is assessed is also very different to DLA. 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. This will not be your own GP but a health professional working on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions.

How do you qualify for PIP?

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.

Further information