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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is financial support for people aged 16 and over and under State Pension age. It has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults. Most adults who were on DLA will now have been moved to PIP.

What is PIP?

PIP is a tax-free, non-means-tested payment. It is not affected by your earnings, other income or by any savings you may have.

You can spend your PIP as you wish. The money is there to help you with the added expense that living with a disability or long-term health condition can often bring.

Payment is awarded using a points-based system. You can be awarded PIP for a short period of up to two years or a long period, between five to 10 years. Ongoing awards are provided where appropriate.

Towards the end of your award period, you will be invited to undergo a review. This is to check if your situation has changed, which could mean that your PIP award could alter. You will be sent a letter about this towards the end of your current award period.

PIP has two components, with two different payment rates. In simple terms, it consists of a daily living component with a standard and enhanced rate and a mobility component with a standard and enhanced rate.

Moving to PIP

If you are currently on DLA, you will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) inviting you to apply for PIP. The letter will give you a deadline to complete your PIP application and the date of your last DLA payment.

PIP eligibility rules

PIP will look at how your condition affects you, not which condition you have.

Having a diagnosis of a muscle wasting or associated condition doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be eligible for PIP.

In your application, you need to demonstrate the impact your condition has on your everyday life. This can feel daunting but it’s important that you share the everyday reality of living with your condition.

You must be at least 16 years old to get PIP. Parents or guardians of children 16 or under can apply for DLA for children.

You are eligible for PIP if you:

  • Have had a health condition for three months before applying, and expect to have the condition for a further nine months after applying
  • Have been in the UK for two of the past three years
  • Are aged over 16 and under State Pension age

Visit GOV.UK to view the exceptions and additional rules to the eligibility criteria. These include if you have a terminal illness, if you live abroad or if you’re not a British Citizen.

How will I be assessed?

PIP is based on the level of help you need because of how your condition affects you, and not on what condition you have.

You will be assessed on how much help you need to carry out everyday tasks, such as:

  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Eating and drinking
  • 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
  • Making financial decisions
  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

When you’re being assessed, you’ll be given the score that best fits with your description of how your condition affects you. This is why it’s vital to give as much detail as possible on your application.

PIP rates

PIP has two components: daily living and mobility. Each component has two rates: the standard or enhanced rate. Which component and rate you receive will depend on how your condition affects you. These are calculated on a points system.

Component          Weekly rate 
Daily living – standard rate £68.10
Daily living – enhanced rate £101.75
Mobility – standard rate £26.90
Mobility – enhanced rate £71
How to apply for PIP

The best way to start your application is by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222. This is quicker than writing to them, and your claim will start on the date that you call.

During the call, you will be asked for details including your full name, date of birth, National Insurance number, bank details, address and contact information.

If you have difficulty providing this information over the phone, ask someone to call on your behalf. However, you will need to be present.

The call should take around 20 minutes. You’ll then be sent a ‘How your disability affects you’ form, usually within two weeks of your call. Using the guidance that comes with it, fill in the form and return it. Include any supporting documents, for example care plans or a list of your prescriptions. You have one month to complete and return the form. You can ask the DWP for some more time to send in your application, this can be helpful if you’re waiting on supporting documents or need extra support to complete the form.

If successful, you’ll receive the money from the date that you called.

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