Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16–64. It can help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability. If you are older than 64, you need to claim Attendance Allowance.
PIP has replaced the benefit known as Disability Living Allowance (DLA). There is no automatic transfer from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP so if you are already receiving DLA you will be reassessed and transferred over to the new PIP scheme and existing DLA claimants will be contacted individually to ask if they want to claim PIP. The PIP scheme applies even if you were awarded a lifetime DLA guarantee.
How we can help
This section gives you information on how to claim PIP and what it covers.
Please take time to look at the information below. It will help guide you through the process and If after reading you need more advice, please contact us and we will do our very best to help you.
PID UK, as a professional member of the Benefits and Work organisation, has access, through a subscription fee, to their comprehensive guides about a range of benefits. If you would like to receive a full copy of any of their guides e.g. on claiming PIP, PIP diary extracts and templates to help you keep a record of how your condition affects everyday activities, dealing with the appeal process, challenging a medical report, then please email us at email@example.com.
These excellent guides really can help in improving the chances of your claim and in fighting any decisions that may go against you, so please do get in touch with us.
First of all we have to be honest and say PIP is not an easy benefit to claim. The Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) statistics indicate that just 45% of all new claims for PIP have been successful, where the claimant is not terminally ill. The success rate of people from DLA to PIP is about 70%, and unfortunately, there can also be a 3-4 month delay in processing a claim. This said if you don’t apply you certainly won’t get the benefit so please give it a go if you or your health team believe you have a valid claim.
People with a PID do not have an automatic right to claim PIP
The government has said ‘What you get is not based on your condition but how your condition affects you.’ So a key thing to note is that people with a PID are not automatically entitled to claim PIP even though they are covered by the Equality Act 2010.
What you are assessed on
Each applicant is assessed on their ability to carry out basic activities, such as walking a certain distance, managing your medicines or treatments, communicating, making decisions about money, washing and bathing, or preparing and eating food. The assessment is based on a points system for how these activities are affected by your health problems.
Information will be gathered about the applicant from healthcare professionals and other support workers.
Most people will be expected to attend a face-to-face consultation with an assessor as part of the claim process.
The organisation ‘Benefits and Work’ has a simple self-test which allows you to score yourself for the daily living and mobility components of PIP just by clicking with your mouse.
What you'll get
Personal Independent Payment is paid every four weeks; it is tax-free and can be paid if you’re in or out of work.
It is paid in two parts. Whether you get one or both of these depends on how your condition affects you.
The daily living component as of July 2016 is:
Standard - £55.10
Enhanced - £82.30
Standard - £21.80
Enhanced - £57.45
Making a claim
Claimants (or those supporting them) phone the DWP to make a claim for PIP. This involves an identity check and some basic questions.
The DWP will then send claimants a form where they can explain how their condition affects them. Additional support such as the provision of alternative form formats is available if needed.
We are, however, currently not aware of an on-line process for making a PIP application.
To make a new PIP claim if you’re in England, Scotland or Wales:
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you live in Northern Ireland the process is different. Visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/personal-independence-payment
Here is a copy of the specimen form for this part of the your application to give you an idea of what information is needed at this stage.
Once this process is complete claimants are then sent a form to fill out to explain how their condition affects them.
Telling your story
The claimant completes the ‘How your disability affects you’ form to explain how their condition affects their daily life, both on good and bad days, and over a range of activities.
Here is a specimen form for this part of the claim to give you an idea of what this looks like.
Our tips are:
- Complete ALL the boxes in as much detail as you can. There are sections that ask for further information please do use these parts of the form to explain how your condition affects you. Remember that the assessors probably do not know anything about your condition so this is a chance to open their eyes about its impact on you.
- Consider asking your friends and family about how your condition impacts on your daily life because if you are ill often you can sometimes forget what ‘normal life’ is like.
- Compare what you are able to do to someone of a similar age who is not affected by a PID.
- Provide supporting evidence e.g. a doctors letter, a letter confirming your diagnosis, the list of medicines you take etc and send it in with your form. We strongly advice that you take this opportunity to send any relevant information in with your application.
The claim details, form and supporting evidence are then passed to the health professional assessor. This person reviews the claim against a set of clear descriptors to assess the challenges faced by the individual.
Most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation unless a decision can be reached on the basis of written evidence and claimants can take someone along for support. Home visits are available when necessary. This consultation provides the opportunity for the claimant to explain their support needs in their own words.
A DWP case manager will use all the information in the claim form, from the health professional and anything else that has been provided. They will make a reasoned decision on entitlement, including the level and length of award.
The appeal process
You have every right to challenge any decision made by the DWP e.g. appealing against a decision not to award a PIP benefit, challenging the level at which the benefit was set etc.
PIP mandatory reconsiderations
Unlike in the past, when you could simply go straight to appeal if you were unhappy with a benefits decision, you now have to have a mandatory reconsideration before you can actually appeal. This means that the decision has to be looked at by another decision maker before you can lodge an appeal.
If you do decide to go to appeal PID UK will be able to provide you with a ‘Benefits and Work’ guide that will help give you the best possible chance of success at appeal, on how to challenge a medical report and how to write a submission to get your arguments in front of the tribunal before your appeal. Also visit our webpage on attending a tribunal.
How you can help others
Have you been successful at claiming PIP or challenged a PIP decision? If so please share your experience and any advice you may have with us so we can help other people. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other useful links
Updated July 2016