Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people who have a long term health condition or disability to help with their extra costs.
In England and Wales PIP has replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged between 16 and 64.
PIP is tax free, is not means tested and you don't need to have paid National Insurance contributions to get it.
PIP is given based on how your health condition or disability affects how you can carry out certain activities, and what help you need with those activities.
There is a point system used for PIP. You get a certain number of points depending on whether you meet certain 'descriptors' for the specified activities.
One daily living activity which is used is preparing food. There are a range of descriptors which relate to this activity. You will score points according to how much difficulty you have.
- You have no difficulties preparing a meal = 0 points
- You can only prepare a meal using a microwave = 2 points.
- You need supervision or assistance preparing a meal = 4 points
- You are unable to prepare and cook food = 8 points.
You need a minimum of 8 points in total to get the standard rate of PIP, and 12 points to get the enhanced rate for daily living and/or mobility.
Daily living component weekly rate
- Standard rate: £59.70
- Enhanced rate: £89.15.
Mobility component weekly rate
- Standard rate: £23.60
- Enhanced rate: £62.25.
Applying for PIP
It’s a good idea to get supporting information from your doctor, social worker or care worker.
This information should explain how your health condition or disability affects you, and the help you need. It should be from people who know you well and who understand your situation.
Examples of the information you could give include:
- care plans
- diary sheets
- supporting statement or information from family or friends
- information from a social worker
- educational records
- statement from a teacher/headteacher
- consultant’s report
- community nurse statement
- GP letters
- existing DLA evidence already on file (you have to specifically ask for this to be included).
Applying for PIP
The application for PIP has 4 stages.
1. Initial claim
To start your PIP claim you need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
They will collect information from you, like your contact and bank details, as well as your accessibility requirements.
More details on how to start your application are on the GOV.uk website.
2. Filling in the 'How your disability affects you' (PIP2) form
After you've made an initial claim the DWP will post a form to you.
This is where you describe the impact of your impairments or health conditions, any specialist equipment you use or help that you need.
Fill in the information boxes on the form to describe how you meet the relevant descriptor for each activity. For example, if you need supervision or assistance when you cook, say so and explain what help you need and why. What would happen if you did not have the supervision or assistance?
We've created this PDF factsheet to help you with filling in your PIP2 - 'How your disability affects you' form (PDF). It has detailed advice on how to answer some of the questions on the form, and information on how the DWP will look at your case.
3. An assessment by a health professional
A health professional will then collect all the information from you and write a report for the DWP.
If more information is needed, you will then be invited to an assessment. You will be asked questions about how you can carry out activities and how your condition affects your daily life
4. Decision made
You will get a letter that tells you whether you will get PIP.
If you do, you will be told:
- how much you will get
- when you will be paid
- the date your PIP will be reviewed so that you continue to get the right support.
If your application for PIP is unsuccessful or you are unhappy with the outcome, you should contact the DWP within one month of the date of decision to request a mandatory reconsideration.
This can be done over the phone, but we recommend that you do it in writing so you have a record of your request. If you need more time, contact the DWP and ask for an extension.
If the mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful you have one month from the date of the mandatory reconsideration decision letter to appeal the decision. The appeal will be looked at by an independent tribunal.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) - FAQs
We've come up with answers to some frequently asked questions about PIP.
These include information about unsuccessful applications, eligibility and how PIP works alongside other benefits you may be receiving.
The PIP Assessment Support website gives a lot of information on how to prepare for the PIP assessment.
We've created some factsheets and precedent letters (which are designed to address complex legal situations) to help you know your rights and when to get advice about a problem.
You can access these on our Information and advice resources page.
If you require advice on completing a letter, please contact the Learning Disability Helpline.