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 a separate 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. However the government has also in the mitdst of reassessing existing DLA claimants for PIP.

Children turning 16

Children turning 16 who currently claim DLA will be asked to claim PIP after their 16th birthday.Young people turning 16 who get DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill are exempt and will continue to get DLA.  If your child is in hospital when they turn 16 they will not be asked to claim PIP until after they have been discharged.

If you live in England, Wales and Scotland, 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 DWP will contact them shortly after their birthday to invite them to claim PIP.

If you live in Northern Ireland and your child turns 16 on or after 20 June 2016, the Social Security Agency will contact you before your child's birthday to tell you what you must do to claim PIP. Detailed information on how this will happen is not yet available.

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 (or 0800 012 1573 in Northern Ireland).

Your child's 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 automatically invited to claim PIP. 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 who have long-term or indefinite awards. This is being done gradually over a two year period. By the end of March 2018 (December 2018 in Northern Ireland), it is expected that all adult DLA claimants will have been asked to claim PIP.

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 - £55.65
  • Enhanced rate - £83.10

The mobility component weekly rates are:

  • Standard rate - £22.00
  • Enhanced rate - £58.00

Some people may get the same amount of PIP as they previously got in DLA. However, others may find that their payments are either higher or lower than before. Other DLA claimants may be refused PIP altogether.

If you live in Northern Ireland and your child is refused PIP or awarded less than they previously got in DLA, they may qualify for supplementary payments to compensate them for up to a year. 

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.

Related information

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