Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

8 mins read

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with the extra costs of disability for adults aged 16 to pension age. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children when they turn 16.

In this article

What is PIP?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with the extra costs of disability. It is for adults aged 16 to pension age. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children when they turn 16.

PIP is not means-tested and can be paid both in and out of work.

Adult Disability Payment in Scotland

A new benefit, Adult Disability Payment, replaces new claims for PIP in Scotland.

Existing PIP claims in Scotland have begun to move across to the new benefit.

Who can claim PIP?

Your child might qualify for PIP if their condition or disability affects their ability to carry out certain key activities necessary for independent living or causes difficulties in them getting around outdoors.

Your child must also:

As part of the assessment, they may need to attend a face to-face meeting with a health professional.

The “required period” condition

As well as meeting the eligibility criteria above, you normally must show that your child meets the “required period” condition. This differs for children already claiming DLA and those who are not.

Children not on DLA

If your child isn’t already on DLA and makes a claim for PIP, as well as meeting the eligibility criteria above, you normally must show that they:

This does not mean that you will necessarily have to wait three months before payments start. You may be able to show that they met the disability tests in the three months before they claimed.

If you think your child meets the eligibility criteria and the “required period” condition, find out how to claim PIP.

Children already on DLA

If your child is moving from DLA to PIP, you won’t have to show that they met the tests in the previous three months. But there must still be the expectation that their needs last for at least nine months.

They may also be exempt from meeting the three month test if reclaiming PIP within two years of a previous award ending. This will apply so long as they are claiming the same component of PIP. They must also have the same condition (or a condition that has developed from the original condition) as before.

If your child is terminally ill

These tests do not apply to either component the claim is on the grounds of a terminal illness.

Moving from DLA to PIP

If your child is under 16 and on DLA, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will normally invite them to claim PIP shortly after their 16th birthday.

If your child is older than 16 and still gets DLA, the DWP is likely to ask them to claim PIP instead at some point in the near future.

Children turning 16

The DWP normally asks children turning 16 who currently claim DLA to claim PIP shortly after their 16th birthday. 

If you live in England or Wales, the DWP will write to you when your child is 15 years and seven months. They will explain what will happen and check whether your child has the mental capacity to deal with 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 your child is in hospital when they turn 16, they will not have to claim PIP until they return home. If your child gets DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill, they will continue to get DLA until their current award ends. The DWP will invite them to claim PIP 20 weeks before that happens.  

If you live in Northern Ireland and your child turns 16, the Social Security Agency will contact you before your child’s birthday. They will tell you what you must do to claim PIP. 

Children over 16 who are still on DLA

If you have an older child who is still getting DLA, the DWP is likely to invite them to claim PIP at some point in the near future.

This will happen automatically if: 

The DWP is also re-assessing all other adult DLA claimants under the PIP rules. That is, those who have long-term or indefinite awards. The DWP will write to you or your child when they want them to claim PIP.  

How to claim PIP

Your child (or you if you are their appointee) claim PIP by phoning the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 (or 0800 012 1573 in Northern Ireland).

When your child telephones the PIP claim line, they (or you) will need to complete a simple claim form over the telephone. This asks basic questions such as your child’s name, contact details and nationality. It doesn’t ask for detailed information about your child’s care or mobility needs. There is a separate paper questionnaire to gather this detailed information. The DWP will post this to your child after they have made their initial telephone claim.

Your child may also be asked to take part in a consultation with a health professional working on behalf of the DWP. This may be done face-to-face, via the telephone or by video link.

If the DWP has invited your son or daughter to claim PIP from DLA, they (or you) must do so within 28 days. Their DLA payments will continue until the DWP makes a decision on their PIP claim. This applies even if their existing DLA award was scheduled to end when they turned 16. However, if your child fails to claim PIP when invited to do so, their DLA payments will stop.

How much PIP will my child get? 

Like DLA, PIP is made up of two parts.

There is a mobility component based on your child’s ability to get around, and a daily living component based on your child’s ability to carry out key activities necessary to participate in daily life. Depending on their circumstances, your child might qualify for one or both.

Both components of PIP are paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate. This depends on the level of your child’s needs.

PIP uses a points-based system to decide whether someone qualifies for the benefit, and if so, at what rate. Your child receives points depending on the level of difficulty they experience in the following areas:

The DWP adds the number of points your child scores in the last two categories to decide if they get the mobility component, and at what rate. Their combined scores in the other categories determine whether they get the daily living component.

Current PIP rates

The daily living component weekly rates are:

The mobility component weekly rates are:

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. Similarly, you may be able to get a supplementary payment if you stop qualifying for Carer’s Allowance because your child doesn’t get the daily living component of PIP after they move from DLA. 

PIP and its impact on other benefits

PIP is never treated as income for other benefits. Instead, your child getting PIP can help you or them qualify for extra amounts within any means-tested benefits or tax credits you receive. It may also help you qualify for other benefits such as Carer’s Allowance

Detailed advice about what other help you or your child might get as a result of a PIP award is available via our free helpline.