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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - where to start

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64 with a long-term health condition or disability.

It is being introduced in stages from 8 April 2013. Eventually, it will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all new claims and for existing DLA claimants who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013, or who reach age 16 after 8 April 2013.

This page tells you more about how PIP works, when it will be introduced and how you'll be affected if you're already getting DLA.

Top tips

If you're getting DLA, you don't need to do anything about PIP until the DWP contacts you.

More about PIP if you're getting DLA

What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64 with a long-term health condition or disability. A long-term condition means one which is expected to last 12 months or longer.

Getting PIP depends on an assessment of how your disability or health condition affects your ability to live independently. A health professional will look at your ability to carry out certain key activities of daily living and mobility, such as preparing food, washing yourself, communicating and moving around.

PIP is based on how your condition affects you, not on what condition you have, but special rules apply if you're terminally ill. PIP:

  • isn't means-tested. This means it isn't affected by any other income or savings that you have
  • is non-contributory. This means your entitlement doesn't depend on the national insurance contributions you've paid
  • can be paid whether you're in work or out of work
  • can be paid alongside other benefits
  • isn't taxable
  • is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • is intended to help with the extra costs of having a long-term condition. However, if you get PIP, you can spend it in any way you choose.

PIP is made up of two parts known as components:

  • the daily living component
  • the mobility component.

You may be able to get one or both components.

Each component can be paid at one of two rates, the standard rate or the enhanced rate.

How your entitlement to PIP is decided

First, you'll need to meet the basic conditions for getting PIP. For example, you'll have to be in the right age group and meet certain conditions about where you live.

If you meet the basic conditions, the DWP will ask you to complete a form describing how your health condition or disability affects you. This is called the How your disability affects you form. You can send supporting evidence to the DWP with the form if you have any. In most cases, you'll also be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment with a health professional as part of the claiming process.

The health professional who carries out the assessment will provide advice to the DWP. A DWP decision maker will look at all the evidence and decide whether you can get PIP, at what rate and for how long.

If you're terminally ill your claim is handled differently, according to Special Rules. You're treated as terminally ill if you're not expected to survive more than six months.

If you want to make a new claim for PIP

From 8 April 2013, PIP was introduced for new claims in certain parts of the north of England only. If you lived outside that area, you could still claim DLA instead.

From 10 June 2013, you can make a new claim for PIP in any part of England, Wales or Scotland. You can no longer make a new claim for DLA if you're aged 16 or over.

If you're getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

If you're getting DLA and you're aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013, or you reach age 16 after that date, the DWP will eventually ask you to make a new claim for PIP instead. This applies to you even if you have an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA. You don’t have to do anything until the DWP get in touch with you.

When will the DWP contact you?

At some point between October 2013 and 2018 the DWP will contact you and invite you to make a claim for PIP. If you don't claim, or if your claim is unsuccessful, your DLA award will end.

If you're a child

DLA is not changing for children under the age of 16 when PIP is introduced. If you're under 16 and already getting DLA, you can continue to get it until you reach the age of 16. The DWP will contact your parent or guardian before your 16th birthday to let them know what you need to do and when to claim PIP if you wish to do so.

  • More about PIP for young people on the GOV.UK website, at www.gov.uk

If you're aged 65 or over

If you're aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 and you're getting DLA, you can continue to get it for as long as you're eligible.

If you're aged 65 or over and not getting DLA, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance instead.

If you're getting Attendance Allowance, you won't be affected by the introduction of PIP.

  • More about PIP and DLA for people approaching age 65 on the GOV.UK website, at www.gov.uk

DWP PIP Enquiry Line

If you have a general enquiry about PIP, you can ring the PIP Enquiry Line:

Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment Enquiry Line

Tel: 0345 850 3322 (Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm)
Textphone: 0345 601 6677

If you are ready to make a new claim for PIP, you should ring the new claims number instead. The new claims number should not be used for general enquiries.

Other useful information

  • More about PIP on the GOV.UK website, at www.gov.uk