Check if you're eligible for PIP

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You might be able to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you need extra help because of an illness, disability or mental health condition. You can make a PIP claim whether or not you get help from anyone.

You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP, and it doesn’t matter what your income is, if you have any savings or you’re working.

If you have a terminal illness

There are different eligibility rules if you have a terminal illness. Check how to claim PIP if you’re terminally ill.

Check the main eligibility rules

To get PIP you must find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition. You must have found these things hard for 3 months and expect them to continue to be hard for another 9 months.

You must be living in England or Wales when you apply - unless you or a close family member are in the armed forces.

You must be at least 16 years old to get PIP.

If you’ve reached State Pension age

There are extra rules if you’re making a new claim for PIP after you’ve reached State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

Check if you can get PIP after State Pension age.

If you're in a hospital or care home

You can claim PIP while you're in hospital, a care home or a nursing home, but it can affect when your payments start.

If you’re in hospital, payments usually start when you leave. You can get PIP while you’re in hospital if either:

  • you pay privately

  • you were under 18 when you went into hospital

If you’re in a care home and you pay privately, you can get PIP while you’re there. 

If the government, the NHS or your local council pay for you to stay in the care home, you can’t get the ‘daily living component’ of PIP until you leave. You can still get the ‘mobility component’. The daily living component is for the extra help you need with everyday tasks. The mobility component is for the extra help you need getting around.

If you’re in a residential college or school, your eligibility for PIP can be affected if a local authority pays the fees. Get help from an adviser.

If you’ve lived outside of the UK

You'll need to show you've lived in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years - this is known as the ‘past presence’ test. Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. It doesn’t include Northern Ireland.

Your time spent in Great Britain doesn't need to have been in one go. For example, you could have lived in England for 1 year, the USA for 1 year and Wales for 1 year.

If you haven’t been in the UK for long enough, check if there’s another way to pass the past presence test or if you can get PIP without passing the test.

If you have a terminal illness

You don’t have to pass the past presence test if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and your doctors say you could die within 12 months.

Instead, you’ll need to give evidence to show the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home. This is known as being ‘habitually resident’.

Check if you’re habitually resident.

If you get a pension or benefit from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

Your eligibility for PIP could be affected. The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you’re not a UK citizen

You can only get PIP if your immigration status lets you claim public funds.

You can claim public funds if you have any of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship

  • pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme

  • indefinite leave - unless you came to the UK on an adult dependent relative visa

  • refugee status or humanitarian protection

  • right of abode

If you have any other immigration status, check if your immigration status lets you claim public funds.

Your illness, disability or mental health condition

PIP is not based on the condition you have or the medication you take. It is based on the level of help you need because of how your condition affects you.

You’re assessed on the level of help you need with specific activities. It’s hard to say if the level of help you need will qualify you for PIP. But, if you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying:

  • preparing and cooking food

  • eating and drinking

  • managing your treatments

  • washing and bathing

  • managing toilet needs or incontinence

  • dressing and undressing

  • communicating with other people

  • reading and understanding written information

  • mixing with others

  • making decisions about money

  • planning a journey or following a route

  • moving around

The help you get may be from a person, an aid (such as a walking stick or guide dog) or an adaptation to your home or car.

Check how to claim PIP

If you think you might be eligible for PIP, check how to start your claim.

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Page last reviewed on 04 March 2022