How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims
When you're assessed for Personal independence Payment (PIP), a health professional will look at your ability to carry out a range of daily living activities and mobility activities. The health professional will consider whether your health condition or disability limits your ability to carry out the activities and how much help you need with them.
The health professional will write a report for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). A DWP decision maker will then decide whether you're entitled to PIP, at what rate and for how long.
PIP is made up of 2 parts, the daily living component and the mobility component. Each component can be paid at one of 2 rates, either the standard rate or the enhanced rate.
If the DWP decision maker decides that your ability to carry out the component is limited, you will get the standard rate. If it’s severely limited, you will get the enhanced rate.
The daily living activities
To get the daily living component of PIP, you must have a physical or mental condition that limits your ability to carry out some or all of these activities:
- preparing food
- eating and drinking
- managing your treatments
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating verbally
- reading and understanding written information
- mixing with others
- making decisions about money
The mobility activities
To get the mobility component of PIP, you must have a physical or mental condition that limits your ability to carry out some or all of these activities:
- planning and following journeys
- moving around
Your ability to carry out each activity is measured against a list of standard statements describing what you can or can’t do. These are known as the descriptors. The health professional will advise the DWP which descriptor applies to you for each activity.
For example, there are 6 descriptors for ‘Dressing and undressing’, ranging from ‘Can dress and undress unaided’ to ‘Cannot dress or undress at all’.
Each descriptor carries a points score ranging from 0 to 12.
If what you can do changes day to day
For each activity the assessor must decide which descriptor is likely to apply to you on most days. Most days means more than 50% of the days in a year.
The assessor must choose the descriptor with the highest number of points that applies to you on most days.
Can you carry out the activities reliably
When the assessor decides which descriptor applies to you, they must consider whether you can carry out the activity reliably. This means:
- safely in a way that is unlikely to cause harm either to you or anyone else, either during the activity or afterwards
- to an acceptable standard
- repeatedly as often as is reasonably required
- in a reasonable time period - should take you no more than twice as long someone without your condition
Using aids or appliances
Your ability to carry out the daily living activities and the mobility activities will be assessed as if you were wearing or using any aids or appliances that it would be reasonable for you to use. This applies whether or not you normally use those aids or appliances. However, if you use or need aids and appliances, this can help you to score more points.
An aid is any item which improves, provides or replaces impaired physical or mental function. It doesn’t have to be specially designed as a disability aid. Examples include a stool you need to sit on when cooking, or a walking stick to help you stand.
Scoring your abilities
The DWP will add together your points from all the daily living and mobility activities.
Find out how much you can get for each component of PIP.
Check what the daily living scores mean
If you get between 8 and 11 points in total, you’ll get the daily living component of PIP at the standard rate.
If you get at least 12 points in total, you’ll get the daily living component at the enhanced rate.
Check what the mobility scores mean
If you get between 8 and 11 points in total, you’ll get the mobility component of PIP at the standard rate.
If you get at least 12 points in total, you’ll get the mobility component at the enhanced rate.
Bob can walk with a walking stick up to 50 metres, but can't do this again the same day because it exhausts him and causes him pain. It's reasonable to expect someone to walk up to 50 metres more than once a day, but Bob can't do this repeatedly. He can walk up to 20 metres and repeat this in the same day.
Descriptor (e) would apply to him. In this case, he would score 12 points and be entitled to the enhanced rate of the mobility component.