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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - if you're getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64 with a long-term health condition or disability. Some people aged 65 or over can also get it. It has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for anyone who is not getting DLA and who wants to make a new claim.

If you're already getting DLA, PIP is being introduced gradually over several years and will eventually replace DLA. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you at some point asking you to claim PIP instead of DLA.

This page tells you how you'll be affected by the introduction of PIP if you're 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 when to claim PIP if you're getting DLA

Which DLA claimants will be affected by the introduction of PIP?

If you're getting DLA and you were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013, or you reach the age of 16 on or after this date, the DWP will eventually ask you to make a claim for PIP instead. This will happen even if you have an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA. You can't choose to go on getting DLA.

You won't get PIP automatically just because you qualify for DLA. You'll have to make a claim for it. If you don't claim when the DWP asks you to, your DLA payments will stop.

The DWP expects that most people who are getting DLA should qualify for PIP. However, because it's a new benefit with different conditions of entitlement, it's possible you won't get it. Or you may be entitled to a different rate of payment, which could be lower or higher than you're getting now.

If you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013 and getting DLA, you can carry on getting it you're eligible. The DWP won't contact you about claiming PIP and you can't choose to make a claim for PIP.

When to claim PIP if you're getting DLA

If you were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 and you're getting DLA, the DWP will write to you at some point between 28 October 2013 and September 2017 asking you to make a claim for PIP instead. You don't have to do anything until they contact you.

From 28 October 2013, some people getting DLA can choose to claim PIP even if the DWP hasn't contacted them yet.

Time limit for claiming PIP if you're getting DLA

You have 28 days to make a claim from the date of the DWP letter asking you to claim PIP. This is known as the claim period. The DWP will tell you what date you have to claim by.

If you have difficulty making your claim before the deadline, you can ask the DWP for an extension of the time limit and they may agree to this.

You can ask for an extension after the deadline has passed. However, you should always ask as soon as you think you might need one, because you're more likely to get it.

What happens if you don't claim PIP within the 28-day time limit?

If you don't make a claim within the 28-day claim period, or within the extended claim period you agreed with the DWP, your DLA payments will be suspended.

If the DWP suspend your DLA payments, they must also write to tell you that you have a further 28 days from the date of the suspension to make a claim for PIP. If you then make a claim for PIP within 28 days, your DLA will continue to be paid for the time being, as if it hadn't been suspended.

If you don't make a claim for PIP by the deadline the DWP has given you, your DLA payments will stop from the date they were suspended. However, you can still make a claim for PIP if you wish.

You can't appeal or ask for a reconsideration of a decision to suspend or end your DLA payments in these circumstances.

When will your DLA payments stop if you make a claim for PIP within the time limit?

The DWP will send you a decision letter when your claim for PIP is decided. Your DLA will continue to be paid for 28 days from the first pay day after the date of the decision. This applies whether or not you're entitled to PIP.

However, even if you claim PIP within the time limit, your DLA could stop earlier if you fail to:

  • provide information requested by the DWP within one month of being asked for it
  • attend a face-to-face assessment if you're asked to do so.

In this case, your DLA will continue to be paid for a further 13 days from your next payday following the DWP decision not to award you PIP. If you have a good reason for failing to provide the information in time or for failing to attend the assessment, you should let the DWP know and ask them to reconsider their decision.

Will there be a break in payments before you start getting PIP?

If you've claimed PIP and supplied all the evidence requested in time, there should be no break in your payments if you're entitled to PIP. Your PIP payments should start from the day after your DLA payments stop.

If your DLA award is due to end before you get a decision on your PIP claim, the DWP will extend your DLA award so there is no break, provided you have complied with the PIP claims process.

What happens to other benefits that depend on getting DLA?

When you're getting DLA, you or your carer may be entitled to other benefits or concessions that depend on you getting DLA. These are called passported benefits. For example, they include Carer's Allowance for your carer, the Blue Badge scheme and other travel concessions.

If you're entitled to PIP when your DLA ends, you may get the same passported benefits as before. This will depend on what rate of PIP you get and if it's enough to qualify you for the passported benefit.

If you're not entitled to PIP, you won't be able to carry on getting your passported benefits and concessions.

Next steps

Other useful information

  • DWP PIP fact sheet 'Differences and Similarities between Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and PIP' at www.gov.uk
  • DWP PIP fact sheet 'Reassessing existing DLA claimants for PIP at www.gov.uk
  • DWP PIP fact sheet 'Passporting to other benefits and services' at www.gov.uk
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