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How to claim PIP

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

Making a claim for the benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can take a long time. It can often take up to 4 months from starting the application to getting your money (if you’re terminally ill your claim will be processed in one week).

If you’re moving from DLA to PIP your payments won’t stop while you’re waiting for your PIP claim to be processed, as long as you make your claim for PIP within 28 days of being told by the Department for Communities (DfC) that you should. Your PIP payments will start the day after your DLA payment stops.

If you don't get DLA, your first payment for PIP will start from the date you make your claim. It'll cover the length of time it took the DfC to make its decision. PIP cannot be backdated, so you won't get any money for the time before you make your claim.

You should make sure you’re prepared and have all the relevant information to help you make your claim.

The claims process

There are 3 stages to your claim:

  1. Start your claim by calling the DfC
  2. Fill in the claim form they send you
  3. Go to a face-to-face consultation - most people have to do this (but you won’t if you’re terminally ill)

The DfC will send out your PIP claim form the day after you have called them. It’s a good idea to think about how you’ll fill in the claim form and if you need any supporting evidence.

Send your PIP claim form back on time

If you do not send your form back within 1 month, the DfC will end your claim and you’ll have to start again.

If you can’t return the form on time, find out how to ask the DfC if you can send it later.

If you’re waiting a very long time for a decision on your claim, contact your local Citizens Advice. You can complain to the DfC if the delay is unreasonable and may be able to claim compensation if it’s considered unlawful. However, there are no set rules on what counts as unreasonable or unlawful.

Start your claim - fill in a PIP1 form

You start your claim by contacting the DfC. They will fill in the basic PIP1 claim form over the phone.

Personal Independence Payment claim line

Telephone: 0800 012 1573
Textphone: 0800 012 1574
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls are free from landlines and from mobiles

It should take about 20 minutes to complete the call. If you’d prefer someone else to call for you that’s fine, but you need to be with them so you can give permission for them to speak for you.

You can't fill in the PIP1 form online.

If you can't make the claim over the phone, the DfC will send a PIP1 form out to you to complete and you'll have to send it back to them. They'll only do this in exceptional circumstances. You’ll need to tell them why you (or someone else) can’t do the PIP1 form over the phone. The form will have the date of your call stamped on it and you'll have to return it to them in the envelope provided within 4 weeks.

If you're awarded PIP your payments will be backdated to the date you phone the DfC or the date the DfC receives your PIP form, if you don't return it within 4 weeks.

You can only get the PIP claim forms from the DfC, not online or from Citizens Advice.

Basic information you need to start your claim

You’ll need to have this information when you call the DfC:

  • your full name, address and phone number
  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society account details
  • contact details of your GP or other health professionals you deal with
  • the dates and details of any stays in hospital or residential care
  • your nationality or immigration status
  • if you’ve been abroad for more than 4 weeks at a time in the last 3 years (you’ll need the dates and details)

You’ll be asked if you have any conditions relating to your mental health, a learning difficulty or behavioural condition. These questions are asked to check if you need any additional help or support with your claim.

Further Information

You can find more information about PIP on the government website at

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