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Moving from DLA to PIP

This advice applies to Scotland

PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is the benefit that’s gradually replacing DLA (Disability Living Allowance).

You’ll carry on getting DLA if you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013. For everyone else aged 16 and over, DLA will stop and you’ll need to claim PIP instead - even if you have a ‘lifetime’ or ‘indefinite’ award for DLA.

You won’t automatically move over to PIP. You’ll get a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before October 2017, asking you to make a new claim.

It’s important to fill in the claim forms correctly so that you get the right amount of PIP. Talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice if you need help doing this.

Moving from DLA to PIP if you’re terminally ill

If you’re terminally ill and have been awarded PIP at a higher rate than your DLA, you’ll get that amount from the earliest of these dates:

  • the last day of your DLA payment period
  • the first Tuesday following your PIP decision

When you’ll start claiming PIP

You’ll be asked to make a claim for PIP when any of the following happen:

  • your DLA ends because it was awarded for a fixed period of time - eg for 5 years
  • you turn 16
  • your condition changes
  • the DWP sends you a letter asking you to claim

You could end up losing your DLA if you claim too early. Talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re thinking of making a claim before you’re asked to by the DWP.

When you get a letter from the DWP

You’ll need to make a claim for PIP within 4 weeks or your DLA will be suspended.

Call the PIP claim line if you need more time. The DWP might give you an extension and continue to pay your DLA.

If you miss the deadline and your pay is suspended, you’ll need to claim for PIP within 4 weeks of the start of your suspension or your DLA will be stopped completely.

PIP claim line
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

How to prepare for your PIP claim

Many people on DLA will qualify for PIP but it isn’t guaranteed. To give yourself the best chance of getting the rate of PIP you need, it’s worth:

  • looking at your DLA claim forms - the PIP claim form is completely different, but some of the details you used in your DLA claim might be helpful
  • trying to get medical evidence of how your condition is affecting you - you can talk to your doctor and any other medical specialists about this
  • keeping a diary of your good and bad days - use our template diary [ 78 kb] to get an idea of what you’ll be assessed on
  • making a list of the details of any aids or appliances you use in your everyday life - you won’t have been asked about this when claiming DLA

How to start your claim for PIP

You can start your claim for PIP by calling the PIP claim line.

If you’re going to miss your 4 week deadline, call the claim line and explain why.

PIP claim line
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

After you’ve called to make your claim

You’ll receive an information pack and application form from the DWP - usually within 2 weeks.

You’ve only got 4 weeks to fill in the form. Talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice if you need help doing this or follow our step by step guide to making a claim.

You should arrange to see your doctor or other medical specialists as soon as possible, to get the evidence you need for your application.

If you can’t get an appointment in time, don’t delay your application. You should send any evidence you already have, for example recent letters from the hospital that describe how your condition is at the moment.

If you have a Motability vehicle

Your mobility will be reassessed when you move to PIP. You’ll only qualify for the Motability Scheme if you’re given the higher rate for mobility (known as the ‘enhanced rate’).

This rate is harder to get on PIP, which means you might not be able to keep your vehicle.

You can talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice. They’ll make sure you include the right details in your claim to get the rate you need.

If you don’t get the enhanced rate, you’ll have to return your vehicle.

If you’re asked to return your Motability vehicle

You should return your vehicle within 8 weeks of your DLA payments stopping - or 26 weeks if you joined Motability before 2014.

You might be entitled to a one-off payment from Motability when you return your vehicle, depending on its condition and when you joined Motability. If you keep your car for 26 instead of 8 weeks, you’ll get a smaller payment.

If you got a lower rate than you expected, you can ask the DWP to reconsider the amount of PIP they’ve decided to give you. You need to do this within 1 month of the date on your decision letter.

You should talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice before you ask the DWP to reconsider because there’s a small chance you’ll lose what you’ve been given.

You’ll still need to return your vehicle within the deadline while you’re waiting for a decision.

You can find out from Motability about returning your vehicle and the payment, known as 'transitional support'.

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