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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - when can you claim?

This advice applies to Scotland

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 to 64 with a disability or long-term health condition.

It is being introduced in stages and has now replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for anyone making a new claim. Eventually, it will also replace DLA for existing DLA claimants who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or who reach age 16 after that date.

This page explains more about when you can claim PIP.

Top tips

If you're getting DLA, you don't need to contact the DWP about PIP until they contact you.

If you're not getting Disability Living Allowance

You should make a claim for PIP and not DLA. If you do try to make a new DLA claim, the DWP will treat it as a claim for PIP. However, this could delay your PIP claim, so it's best to call the PIP claims line directly to start your claim.

If you're already getting Disability Living Allowance

The DWP will tell you when you need to claim PIP. You won't be transferred automatically. If you’re already getting DLA and you were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013, or you become 16 after that date, the DWP will eventually ask you to make a new claim for PIP, even if you have an indefinite or lifetime award of DLA.

If you don't claim PIP when you're invited to, your DLA award will end. That means it's really important not to ignore a letter asking you to claim PIP.

When will the DWP ask you to claim PIP?

You can check when you'll be asked to claim PIP using the checker at GOV.UK.

From 2013 the DWP have been gradually rolling out PIP across the country for:

  • people with fixed-term awards, or
  • people who report a change in their disability or health condition.

From 13 July 2015, the DWP began inviting all people with existing long-term or indefinite awards of DLA to claim PIP.

PIP roll-out for fixed term awards or change in condition

The DWP will ask you to claim PIP instead of DLA if you were under 65 on 8 April 2013 and one of the following applies to you:

  • your existing DLA award is due to end in around 20 weeks and you haven't received a DLA renewal letter, or
  • you report a change in how your disability or health condition affects you, or
  • you reach the age of 16 on or after 7 October 2013 (unless you're getting DLA under the special rules for terminally ill people).

If your DLA claim is due to end within the next 20 weeks but you haven't heard anything from DWP, it's a good idea to contact DWP before your DLA award ends.

For everyone else

From 13 July 2015, the DWP began inviting other people who are getting DLA to claim PIP. The DWP will gradually roll this out to different parts of the country from this date.

For example, if you have a lifetime or indefinite award of DLA, you’ll be asked to claim PIP from after 13 July 2015.

If you reach the age of 16 before you're invited to claim, or there is a change in your condition which could affect your rate of payment, you'll need to claim PIP at that point. 

From 13 July 2015, the DWP will gradually start to contact everyone else getting DLA (aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013) inviting them to make a claim for PIP. You don't need to contact them. They expect to have contacted all DLA claimants by late 2017.

If you fail to claim it, your DLA award will end. If you make a claim for PIP, the DWP will continue to pay DLA until four weeks after they make a decision on whether you can get it. There should be no break in payment if you move on to PIP.

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

Can you choose when to claim PIP if you're getting DLA?

Some people getting DLA can choose to claim PIP instead, even if the DWP haven't yet asked them to make a claim. As a DLA claimant, you can only choose to claim PIP if:

  • you live in one of the postcode areas mentioned above on or after the date when PIP is being introduced for DLA claimants in that area, and
  • you were under 65 on 8 April 2013, and
  • you're 16 or over.

However, if you do this, your DLA will stop at an earlier date than if you wait. You could end up losing money if:

  • you don't qualify for PIP, or
  • you qualify for a lower rate of PIP than the DLA you were getting.

You can't choose to claim PIP if, before 28 October 2013, you made a claim for DLA that hasn't yet been decided.

Next steps

Other useful information

  • DWP Personal Independence Payment Handbook at www.gov.uk
  • DWP 'Timetable for PIP replacing DLA' at www.gov.uk
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