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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - Special Rules if you are terminally ill

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with a long-term health condition or disability. It's being introduced in stages from 8 April 2013.

If you're terminally ill, you won't have to meet all the usual conditions for getting PIP and your claim will be dealt with more quickly than other claims. You won't have to have a face-to-face assessment.

This page tells you about the rules for terminally ill people, which are known as the Special Rules.

Are you terminally ill?

For the purposes of claiming PIP, you're terminally ill if you have an illness that is getting worse and you're likely to die within six months. Your claim won't be affected if you actually live longer than this.

What are the Special Rules?

Under the normal rules, you must show that you have limited ability to carry out certain activities for at least three months before you can get the daily living component of PIP. You must also be expected to continue to have these difficulties for at least nine months. Together these are called the required period condition.

Usually, you'll also have to have a face-to-face assessment with a health professional.

Under the Special Rules for terminally ill people:

  • you can get the enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP straightaway
  • you don't have to show that you have difficulty carrying out daily living activities
  • you don't have to meet the required period condition
  • you don't have to attend a face-to-face assessment.

You may also be able to get the mobility component. You don't have to meet the required period condition for it, but you do have to meet the other conditions. That means you'll have to show that you have certain difficulties getting around.

How to claim under the Special Rules

To make a claim for PIP under the Special Rules, call the PIP new claims line. You'll be asked the same basic questions about your eligibility as for other PIP claims, so have this information ready when you phone.

For your claim for PIP to be dealt with under the Special Rules, you or the person who is claiming on your behalf, must tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you're claiming because you're terminally ill.

The DWP won't send you the usual form about how your disability affects you if you're claiming under the Special Rules. Instead you'll be asked some extra questions about your condition and how it affects your ability to get around.

You can find guidance on the questions you'll be asked when you claim in the DWP fact sheet on terminal illness.

  • DWP PIP fact sheet 'Special rules for terminal illness' at www.gov.uk

Can you make the claim on behalf of someone else?

It's possible to make a claim for someone who is terminally ill without them knowing or without their permission. For example, a family member or a support organisation can contact the DWP to make the claim.

If you're claiming on behalf of someone else, you should tell them you've done this because the DWP will send the decision letter to them. The letter will not include any details about their health condition or the fact that they're terminally ill.

How do you prove you're terminally ill?

If you've recently proved that you're terminally ill in connection with a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), you won't have to prove this again. The DWP will use the information that they already have about you.

If you haven't already proved you're terminally ill, you'll need to get a medical report from your doctor, specialist or consultant on form DS1500.

You, or the person who is helping you, can ask your doctor's receptionist, nurse, Macmillan nurse or social worker to arrange for the form to be completed. You don't have to see the doctor to complete the form and you won't have to pay for the report.

The doctor or the person making the claim can send the form to the DWP. It's important to send it quickly to support your claim.

Send the completed form DS1500 to:

Department for Work and Pensions

Freepost RTEU-HXBG-YTST
Personal Independence Payment 10
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1AE

The DS1500 on it's own is not a claim for PIP, so you will need to make a claim by phoning the new claims line, as well as sending the form.

What happens if you don't meet the conditions for terminally ill people?

If you make a claim under the Special Rules but you don't meet the criteria for terminally ill people, the DWP will tell you, or the person making the claim on your behalf, that you need to make a claim under the normal rules.

They will send you a 'How your disability affects you' form to complete and you'll probably have to attend a face-to-face assessment.

If you're already getting Disability Living Allowance

If you're already getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) under Special Rules for terminally ill people, you won't be invited to claim PIP until your DLA award ends. This includes children reaching the age of 16 who would otherwise have to claim PIP.

If you're already getting DLA under the normal rules, but you contact the DWP on or after 28 October 2013 to say that you're now terminally ill, you'll be invited to claim PIP.

Next steps

Other useful information

Personal Independence Payment new claims line

Department for Work and Pensions

Tel: 0800 917 2222 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm)
Textphone: 0800 917 7777 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm)

Calls are free from landlines and most mobile phones. You can ask the DWP to call you back if you're worried about the cost of the call.

Tell the DWP if you have any special communication needs, for example, if you need to receive information in Braille or large print or if you need an  interpreter. It may be possible to dial an interpreter into the call.

The phone call will be recorded by the DWP.

The new claims line doesn't deal with general enquiries about PIP, for which you should use the PIP Helpline instead.

Personal Independence Payment Helpline

Department for Work and Pensions

Tel: 0345 850 3322 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm)
Textphone: 0345 601 6677

DWP Fact sheet

  • DWP PIP fact sheet 'Special Rules for terminal illness', at www.gov.uk
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