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Check if you're eligible for PIP

This advice applies to Wales

If you need extra help because of an illness, disability or mental health condition you could get Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP, and it doesn’t matter what your income is, if you have any savings or you’re working.

The main eligibility rules

You won’t be able to make a new claim for PIP once you reach State Pension age.

You’ll continue to get PIP if you were getting it before you reached State Pension age, unless your circumstances change.

To be eligible for PIP you must be aged between 16 and your State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK. 

You must also: 

  • find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition - you can make a claim whether you get help from another person or not
  • have found these things hard for 3 months and expect it to continue for another 9 months
  • usually be living in England, Scotland or Wales when you apply
  • have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 years - unless you're a refugee or an immediate family member of a refugee

There are exceptions to these rules if you’re terminally ill or in the armed forces.

If you’re already getting DLA and the DWP asks you to claim PIP there are different rules.

If you have a terminal illness the rules about how long you've found things hard and been living in England, Wales or Scotland for 2 years don’t apply. See our advice on how to claim PIP if you’re terminally ill.

If you’re in the armed forces (or a close family member of someone who is) the rules on living and applying in England, Wales or Scotland don’t apply.

Your illness, disability or mental health condition

PIP is not based on the condition you have or the medication you take. It is based on the level of help you need because of how your condition affects you.

You’re assessed on the level of help you need with specific activities. It’s hard to say if the level of help you need will qualify you for PIP. But, if you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying: 

  • preparing and cooking food
  • eating and drinking
  • managing your treatments
  • washing and bathing
  • managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating with other people
  • reading and understanding written information
  • mixing with others
  • making decisions about money
  • planning a journey or following a route
  • moving around

The help you get may be from a person, an aid (such as a walking stick or guide dog) or an adaptation to your home or car.

If you're in a hospital or care home

You can claim PIP while in hospital or a care or nursing home, however it can affect when your payments start.

If you’re in hospital, payments start when you leave (unless you’re a private patient).

If your care home costs are met privately (for example, by you, a friend or family member) payments can start while you’re in the home. Otherwise only the mobility component of PIP can be paid while you’re in the home.

If you’re in a residential college or school, get help from your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales or in Scotland because your eligibility for PIP can be affected if a local authority pays the fees.

If you already get PIP, stays in hospital or a care home can affect your PIP payments.

If you’ve lived outside of the UK

You’ll need to give evidence to show the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay. This is known as being ‘habitually resident’.

Check how to prove you’re habitually resident.

You must also have lived in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years. Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. It doesn’t include Northern Ireland.

Your time spent in Great Britain doesn't need to have been in one go. For example, you could have lived in England for 1 year, the USA for 1 year and Wales for 1 year.

If you haven’t lived in Great Britain for enough time

You might be eligible if you’ve either:

  • worked and paid National Insurance in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein for 2 out of the last 3 years
  • claimed benefits in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein for 2 out of the last 3 years

The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

You might also be eligible if you’ve got a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ to the UK.

You have a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ if any of these apply:

  • you’ve lived in the UK for nearly 2 years
  • you work or are self-employed, and pay National Insurance in the UK
  • you have a family member who works or is self-employed, and pays National Insurance in the UK
  • you have close family in the UK who you rely on for care and support
  • you get certain benefits in the UK

The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you get a pension or benefit from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

Your eligibility for PIP could be affected. The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you’re from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

To apply for PIP you need to show:

  • you made the claim while you were in England, Scotland or Wales
  • the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay - this is known as being 'habitually resident'
  • you've lived in England, Scotland or Wales for the last 2 out of 3 years

If you've lived in the UK for 5 years or more

You should apply for 'settled status'. Check how to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Your PIP might stop if you don't have settled status by 31 December 2020.

If you've lived in the UK for less than 5 years

You should apply for 'pre-settled status'. If you've got pre-settled status, you'll still need to show you're habitually resident to get PIP.

Check how to apply for pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Find out more about staying in the UK after Brexit.

If you’re from a country outside of Europe

If you’re ‘subject to immigration control’ or you have a visa that says ‘no recourse to public funds’ you shouldn’t apply for PIP. If you do, it might affect your right to stay in the UK.

You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you’re not eligible for PIP

Find out what benefits and extra help you could get using our simple and quick online tool. You may be eligible for Attendance Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit. 
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