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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Learn how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with some of the extra costs associated with long-term illness or disability.
5 min read
In this article
What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)? Coronavirus and disability benefits PIP rates PIP Christmas bonus  PIP eligibility Personal Independence Payment number
PIP: more key facts PIP application PIP assessment What is PIP reassessment? Backdated payments Appealing against a claim decision for PIP

What is Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

PIP is a non-means tested benefit that helps people deal with some of the extra costs associated with long-term illness or disability.

PIP was introduced in June 2013 to replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). All new applicants must apply for a PIP.

Coronavirus and disability benefits

On 17 March 2020 all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits were suspended due to the pandemic, including for new claims. Reviews and reassessments for existing disability benefit claimants were also suspended. This included Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.

Some reviews and reassessments for PIP and DLA were due to gradually resume from July 2020.

Check the latest guidance on to see how this will affect you.

PIP rates

There are two parts to PIP.


Daily living component: you’ll be assessed on things such as your ability to prepare food and drink, wash, dress, go to the toilet, manage health conditions and make financial decisions.

£59.70 a week

is the standard rate (2020-21).  


£89.15 a week

is the enhanced rate.


Mobility component: you’ll be assessed on ability to ‘plan and follow a journey’ and ‘move around’.

£23.60 a week

is the standard rate (2020-21).  


£62.25 a week

is the enhanced rate.

You might be eligible for one or both components depending on your level of need and how much you’re affected by your condition. You’ll be assessed to work out what level of help you need.

PIP payment days are usually every four weeks and will be paid directly into your bank account.

PIP Christmas bonus 

This is a one-off tax-free £10 payment (2020-21) that you receive before Christmas if you get certain benefits, such as State Pension or PIP, in the qualifying week, which is normally the first week of December. You should get paid automatically, so there’s no need to claim.

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PIP eligibility

If you’re aged 16 years to pension age and need help with personal care (such as washing, dressing, cooking meals or getting around), you’ve had the condition or disability for three months and expect it to continue for at least nine months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than six months to live), you can apply for PIP.

If you’re over pension age and are making a new claim, you must apply for Attendance Allowance.

However, if you’re already claiming PIP when you reach pension age, you can stay on that. If you have mobility problems and you’re under pension age, it’s worth applying for PIP as soon as possible, as this includes an additional payment for mobility problems, whereas Attendance Allowance does not.

This benefit isn’t means tested, so it doesn’t matter if you have a job or another source of income.

To qualify in England, Scotland or Wales, you must have lived in one of these countries for at least two out of the last three years and be in the country when you claim. There are some exceptions, so visit for more details on eligibility.

In Northern Ireland, the process is different – you can find more information about PIP eligibility on NI Direct.

Personal Independence Payment number

To apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), call:

0800 917 2222

Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm

PIP: more key facts

  • If you’re currently claiming DLA and you’ve reached pension age, you should be invited to make a PIP claim.
  • If you have a terminal illness and you have been told you’re not expected to live for more than six months, you’ll get the enhanced daily living component rate (see ‘PIP rates’ section). The rate of mobility component will depend on your needs.
  • If you move into a care home and your local authority pays some or all of your care home fees, the daily living component of PIP or the care component of DLA will stop after 28 days.

PIP application

When you fill in the form, you’ll be asked for information such as:

  • contact details and date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • bank or building society details
  • doctor’s or health worker’s name
  • details of any time spent abroad or in a care home or hospital.

If someone is caring for you, they can call on your behalf if necessary, but you’ll need to be with them when they call.

Make sure you have the above information to hand.  

To apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), call:

0800 917 2222

Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm

PIP assessment

After the initial call, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will post you a form called ‘How your condition affects you’, which you or your carer will need to complete and return.

It will also arrange for an independent health professional to assess you to work out the level of help you need at an assessment centre. 

The DWP makes the decision about each claim based on the results of the assessment and the details on the application form.

See our PIP assessment guide for more detailed information and tips.

What is PIP reassessment?

If you receive PIP, you’re required to go through regular reviews to check your eligibility. These usually take place annually or every few years, although less severe or temporary disabilities can be checked more frequently.

People of pension age continue to receive PIP payments indefinitely and without further assessments.

Backdated payments

Claims for PIP can’t be backdated before the date of your claim. It may also take a number of weeks to process your claim, so make sure you make you claim as soon as possible.

You can make a claim up to three months in advance – this means you can put it in before you’re able to fulfil the qualifying conditions of having difficulties for three months.

Appealing against a claim decision for PIP

If you apply for PIP and don’t agree with the decision you receive, you may be entitled to appeal against it – this is also known as ‘mandatory reconsideration’. See our article on Appealing against a benefits decision for more advice on how to appeal.

If you have any problems with your claims, Citizens Advice can help you.

Citizens Advice

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service helps you stand up for your consumer rights and gives you the information you need to solve problems with goods or services. For Scotland and Northern Ireland, click through from the CA home page.

Consumer helpline:

0345 404 0506

Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm

If you can’t find what you are looking for on the website, chat online with an adviser:

Chat services

Further reading

Benefits for older people

Read about the benefits available in later life: Attendance Allowance, PIP, Winter Fuel Payment and more.

Last updated: 26 Aug 2020