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.
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.
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 gov.uk 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
PIP 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Follow our guidance on how to challenge a ‘decision letter’ if you are unhappy with its contents.
Read about the benefits available in later life: Attendance Allowance, PIP, Winter Fuel Payment and more.
The DFG is available to people who meet certain eligibility criteria. We explain what these are and how you can apply.