Demystifying Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults aged 16-64.  DLA will continue as a separate benefit for children under 16 years of age.

How is Personal Independence Payment (PIP) being introduced?
PIP has already replaced the DLA for new claims made by disabled adults aged 16 or over. However, the government is also currently reassessing existing DLA claimants for PIP. By the end of 2018, it is expected that all adult DLA claimants will have been asked to claim PIP.

Children turning 16
Most children turning 16, who currently claim the DLA, will be asked to claim PIP after their 16th birthday. There are some exemptions and special rules if the child is terminally ill or in hospital.

If you live in England, Wales and Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you when your child is 15 years and 7 months old. They will explain what will happen and check whether your child has the mental capacity to deal with their own benefit claims, or whether they will need someone to act on their behalf.

They will follow this up with a second letter once your child is 15 years and 10 months old. Finally, the DWP will contact them shortly after their birthday to invite them to claim PIP.

Once your son or daughter have been invited to claim PIP, they (or you, as their designated claimant) must do so within 28 days by phoning the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 (or 0800 012 1573 in Northern Ireland).

Your child’s DLA payments will continue until a decision is made on their PIP claim. This applies even if their existing DLA award was scheduled to end when they turned 16. However, if they fail to claim PIP when invited, their DLA payments will stop.

All other Claimants aged 16 and over
Apart from young people turning 16, three other groups are automatically invited to claim PIP. These are DLA claimants who are:

  • Aged 16 or above, and who report a change in their care or mobility needs.
  • Aged 16 or above, and who volunteer to claim PIP.
  • Already aged over 16 or above, and whose existing DLA award is coming to an end.

Qualifying for Personal Independence Payment
Like DLA, PIP is made up of two parts. There is a mobility component based on your ability to get around and a daily living component based on your ability to carry out key activities necessary to participate in daily life.

Depending on their circumstances, your child might qualify for one or both.

Additional points to consider:

  • It’s not means-tested or based on National Insurance contributions.
  • It can be paid to those in and out of work.
  • There are special rules for the terminally ill.
  • Those getting the enhanced rate of the mobility component of PIP can make use of the Motability Scheme.
  • An award of the daily living component can lead to a carer getting the Carer’s Allowance.

How much will I receive?
Both components of PIP are paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate, depending on the level of your child’s needs.

The current daily living component weekly rates are:
Standard rate – £57.30
Enhanced rate – £85.60

The current mobility component weekly rates are:
Standard rate – £22.65
Enhanced rate – £59.75

Some people may get the same amount of PIP as they did with DLA. However, others may find their payments are either higher or lower than before. Other DLA claimants may be refused PIP altogether.

If you live in Northern Ireland and your child is refused PIP, or awarded less than they previously received with the DLA, they may qualify for supplementary payments in compensation, for up to a year.

How will my PIP Claim be assessed?
As well as having to complete a claim form and paper questionnaire over the phone, most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment undertaken by a healthcare professional, who will be working on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions.

PIP uses a points-based system to decide whether someone qualifies for the benefit, and if so, at what rate. You receive points depending on the level of difficulty you experience in the following areas:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating and drinking
  • Managing treatment
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing toilet needs
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading
  • Making decisions about money
  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

The number of points you score in the last two categories are added together to decide if you will receive the mobility component, and at what rate. Your scores in the other categories are added together to decide whether you will receive the daily living component.

For more advice on claiming PIP or appealing a decision, please contact the Core Services team on 0845 241 2173.