Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the new benefit that's replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people with a disability who are aged 16 to 64.
PIP is designed to help you meet some of the extra costs you may have because of a long-term health condition or disability.
Anyone aged 16 to 64 who wants to start a new claim for a disability benefit will have to claim PIP. If you are under 16, you should claim DLA for children instead. If you're 65 or over, you should claim Attendance Allowance instead.
Most DLA claimants will not be assessed for PIP before October 2015. However, current DLA claimants in many areas are already being asked to claim PIP.
To make your claim, call 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777) to register your details and you will be sent the "how your disability affects you" form.
Am I affected by the change from DLA to PIP?
Use the online PIP checker at GOV.UK: PIP checker to see how and when you may be affected by the move to PIP.
Who qualifies for PIP?
To qualify for PIP, you must have needed help with extra costs caused by a health condition or disability for three months or more (although you can make a claim sooner than this). You must also be likely to need help for the next nine months.
You must have been in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years, and be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. You have to be in Great Britain when you claim (exceptions are made for some, most notably the armed forces).
You must also not be subject to immigration control (unless you are a sponsored immigrant). There are some exceptions to these conditions if you're living in or coming from certain European countries. Citizens Advice has more information on immigration control.
How PIP is paid
PIP is paid as two separate components. These are:
- a daily living component
- a mobility component
The daily living and mobility components can each be paid at the standard rate or the enhanced rate, depending on your needs.
The amount you get is based on how your health condition or disability affects how well you carry out everyday activities. It takes into account the difficulties you face and the help you would need to do them - even if you don't actually get any help.
The decision about whether you receive PIP for daily living depends on your ability to carry out certain activities, including:
- preparing food and eating
- managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating verbally
- mixing with other people
- making decisions about money
The decision about whether you receive PIP for mobility depends on your ability to move around, and to plan for and undertake a journey.
How your entitlement to PIP is decided
Once you have started your claim by phone, you will be asked to complete a "how your disability affects you" form. On the form, you will be asked to describe your condition or disability and how it affects you.
You should include any supporting evidence you have, including details of your doctor or of another health professional who is best placed to offer advice about your condition.
Most people will have to attend a face-to-face consultation with a health professional as part of their claim.
Everyone will have a varying level of ability to carry out the activities outlined above. Some people will be able to complete an activity without help, while others may not be able to complete the activity at all. For each activity, a point score is decided based on this level of ability and need (the point scores increase as needs increase).
The PIP assessment also takes into account where support is needed from other people to carry out an activity. This can include supervision (to stop accidents happening), prompting (to remind or encourage you about the activity, but not physically help) and assistance (where a carer needs to be physically present to do, or intervene with, an activity).
The standard rate of the PIP component is paid if a person has a total score from 8 to 11 points (inclusive). The enhanced rate of the PIP component is paid if a person has a score of 12 points.
If you are eligible for PIP, this decision will be reviewed from time to time to make sure it is still correct and continues to meet your needs.
If you are not eligible, or you are unhappy with your PIP claim in some other way, you may want to ask for the decision to be reconsidered. If you are not satisfied with the response after this, you may wish to appeal the decision.
Claiming PIP if you are terminally ill
PIP claims from people who have a terminal illness and are not expected to live for more than six months are dealt with more quickly. These people will not be required to attend a face-to-face consultation, or to fulfil the three-month qualifying period for claiming PIP. If the basic conditions are met, both the daily living and the mobility component of PIP will be paid straight away.
A DS1500 medical report (available from your doctor, nurse, social worker or palliative care nurse) will help to support the claim. As PIP is claimed by phone, it is important that the DS1500 has the patient's date of birth, postcode and, if possible, National Insurance number on it.
PIP claims if your circumstances change
If you are getting PIP, it is your responsibility to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if your circumstances change, because this can affect how much you get.
You'll need to tell the DWP if the level of help you need changes or your condition changes.
You'll need to tell the DWP if you go into hospital or a care home for more than four weeks. PIP is not usually paid if you are in hospital when you claim, but will be paid when you leave. However, it may be paid if you're a private patient and you're paying without help from the NHS, or if you are in a hospice because you are terminally ill.
If you go abroad for more than four weeks, you must get agreement from the DWP for PIP to continue before you go. It is possible for you to continue to get PIP if you:
- go abroad for 13 weeks or less, or
- go abroad temporarily to get treatment for your incapacity or disability
You can contact the DWP on 0845 850 3322 (textphone 0845 601 6677) to let them know how your circumstances have changed.
The official source of information on benefits is GOV.UK.
Article provided by NHS Choices