Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
What is Personal Independence Payment?
Personal Independence Payment helps towards some of the extra costs resulting from ill-health or disability. It is based on how a person’s condition affects them, not the condition they have.
Personal Independence Payment is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance for adults.
Am I eligible for Personal Independence Payment?
Personal Independence Payment is for adults aged 16 to pension age, who have an illness or disability which effects their daily living and/or mobility. Eligibility is assessed as follow:
- you have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
- you expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 6 months to live)
If you are pension age or over and want to make a new claim you should claim Attendance Allowance instead. Those already getting PIP when reaching pension age can continue to get it.
Since 2015, the DWP have been writing to adults on DLA to claim PIP instead. DLA will stop some time after that.
How much Personal Independence Payment may I receive?
Personal Independence Payment is not means tested or taxed. This means your financial situation is not taken into consideration when applying for the benefit.
PIP is made up of two components:
- daily living
- mobility – for help with getting around
Each component can be paid at standard rate, or enhanced rate for those with the greatest needs.
How do I apply for Personal Independence Payment?
- New claims must made to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Claim Line.
- Queries about existing claims should be made to the Disability Benefits Helpline.
Once you have completed your claim form the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will pass your claim to a health professional.
Most people will then be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation (unless Coronavirus restrictions apply) with the health professional at an Examination Centre. Claimants can take someone along for support. Home visits may be available if necessary.
The assessment provides you with the opportunity to explain your support needs in your own words. The health professional will send their conclusions to the DWP.
The Department of Work and Pensions will use the information in your claim form and from the health professional, plus anything else that has been provided to make a decision on your claim. You should try to provide as much evidence and information about your needs as you can.
If your claim is turned down or you do not get the rate you were expecting, or the award is not as long as you think it should be for, you can ask the DWP to reconsider their decision. You must ask for a reconsideration within a month of the decision. You can appeal after that.
But be warned that if the DWP reconsider an amount they may reduce it as well as increase it or keep it the same.
Read Newcastle Welfare Rights’ factsheet: What to do if you disagree with a Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance decision
See also the article How to challenge a benefit decision.
End of Life
The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill means that people considered by a clinician as having 12 months or less to live (rather than the current six months) can have fast-tracked access to this benefit. The extended fast-track access means those eligible are not subject to a face-to-face assessment, or waiting period, with the majority of individuals receiving the highest rate of those benefits.
How are other benefits affected?
Receiving Personal Independence Payment may provide access to other help including:
- Blue Badges
- Concessionary travel passes
- Carers may also receive Carers Allowance because the person they are caring for is receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Receiving PIP may also increase the amount you receive from other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance and Pension Credit and it can exempt you from welfare reforms such as the benefit cap
Where can I get benefits advice?
It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits and as above, getting disability benefits may increase other benefits. A local independent advice service can help you such as:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle (CAN)
- Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) give YHN tenants benefits and debt advice.
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service have self help material on their website
- Search Newcastle give benefits advice to older people in the West of Newcastle
There are more benefit advice services in Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice‘ booklet.
Other Useful Information
- Money Advice Service provides online information on the full range of benefits that you may be entitled to.
- Payment Exception Service was introduced as cheques are no longer used to pay state benefits and Pension credit.
- The Cinemas Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) Card helps to ensure cinemas make reasonable adjustments for you if you need them because of a disability. With the card you can claim a free ticket for a carer or person accompanying you to the cinema. The card costs £6 . You can apply if you receive Disability Living Allowance; Attendance Allowance; Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment or are registered as blind.
- Advicenow produce guides that are easy-to-read and practical. They explain what you need to know, where you need to go, and what you need to do to solve your problem.
- Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through partner organisations
Last updated: June 6, 2022