Personal Independence Payment (PIP): an introduction

Benefit changes: What is PIP and how does it affect me?

A support worker leading a deafblind manDisability Living Allowance (DLA) is being phased out and will be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in England and Wales. This will affect everyone with a disability between the ages of 16 – 65, whether they are in work or not. Those who are currently over 65 will continue to receive DLA.

In some ways PIP has similarities with DLA, such as the fact that they are both made up of two components – Daily Living and Mobility. PIP is however, a different benefit with different criteria, and individuals will not be able to accurately tell how the transition to PIP will affect them. Some may see an increase in their benefits, others a decrease.

PIP is based on a point-scoring system off assessment in the same way as Employment and Support Allowance.

Sense is working hard to ensure that the new assessments are as accurate as possible so that the needs of deafblind people are effectively recognised.

PIP survey

If you have applied for PIP, please let Sense know what happened so that we can continue to campaign for improvements in the system. There is a survey on the website.

Sense have also worked with the Disability Benefits Consortium to produce a slightly more detailed survey.

If you need any help or information please contact the Information and Advice Team on 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972  or email them at info@sense.org.uk, to help you complete the survey.

The PIP timetable

If you are between the ages of 16 and 65, you do not currently receive DLA and wish to claim because of a disability or health condition you will now have to apply for PIP wherever you live in the country. 
 
If you already receive DLA and have an indefinite or long term award you are unlikely to be asked to apply for PIP by the DWP until October 2015. However, if you report a change in your condition you will probably be asked to move onto PIP.
 
If you receive DLA but have a fixed term award that is due to expire on or after 17 March 2014 you will be contacted at some point before October 2015 and asked to move onto PIP. In addition children on DLA who turn 16 will be contacted around their 16th birthday and asked to move onto PIP. However, this will only affect people in certain areas in the country. The following postcodes are affected:
 
B, CF, CH1, CH4, CH5, CH6, CH7, CH8, CV, DE, DY, GL16, HR, IP, LD, LE, LL, LN, NG, NN, NP, NR, PE, SA, ST, SY, TF, WR, WS, WV, DG, ML, EH, TD.
From 3 February 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will extend this further to postcodes beginning CA, DL, HG, LA and YO. 
 
You can view a map with all the postcode areas on the GOV.UK website.
 
The  DWP has also produced a PIP checker which will help you to work out when you might be contacted and asked to apply for PIP.
 
The DWP has not announced the timetable for the other areas of the country yet. If you currently receive DLA you will be invited to apply for PIP by the DWP at the appropriate time. You do not need to do anything until they contact you. When they do contact you about applying for PIP, please get in touch with Sense for help and advice on the application process.

PIP rates

These are the same as for DLA, however regrettably the lower rate of payment for the care component has been removed. It is not yet clear which rates people may be entitled to because the way in which entitlement is assessed as changed, so it is not possible to assume that someone receiving DLA will necessarily get comparable support through PIP; some may see an increase in their benefits, others a decrease. 

The rates for PIP in 2013 are:

Daily living componentWeekly rate (£)
Lower53.00
Higher79.15

 

Mobility componentWeekly rate (£)
Lower21.00
Higher55.25

The application process

If you are already in receipt of DLA you do not need to do anything until DWP contact you and invite you to apply for PIP. When you receive this letter you should act quickly and contact Sense for help and advice on making sure your application is as clear and accurate as possible. You might also want to think about what evidence you could provide to support your application. Sense is in the process of producing a detailed guide on the application process.

Will you have to have a face to face assessment?

Possibly, dependent on the level of benefits you receive. Where it is really clear what benefit someone would receive no face to face assessment will be needed. However some people will need to have an assessment. Again, people should ask Sense for advice about assessments. It can be a good chance to explain how your deafblindness affects you.

Contact Sense

Anyone concerned about how they will be affected by these benefit changes should contact Sense for information, support and advice; Sense is very happy to guide people through the transition process to the new PIP benefit.

The Sense information and Advice Team can be emailed at info@sense.org.uk or visit the Information and Advice page for more contact details.

See more detail about how the PIP benefit will work.

 

Created: January 2014

Review due: January 2015

First published: Thursday 13 December 2012
Updated: Friday 7 February 2014