Personal Independence Payment (PIP): an introduction

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

A support worker leading a deafblind man

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is ending for people who were born after 8 April 1948 and for people who are 16 years old or over.

PIP has replaced DLA.

You will continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to you:

  • to tell you when it will end
  • to invite you to apply for PIP

You will continue to get DLA and not be invited to apply for PIP if:

  • you were born on or before 8 April 1948
  • you are under the age of 16

If you do not apply for PIP within the 28 day deadline your DLA will automatically stop from the next payment date.  If you do apply for PIP your DLA will continue until a decision has been made on your PIP application.

If you report a change of circumstances – such as a change in your condition - before being invited to apply for PIP then you will be asked to move onto PIP at that stage.

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.

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

Sense is working hard to ensure that the PIP assessments are as accurate as possible so that the needs of people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs 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, or alternatively you email or telephone 0300 330 9258.

If you need any help to complete the survey please contact the Information and Advice Team on 0300 330 9256 or email them at

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 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 2017 are:

Daily living componentWeekly rate (£)


Mobility componentWeekly rate (£)

The application process

If you are already in receipt of DLA you do not need to do anything until the DWP contacts you by letter and invites you to apply for PIP. However, if you report a change of circumstances – such as a change in your condition to the DWP, it will an invitation to apply for PIP.

Please be aware that by default, the DWP will by default contact you by letter, so where possible this is something you need to keep a look out for. Failing to respond to the request to start the transition to PIP can lead to delays in your benefit.

When you receive this letter you should make a claim for PIP without delay.

The application for Personal Independence payment has four stages:

Stage One. Initial claim. To start your PIP claim you need to contact the DWP.  This is usually done by telephone on 0800 917 2222 or textphone 0800 917 7777, someone else can call on your behalf but you’ll need to be with them when they call.

If making a call is not possible, you can also write to them and ask for a paper form at this address:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AH

You can also use the Next Generation Text relay system by dialling 18001 then 0800 917 2222 or if you are a BSL user, you can use the video relay service.

At this stage they will collect information about your contact details, date of birth, National Insurance number, bank details, your GP's details and your accessibility requirements.

Stage Two. Filling in ‘How your disability affects you’ form. After you have made an initial claim, the DWP will post this form to you.  This is where you describe the impact of your impairments or health conditions, any specialist equipment you use or any help that you need. Read our guide for people who are deafblind and filling in this form. At this stage you may also send in further evidence to support your claim, for example reports from medical specialists detailing your level of sensory impairment.

Stage Three. An assessment by a health professional from Independent Assessment Services (formerly known as Atos)* or Capita.  This is when a health professional collects all the information and writes a report for the DWP.  Most people will be invited to a face-to-face consultation at this stage, though in some cases a decision will be made based on the form you have filled in and any further evidence you have submitted.

Stage Four. A case manager at the DWP looks at all the information, makes a decision about your award and communicates their decision to you.

* Please note: as of 12 June 2017, Atos has been rebranded to Independent Assessment Services. This is to better reflect what the organisation does. The organisation is the same, but your correspondence with them about PIP will be branded Independent Assessment Services. If you have any queries, please contact Sense Information & Advice Service.

Will you have to have a face to face assessment?

Most people are invited to attend a face to face assessment, but it can depend on whether a health professional thinks they have enough information from you and corroborating evidence to write a report to the DWP, without a face to face assessment.

What should you do if your application is unsuccessful or you are unhappy with the level of award

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application you should contact the DWP within one month of the date of the decision to request a mandatory reconsideration. This can be done over the phone or in writing but we recommend that you write so that you have a record of your request. The DWP will relook at their decision.  If you are unhappy with the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration then you can appeal the decision. This should be done in writing within one calendar month of the date of the mandatory reconsideration decision.

For help and advice, contact the Sense Information and Advice Service.

See more detail about how the PIP benefit works.

First published: Thursday 13 December 2012
Updated: Tuesday 6 June 2017