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 replaced by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in England and Wales. This is likely to affect everyone over the age of 16, who currently receives DLA.

If you currently receive DLA you will be contacted by the DWP at some point before the end of 2017, telling you that your DLA is ending and inviting you to claim PIP. 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 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 campaigns.info@sense.org.uk or telephone 0300 330 9258.

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.

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 2016 are:

Daily living componentWeekly rate (£)
Lower55.10
Higher82.30

 

Mobility componentWeekly rate (£)
Lower21.80
Higher57.45

The application process

If you are already in receipt of DLA you do not need to do anything until DWP contact you by letter and invite 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 the DWP will by default contact you by letter and where possible this is something you should 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:

1. 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, however you can write to them or call them and ask for a paper form.  At this stage they will collect information about your contact details, bank details, your accessibility requirements. Details of the different ways to start your initial claim, including the address to write to for requesting a paper form, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim.

2. 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 deafblind people about 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.

3. An assessment by a health professional from 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.

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

Will you have to have a face to face assessment?

Most people are invited to attend a face to face assessment. Possibly, It depends on whether a health professional thinks they have enough information from you and corroborating evidence to write a report to the DWP.

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 will work.

First published: Thursday 13 December 2012
Updated: Thursday 1 December 2016