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 of 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.

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, 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 were born after 8th April 1948 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. However, if you report a change in your condition before then you will be asked to move onto PIP at that stage.

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 2016 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 DWP contact you and invite you to apply for PIP. When you receive this letter you should make a claim for PIP without delay. You can also contact Sense for help and advice on making sure your application is as clear and accurate as possible.

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, 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. 

2. Filling in ‘How your disability affects you’ form. After you have made   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.

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.  Some people will be invited to a face-to-face consultation at this stage.

 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?

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. 

Contact Sense

Any deafblind person, or person on their behalf, 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 deafblind people through the transition process to the new PIP benefit.

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

See more detail about how the PIP benefit will work.



First published: Thursday 13 December 2012
Updated: Monday 25 July 2016