PIP: a closer look
How is Personal Independence Payment (PIP) made up?
There are two parts to PIP – a daily living component and a mobility component. Each component has two rates – standard rate and enhanced rate. You can get either or both component at either rate.
To qualify for the:
- standard rate of the daily living component you will have to score 8 points in total on the daily living part of the assessment
- enhanced rate of the daily living component you will have to score 12 points in total on the daily living part of the assessment
- standard rate of the mobility component you will have to score 8 points in total on the mobility part of the assessment
- enhanced rate of the mobility component you will have to score 12 points in total on the mobility part of the assessment.
A guide to completing the application form for PIP
A number of people have told Sense that they have had difficulties knowing what to write in the application form to claim PIP. With that in mind we have written a guide to completing the form which you can download below.
What is the assessment like?
You will have to fill in a form to explain how your disability affects you.
You should also include additional evidence with the form. This could include letters from doctors, social care assessment reports, hospital reports or any other letters from your specialists. Any evidence that supports your claim form should be included. Evidence that will support your claim form will relate to your conditions and the impact they have on your everyday life.
You may then be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment. If you are asked to go to a face-to-face assessment, you can take someone with you. You could take a friend, family member, support worker or anybody else who you would feel comfortable with.
Taking someone with you to the assessment
Claimants are encouraged to bring another person with them to assessments where they would find this helpful – for example, to reassure them or to help them during the consultation. The person chosen is at the discretion of the claimant and might be, but is not limited to, a parent, family member, friend, carer or advocate.
The other person is not only entitled to be at the assessment but can take an active role in helping to answer the assessor’s questions.
For example, if the claimant answers that they agree they can carry out a certain activity the other person is allowed to qualify that answer by mentioning that although the activity may be possible it would be unsafe / unreliable / cannot be done repeatedly / cannot be done within a reasonable time period if that is the case.
It is important to be honest with the assessor about the difficulties the claimant has. If you have any comments or responses on the questions the assessor is asking, tell them.
What are the criteria?
The criteria for PIP are based on how people carry out a range of activities and the equipment or support people need to do so. These activities are meant to be indicators of the level of need people have.
There are ten activities in the daily living component and two in the mobility component. You will get different numbers of points for each activity depending on how you do the activity and how much support you need to do it. A full list of criteria and more details on them can be found in the Personal Independent Payment – Filling in the “How your disability affects you" form (Word, 88KB).
The daily living activities include two related to communication – communicating verbally and reading and understanding signs, symbols and words. These are where deafblind people are most likely to get points but are not the only ones.
For the communicating verbally activity
- If you use a hearing aid or other communication device, you should score 2 points
- If you need communication support for complex verbal information you should score 4 points
- If you need communication support for basic verbal information you should score 8 points
For the reading and understanding signs, symbols and words activity
- If you need large print, but would be able to read standard print with an aid, such as a magnifier you should score 2 points.
- If you can understand written information, but only if someone reads it to you or it is in braille, then you should be treated as not being able to understand it at all. This will score 8 points
The mobility component includes an activity about planning and following a journey. This is where people with sensory impairments may get points.
- If you need a guide, a guide dog or an orientation aid (such as a long cane) to follow and unfamiliar journey you should score 10 points.
- If you need a guide, a guide dog or an orientation aid (such as a long cane) to follow familiar journeys, you should score 12 points.
Unfamiliar journeys include using public transport. If you cannot use public transport, you should be considered unable to follow an unfamiliar journey.
If you can follow a familiar journey, but would be unable to cope with likely changes, such as roadworks, you should be considered unable to do it.
In March 2017, the Government made changes to PIP regulations to clarify how the criteria for planning and following a journey will be applied.
Specifically, changes were made so that the criteria for planning and following a journey apply “for reasons other than psychological distress”.
This is likely to mostly affect people with claiming PIP due to mental health conditions. If you are applying for the mobility component purely due to sensory impairments, the change is very unlikely to affect you.
The Government have said these changes will not affect those who already receive PIP, but it will impact those making a PIP claim or undergoing a PIP reassessment after March 2017.
What if I can see or hear more sometimes than other times?
If you are unable to do an activity at any time during a day, you should be counted as being unable to do it. So, for example, if you can follow a journey alone and without an orientation aid during daylight but would need a guide, guide dog or orientation aid (such as a long cane) after dark, you should score points for needing that.
What if I can do something but not safely?
If it is unsafe for you to do something, you should be counted as being unable to do it. For example, activity 11 is about planning and following journeys. You may be able to follow a route to an unfamiliar place but to do this would be unsafe - for example, if you cannot see or hear oncoming traffic.
Updated: April 2017
Review due: October 2017
First published: Tuesday 8 January 2013
Updated: Thursday 13 April 2017