Changing from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) at 16

Everything you need to know about moving from DLA to PIP when your child turns 16.

If you receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your child, you will get a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when they turn 16, inviting them to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

It’s important to start the PIP application within four weeks of getting this letter. If you don’t, your child’s DLA payments will stop. 

Here at Sense, we know that the transition from childhood to adulthood can be a tricky time. Find out more about how to cope with moving from child to adult services.

Note: If you live in Scotland and you receive Child Disability Payment, this will continue until your child is 18. 

Moving from DLA to PIP

Changing from DLA to PIP at 16 is not an automatic process. There are a few key things that you need to do.

Remember, if you need more support, you can contact us for information and advice

How to apply for PIP

When it’s time for your 16-year-old to apply for PIP, you’ll get a letter from the DWP. 

Once you get this letter, you need to:

  • Call to start your PIP claim. 
  • Complete the PIP claim form and send it off within 28 days of calling. 

Find out more about how to make a claim for PIP at gov.uk. 

Your 16-year-old might need to have a PIP assessment if more information is needed. Citizens Advice have more information on how the DWP makes decisions about PIP.

As long as you start your claim within 28 days, you should keep receiving your DLA payments until a decision is made about your child’s PIP claim. 

If you don’t start your PIP claim within 28 days

If you haven’t started your child’s claim for PIP within 28 days, your DLA payments will stop. 

The DWP will contact you again, giving you another 28 days during which you can apply for PIP. If you make an application during this second 28-day window, then your DLA payments will restart. They’ll carry on until a decision is made about your PIP claim. 

If you don’t make a claim for PIP before this final deadline, your DLA claim will be closed.

How long does it take to get PIP?

Waiting for a PIP decision can take a long time. It’s an average of 13 weeks. 

This is why it’s important to make sure you get your application in as quickly as possible once you’re contacted by the DWP.

If you’d like to talk to someone about your situation, you can contact Sense for information and advice. You can also speak to Citizens Advice

Stay in touch

A woman and her son lie on the floor, reading a book. The mother, Sarah, is smiling. The boy, Harry, who has blue glasses and an orange t-shirt on, is concentrating on the book.

Get updates about our vital work, including volunteering, making a donation or supporting Sense campaigns.

This content was last reviewed in October 2023. We’ll review it again next year.