Personal Independence Payment

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is changing.

New claims for DLA

You can only make a new claim for DLA if you’re claiming for a child under 16 – this is known as DLA for Children. Anyone over 16 must apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of DLA.

Existing DLA claimants

PIP is gradually replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64, even for those with an indefinite or lifetime DLA award.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You could get between money to help with the extra costs caused by your condition. How much you get is not based on your condition, but how your condition affects you.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your award will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support.

PIP Assessments

Your claim will be assessed by an independent health professional to help DWP work out the level of help you need. The assessment may be face-to-face – you’ll get a letter explaining why and where you must go.

DWP makes the decision about your claim based on the results of the assessment, your application and any supporting evidence you include.

Eligibility

To qualify for PIP, you must:

  • be aged 16 to 64
  • have a long-term health condition or disability and difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and or mobility (see below)
  • be in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, eg members and family members of the Armed Forces
  • have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
  • be live UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living or coming from another EEA country. You can get PIP whether you’re in work or not.

Your disability or health condition

You must have a long-term health condition or disability and have difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and or mobility.

You must have had these difficulties for 3 months and expect them to last for at least 9 months. If you’re terminally ill (ie not expected to live more than 6 months), you don’t need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.

Daily living difficulties

You may get the daily living component of PIP if you need help with things like:

  • preparing or eating food
  • washing, bathing and using the toilet
  • dressing and undressing
  • reading and communicating
  • managing your medicines or treatments
  • making decisions about money

Mobility difficulties

You may get the mobility component of PIP if you need help with going out or moving around.

How to claim

Phone the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP – see number below). You’ll be asked for information like:

  • contact details and date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • bank or building society details
  • doctor’s or health worker’s name
  • details of any time you’ve spent abroad or in a care home or hospital

Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call. You can also write asking for a form to send the above information by post (this can delay your claim).

What happens next

You’ll be sent a ‘How your condition affects you’ form. It comes with notes to help you fill it in. Return the form to DWP – the address is on the form. Then an assessment will be arranged for you. (see above for details of what that involves)

New claims only

Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Appeals

If you’ve applied for PIP and have been turned down – you can appeal.

Before you appeal to the Tribunal, you need to ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to look at the decision again. This is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

Mandatory reconsideration gives you the chance to let DWP know if anything’s changed, and gives DWP the chance to explain their decision.

Contact DWP by telephone or in writing, and make it clear why you’re asking for mandatory reconsideration. The telephone number and address will be on your decision letter.

You’ll receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ as a response.

Contact DWP as soon as possible if you think they’ve overlooked something or if your situation has changed.

You can appeal your decision if you’re still unhappy with DWP’s response in the mandatory reconsideration notice. You’ll need to include your mandatory reconsideration notice with the application.

Fill in a Notice of appeal against a decision of the DWP -and send it to the address on the form.

What you need to know

If you’re terminally ill

You can get PIP more quickly if you’re not expected to live more than 6 months.
Phone DWP to start your PIP claim and then send them form DS1500 (you can only get this form from a doctor or other healthcare professional).

You will not need to complete the ‘How your condition affects you’ form or have an assessment.

Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides money to help disabled people live an independent life in the community rather than in residential care. NOTE: THIS FUND NO LONGER ACCEPTS NEW APPLICATIONS.

You can use payments from the ILF to:

  • employ a carer or personal assistant to give you personal and domestic care
  • pay a care agency to provide personal care and help with domestic duties

If you’re already getting help from the ILF, your payments will continue to be reviewed to check if your circumstances are still the same.