Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with the extra costs of disability for adults aged 16 to pension age. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children when they turn 16.
PIP is not means-tested and can be paid both in and out of work.
Who can claim PIP?
You/your child might qualify for PIP if your condition or disability affects your ability to carry out certain key activities necessary for independent living or causes you difficulties in getting around outdoors.
You/your child must also:
- Be between 16 and state pension age.
- Not be subject to immigration control.
- Meet certain tests linked to their residence and presence in the UK.
As part of the assessment, you may need to attend a face to-face meeting with a health professional.
How to claim PIP
You/your child (or you if you are their appointee) can claim PIP by phoning the PIP claim line on 0800 917 2222 (or 0800 012 1573 in Northern Ireland).
If the DWP has invited you/your child to claim PIP from DLA, they (or you) must do so within 28 days.
When you or your child telephones the PIP claim line, you will need to complete a simple claim form over the telephone. This asks basic questions such as name, contact details and nationality. It doesn’t ask for detailed information such as care or mobility needs.
There is a separate paper questionnaire to gather this detailed information. The DWP will post this to you or your child after the initial telephone claim.
You/our child may also be asked to take part in a consultation with a health professional working on behalf of the DWP. This may be done face-to-face, via the telephone or by video link.
If your child currently gets DLA, their payments will continue until the DWP makes a decision on their PIP claim. This applies even if their existing DLA award was scheduled to end when they turned 16. However, if your child fails to claim PIP when invited to do so, their DLA payments will stop.
How much PIP will I get?
Like DLA, PIP is made up of two parts.
There is a mobility component based on you/your childs ability to get around, and a daily living component based on you/your child’s ability to carry out key activities necessary to participate in daily life. Depending on the circumstances, you/your child might qualify for one or both.
Both components of PIP are paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate. This depends on the level of you or your child’s needs.
PIP uses a points-based system to decide whether someone qualifies for the benefit, and if so, at what rate. You receive points depending on the level of difficulty you/they experience in the following areas:
- Preparing food.
- Eating and drinking.
- Managing treatment.
- Washing and bathing.
- Managing toilet needs.
- Dressing and undressing.
- Communicating verbally.
- Mixing with other people.
- Making decisions about money.
- Planning and following journeys.
- Moving around.
The DWP adds the number of points you/your child scores in the last two categories to decide if you get the mobility component, and at what rate. The combined scores in the other categories determine whether you get the daily living component.
Current PIP rates as at April 2023
The daily living component weekly rates are:
- Standard rate – £68.10
- Enhanced rate – £101.75
The mobility component weekly rates are:
- Standard rate – £26.90
- Enhanced rate – £71.00
Some people may get the same amount of PIP as they previously got in DLA. However, others may find that their payments are either higher or lower than before. Other DLA claimants may be refused PIP altogether.
What if I am not happy with the PIP decision
You can challenge the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision about PIP if:
- you didn’t get it
- you got a lower rate than you expected
- you think your award isn’t long enough
If you challenge the amount or length of your award, the DWP might look at your whole PIP claim again. This means they might decide you shouldn’t get PIP at all.
Apply for mandatory reconsideration
The best way to apply for a reconsideration is to use the CRMR1 mandatory reconsideration request form, or write a letter to the DWP explaining why you disagree with the decision.
You can call the DWP to ask for a reconsideration, but it’s better to have everything in writing. If you decide to call, make sure you follow up with a letter. The contact details will be on the decision letter from DWP.
Check the date on your decision letter. You need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of that date. If you use the form or send a letter, the DWP will need to receive it within 1 month.
If you need more time, you can call and ask for an extension to gather more evidence to support your claim.
What you need to say
You need to give specific reasons why you disagree with the decision. Use your decision letter, statement of reasons and medical assessment report to make a note of each of the statements you disagree with and why. Give facts, examples and medical evidence (if available) to support what you’re saying.
We are more than happy to help with any supporting letters and to look over your documents. Please get in touch
You can look at the points system the DWP uses to assess PIP claims to see where you think you should have got more points.
Getting your mandatory reconsideration result
The DWP doesn’t have to make the decision within a specific timescale and sometimes it can take several months to get your decision letter – this letter is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’. You’ll be sent 2 copies – you’ll need to send 1 off if you need to go to the next stage of appeal.
If the DWP change their decision, you’ll start getting your PIP payment straight away. Your payment for PIP be backdated.
If the decision was about a new claim, they’ll backdate your PIP to the date you made the claim.
If the decision was about an ongoing claim, they’ll backdate your PIP to the date it was stopped or reduced.
Don’t be put off if they don’t change the decision, not many decisions are overturned at this stage. More decisions are changed after the second stage of the challenge – if your mandatory reconsideration is turned down you can appeal to a tribunal.
DLA and PIP can act as a gateway to additional types of financial help. For example, if you are in receipt of income support or housing benefit and you successfully claim DLA or PIP, you should qualify for the relevant disability premiums used in calculating entitlements to these benefits (e.g. disability premium, disabled child premium). This should lead to higher payments.
For more information and what to do if your claim is unsuccessful, please get in touch.