Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
People who have long term ill-health or disability costs can apply for a Personal Independence Payment or PIP. The amount someone gets depends on how their condition affects them, not the condition itself. It's not means-tested, so it doesn't matter how much income or savings people have. PIP's usually paid every 4 weeks, it’s tax free and people can get it whether they’re in or out of work. If their claim is agreed, the letter they get tells them when it will be next reviewed.
If you’re new to this and going to apply, you need to get across a detailed picture of your situation. It needs a lot of careful thought and planning so you may want to start thinking about it in good time.
This section tells you about the system in England, Scotland and Wales.
If you live in Northern Ireland, please go here:
You may still find the section on Getting Ready helpful (see below).
Watch this 5-minute video of Jasmine sharing some of her recommendations and tips on applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)!
Recorded September 2021
Page last reviewed / updated: March 2021
Next review due: March 2022
Who Is Eligible?
- have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
- expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months
- have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years, and be in one of these countries when you apply
PIP isn’t available to new claimants who are over the upper age limit (age 65 or State Pension age, whichever is higher), except where they had a previous claim to PIP or DLA which ended within the last 12 months or where they applied before that age, but that claim was not decided.
Attendance allowance is for people over 65 who need help at home because of an illness or disability and who aren't receiving PIP or DLA. Age UK's information sheet will tell you if you may be eligible and has contact information if you want to know more:
How Will Your Claim Be Assessed?
You’ll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get.
Your partner could still get Carer’s Allowance if you have substantial caring needs.
How To Claim
You can start a PIP claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
You or another person can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call. There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a phone.
Before you call, you’ll need to have ready:
- your contact details, for example your phone number
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance Number
- your bank or building society account number and sort code
- your doctor or health worker’s name, address and phone number
- dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad or in hospital
DWP - PIP claims
Freephone: 0800 917 2222
Freetextphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
You will then be sent a ‘How Your Disability Affects You’ form to complete.
Getting Ready To Make Your Claim
You’ll need to fill in the 'How Your Disability Affects You' form using the notes that come with it to help you. There’s a lot of really good advice on a number of websites about this so we haven’t repeated this here. It’s well worth reading them through and thinking carefully about what you want to say before you fill out your form:
- Turn2Us: www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Claiming-Personal-Independence-Payment/Get-ready-for-PIP-medical-assessment
- Disability Rights UK has a guide to making a claim: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/what-our-pip-guide-contains-0
- Citizens Advice Bureau: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-claim/your-assessment/ They also have a helpsheet you might want to take with you to your assessment:
Some Local Authorities have a Welfare Rights Service which can be very helpful – check your Local Authority website.
If you’re having any difficulties or would like to discuss what you might say on your form, please do get in touch with SMA UK for help.
What Happens Next?
Once you’ve filled out your form, make sure to keep a copy and then return it to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) - the address is on the form.
You’ll be invited to meet with an independent health professional either at your home or at an assessment centre, to assess the level of help you need. It’ll take about an hour. You can have another person with you if you wish – which isn’t a bad idea.
You’ll be asked questions about your ability to carry out activities and how your SMA affects your daily life.
The website links we have given you in the ‘Getting Ready’ section (see above) tell you more about what to expect at an interview. Capita complete the assessments in some areas. Their website also tells you what to expect:
You’ll get a letter sometime after this that will tell you whether you’ll get PIP. If you do, you’ll be told how much you’ll get and the date it will be reviewed so that you continue to get the right support.
If your application is turned down, you can appeal. You can find out more about how to do this here: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/appeals/mandatory-reconsideration
Advicenow - has information about how to win a PIP appeal: www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-pip-appeal
and also a 'PIP Mandatory Reconsideration Request Letter Tool' which aims to support you to ask the DWP to look again at their decision about your claim for PIP: www.advicenow.org.uk/pip-tool
If you’re having difficulties at any stage of this process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with SMA UK.