Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a tax-free benefit for people aged 16-64, who have care needs or problems with getting about. PIP started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people in this age bracket from 8th April 2013, but DLA is still paid to children.
Note: this leaflet gives a brief summary of PIP and is for guidance only. It does not cover all situations, nor is it a full statement of the law. Sources of further, more detailed information are given at the end of the leaflet.
Who gets Personal Independence Payment?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people between the ages of 16 and 64 who have a long-term illness or disability, either physical or mental. See separate leaflet called Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children for those aged under 16.
To be able to claim PIP you must have lived in Great Britain for two of the last three years. You must be in Great Britain when you claim PIP, and Great Britain must be your normal home. You must have needed looking after for at least three months before claiming. (However, if you are terminally ill there is no such qualifying period. See separate leaflet called Benefits for the Terminally Ill.)
PIP is paid in respect of two types of needs - one is care, the other is mobility. The benefit has two parts based upon these needs. One part is called the Daily Living Component if you need help with personal care. The other part is called the Mobility Component if you need help with getting about. You may qualify for a Daily Living Component, Mobility Component, or both.
Both components are payable at two rates, standard and enhanced, depending on the level of help you need.
Your entitlement to PIP is not usually affected by your finances, savings, or by any other income that you may be getting from work, other benefits, etc.
Daily Living Component
The Daily Living Component takes account of how much care you need. The sort of care that you must need to be eligible includes the following:
- Help with your bodily functions such as washing, getting dressed, going to the toilet.
- Help with preparing or eating food.
- Help to read or communicate.
- Help with your medicines and/or treatments.
- Help with your finances.
Help needed with jobs like housework, shopping or gardening does NOT count.
The Mobility Component takes account of how much help you may need to be mobile. However, it is usually not paid if you cannot be moved, or could not appreciate going out. For example, if you were in a coma.
What if I am away from home or my circumstances change?
You must inform the PIP Helpline on 0845 850 3322 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm) if your circumstances change. For example, you may start to need more care, you go into hospital or a care home for more than four weeks or you go abroad for more than four weeks.
Are there any age restrictions?
PIP has to be claimed before you reach the age of 65. If you are aged 65 or over and develop care needs, you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance. (See separate leaflet called Attendance Allowance.)
How much is Personal Independence Payment?
PIP is tax-free. Payment is usually made directly into a bank account, building society account, Post Office account, or National Savings account. The April 2013 rates are:
- Daily Living Component
- Standard rate - £53.00 per week
- Enhanced rate - £79.15 per week
- Mobility Component
- Lower rate - £20.55 per week
- Higher rate - £54.05 per week
How do you claim Personal Independence Payment?
Adults who are already getting Disability Living Allowance
All adults who are getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will have to claim for PIP instead. You will not automatically get PIP if you are getting DLA.
But note: if you're getting DLA, you don't need to claim for PIP until you have been contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This will start in October 2013 and go on until October 2015.
New claimants who are not already getting DLA
New claimants, or someone claiming on their behalf, need to ring the Department for Work and Pensions Personal Independence Payment new claims line on 0800 917 2222, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
A note for carers
If you care for someone who is being paid the Daily Living Component of the PIP, or is intending to claim for it, you may be entitled to Carer's Allowance and you may wish to consider claiming for this at the same time. (See separate leaflet called Carer's Allowance.)
Further help & information
Further reading & references
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults; GOV.UK
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP); GOV.UK
- A-Z of medical conditions for Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance for Children; Department for Work and Pensions
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Tim Kenny
Dr Hayley Willacy