The UK Rules
Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

The PIP benefit provides a regular payment for people with a long-term illness or disability. The weekly rates help claimants lead full, active, and independent lives.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for most people. Use this section to review PIP eligibility criteria, check the current rates, and find out how to make a claim.

PIP Rates 2019 to 2020 | Table of Contents

So, how do you qualify for PIP payments? It is the way that a condition affects you, not the actual long term ill-health or disability itself, that determines PIP benefit rates.

Note: PIP award rates in 2019 vary between £23.20 and £148.85 per week (for people aged between 16 and the State Pension age).

Even so, PIP payment dates 2019 are not paid weekly. They are benefits paid every 4 weeks to those who meet the qualifying criteria. Keep in mind that payment dates can vary on UK bank holidays (e.g. Easter, Christmas).

And the PIP assessment?

A health professional will assess the level of help that you need (to work out the amount of PIP you will get). So, in most cases it is the assessment that determines how much assistance you need.

Keep in mind, there will be a regular review of the rates you are receiving. This is to ensure you continue getting the best support available.

Important: Are you helping to take care of someone who has 'substantial' caring needs? If so, you may qualify for the carers allowance payment.

What is Happening to Disability Living Allowance?

The Disability Living Allowance was a similar benefit paid out to people with long-term ill-health or disability. But, DLA is ending for claimants aged from 16 to 64 years old.

In fact, child DLA benefit will continue for children under sixteen (16) years of age. It also remains unchanged for anyone born before (or on) the 8th of April in 1948 - providing they have an existing claim.

A claim will continue until or unless the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to you. The letter from DWP will either:

Note: Contact the Citizens Advice (or local support organisation) to get further help with Personal Independence Payments. There is a Welsh language version of PIP Guidelines available titled 'Taliad Annibyniaeth Personol'.

Personal Independence Payment Eligibility

You do not need to be working to get Personal Independence Payments. So, you will be able to start the PIP application process, no matter whether you are in work - or not.

To meet PIP eligibility criteria, you must:

The health condition or the disability that you have, must:

  • Have created difficulties for daily living or getting around (or both) for at least three (3) months.
  • Be expected to continue for at least nine (9) months. An exception applies in cases of terminal illness for DWP purposes (i.e. less than 6 months to live)

As a general rule, you should be living in Great Britain when you make a claim for PIP benefits. You should also have lived in England, Scotland, or Wales for at least two (2) of the previous three (3) years.

You would not be able to get PIP and receive the Armed Forces Independence Payment at the same time.

Note: In some cases, you may qualify for PIP if you are living in, or coming from, Switzerland or another EEA country. But, different rules apply for claiming PIP in Northern Ireland.

Claiming PIP while Living Abroad

Additional rules apply for people who live overseas of the United Kingdom. You may still get the Personal Independence Payment, if:

  • You are a member or a family member of the Armed Forces.
  • You are claiming benefits abroad (e.g. living in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland). But, you would only qualify for financial help with daily living needs component of PIP benefit.

People without British Citizenship

What happens if you do not qualify as a British citizen? In this case, you must:

  • Be 'habitually resident' (or show that you intend to stay) in the United Kingdom, in the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or in the Isle of Man.
  • Not be subject to immigration control (some exceptions apply for sponsored immigrants).

Note: If you are a refugee, or you have humanitarian protection status, you might still meet the Personal Independence Payment eligibility criteria.

PIP Daily Living Component Criteria

The daily living component of PIP is for people who need help more than half of the time with:

  • Preparing their food or eating it.
  • Washing, bathing, dressing and undressing, and using the toilet.
  • Reading or communicating with others.
  • Managing their medications or receiving medical treatment.
  • Making decisions about their finances and money.
  • Engaging, or socialising, with other people.

Note: Older people suffering with these difficulties may meet the Attendance Allowance eligibility criteria once they reach the State Pension age.

PIP Mobility Component Criteria

The mobility component of PIP is for those who need help moving around the house or going outside of the home.


How Much is PIP Benefit Per Week?

As a rule, Personal Independence Payments transfer to your bank account every four (4) weeks. The PIP payment is a non means tested benefit and it is tax free. You do not need to be in work to get PIP.

There are two separate components to Personal Independence Payments. An assessment works out which of the payment levels you will get for maximum financial help.

Note: It is the way that your condition affects you that will determine whether you will be getting only one component (part) or both of them (e.g. daily living as well as mobility).

PIP Rates 2019 Daily Living Component

  1. £58.70: Standard Weekly Rate
  2. £87.65: Enhanced Weekly Rate

PIP Rates 2019 Mobility Component

  1. £23.20: Standard Weekly Rate
  2. £61.20: Enhanced Weekly Rate

Important: You must inform the DWP without delay if there is a change in the way your condition affects you or in your personal circumstances (see below).

Benefits Affecting PIP Award Rates

Some claimants will get Personal Independence Payments and the Constant Attendance Allowance as well. In this case, DWP reduce the 'daily living' part of PIP by the same amount of CAA that you are receiving.

PIP Guidelines when Working

You might qualify for the disability element of Working Tax Credit if you are in work when you get PIP. The amount varies up to £3,165 a year or up to £4,530. It would depend on the severity of the disability.

There is an easy way to find out. The tax credits helpline at HMRC will be able to confirm whether you can make a claim or not.

Note: Check to see if you or your carer qualify for an extra payout towards transport or housing costs. For example, extra financial help for disabled claimants can include getting the Carer's Allowance.


How to Claim Personal Independence Payments

You will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to claim PIP. You can have another person make the phone claim on your behalf. But, you must be present when they call.

Use this information to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment by telephone or textphone.

The PIP contact number is for people who live in England, Scotland, or Wales. Use a different process to claim in Northern Ireland.

When you call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) you are going to need to give them your:

  • Contact details (e.g. telephone number) and your date of birth.
  • National Insurance number (written on letters about tax, pensions, and benefits).
  • Bank or building society account number and sort code.
  • Doctor's name (or health worker), their contact address and telephone number.
  • Dates and addresses of any time you spent abroad, in a hospital, or in a care home.
DWP PIP Claims: Contact Details
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
NGT text relay: 18001 then 0800 917 2222
Outside the UK: +44 191 218 7766
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Check the cost of 0800 numbers

Claiming Personal Independence Payment by Post

You will need to write a letter to ask for a form. This is the only way you can send them your information by postal methods.

Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 1AH

After sending your information by post:

  1. The DWP will send you a 'How your disability affects you' form.
  2. Use the guidance notes for extra help when you fill in the form.
  3. Return the completed form to the DWP address written on the form.

Important Using postal methods can affect the PIP decision timescale and delay the DWP decision on a claim.

Claiming PIP for Terminal Illness

Special PIP rules apply for claimants with a terminal illness. You would qualify for the enhanced daily living component if you are not expected to survive for more than six (6) months. This would also speed up your claim for PIP.

The level of care needed would then determine whether you get the PIP mobility component on top.

Call the DWP to make a PIP claim. You will need form DS1500 from a healthcare professional or from your doctor. Send the completed form directly to the DWP. So, there would be no requirement to fill in the 'How your disability affects you' form or to attend a face-to-face consultation.

Note: The main section lists categories for claiming carer and disability benefits. Check what allowances and tax credits you can claim if you are caring for someone in the United Kingdom.


Assessment for Personal Independence Payments

An independent healthcare professional assesses your claim. This helps DWP determine what level of aid and care you need.

In most cases, it will be a face-to-face consultation. They will send you a letter explaining where to attend the assessment, and why.

The PIP assessment results in a score which is based on the extent of help that you need. A higher score means you need more help.

DWP then make a decision about your results and the claim. They consider all aspects of your application and any supporting evidence you supply to them.

Note: The short video presented by the DWP [6:39 seconds] explains more about how the face-to-face Personal Independence Payment assessment works.


PIP Decision Timescale 2019

As a rule, the PIP decision timescale 2019 takes at least three (3) weeks to process after assessment. It usually speeds up once a claim has been assessed by the decision maker.

You can appeal the PIP decision if you disagree with it (further details below).

Note: The DWP will reassess your PIP rate on a regular basis to ensure you get the proper support. You must inform the DWP immediately if there is any change in the way your condition affects you.


PIP Review 2019

The government will end any unnecessary PIP reviews for people with the most severe health conditions. It means they will no longer need to attend regular reviews for Personal Independence Payment.

The first phase of the new guidance applies to people receiving PIP who have reached State Pension age and takes full effect from the 31st of May in 2019. These pensioners will receive an ongoing award of PIP with a 'light touch review' conducted every ten (10) years.

PIP review changes ensure those with severe (or progressive) conditions get PIP award rates and scores that reflect the fact that their condition will not improve.

Note: Other improvements will combine the separate assessment processes for PIP, Employment Support Allowance, and Universal Credit. It is due to become one integrated service from 2021.

How the PIP Review Works

You will receive a letter if the DWP approves your claim for Personal Independence Payment benefit. The PIP decision letter states when the claim will end and whether they will be making a review.

  1. The DWP will send you a letter asking you to fill in a form called 'Award review - how your disability affects you'.
  2. There will be some guidance notes attached to help you complete the PIP reassessment form. It also explains what to include and where to send it.
  3. Send the review form (with any relevant supporting information) back to the Department for Work and Pensions.
  4. After the DWP have reviewed your form they might ask you to attend a face-to-face meeting with an independent health professional. The aim will be to discuss how your particular condition affects your daily life.
  5. The next letter you receive will tell you what is going to happen with your PIP claim. Your needs may have changed. If so, your PIP could get increased, reduced, or completely stopped.

PIP Change in Circumstances Mobility

There is a dedicated PIP enquiry line to use if any of your circumstances change, such as if you:

  • Need a change in the help you get or your condition changes.
  • Change your personal details (e.g. a name change, address, or change doctors).
  • Spend time in hospital or a care home for over four weeks.
  • Leave the United Kingdom and go abroad for more than 13 weeks.
  • Receive a detention sentence or if you get imprisoned.
PIP Decision Claim Timescale: PIP Rates 2019Personal Independence Payment PIP Enquiry Line
Telephone: 0800 121 4433
Textphone: 0800 121 4493
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Information on phone call charges.

Next Generation Text Relay Service
Dial: 18001 then 0800 121 4433
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
PIP video guides with British Sign Language.

Important: Failing to report changes which result in benefit overpayment may get you a £50 Civil Penalty fine. You may also need to pay back any overpaid benefits.


How to Appeal a PIP Decision

You should follow these three (3) steps to appeal a decision about your Personal Independence Payment.

  1. Discuss your situation (and the decision made) with the Department for Work and Pensions.
  2. As for 'PIP mandatory reconsideration' (a formal request to have a benefit decision looked at again).
  3. You can then appeal the decision if you remain unsatisfied with a mandatory reconsideration.

RELATED GUIDES

Disability Living Allowance: DLA changes started in June 2016 and will continue through 2019.
PIP Christmas Bonus 2019: The DWP Xmas bonus usually gets paid early in the month of December.
Vaccine Damage Payment: UK payment scheme for disabled vaccine injury patients.
What Happens if You Become Disabled? Information on your rights to claim disability benefits.
Searching for Work if You're Disabled: Look for the 'disability confident' symbol to help you find a job
Winter Fuel Payment 2019/20: UK winter heating allowance payments go out from November to March.


Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Guide for United Kingdom

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