Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age. It is available to those who need help with everyday life or who have difficulties getting around due to a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability.
PIP can be received in addition to other benefits, including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It is not means-tested, meaning that your income, savings and whether or not you are working does not affect your eligibility, and it also doesn’t affect your other means-tested benefits if you are in receipt of any. You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP. You can make a claim for PIP whether or not you get help from anyone.
Am I eligible for PIP?
To be eligible for PIP, you must:
- Need help with everyday tasks or getting about, or both
- Have needed this help for at least 3 months and expect to need it for at least a further 9 months (there are different rules for anyone terminally ill with less than 6 months to live)
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be living in England or Wales when you apply (unless you or a close family member are in the armed forces)
- Have lived in Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) for 2 of the last 3 years – otherwise known as the “past presence test”
There are two components – daily living (if you need help with everyday tasks) and mobility (if you need help with getting around). To qualify for the daily living component, you must score 8 points for the standard rate, and 12 points for the enhanced rate. To qualify for the mobility component, you must score 8 points for the standard rate, and 12 points for the enhanced rate. The relevant descriptors for the points systems include:
- preparing and cooking food
- eating and drinking
- managing your treatments
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating with other people
- reading and understanding written information
- mixing with others
- making decisions about money
- planning a journey or following a route
- moving around
How do I apply for PIP?
You can make an application for PIP by telephone by calling 0800 917 2222. Be prepared to provide detailed information (in addition to your basic personal information such as your bank details, GP details, National Insurance number) in a questionnaire which will ask you information to determine how your disability affects you. Once you have provided this information your claim will be considered by the DWP and you may need to attend a face-to-face assessment before they make a decision about your eligibility.
How much will I receive?
How much you receive will depend on whether you qualify for one or both of the daily living and mobility components, and then for each of those whether you qualify for the standard or enhanced rates, depending on your score for each component.
The rates, as at 12 September 2023, are:
- Daily living – lower weekly rate of £68.10 / higher weekly rate of £101.75
- Mobility – lower weekly rate of £26.90 / higher weekly rate of £71.00
Can I apply for PIP if I am in hospital or at a care home?
There are specific rules about applying for PIP if you are in a hospital or care home.
If you are in hospital, payments usually start when you leave. You can get PIP while you’re still in hospital if either you pay privately or you were under 18 when you went into hospital.
If you are in a care home and you pay privately you can receive PIP whilst you are there. If, however, the government or your local council pay for you to stay in the care home then you cannot get the daily living component of PIP until you leave. You can still get the mobility component.
If your care home is funded by the NHS or CCG, you are unable to receive payment for PIP until you leave, however, you may still have an underlying entitlement, meaning you do not have to make a new application when you move out of the care home.
What if I apply and my PIP claim is rejected?
If you make an application for PIP which is turned down and you disagree with that decision, you have one month to request a mandatory reconsideration. The DWP can then reconsider their decision. If the DWP still reject the claim, then you have a further one month to appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
If you miss the one-month deadline, you may still have the opportunity to appeal within 13 months of the decision if you have an exception such as obtaining further medical evidence for your appeal.
Can I apply for PIP if I am not a UK citizen?
You can only get PIP if your immigration status lets you claim public funds. You can claim public funds if you have:
- A British or Irish passport
- Pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme
- Indefinite leave – unless you came to the UK on an adult dependent relative visa
- Refugee or humanitarian protection
- Right of abode
Is there any other help that I could be entitled to as a result of my health condition or disability?
In addition to ensuring that you have considered your eligibility for all relevant benefits, you may choose to consider the following:
- Applying for a Blue Badge – applications can be made through your local authority
- Applying for a council tax reduction – applications can be made through your local authority
- Warm home grant – to apply contact your energy provider to check if they are participating in the scheme
- Water sure tariff – to apply contact your water company
- Motability scheme vehicle
- Disabled Persons Railcard
Where can I get free advice on Personal Independence Payment and welfare benefits?
If you would like free initial, no obligation advice on welfare benefits, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How Brain Injury Group help?
As well as offering free initial, no obligation advice on welfare benefits, Brain Injury Group is a network of personal injury lawyers who specialise in brain injury claims. If you or a loved one has a brain injury, our member firms will be happy to offer you a free, no obligation chat, to help you decide if pursuing a claim is possible and is the right course of action for you. To contact our members, head to our Find a Brain Injury Solicitor page, email us at email@example.com, talk to us via live chat on our website or call 0330 311 2541. If you would like to speak to more than one member firm, we are happy to facilitate that for you.
This article was produced by Melissa Davis, Senior Welfare Benefits Advisor and Alice Hall, Specialist Serious Injury Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell
Alice is a solicitor in the Irwin Mitchell Serious Injury Team, based in the Birmingham office. Alice specialises in cases involving brain injury, spinal injury, polytrauma and complex fatal accidents. She is an APIL accredited Litigator.
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