What is PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the payment which helps when you are physically disabled or suffering from long term health conditions for the people who are aged between 16 to 64 years and is independent of your income and whether you have savings or capital i.e. it’s a non-means tested benefit.
It was introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and slowly it started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from April 2013 onwards. It was introduced as a non-means-tested, non-contributory and tax-free and payment of PIP is independent of an individual’s ability to work and it is equal both for who is working and who is out of work i.e. it is not a substitute for a person’s earnings, which is the case with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
PIP helps you to cover the extra costs you may face if you need help in carrying day to day activities or find it difficult to get around. It is a major help/benefit for people with arthritis. PIP started replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in England, Wales and Scotland since 2013 but it started to apply in Northern Ireland since 20th June 2016.
What are the Components of PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is made of two components, namely Mobility Component & Daily Living Component and each component is paid either at standard rate or enhanced rate and it is based on the circumstances and intensity of the disability. PIP replaced DLA system so the components of DLA were related to the components of DLA in a way or the other.
Daily Living Component is based on your ability of carrying out your daily activities and it helps to cover the extra costs you may face in doing so. The rate, on which you get paid, depends on the intensity of your disability and is paid either at a standard or an enhanced rate. This component is for the individuals who face difficulty with day-to-day activities like drinking and eating food, bathing, dressing and undressing and making any decision related to money, reading and communicating, managing your medicines or treatments or engaging with other people.
|Daily Living Component||Rate|
Mobility Component is based on your ability of moving around and the rate at which you are paid will depend on the intensity of your disability and is paid either at a standard rate or an enhanced rate.
What is the Eligibility for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?
PIP is the payment made to cover extra costs which one may incur in treating a long term disability or a critical long medical condition. However, it is important to notice that PIP is based on how a person’s condition is affecting him or her and is not based on the condition itself. The main eligibility criteria while assessing an individual’s case are:
- He or she should be between 16 to 64 years of age.
- He or she should be suffering either with the mobility component or the daily living component or both of them for at least 3 months.
- In principle, the difficulties should continue for at least 9 months, unless you are terminally ill where you are not expected to live not more than 6 months.
- The applicant must have stayed in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 years and be in one of these countries while applying for PIP.
- In case, you are not a British citizen, you must either live in or intend to settle in the UK, The Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands and you are not a subject to immigration control.
Before payment is made out, the individuals are assessed for the intensity of their disabilities or medical conditions on certain criteria, called as assessment criteria, which is designed to consider the individuals’ ability to carry out a range of everyday activities and claimants will receive score, also called as point score for each activity, depending on their performance and the help or assistance they required to complete each activity.
There are in total 12 activities to assess daily living and mobility component of PIP, which are:
Daily Living Components:
- Preparing Food
- Taking Nutrition
- Managing Therapy or Monitoring A Health Condition
- Washing and Bathing
- Managing Toilet Needs or Incontinence
- Dressing and Undressing
- Communicating Verbally
- Mixing with other people; and
- Making decisions about money
- Planning and following a journey; and
- Moving around.
The total score received by an individual for each activity under Daily Living Components and Mobility Components will determine the level or the amount he is entitled for. If he has scored somewhere between 08 – 11 points qualifies him for standard rate of that particular component however, if he has scored 12 or more, it means that the person is entitled for the enhanced rate of that particular component.
Apart from assessing the person’s ability to perform activities under Daily Living and Mobility Components, assessment will also consider the stage where the assistance was required to complete a particular activity and whether the help was called to assist in conducting or completing an activity or it was called to conduct the activity in total and thus can be classified under three broad categories, such as:
- Supervision: It means the help was required to be present around the claimant in order to avoid any serious incidents/accidents happening to the claimant during the activity.
- Prompting: It means it was the help which motivated, explained and encouraged the claimant to perform a particular activity but no physical help was provided to the claimant.
- Assistance: It means the presence and physical intervention of the help for completing the activity by the claimant.
How to Claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?
You can claim your PIP by contacting Department of Work and Pensions(DWP) department either by telephone, post, text relay or video relay, however process of claiming your PIP is a long process and at times it takes up to 4 months from the time you have started your application process to the time you have got your benefit.
Claim process can be divided in three stages:
Contacting DWP: The very first step towards claiming your PIP is to contact the Department of Work and Pensions. You can contact them either by calling them on their telephone numbers, or send them a post with your details, or send them a text/video relay. While you contact them through any of the medium, you need to have certain details handy by your side, such as:
- Your full name, address and phone number.
- Your National Insurance Number
- Your Account Details
- Contact details of your General Practitioner or any doctor you are consulting with.
- Details of your stay(s) in the health care or hospitals
- Your nationality status
- If you have been abroad for more than 4 weeks at a stretch in the last 3 years.
- If you have any learning difficulty, behavioural conditions or any condition related to mental health.
In case, you are contacting DWP via Telephone: In this case, you have to call on their PIP Claim Line either directly or in case you are facing any difficulty in making a telephone call yourself, you can seek an assistance. However, it is advisable for you to be present there when the call is being made.
PIP claim line
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Call from abroad: +44 191 218 7766
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Calls are free from landlines and from mobiles.
In case, you are contacting DWP via Post: Telephone is a faster way of contacting DWP, however if you are not in a condition to do so, you can write to them for sending you the required claim forms along with the valid reason for not using the telephone service.
You can write to them on the below address:
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
In case, you are contacting DWP via Text Relay: In case you cannot talk or hear on the telephone, you can use DWP’s Next Generation Text Relay Service.
For their NGT Service:
Dial: 18001 then 0800 917 2222
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Call charges for NGT service depends on whether you are using a landline or a mobile, your service provider.
In case, you are contacting DWP via Video Relay: Video Relay Service is also called as British Sign Language (BSL) and you can use this service if you cannot hear. In this case, you will be connected to an interpreter by a video link who will relay your message to the DWP adviser. For this service, you must first check if you can use this service and then go to the video relay service. This facility is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm.
- Fill in the claim form sent by DWP: After you have contacted DWP, they will send you PIP Claim form, also called as “How your disability affects you” form. You can request DWP to send you the same in an alternative format such as CD, Large Print or Braille. You can take help in filling up the form and once its filled, you have to post this form at the address mentioned on the form itself.
Face to Face Assessment: Once DWP receives your filled form, the next step will be to assess the level of help in terms of daily living and mobility, that you need and in order to do the same, you will either be invited for a face to face meeting or a representative will connect with your doctor for the information/details of your condition. In case you are invited for a face to face meeting, you will be asked questions related to your condition and level/type of difficulty you are facing in your day to day life. This meeting could either be at your home or at an assessment centre and might go on for an hour or so.
While you are in a face to face meeting, you should explain your difficulty level in detail for the DWP representative to understand it completely. Because, you get PIP for the help or intensity of your medical condition, not for having a medical condition. In case there is a variation in your condition, you should tell the DWP representative about both your good and bad days and give him a detailed description of your condition and its effects on you over a considerable period of time. Your description of your medical condition and DWP’s understanding of it should not be restricted on your condition during the consultation period.
Once your face to face consultation gets over, the DWP representative will complete his report with all required details and send it to DWP Case Manager, who will then decide if you are eligible for PIP and how much and at what PIP should be rewarded to you and for how long. In case, your claim gets through but you are not happy with the rewarded amount, you can challenge the decision by either submitting your request at DWP to reconsider your case or by submitting a formal appeal.
In case you are terminally ill, In case you are terminally ill and you are not expected to live more than 6 months, you can get your PIP claim faster than in any other case, provided you start with your application process well in time. To contact DWP, you can either call DWP by telephone or use Video Relay Service. In this case, you don’t have to appear for any face to face consultation and either your doctor or any other healthcare professional can fill up the form on your behalf and sent it to DWP directly.
In case there is any change in your circumstances, you have to keep DWP posted about it for avoiding any delay during your PIP claim. You can contact the PIP enquiry line in case:
- There is any change in your personal details like name, address or doctor.
- Any change in the level of help you need, whether for good or bad.
- You go into a hospital or a care home.
- You go abroad.
- You are imprisoned or held in detention.
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