Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment
What is Personal Independence Payment?
As part of the UK Government’s welfare reforms, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64, from April 2013.
PIP will help towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long term condition; this means ill-health or disability expected to last 12 months or longer (there are special rules for people who have a terminal illness). It’s based on how a person’s condition affects them, not the condition they have. The new assessment will focus on an individual’s ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life.
There are two components of PIP – one for daily living and one for mobility. Each can be paid at a standard or an enhanced rate, based on an assessment of a person’s individual need. Awards will also be reviewed regularly to make sure the right level of support is offered.
PIP is a benefit that people can get whether they are in or out of work. It is not affected by income or savings and is not taxed. It’s not possible to get both PIP and DLA at the same time. Existing DLA claimants will be asked to claim PIP at some point from October 2013, but most won’t be affected before October 2015.
When will the changes start?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will introduce PIP gradually from April 2013, starting with new claims in certain areas of the UK (mainly in the north of England). New claims started in other areas of the UK from June 2013.
Most existing DLA claimants won’t be affected until 2015, however some may be affected earlier if certain circumstances change or they reach the end of their DLA award. The DWP will write to all existing DLA claimants in 2013 to explain about PIP and when they will be required to apply for it.
How will claims be made?
Claims will normally be made over the phone to The DWP, although claimants will also be asked to complete a questionnaire providing information on how their disability affects them. Most people will then be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with a health professional as part of the claim process. Claimants can take somebody with them to support them. This could include a social worker, friend or carer.
How is entitlement decided?
Entitlement to PIP will be based on the effect a long-term health condition or disability has on daily life. For the DWP to fully understand this, claimants will be asked to complete a form where they can describe how their health condition or disability affects them. Claimants will also be asked to include any supporting evidence they have available to them, and to provide DWP with details of the health professional who is best placed to provide advice about the claimant and their situation. Most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with a health professional as part of their claim but this may not be needed.
The DWP will use all this information to decide if PIP can be awarded. Many people currently claiming DLA will be entitled to PIP, and depending on their circumstances they may get more, the same or less benefit than they currently get.
If a claimant is awarded PIP, their award will be reviewed over time to make sure it remains correct and continues to help meet their needs.
Where can I get more information?
The website www.gov.uk/pip provides additional information on the daily living and mobility components of PIP and how payments are made. There is an online check at www.gov.uk/pip-checker to see how PIP might affect you. There is also a toolkit with up to date information here.