PIP - Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Score Enough Points To Get Personal Independence Payment?

When you are assessed to see if you qualify for Personal Independence Payment, your difficulties with daily life and your mobility problems are looked at as separate activities. For each activity, there is a list of descriptors, which are sentences that describe different levels of support. Each descriptor has a point score. The greater the need for support, the higher the points scored.

There are 10 daily living activities. These are:

  1. Preparing food
  2. Eating or taking nutrition any other way (eg through a tube)
  3. Managing medication or therapy, or monitoring your health condition
  4. Washing and bathing
  5. Managing your toilet needs or incontinence issues
  6. Dressing and undressing
  7. Communicating verbally
  8. Reading, and understanding signs and symbols
  9. Budgeting
  10. Engaging with people face to face

There are two mobility activities. These are:

  1. Planning and following a journey
  2. Moving around

The Personal Independence Payment Assessment Guide gives guidance to assessors on the points that should be given - see page 97 onwards.

When you fill in the medical questionnaire and when you see a medical assessor (see below), you will be asked about your abilities to do these activities and what problems you have in completing them. If you have no problems you score no points for that activity. But if you need some support you score points – and the more difficulty you have, the higher your points for each activity. If you score enough points on one or a combination of activities you will be awarded Personal Independence Payment – this could be the daily living component or the mobility component or a combination.

Won’t This Just Reduce Other Benefits I am Entitled To?

The good news is it won't. In fact it may have just the opposite affect - an award of Personal Independence Payment can sometimes mean extra money is awarded in other benefits - so if you do get an award of Personal Independence Payment it is important to let all the benefit authorities know.

For example, if you are affected by the Benefit Cap, an award of Personal Independence Payment to anyone in the benefit family will mean that the Benefit Cap will no longer apply.

Also, if you are getting Housing Benefit or help with your rent through Universal Credit and you or your partner are awarded a daily living component of Personal Independence Payment this will remove any non-dependant deductions (due to you having, for example, a grown up son or daughter living with you).

I Get Disability Living Allowance. How Does This Change Affect Me?

If you were 65 or over on 8th April 2013, then you will stay on Disability Living Allowance.

However, if you were under 65 on 8th April 2013, you will need to be assessed to see if you can be awarded Personal Independence Payment instead. The DWP will write to let you know when you need to do this. Your Disability Living Allowance award will be bought to an end - even if you have an indefinite or lifetime award - and you will need to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment. For most people, this will be at some point before the end of 2018.

Nobody on Disability Living Allowance is guaranteed an award of Personal Independence Payment, it depends how many points you score on the assessment. So when you receive the letter from the DWP telling you your DLA is due to end, it is important you get advice from an experienced adviser. Contact us on 0300 304 5000 or email welfare@estuary.co.uk

Your Disability Living Allowance payments will stop if you do not make a claim within one month of the date on the letter.

If you do make a claim for Personal Independence Payment, then your Disability Living Allowance will continue to be paid until a decision on your Personal Independence Payment claim is made.

The decision could be that you are entitled to Personal Independence Payment and this could be at the same rate, a higher or a lower amount than your current Disability Living Allowance award.

The decision could be that you are not entitled to Personal Independence Payment at all – your Disability Living Allowance award will end at this point. You will be sent a letter explaining why you do not qualify and you can write back, within one calendar month, asking the DWP to reconsider their decision. If they still disagree you can then appeal. It is very important to seek advice if you decide to challenge the decision. Contact us on 0300 304 5000 for help and support.

Isn't Personal Independence Payment a Harder Benefit To Get Than Disability Living Allowance?

The rules on who will get an award are different - this means that some people currently getting Disability Living Allowance may not get awarded Personal Independence Payment or get it awarded at a lower amount.

However, it also means that some people who could not claim Disability Living Allowance may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment. Some people who do currently claim Disability Living Allowance may be awarded Personal Independence Payment at a higher rate. This could include:

  • People who use aids and appliances
  • People who have support needs due to literacy and / or numeracy problems

I'm On Disability Living Allowance At The Moment. What Will Happen If I’m Not Awarded Personal Independence Payment?

The rules on who will get an award are different. This means that some people currently getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) may not get awarded Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or get it awarded at a lower amount.

  • If, when the time comes for your DLA claim to end and for you to claim PIP, it is decided that you do not qualify for PIP, your claim for DLA will come to an end.
  • If you are told you do not qualify for PIP, you can write to the DWP within one calendar month, asking them to reconsider their decision. If they still disagree, you can then appeal. It is very important to seek advice if you decide to challenge the decision. Contact us on 0300 304 5000 or email welfare@estuary.co.uk
  • If you are 65 or over, you could try for Attendance Allowance. Contact your local JobCentre Plus for more information on how to apply.
  • If you were on DLA but now don’t qualify for PIP and you had been getting extra benefits or services because of your Disability Living Allowance claim, these would also come to an end. These could include (but is not limited to):
    • Extra money via other benefits including Tax Credits
    • Exclusion from non-dependant deductions, bus pass, Motability car* or blue parking badge
    • Exclusion from the Benefit Cap.

So, when you are invited to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment – which will be at some point before the end of 2018 depending on where you live – seek advice immediately and get help from an experienced adviser. Contact us on 0300 304 5000.

* If your PIP reassessment is unsuccessful and you lose your Motability car, visit the motability website for advice.