Personal independence payment (PIP) – how does it work and how much do you get?

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Personal independence payment (PIP) is a benefit that’s designed to pay towards the extra costs you incur if you’re disabled. It’s designed to replace DLA or disability living allowance, for people aged 16 to 64. What are the main changes?

What’s not changing?
First of all, not everyone who currently gets disability living allowance (DLA) will see a change in their benefits.

– Children aged under 16 will continue to receive disability living allowance and won’t move onto the new personal independence payment system. However, once they turn 16, they will be moved over to PIP.

– Anyone aged 65 or over who’s already on DLA won’t be moved onto DLA until after October 2015. The key date is April 8th 2013. If you were aged 65 or over on that date and getting DLA, you’re not affected by the early rollout of PIP.

– If you’re aged 65 or over and on attendance allowance (AA), you will continue to receive it. Attendance Allowance is a benefit paid if you need help with things like taking tablets, getting up or eating meals.

Timeline for the changes
The introduction of the personal independence payment (PIP) is being phased in over several years, starting on April 8th 2013. Here’s a summary of the timetable:

– 8th April 2013: PIP is being introduced for people living in Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside, North East and North West England. I

SAVVY TIP: You can use the government’s PIP checker on the GOV.UK website to find out if and when you’ll be affected.

– June 2013: No new claims for DLA for people aged 16-64. Instead, they will have to claim PIP.

– October 2013: Anyone who has a fixed period DLA payment, or who turns 16, or anyone receiving DLA who reports a change in their condition, will be assessed for PIP.

– October 2015: If you’re already on DLA, you will be selected to reapply for PIP. People who turned 65 after 8th April 2013 will be at the top of the list.

SAVVY TIP: As I write this update (November 21st 2015), PIP has not been introduced in Northern Ireland. However, there is some information on the Direct.gov website in Northern Ireland about PIP and how it works.

The basics of the personal independence payment
Like DLA, the personal independence payment is:

– non-means tested
– a cash payment
– tax free
– paid whether you are in or out of work
– made up of two components. You will be able to claim a payment of one or both of these components.

SAVVY TIP: Each component will have two different rates — lower and higher. This is different to DLA, which had three rates of its ‘care’ component and two rates for the mobility component.

The components are:

– Daily living component. This is paid at a standard rate of £55.10 a week or a higher (called ‘enhanced’) rate of £82.30. These rates are correct for 2015-16.

– Mobility component. This is paid at a standard rate of £21.80 a week or an enhanced rate of £57.45 a week. These rates are correct for 2015-16.

Claiming PIP
You have to fill in two forms in order to claim PIP. The first one (PIP1) asks for basic information, such as your name, address etc. You can download a sample PIP1 form from the Gov.uk website.

PIP2 form: This form asks you about your disability. You can download a sample PIP2 form from the DWP website to see what kind of questions you’ll be asked.

SAVVY TIP: If you want to claim PIP, you should ring the DWP claim line on: 0800 917 2222 (or Textphone 0800 917 7777). These numbers will be available from 8th April 2013 and the lines will be open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

– In order to receive PIP you will have to be assessed.

– The assessment entails testing you on your ability to do a number of things, such as washing and bathing, eating food, to understanding signs and symbols and moving around (if you’re applying for the mobility component).

According to the disability charity Disability Rights UK’s website, you have to ‘satisfy the daily living/mobility tests for a period of three months before claiming and be likely to continue to satisfy them for a further nine months’. It says that you don’t necessarily have to wait for three months before you apply as the clock starts ticking when you have these needs, not when you first claim.

Useful links:

The government’s Department for Work and Pensions website has a quick guide to PIP. It’s not that short a guide as it’s aimed at advisers rather than claimants, but it’s quite useful if you want to find out more.

If you want to know more detail about what happens when you claim, you can read a government guide called the claimant journey. Be aware that it is a very detailed infographic.

The charity Disability Rights UK has a useful guide to PIP.

The Gov.uk site has a section about Personal independence payments.

Related articles:

Retiring early due to ill health – what do the rules say?

Terminal illness insurance – how insurance may help you if you’re seriously ill

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