PIP is a benefit which is designed to help people live full, active and independent lives. It is intended to help toward extra costs arising from having a long-term illness or disability. It has replaced DLA for those people aged between 16 – pensionable age.

Like DLA and AA, it is a tax-free benefit which is not affected by income or capital and it does not require any national insurance contributions in order to qualify. It can be claimed by people who work, and those who are unable to work. PIP will not reduce other benefits but may increase entitlement

Your child will need to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when they turn 16.

When they apply for PIP

Your child will get a letter inviting them to apply for PIP. The letter will be sent:

  • shortly after their 16th birthday
  • when they leave hospital, if they were in hospital on their 16th birthday
  • about 20 weeks before their DLA award ends, if they were awarded DLA under the rules for people who are terminally ill

Your child’s DLA payments will stop unless they apply for PIP by the date given in the letter.

If they apply by the date given in the letter, they’ll continue to receive DLA until their claim is assessed.

In order to claim personal independence payment, a person must:

  • have been present in Great Britain for 104 weeks out of the 156 weeks before claiming (2 out of the last 3 years)
  • be habitually resident

There are rules that may allow for temporary absence. – seek advice. There are also some exceptions to this rule for people from EEA countries and their family members so please seek advice.

There are two components for PIP, and two rates for each component. It is possible to get paid one component, or both, depending on needs.

Daily living component

  1. standard rate – for those having a limited ability to carry out daily living activities
  2. enhanced rate – for those having a severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities

Mobility component 

  1. standard rate – For those with limited mobility
  2. enhanced rate – For those with severely limited mobility

Please see separate page for rates, as these will change in April each year.

Those claimants who have a terminal illness (that is, are suffering from a progressive disease where death can be expected within 6 months) will automatically receive the daily living component enhanced rate. They will also be able to apply for the mobility component and receive it immediately if they qualify.

The Activities tests

In order to qualify for PIP, it is necessary to score a certain number of points in relation to 12 activities. These are:

  1. Preparing food.
  2. Taking nutrition.
  3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition.        
  4. Washing and bathing.
  5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence.      
  6. Dressing and undressing.     
  7. Communicating verbally.       
  8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words. 
  9. Engaging with other people face to face.    
  10. Making budgeting decisions.          
  11. Planning and following journeys. (used in the test for the mobility component)  
  12. Moving around. (used in the test for the mobility component)  

There is a list of all the activities and descriptors as well as a list of definitions in the appendix of the pack.

Each activity has a set of descriptors. Points are awarded for each activity that a claimant cannot do based on whether they fit a descriptor within those activities. If a descriptor applies for 6 months within a 12-month period they should be awarded the appropriate points. If more than one descriptor applies, they will be awarded whichever descriptor gives the most points.

For a descriptor to apply the claimant must be able to reliably complete the activity as described in the descriptor. ‘Reliably’ means whether they can do so:

  • Safely –the activity must be unlikely to cause harm to them or to another person.
  • To a necessary and appropriate standard – given the nature of the activity.
  • Repeatedly – as often as is reasonably required.
  • In a timely manner – in a reasonable time period.

When deciding this, a decision maker should take into account any pain, breathlessness or tiredness experienced when carrying out an activity.

If there is a fluctuating condition the most appropriate descriptor will be the one which is likely to apply for the greatest proportion of that time.

The entitlement thresholds (pass mark) for the rates and components of the PIP are:

Daily Living component (activities 1 to 10)

Standard rate: 8 points

Enhanced rate: 12 points

Mobility component (activities 11 to12)

Standard rate: 8 points

Enhanced rate: 12 points

View Dudley Council's Personal Independence Fact Sheet October 2023 for more information.

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