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Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

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What is a Personal Independence Payment or PIP?

  1. Personal Independence Payments (PIP) were introduced in April 2013 replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for new claimants aged 16 to 64. All existing DLA claimants within this age range will at some point be asked to apply for PIP as well.
  2. PIP awards are granted to help towards some of the extra costs arising from your health condition or disability. They are based on how your condition affects you, not about the detail of your disability or condition.
  3. PIP is not means tested and is payable to people in and out of work so you can work and still receive this benefit.
  4. There is no automatic transfer from receiving DLA to receiving PIP.
  5. Currently there are no plans to change DLA for those under 16 years of age or those 65 and over as long as they continue to satisfy the DWP criteria.

Is PIP assessed in the same way as DLA?

No. PIP is assessed differently to DLA. PIP works on a score based system and has two parts: A daily living component and a mobility component. Each component has a further two levels (standard and enhanced) which are assessed across 12 activities (10 activities assessed for daily living and 2 activities assessed for mobility). To achieve standard rate you need 8 points and to achieve the enhanced rate you need 12 points.

What happens next?

1) New claimants will have to apply for PIP but for existing DLA recipients the Government are gradually inviting you to apply for PIP.

2) You will receive a letter telling you what date your DLA is stopping and they will ask you to apply for PIP.

3) Call the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on:
Telephone: 0800 917 2222 or Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm to start your application.

They will ask you some questions so it’s worth having the following information ready before you call:

· Your contact details and date of birth

· National Insurance number

· Bank or building society details

· Doctor or health worker’s name

· Details of any time you’ve spent abroad, or in a care home or hospital

4) A form will then be sent out to you.

5) Once you have completed the form and included any supporting evidence such as a letter from a doctor or other health professional it is advisable to keep a couple of copies of the form and all accompanying evidence.

6) Then you should send the form back in the post, preferably recorded delivery so it can be tracked in the event they tell you they haven’t received it.

7) You’ll then receive the date for your medical assessment.

Who assesses me?

A health professional will conduct the assessment which may take up to an hour and a half. This usually takes place at an assessment centre, but in certain circumstances home visits may be requested.

After the assessment, all the information is reviewed and a letter will be sent to you confirming if you are entitled to PIP and at what level.

If I get it, is my PIP awarded for life?

No. You will no longer be awarded PIP for “life” or indefinitely. Most PIP awards will be for a fixed term with a review time built in. This is a contrast to many DLA awards. The review mechanism will apply even if your condition is permanent but will not apply if your condition is terminal.

What if I don’t get an award at all?

If you are unsuccessful or unhappy with your level of award you should contact the DWP immediately and request a mandatory reconsideration.

If your mandatory reconsideration is unsuccessful you can lodge an appeal which can take up to six months. You have to lodge an appeal within four weeks of the date on the letter you receive advising that the reconsideration was unsuccessful.

For those with a Motability car, one of the big implications of losing eligibility to the enhanced rate of mobility is you will have to return the car three weeks after your last payment of high rate mobility.

Top Tips:

  • For all SBH Scotland Members, the SBH Scotland Financial Support Service are here to offer comprehensive advice for PIP applications, at any stage in your PIP process. They can help you to complete your forms, offer advice on your assessments and support you with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
  • For those who are not members of SBH Scotland other agencies like the Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to assist you with your application.
  • Before filling out the form please read the assessors guidance so you’re giving the information they now use to assess for PIP rather than DLA.
  • Please keep copies of all documents you send away. This is useful if documents are lost in the post or if a reconsideration is requested. If you have no access to a photocopier you could use a camera or mobile phone to take photos of your documents.
  • When you go to your assessment, take along a friend or relative who knows you well for support and to take notes.
  • In your assessment it’s important to talk about the things you have difficulty with or can’t do at all. The assessor probably won’t know anything about you so it’s important you go over everything, even if you've already told them on the form.

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