Personal Independence Payment

What is Personal Independence Payment?

Personal Independence Payment is a benefit paid to working age adults significantly affected by an impairment, long term health condition or disability. This benefit exists to help cover some of the extra costs that people have when they’re living with a disability. It is not a means tested benefit which means that it is not affected by any other income.

Who can get PIP?

You need to answer yes to all of the questions below to be eligible to get PIP:

  • Are you between 16 years old and state retirement age?
  • Have you had your impairment, health condition or disability for at least three months and expect it to last at least nine months?
  • Have you been resident in the UK for 2 years out of the last three years?

If you are not a British Citizen you should check the additional eligibility on the UK Government website.

If you have an illness or condition which a doctor has said is likely to end your life in six months or less you are automatically entitled to PIP. Your  application is usually processed faster to allow you to receive payments. The benefit will be paid for as long as you need it, giving you extra support for your remaining time.

How much is paid?

How much is paid changes each year.  You can find the current rates of Personal Independence Payment here.

How do I apply for PIP?

To apply for PIP you must call:

Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777

Full contact details, including services such as the video relay for British Sign Language users can be found here.

Any entitlement to Personal Independence Payment begins on the date you make that phone call.

Telephone interview

Once you have made that call you will have a telephone interview that usually takes around 15 minutes. This interview is based on a form called the PIP 1 form. If you would like to see an example of the kind of questions you will be asked you can see a specimen form on the UK Government Website.

Application form

After your telephone interview you will be sent an application form called a PIP 2 form. This is a longer form which asks detailed questions about your ability to perform tasks involved in your day to day life and about moving around. The UK Government website has a specimen of the PIP 2 form.

You will be given 28 days from when the form is posted to complete and return it to the DWP. If you need more time you should call them to ask for an extension of this period.

Assessment

You may be contacted for a further assessment. This could be an invitation to attend an interview in person.  During  the Covid-19 pandemic your assessment will be by telephone conference instead. Whether in person or by phone, you are entitled to have another person present.

How do I complete the application form (PIP2)?

Here are a few pointers for completing the application form for PIP

  • Give as much detail as you can when answering questions.
  • Be specific and provide examples if you can.
  • A good way to prepare is to keep a daily journal where you note down all of the difficulties you have in completing everyday tasks. This can be included with your application as supplementary evidence,
  • When talking about how far you can walk, give the distance in metres. A metre is about three feet.
  • Do include details such as how fast you can perform tasks, if they cause you pain or how often you may be able to do them a day.
  • Include how your medication affects you in the information you give.
  • If you can, ask someone close to you to look over your application and tell you if you have missed anything.

It can be helpful to understand the point system used to calculate what you are entitled to. There is an excellent and clear guide to the PIP Test on the Turn2Us website. You can find it here.

The Benefits and Work website have an excellent self-test where you can get an idea of how the points system could be applied to your circumstances. You can try it here.

Who can help me with my PIP application?

You can get advice and help with your Personal Independence Payment application from welfare benefits advisors who are familiar with the benefits system.

  • Citizen’s Advice Scotland have experienced welfare benefits advisors in every area in Scotland. You can search for your local Citizen’s Advice here or call their national helpline number on 0800 028 1456.
  • Your local authority (Council) may also have welfare benefits advisors.
  • Some organisations such as Housing Associations may have staff who are able to help with applications.

If you are unsure who can help you in your local area then you can contact us at Disability Information Scotland and we will find the local information for you.

The Award Letter

After your PIP assessment you will receive a letter telling you the outcome of your application. This letter is important because it confirms how many points you have been awarded for each part of your assessment

If you have been successful, and you agree with the award, the money will be paid into your bank account every four weeks. Remember to keep your award letter in a safe place and, if you can, take a photograph or scan so you have a digital copy too. This is helpful if you have to provide evidence to other organisations of your entitlement.

If you have been unsuccessful, or you do not agree with the level of PIP you have been awarded you can appeal the decision. The appeal process is in two parts, with the first stage called a “Mandatory Reconsideration”. A mandatory reconsideration is a review of your application and evidence by another decision maker at the DWP. You should contact the Department for Work and Pensions to ask for this within a month of the date or your award letter. You can read more details of how to approach the mandatory reconsideration and appeal process in our info guide called Benefit Appeals and Reconsiderations.

Extra money and help that PIP entitles you too (Passported benefits)

An award of PIP may enable you to access means-tested benefits even if you have previously been told you are not entitled. Depending on the level of your award, you may also be eligible for a Blue Badge, concessionary bus travel, road tax discount or exemption, Motability car, or someone may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance.  To find out if you do have additional entitlements, we recommend that you get a benefits check.

You can get a benefits check at your local Citizens Advice

You can visit the TURN2US website and use their Benefits Calculator online.

Useful websites

UK Government information on Personal Independence Payment

Citizen’s Advice Scotland

Advice Direct Scotland

Turn2Us

Benefits and Work

 

Information last updated on 19 February 2021. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.

If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.

Money, Benefits & Grants:Frequently Asked Questions

Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:

How can I appeal a PIP decision?

How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?

Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?

How can I find out what benefits might I be eligible for?

What support is available to help keep warm this winter?

Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?

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