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PIP losers revealed

Further details about Personal Independence Payment (PIP) announced yesterday reveal who some of the biggest losers under the replacement for disability living allowance (DLA) will be.

Claimants who cannot walk more than 50 metres, even if they need to use some sort of aid other than a wheelchair to do so, will no longer be entitled to the enhanced (higher) rate of the mobility component, on those grounds alone.  Instead they will get only the standard rate.  Many blind claimants also look set to lose their higher rate mobility award, only recently won after years of campaigning.

Claimants who cannot prepare and cook a simple meal will not be entitled to any award of PIP on those grounds alone, whereas they are currently entitled to the lower rate of the care component of DLA.

It was only yesterday, on the day before the House of Lords debates the issue, that the DWP finally published the proposed points thresholds for getting an award of PIP in a document entitled ‘Personal Independence Payment:  assessment thresholds and consultation’.  The timing of the release gives peers virtually no opportunity to work out who is and isn’t likely to be awarded PIP and, more importantly, makes it impossible for disability groups to study the points system and write briefs for peers prior to the debate. 

At this stage both the points and the thresholds are draft ones and may be changed in the light of further consultation. However, the government has said that it expects half a million fewer people to be receiving PIP in 2016 than would receive DLA, if these proposals are accepted.

The document provides 15 case studies showing how the assessment system might work for people with various different conditions, depending on their severity.

  • In case study 2, Rachel has chronic fatigue syndrome and scores 4 points for daily living and no points for mobility.  This means that Rachel is not entitled to any rate of PIP.
     
  • In case study 4, Pete has epilepsy and scores 6 points for daily living and 15 points for mobility.  Pete gets no award of PIP for daily living but gets the enhanced rate of the PIP mobility component.
     
  • In case study 10, Sarah is blind and diabetic.  She scores 9 points for daily living and 8 points for mobility.  Sarah is entitled to the standard rates of both the daily living and mobility components.
     
  • In case study 13, Tom is autistic.  He scores 26 points for daily living and 15 points for mobility.  Tom is entitled to the enhanced rates of both the daily living and mobility components.
     
  • In case study 15, Jane is depressed and receiving treatment from a psychiatrist as well as taking anti-depressants.  She receives 8 points for daily living and no points for mobility.  Jane is entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component but no award of the mobility component.

The government are inviting disabled people and disability organisations to take part in a consultation on the scoring system between now and 30 April 2012.  Benefits and Work will be publishing a detailed analysis of the scoring and thresholds once we’ve had the opportunity to study the new document.

Meanwhile we’ve published details of the thresholds and of the points system below, so that readers can attempt to work out what they might score – bearing in mind how harshly the DWP and Atos are likely to interpret the wording of the activities.   (The points system was originally published in November 2011 in a document entitled 'Personal independence payment:  second draft of assessment regulations’).

Daily living component 
To get an award of the daily living component, a claimant needs to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For daily living, the points need to be scored from activities 1-9 below. 

You can only score one set of points from each activity, if two or more apply only the highest will count.  So, for example, if:

4  d. Needs assistance to groom.  2 points
4  g. Needs assistance to bathe.  4 points

both apply you will receive 4 points for the ‘Bathing and grooming’ activity.

If, for example:

d. Needs assistance to manage toilet needs.  4 points

also applies to you, then you will have scored 4 points for the ‘Bathing and grooming’ activity and 4 points for the ‘’Managing toilet needs or incontinence’ activity.  This is a total of 8 points which means you would be entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component.

Mobility component
To get an award of the mobility component you need to score:

8 points for the standard rate
12 points for the enhanced rate

For mobility, the points need to be scored from activities 10-11 below. 

As with daily living above, you only score the highest points that apply to you from each activity, but you can add points from activities 10 and 11 together to reach your final total.

PIP ACTIVITIES AND POINTS

1. Preparing food and drink.
a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided.  0 points
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  2 points
c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but can do so using a microwave.  2 points
d. Needs prompting to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  2 points
e. Needs supervision to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  4 points
f. Needs assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal.  4 points
g. Cannot prepare and cook food and drink at all.  8 points 

2. Taking nutrition.

a. Can take nutrition unaided.  0 points
b. Needs either –
(i) to use an aid or appliance to take nutrition; or
(ii) assistance to cut up food.   2 points 
c. Needs a therapeutic source to take nutrition.  2 points
d. Needs prompting to take nutrition.  4 points
e. Needs assistance to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition.  6 points
f. Needs another person to convey food and drink to their mouth.  10 points

3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition.
a. Either –
(i) Does not receive medication, therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or
(ii) can manage medication, therapy or monitor a health condition unaided, or with the use of an aid or appliance. 0 points
b. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage medication or monitor a health condition.  1 point
c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that takes up to 3.5 hours a week.  2 points
d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that takes between 3.5 and 7 hours a week.  4 points
e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that takes between 7 and 14 hours a week.  6 points
f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to manage therapy that takes at least 14 hours a week.  8 points

4. Bathing and grooming.
a. Can bathe and groom unaided.  0 points
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to groom.  1 point
c. Needs prompting to groom.  1 point
d. Needs assistance to groom.  2 points
e. Needs supervision or prompting to bathe.  2 points
f. Needs to use an aid or appliance to bathe.  2 points
g. Needs assistance to bathe.  4 points
h. Cannot bathe and groom at all.  8 points

5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence.
a. Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided.  0 points
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to manage toilet needs or incontinence.  2 points
c. Needs prompting to manage toilet needs.  2 points
d. Needs assistance to manage toilet needs.  4 points
e. Needs assistance to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel.  6 points
f. Needs assistance to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel.  8 points
g. Cannot manage incontinence at all.  8 points

6. Dressing and undressing.
a. Can dress and undress unaided.  0 points
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to dress or undress.  2 points
c. Needs either -
(i) prompting to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or
(ii) assistance or prompting to select appropriate clothing.  2 points
d. Needs assistance to dress or undress lower body.  3 points
e. Needs assistance to dress or undress upper body.  4 points
f. Cannot dress or undress at all.  8 points

7. Communicating.

a. Can communicate unaided and access written information unaided, or using spectacles or contact lenses.  0 points
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance other than spectacles or contact lenses to access written information.  2 points
c. Needs to use an aid or appliance to express or understand verbal communication.  2 points
d. Needs assistance to access written information.  4 points
e. Needs communication support to express or understand complex verbal information.  4 points
f. Needs communication support to express or understand basic verbal information.  8 points
g. Cannot communicate at all.  12 points

8. Engaging socially.

a. Can engage socially unaided.  0 points
b. Needs prompting to engage socially.  2 points
c. Needs social support to engage socially.  4 points
d. Cannot engage socially due to such engagement causing either –
(i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or
(ii) the claimant to exhibit uncontrollable episodes of behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person.  8 points

9. Making financial decisions

a. Can manage complex financial decisions unaided.  0 points
b. Needs prompting to make complex financial decisions.  2 points
c. Needs prompting to make simple financial decisions.  4 points
d. Cannot make any financial decisions at all.  6 points

10. Planning and following a journey.
a. Can plan and follow a journey unaided.  0 points
b. Needs prompting for all journeys to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  4 points
c. Needs either –
(i) supervision, prompting or a support dog to follow a journey to an unfamiliar destination; or
(ii) a journey to an unfamiliar destination to have been entirely planned by another person.  8 points
d. Cannot follow any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.  10 points
e. Needs either –
(i) supervision, prompting or a support dog to follow a journey to a familiar destination; or
(ii) a journey to a familiar destination to have been planned entirely by another person.  15 points

11. Moving around.
a. Can move at least 200 metres either –
(i) unaided; or
(ii) using an aid or appliance, other than a wheelchair or a motorised device.  0 points
b. Can move at least 50 metres but not more than 200 metres either –
(i) unaided; or
(ii) using an aid or appliance, other than a wheelchair or a motorised device.  4 points
c. Can move up to 50 metres unaided but no further.  8 points
d. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using an aid or appliance, other than a wheelchair or a motorised device.  10 points
e. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using a wheelchair propelled by the claimant.  12 points
f. Cannot move up to 50 metres without using a wheelchair propelled by another person or a motorised device.  15 points
g. Cannot either –
(i) move around at all; or
(ii) transfer unaided from one seated position to another adjacent seated position.  15 points