Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Could you get PIP? Answer these three questions to find out
Might you be eligible for a life-changing award of personal independence payment (PIP)?
If the answer to the next three questions is ‘Yes’, then you should very seriously consider making a PIP claim.
- Do you have a disability or long-term health condition, such as arthritis or depression?
- Does it make it more difficult to do everyday things like cooking, washing, dressing, being with people or getting around?
- Are you aged between 16 and pension age?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to all three, you should definitely read on.
Whether you get an award and how much you get will depend on how your illness or disability affects your activities. We explain the PIP points system, which decides the level of your award, below.
Or you can try our free PIP points test now if you’re in a hurry.
There are a few more issues that may affect your eligibility, such as whether you have recently lived abroad and whether you are currently in a care home or hospital. But they don’t affect most people and you can read more about them in our PIP guides.
On this page we answer a lot of the questions you may have if you are new to PIP. We also tell you more about our detailed, step-by-step guides to PIP claims and appeals and how they can help you to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that cause so many claims to fail, even though the person claiming is eligible.
Things that won’t prevent you getting PIP (even though some people think they do)
A lot of things that affect other benefits, don’t matter at all when you claim personal independence payment.
- Work – you can claim PIP regardless of whether you are in full-time work, part-time work, self-employed or unemployed.
- Income – it doesn’t matter whether you have a huge income or no income at all.
- Savings – it makes no difference whether you have a fortune in the bank or no savings at all
- NI contributions – these are irrelevant to a PIP claim.
- Who you live with – you can claim PIP regardless of whether you live alone or with other people
- Carers – you can be entitled to PIP if you have carers or if you don’t have carers.
How much is personal independence payment?
The current weekly rates of PIP are:
PIP daily living component
PIP mobility component
This means that the lowest award you can get if your claim is successful is £26.90 a week, if you just get the standard mobility component or £68.10 if you just get the standard daily living component.
The maximum you can get is £172.75 a week if you get the enhanced rate of both the daily living and the mobility component.
The enhanced rate of the mobility component also gives you the option of getting a Motability vehicle instead of the cash.
And remember, PIP is paid on top of pretty much every other benefit you might get.
Plus, if you do get an award of PIP, you may get other premiums and benefits on top.
PIP points system explained
PIP is based on points.
You need to score 8 points to get the standard rate of the daily living component or the mobility component.
To get the enhanced rate of either component you need to score 12 points.
There are 10 different points scoring activities for the daily living component. They cover activities such as preparing food, washing and bathing, dressing and undressing and communicating verbally.
There are just two activities for the mobility component: planning and following journeys and moving around.
So, for example, the points for preparing food are as follows:
- Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0 points.
- Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2 points.
- Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. points. 2 points
- Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2 points.
- Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4 points.
- Cannot prepare and cook food. 8 points.
The best way to learn about what you score points for is to take our free online PIP test. It’s free and you can do it anonymously online or have the results emailed to you, as you choose.
How to score PIP points even if you can manage an activity
Many people miss out on getting PIP because they don’t fully explain the difficulties they have with activities.
They think that just because they manage somehow, that means that they can’t claim.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Because the law says that you should score points if you can’t do things:
- In a reasonable time
- To a reasonable standard
- As often as is needed
So, if you can show that you can cook but it isn’t safe for you to do so because your concentration is so poor that you forget what you are doing, then you may score points.
Or if you can show that you can cook a meal, but it would take you twice as long as someone without an impairment because of pain and fatigue then you will score points.
The decision maker may say that you can cook if you use aids and appliances such as a kettle tipper and so only award you two points. But if you can show that you would still have problems even if you use aids and appliances, then you may score up to 8 points for this one activity, enough for an award of PIP.
Even if there are days when you can do an activity without difficulties, that still doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible for PIP.
Because the law says that you are eligible for points if you satisfy one or more descriptors under an activity on more than 50% of the days in the twelve-month qualifying period.
So if, because of depression you are unable to motivate yourself to wash and bathe on four days a week, then you should score points for that. This will be the case even though on the other three days a week you can do this without anyone to prompt you.
Our PIP guides
Benefits and Work has a huge collection of regularly updated resources to help with every step of your PIP journey, from initial claim to appeal if necessary in the members only area of the site. These include:
Guide to PIP claims and reviews
108 page guide to PIP claims, medicals and the PIP review form (AR1/1043). New 29 May 2020: now includes 9 pages of detailed guidance on PIP telephone assessments during coronavirus crisis.
I've been awarded PIP, what else can I claim?
14 page guide to other benefits you may be able to claim if you are awarded PIP.
PIP Sample medical report
Our own sample version of a PIP PA4 medical report form
PIP GP Notes
A copy of the PIP descriptors you can take your GP to ask them to select which ones they think apply to you, add any comments and sign and date as evidence for your claim or appeal. Just take the pages you need.
Not everyone wants to keep a diary of the effects of their condition, but many claimants do find them useful either to help with completing the PIP ‘How your disability affects you' form or to submit as additional evidence.
Our sample extracts covering mental and physical health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression and our templates will make sure you do the best possible job of keeping a PIP diary.
You can also download templates to create your own diary, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Arthritis and obesity
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Guide to PIP appeals
A 23 page guide on challenging PIP decisions through Mandatory Reconsideration and Appeal.
The Best Possible Support For Clients With PIP Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals
A detailed 49 page guide that can be used by claimants and support workers alike to challenge PIP decisions via mandatory reconsideration and appeal.
PIP mandatory reconsideration and appeal submissions
A 33 page guide to PIP mandatory reconsideration and appeal submissions and sample submissions for health conditions: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Anxiety & depression; Schizophrenia; Mobility problems; Fibromyalgia; Anxiety disorder, depression & agoraphobia and; Osteoarthritis & obesity
Best possible ways to challenge a PIP medical report
A 24 page guide to challenging a DWP Health Professional's PIP medical report, includes over 50 grounds for appeal and sample text.
Subscribe now and get instant access to all our guides for a year.
PIP changed these people’s lives
Claiming PIP isn’t easy. So is it worth trying?
Here at Benefits and Work we asked hundreds of claimants who get PIP because of arthritis what difference it had made to their life.
These are some of the things they told us:
A huge difference! Enables me to keep my car on the road or I would be housebound. Cannot walk to use public transport. Entitles me to pension credit, can afford to pay fuel bills easier.
I am self-employed so it has taken a great burden off me , I can now decide to have time off when I am bad whereas before I would try and struggle through . Which only made me worse.
It has brought me more security , I don’t have to worry about bills etc. I now have the means to socialise if I choose. I can treat grandchildren and friends, I am part of life.
PIP enabled me to go to a private physio who has changed my life.
It means I can get help with housework and gardening and also meant I was able to retire from work early. This has made a tremendous difference to me.
PIP makes a massive difference to my life. Without the mobility component, I would be stuck indoors 24/7. It allows me to live as normal a life as possible.
Many people also told us they regretted putting off claiming for so long.
I didn’t claim until I was 50 despite having arthritis & debilitating symptoms since 16! Do it earlier than I did!
Don’t hesitate, I hesitated for over 5 years as I had heard horror stories and didn’t feel strong enough to face applying.
Don't think about it do it ! I never claimed it when l could have done the CAB made me claim, they even filled the form out for me.
So, if you think you might qualify, take the first step towards changing your life for the better today.
Our free PIP test will help you decide how many points you think you should score and what award you assess yourself as being eligible for.
And our detailed guides will take you step-by-by step through every part of the process, from completing the PIP1 and PIP2 ‘How your disability affects you’ form, through the telephone assessment if you have to have one right through to an appeal, if it’s needed.