A Brief Introduction
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is starting to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for 16 to 64 year olds as part of the Governments Benefit Reform. In this guide we aim to bring you all the information that you may need or signpost you to it when necessary. If we’ve missed anything, please do let us know, we are not experts and do not purport to be. All this information was sourced from the internet!
This guide is written for people who may have a hidden disability such as Peripheral Neuropathy or Fibromyalgia as their Primary Diagnosis. Other conditions, ie; cancers and terminal conditions, are not covered in this short guide so it is possible (from a benefits point of view) these other conditions may make your application for benefits less complicated, perhaps even attracting automatic entitlement in some cases. Therefore, it may be beneficial to seek benefit advice written with these particular conditions in mind.
The 1st step is to ascertain if you’re a new claimant or if you will be moving to PIP from DLA.
If you are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
From 8th April 2013 PIP starting replacing DLA for existing DLA claimants aged between 16 to 64 (inclusive). The government has released a “PIP Checker” for people to use to find out if and when PIP may effect your DLA.
How Your Mobility Component of DLA becomes the Mobility Component of PIP
How your Mobility Component of DLA becomes the Mobility Component of PIP
Time for changes, what you need to know;
From 7th October 2013 PIP could effect you if you are on DLA. Existing DLA claimants who report a change in their DLA care or mobility needs will be asked to claim PIP. Claimants with existing fixed term DLA awards due to expire after 24 February 2014 will be asked to claim PIP. Young people turning age 16 will also need to claim PIP.
October 2015 to October 2018 all remaining eligible claimants in receipt of a DLA award will be invited to make a claim for PIP. DWP plan to have contacted everyone by October 2017. They will write to individuals in plenty of time to explain what to do. They do not need to contact the DWP now.
All DLA claims should have been reassessed by May 2018.
What if you do not currently receive Disability Living Allowance?
If you do not currently get DLA then you will no longer be able to submit a claim for it, instead you should decide if you believe you are eligible for PIP. In order to help you with that decision we’ll now explain what PIP is for and what the eligibility criteria is;
What is PIP?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or reach age 16 after that date. PIP & DLA are designed to help towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long term condition (this means ill-health or a disability expected to last 12 months or longer). Like DLA these costs could be because of problems with your mobility or the cost of your care. These are not benefits that you can get “instead” of Employment, Job Seekers allowance or ESA as they are all to do with your ability to work instead. This is why PIP & DLA are very similar, PIP is simply the new form of DLA, or DLA after benefit reform. As such we are in a transition phase from DLA to PIP and at the current stage all new claims will be for PIP. The next stage will be to transition people currently on DLA to PIP. This will not happen overnight and as such the target for completion is October 2018.
Who will be eligible?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)is for people who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or reach age 16 after that date. PIP is based on how a person’s condition affects them, not the condition they have. PIP is a benefit that people can recieve whether they are in or out of work and it is not affected by income or savings and is not taxed.
As PIP replaces DLA it not possible to get both PIP and DLA at the same time, so people waiting on a decision about DLA are not entitled to claim for PIP. To qualify for help, claimants will have needed help with extra costs caused by a health condition or disability for three months or more and be reasonably likely to need help for the next nine months. Claims can be submitted during the qualifying period but entitlement to PIP cannot start until the qualifying period has been satisfied. PIP is made up of two components – Daily Living and Mobility. Each can be paid at standard rate, or enhanced rate for those with the greatest needs. There are 12 assessment criteria that consider the individual’s ability to carry out a range of everyday activities. The applicant will be assessed at a Medical similar to those ATOS Healthcare carries out for Employment & Support Allowance; they will be assessed against an established assessment criteria.
Claimants must have spent at least two out of the last three years in Great Britain before they can claim PIP. A temporary absence abroad for up to 13 weeks, or up to 26 weeks for treatment, is allowed. There are special rules for people who have a terminal illness and are not expected to live for more than six months. The Department for Work and Pension (DWP) will deal with these claims faster and there will not be a need for claimants to attend a face-to-face consultation, or to fulfill the three month qualifying period.
So, what is the assessment criteria?
The Legal Definition
As with other benefits the assessment criteria is contained within legislation, in this case The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 Schedule 1. The claimant will be assessed against this criteria during a medical assessment similar to those ATOS Healthcare conducts for Employment & Support Allowance claimants.
The two components
PIP has two components; Daily Living and Mobility. Each can be paid at standard rate, or enhanced rate depending on how many points the claimant has been awarded.
The two rates
Each component can be paid at the standard rate or the enhanced rate depending on how many points the claimant has been awarded. It is important to understand the terminology used to describe these two rates as letters received during the process can be very confusing:
For the Daily Living component a person being awarded the standard rate (after being awarded between 9 & 11 points) is referred to as having “limited ability to carry out daily living activities” and a person being awarded the enhanced rate (after being awarded 12 points or more)is referred to as having “severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities”.
For the Mobility component a person being awarded the standard rate (after being awarded between 9 & 11 points)is referred to as having “limited ability to carry out mobility activities” and a person being awarded the enhanced rate (after being awarded 12 points or more) is referred to as having “severely limited ability to carry out mobility activities”.
Understanding eligibility scoring
This assessment criteria is designed to consider the individuals’ ability to carry out a range of everyday activities.
Claimants will receive a point score for each activity, depending on how well they can carry them out and the help they need to do so. When considering which descriptor should be selected for a claimant, consideration must also be given to whether they are able to complete the activity reliably, which means:
safely – in a manner unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity;
to an acceptable standard – given the nature of the activity;
repeatedly – as often as is reasonably required; and
in a reasonable time period – no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete that activity.
Activities that are assessed
There are 12 activities which come under assessment for qualification.
The PIP daily living activities are:
- Food preparation
- Taking nutrition
- Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- Washing and bathing
- Managing toilet needs or incontinence
- Dressing and undressing
- Communicating verbally
- Mixing with other people
- Making decisions about money
The PIP mobility activities;
- Planning and following a journey;
- and Moving around.
Within each activity there are a number of descriptors, each representing a varying level of ability to carry out the activity. These descriptors range from being able to complete the activity without help, to being unable to complete the activity at all. Each descriptor has a point score attached to it. The point scores increase as levels of need increase.
The health professional carrying out the assessment will advise which descriptor best matches an individual’s needs. The total score received for each activity under the Daily Living and Mobility components of PIP will determine the level of award a claimant might be entitled to. A total score of from eight to 11 points will mean a person is entitled to the standard rate of that component of PIP. A score of 12 points or more means the person is entitled to the enhanced rate of that component.
Applying the criteria
The application of the criteria is likely to be the subject of much debate and controversy because it is part of the benefit reform sweeping across the UK and because this now bring DLA into the reform, structures it like ESA and renames it as PIP. Therefore rather than saying “What should happen” we will quote directly from the DWP and how they say the criteria will be applied:
“As the assessment will consider a claimant’s ability to undertake an activity, inability to undertake the activity must be due to the effects of a health condition or disability and not simply a matter of the claimant’s preference. The assessment considers the impact of a claimant’s health condition or disability on their ability to live independently and not the condition itself. This means some claimant’s with the same condition may get different outcomes. The outcome is based on an independent assessment and all available evidence. The impact of most health conditions and disabilities can fluctuate. Taking a view of ability over a longer period of time helps to iron out fluctuation and presents a more coherent picture of disabling effects. The descriptor choice should be based on consideration of a 12 month period.”
How support from another person is assessed
The assessment also takes into account where people need the support of another person or persons to carry out an activity, including where that person has to carry out the activity for them in its entirety. The criteria refer to several types of support and it is important to know how the DWP define these words, i.e. what definition they use:
Supervision – the need for the continuous presence of another person to avoid serious adverse events happening to the claimant during the activity;
Prompting – provided by another person by reminding or encouraging a claimant to undertake a task, or explaining it to them but not physically helping them;
Assistance – requiring the presence and physical intervention of another person to help the claimant complete the activity.
Wearing (or using) aids (or appliances)
It is important to note that this assessment considers your ability while you are wearing or using, any aid or appliance you normally wear or use. Or as if you were wearing or using, any aid or appliance with you could be reasonably expected to wear or use. The assessment takes into account where an individual needs aids and appliances to complete activities so it could be important to understand the definitions the DWP use regarding aids and appliances:
Aids – are devices that help a performance or function, for example, walking sticks or magnifying glasses.
Appliances – are devices that provide or replace a missing function, for example, artificial limbs, collecting devices (stomas) and wheelchairs.
The claimant journey
If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org You’ll need to advise the DWP as to what format you need. It will also help if you say what assistive technology you use.
DLA claimants being asked to claim PIP
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or reach age 16 after that date. This is initially for new claims only. Existing DLA claimants will be asked to claim PIP at some point from October 2013, but most won’t be affected before October 2015. If an existing DLA claimant decides to claim PIP then the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will continue to pay DLA until they make a decision on entitlement to PIP. If DWP find a claimant is not entitled to PIP, their DLA will stop. If a claimant is awarded PIP, DWP will make sure there are no gaps between benefit payments, so long as claimants send in information that is needed when DWP ask for it.
To make a claim for PIP you’ll need to call the DWP using the new claims telephone service on 0800 917 2222*.
The call should only take a short time to complete. If claimants are unable to use the phone because of a health condition or disability, someone else can call on their behalf. The claimant needs to be with the person calling and be able to give DWP permission to speak to that person on their behalf. Paper claims are used by exception only.
Claimants will need to pass an identity check and DWP will ask questions to collect basic information including:
- Full name of the person claiming PIP
- National Insurance Number
- Full address including postcode
- Date of birth Bank or building society account details (so DWP can arrange any payments if the claimant qualifies for the benefit)
- Daytime contact number GP or other health professionals details
- Details of any recent stays in hospitals, care homes or hospices
- Nationality/Immigration status
- Details of time spent abroad if they have been abroad for more than four weeks at a time over the last three years
- Details of any pensions or benefits which they or a family member may receive from another European Economic Area (EEA) state or Switzerland
- Details if they are working or paying insurance to another EEA state or Switzerland I would advise that you list all this information prior to the telephone call as it will ensure you have all the details at hand and it will speed up the time it takes for the call
What happens after your call
Once claimants have made the call to claim, and DWP have established that the claimant has met the basic entitlement conditions relating to age and residence, DWP will then send the claimant the “How your disability affects you” form (PIP2) and information booklet.
The PIP2 Form
This is the main form for claiming PIP, it is called “How your disability affects you” or form number “PIP2”. The initial phone call was only to assess you meet the “basic criteria” and this form will be your application for the benefit. Along with the form they should provide you with the How your disability affects you – Information booklet.
At the time of writing you can not fill in the form online, however there are likely to be other guides available on the internet and as PIP becomes more widespread. You may find the PIP section on the Citizens Advice Website useful when completing your application. You should also send in any evidence you have that can help explain your circumstances.
The DWP issue this advice to organisations supporting claimants “When claimants return the ‘How your disability affects you’ form by post, they should also send any evidence they have that explains their circumstances. This might be information from a GP or other professional they see about their health condition or disability, or anyone else that supports them. This should be information claimants already have available, not documents that might take time to get and would slow down the claim or might cost money to obtain. If the health professional requires any additional information they will request it themselves from relevant sources.”
Difficulty Filling in form PIP2
The DWP issue this advice when claimants are still having difficulty “If the claimant is having difficulty completing the ‘How your disability affects you’ form, they can ask a friend, relative, care provider or external organisation to help them complete it. The claimant can also contact DWP phone on 0845 850 3322 or textphone on 0845 601 6677. The DWP telephony agent will be able to help with basic enquiries.”
How the form is assessed
Once DWP gets the completed form and any supporting information, they pass it to an assessment provider to review. The health provider will be looking to see what points you could be awarded without a face-to-face consultation. They will look through your form and any enclosed evidence and compare this against the criteria and descriptors outlined in The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 Schedule 1 and if they can provide an accurate advice with the information only contained within the form and enclosed evidence they will pass this to the DWP for a decision. The DWP state “In some cases the health professional will be able to provide advice to the DWP based on the paper evidence provided, but in most cases individuals will be invited to attend a face-to-face consultation.” The person providing this advice should be a professional that works for an organisation that carries out assessments for the DWP, ATOS Healthcare or Capita. This person may be an occupational therapist, nurse, physiotherapist, paramedic or doctor.
The Assessment (or “face-to-face consultation”)
The PIP assessment will be delivered by assessment providers working in partnership with DWP. The assessment will be conducted by health professionals who consider the evidence provided by the claimant, along with any further evidence they think is needed. The assessment looks at people as individuals, and focuses on the impact their condition has on their daily lives and over a range of different activities. The health professional will complete the assessment and will send a report back to DWP. A DWP decision maker will then use all of this information to decide entitlement to PIP. The health professional will not make a decision on entitlement to PIP. Most people will be asked to a face-to-face consultation with a health professional as part of the assessment process. In some cases health professionals may be able to carry out the assessment without a face-to-face consultation. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis. The face-to-face consultation may take place at a designated assessment centre or in the claimant’s own home. The claimant will be encouraged to take someone along to the consultation to support them if they would find this useful. The person can participate in the discussion. The person chosen is at the discretion of the claimant and might be, but is not limited to, a parent, family member, friend, carer or advocate. If it is clear that the claimant requires more than one person to accompany them to enable them to attend a face-to-face consultation, this should be identified as part of the booking process. The Assessment Provider (AP) may decide that the claimant would benefit from a home visit rather than a consultation at a medical centre if they require multiple people to assist them to attend the face-to-face consultation. DWP have asked APs to ensure that claimants travel no more than 90 minutes (single journey) by public transport to their assessments. This figure is an absolute maximum and it is expected that travel time will be far less for the majority of cases.
Home consultations will take place:
- at the claimant’s request if supported by an appropriate health condition or disability as determined by the assessor;
- or when the claimant provides confirmation via their health care professional that the claimant is unable to travel on health grounds;
- or at the Assessment Providers (AP’s) discretion for a business reason
At the consultation, the health professional will ask questions about the claimant’s circumstances, their health condition or disability and how this affects their daily lives. The health professional may also carry out a short physical examination, but claimants will not be forced to do anything that causes them pain, embarrassment or discomfort. The APs will ensure that the health professionals have the right skills and experience to assess any claimant referred to them. DWP believe that in most cases all health professionals should be able to assess the individual, even if they are not a specialist in their condition. There are no targets on the time required for face-to-face consultations. Consultations will need to be as long as necessary to reach the evidence-based conclusions on individual cases. APs have a target to return 97% of cases to DWP within 30 working days with on average no cases talking longer than 40 working days. 99% of terminally ill cases must be returned within 2 working days and all of them must be returned within 5 working days. This is likely to be one of the most controversial aspects of PIP, as this has shown with ATOS & ESA.
After the consultation, a DWP team member considers all the evidence, including any advice from the health professional and any additional evidence provided by the claimant. The DWP team member (not the health professional) then makes a decision on the PIP claim and writes to the claimant to explain how they made the decision. If PIP hasn’t been awarded or the award is less than a claimant’s current DLA award, then the DWP team member will try to phone the claimant to explain their decision. This call will be made seven days after the decision letter has been sent to the claimant.
Claimants who receive an award for PIP will get a detailed decision letter containing specific details about PIP payments. DWP will pay PIP every four weeks into a bank account, building society, credit union, Post Office Card account or by Simple Payment as indicated by the claimant at the start of their claim. Claimants who are terminally ill will receive payments weekly. Awards of PIP will be based upon the circumstances of the individual and will look at the impact of the disability or health condition and the extent to which they are able to participate in society.
It is important to understand the decision is made by a Decision Maker for the DWP based on the Evidence, this is your form PIP2, any evidence you have sent in with your form up to your face-to-face consultation and the advice of the Medical Professional who assessed you. It is a simple points calculation based on The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 Schedule 1 then any other rules that may be applicable within the entire Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 such as terminal illness.
Daily living component
To check for updates to the latest rates view this page on Gov.uk
You will be awarded you benefit for a certain time, called a reviewing period. If you are a DLA claimant you may well be familiar with this process.
It should be noted that at this point it is unclear exactly what will take place when you are being reviewed. The review periods for ESA could give us an indication as in most cases when your award is due for review the DWP send out a new ESA50 for you to fill in. It then goes to ATOS medical for advice, a decision about attending a new medical is made and you continue through the process like a new claimant.
This could indicate that for PIP, the DWP would send you a PIP2 form to complete, this would then be sent to an Assessment Partner (ATOS or Capita) who provide DWP with advice. A decision maker may then decide if a face-to-face assessment is required and you proceed through the system.
So far the DWP have stated the following regarding PIP Reviewing Periods:
- Shorter term awards of up to 2 years will be given where changes in needs could be expected in that period.
- Longer term awards, such as 5 or 10 years, will be given where significant changes are less likely but with reviews in the interim where some change in needs may be expected.
- Ongoing awards will be given in the minority of cases where needs are stable and changes are unlikely. However, these awards will be periodically reviewed to ensure that the level of support is still appropriate.
- Awards made under the Special Rules for terminally ill people will be for three years. The daily living component will be paid at the enhanced rate in all cases. Payment of the mobility component will depend on whether the claimant needs help to get around, and if they do how much help they need.
Appeals & Tribunals
Any Appeal and Tribunals are based on changes brought into effect within The Welfare Reform Act 2012.
First Stage Appeal
Once a decision has been made on a PIP claim, DWP will issue a decision notification to the claimant advising them of their award or disallowance, giving the reasons for the decision and advising what steps the claimant needs to take if they dispute the decision. Claimants have one calendar month from the date of issue of their decision letter to request a mandatory reconsideration.
If a claimant isn’t entitled to PIP or if they are awarded a lesser amount of PIP than their previous Disability Living Allowance (DLA) award either because of reassessment or a review of their claim, the DWP decision maker will telephone them so that they can discuss the decision and answer any questions the claimant or someone acting on their behalf may have.
If after the decision maker has discussed the decision, the claimant still disputes the decision and would like DWP to look at the decision again, they can request a mandatory reconsideration. The claimant will be asked to be specific about the points at issue or descriptors they are unhappy with and will be encouraged to send in any further evidence or information they may have to DWP at this point.
Advice: This could potentially confuse some claimants. You need to understand that the telephone call is not just to give information. If you receive a telephone call after you have asked for an appeal you must decide if the discussion has changed your mind. If he/she has you need to clearly state due to the information received you no longer wish to pursue your appeal to the mandatory reconsideration request. More Importantly if the discussion has not changed your mind then you need to clearly state that you still wish to pursue your appeal to a “mandatory reconsideration”. This is very important because as a result of this telephone conversation the DWP Decision Maker can terminate your appeal. From a legal standpoint if a dispute about this telephone call is raised it may be difficult to prove what was discussed and what the outcome was. I have advised people who have received this phone call and believed the Decision Maker was informing them they were terminating their appeal or had already decided to do so. This is not their decision, it is yours. You should not make this decision lightly due to the fact you are receiving information and being asked for a decision “on the spot”. I would always recommend time to make a decision or request a “mandatory reconsideration” if you do not understand every aspect of this telephone call.
Important consideration regarding evidence: When the claimant first requests an appeal you should consider if any further evidence is obtainable. At this stage the responsibility to submit evidence is yours, not the responsibility of the DWP. If you are disputing the assessment then you need to provide evidence that contradicts it. It is rarely sufficient to state “I believe I am more severely effected than the assessor has stated.” This is simply how you should start an appeal against the assessment but you should try wherever possible to provide evidence to back up any claim. As far as the DWP are concerned they have enough evidence to make a decision already, they are only going to reconsider their decision if there is new evidence. If possible produce medical reports, often after you have had a Specialist Consultation as a result of a GP referral the Specialist will send your GP a report, if you claim benefits you should routinely request a copy of all reports. Consider requesting access to existing reports, consider commissioning your own report from your GP or Consultant. However this will be at your own cost. This is also an important time as this is when your “snapshot” will be taken, any case that is pursued to Tribunal will be about how you were medically “at this time”. They will not except evidence that your condition has deteriorated since this snapshot was taken. If you are in doubt about an item of evidence, as long as it does not harm your case I would send it with your appeal. Consider obtaining a witness statement from a carer any evidence that contradicts the assessment criteria is useful and it is always worth refreshing yourself on the criteria.
The Mandatory Reconsideration
When a mandatory reconsideration request is received, a second DWP decision maker will look at the decision and any additional evidence, including any additional evidence or information that has been provided by the claimant to decide if the original decision is fair and consistent with the evidence. A letter called the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice will be issued to the claimant responding to any issues that they had about the decision and advising them of the outcome of their mandatory reconsideration request. It will also contain the claimant’s right of appeal against the decision and advise them how to make an appeal to HMCTS and where they can get an appeal form. If, after DWP have reconsidered the decision, the claimant still disputes the decision, they can lodge an appeal directly with HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
An Appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service
Once you have received the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice you have one calendar month from the date on the notice to appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
You should decide if you wish to make this further appeal to have your case heard by a Tribunal. If you believe this decision is wrong because you meet the criteria for PIP then do not be put off submitting the appeal because you may find the process daunting. The Tribunal is set up in such a way that it allows claimants to present their own case. If you are not fully confident in your case and knowledge of the law then consider approaching a professional for help at this stage. It’s a good idea to approach your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) office as they may be able to help you, another option, if it is affordable, is a Solicitor. Along with the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice you should receive details on how to appeal.
You must sent this appeal to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) as the DWP state:
“If the claimant sends the appeal in error to DWP, DWP will not forward the appeal request to HMCTS. DWP will first check that a Mandatory Reconsideration has been carried out, and if not will treat any appeals they receive as a request for a mandatory reconsideration. If the claimant has had a Mandatory Reconsideration DWP will return the appeal to the claimant.”
You also need to include a copy of the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice from DWP as you have to demonstrate that you have asked the DWP for a Mandatory Reconsideration and that you still wish to appeal that decision.
When HMCTS receive the appeal, they will validate it and send it to DWP for a response. DWP will send their response back to HMCTS within 28 days. HMCTS will administer and hear the appeal – you can find more information about HMCTS on their website.
It is important to note that there are different rules for those turning 65, claimants in care homes, claimants in hospital, linked spells in hospital and care homes, people who are terminally ill, claimants detained in legal custody, and claimants in a vulnerable situation.
PIP and other Benefits
Most claimants will not need to read this section, if you claim other benefits it is worth seeing if it is on the following list to see how PIP may or may not effect your claim.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people who were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013 or reach age 16 after that date. This is initially for new claims only.
Getting DLA is a commonly accepted and broad definition of disability that is used by other benefits and schemes as a way to identify people who need extra support. PIP will also be the main way of getting other disability benefits and services across the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other government departments. Claimants will be able to use their PIP award letter as proof of being entitled to other disability benefits. In some cases, DWP will share information about PIP awards within the department and with other government departments to enable claimants get other disability benefits and services.
For some schemes, such as the Blue Badge Scheme, there are alternative ways of accessing the benefit which do not rely on a particular rate or component of PIP or DLA.
The Welsh and Scottish Governments may also choose to use different passporting rules for their schemes by comparison to those that apply in England.
How passporting arrangements will work
For passporting purposes the highest components of DLA are equivalent to the enhanced component of PIP, for both Daily Living and Mobility. The middle and lowest components of DLA are equivalent to the standard PIP Daily Living component. The lower Mobility component of DLA is equivalent to the standard Mobility component of PIP.
Access to Work
An Access to Work grant is money for practical support to help people do their job. It’s for people with a disability, health or mental health condition. The aim of Access to Work (AtW) is to support disabled people into work, and when in work to retain it by reducing the inequalities between disabled and non-disabled people and removing practical barriers to work. The money they get can pay for things like: specialist equipment; travel when you can’t use public transport; and a communicator at a job interview. How much a claimant gets depends on circumstances rather than a direct passport from PIP.
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has introduced a new benefit that will provide financial support for injured service or ex-service personnel. It will be called the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) and is being introduced from 8th April 2013. The benefit will simplify the financial support for members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured as a result of their service since the introduction of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) in 2005 and in the future. AFIP claimants will receive a flat-rate benefit which for passporting purposes is the equivalent of the enhanced rates of the daily living and mobility components of PIP. Claimants who choose to claim AFIP will not be eligible for PIP, DLA or Attendance Allowance (AA). Claimants who choose not to apply for AFIP will be treated as a DLA, PIP or AA applicant in the usual way. Although from June 2013 claimants between the ages of 16 and 64 will no longer be able to claim DLA, but must instead claim PIP. Further information can be found on the AFIP Website.
Blue Badges and concessionary travel
As with DLA, getting PIP can provide a way of getting other help, such as Blue Badges or concessionary travel passes. Local Authorities can also issue the Blue Badge through guidance and further assessment. This is called the ‘with further assessment’ category.
The Department for Transport (DfT) guidance will state that receipt of 8 points in the ‘moving around’ activity will entitle the claimant to a Blue Badge in England, and receipt of 8pts in the ‘moving around’ activity or the ‘communicating verbally’ activity will entitle the claimant to concessionary travel.
The Welsh Government have confirmed that Blue Badge eligibility will be based on a score of eight points or more on the ‘Moving Around’ activity or 12 points on the ‘Planning and following a journey’ activity. They haven’t yet announced the eligibility for concessionary travel.
The Scottish Government has consulted on the rules for eligibility for blue badges and concessionary travel, but has not yet announced the outcomes.
The standard and enhanced rate of the Daily Living component of PIP will form part of the gateway to Carer’s Allowance, as the middle and highest rate Care component of DLA did before it.
PIP standard or enhanced rate Daily Living component will provide a gateway to this credit. Carers Credit will continue to contribute towards State Pension entitlement.
Exemption from the benefit cap
As with DLA and Attendance Allowance (AA), households will be exempt from the benefit cap where a claimant (of any of the benefits subject to the cap), partner or qualifying young person is entitled to PIP.
A qualifying young person is someone for whom the claimant or partner receives child benefit, [because they are in full-time ‘non-advanced’ education at school or college, or starting an ‘approved’ training course].
An adult non-dependant in receipt of PIP living within the household does not exempt the household from the benefit cap. They are considered as a household in their own right.
Receiving any component or rate of PIP will mean claimants are entitled to the disability premium. The standard or enhanced rate of the Daily Living component will entitle claimants to the severe disability premium. The enhanced rate of the Daily Living component will provide entitlement to the enhanced disability premium.
The PIP enhanced rate Mobility component will act as the gateway to the Motability scheme.
Universal Credit will replace the current income-related benefits, such as Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income-based), Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) and Housing Benefit, including their components and rates. PIP will not usually have a direct link to entitling adults to additional support within Universal Credit.
Vulnerable beneficiary trusts
Her Majesty’s Treasury have announced that they will use receipt of the PIP daily living component at either rate to define a ‘vulnerable person’ for tax purposes.
- PIP Checker
- An overview of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on Gov.uk
- A Guide to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on Disability Rights UK
- Forms and Leaflets published regarding the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)
- Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013
- The Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 Schedule 1 The Welfare Reform Act 2012
- A graphical representation of The Claimant Journey (PIP) in (.pdf)
- The Claimant Journey (PIP) in text (.pdf)
- How your disability affects you – Information booklet
- Example of a PIP2 form
- PIP section on the Citizens Advice Website
- Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) office
- Up to date PIP rates on Gov.uk
- HM Courts & Tribunals Service