Personal Independence Payment

What is a PIP?


This is a benefit designed to provide some financial support to people who require help to do everyday activities or who have problems getting around.

The award is specifically for you; not for a carer and it doesn’t matter if you have someone to help you or not. Instead it depends only on your health condition or disability and how it impacts on the help you need.

Unlike many other benefits, PIP is not affected by whether you are in employment, whether you have any capital or savings, or whether you have paid any national insurance contributions.

PIP is divided into 2 components;

Daily Living – for help participating in everyday life
Mobility – for help with getting around

Each component is made up of 2 rates; enhanced’, which are based upon whether you ability to do daily things or moving around is ‘limited’ or ‘severely limited’.

Dependent on their situation, some people will be awarded wither the daily living or mobility component, while others will receive both.

So, who can get a PIP?

There are some basic criteria:
  • Be aged between 16 – 64 years of age when claiming.
For those 65 and older, claim attendance allowance, whilst those under 16 should apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Have been present in Great Britain for 2 out of the past 3 years (104 weeks out of 156) prior to claiming. *If terminal ill, you only need to be in Great Britain now.
  • Be a habitual resident in the UK, Channel Island, Republic of Ireland or Isle of Man.
In addition you need to meet both of the ‘disability conditions’*:
  • The daily living and/or mobility activities test (see section three for details).
  • Satisfy the activities test for 3 months prior to making you claim AND will continue to do so for 9 months after the initial 3 months.
*These do not apply to those with terminal illness

Further Information

There are a number of stages for the claiming process, so we have put together some information to guide you through it, along with some extra information about the questions that will be asked and the descriptors used for the scoring system. 
  • PIP Claim Process - outlining the stages you will go through.
  • PIP Daily Living Questions - outlining the questions and descriptors used for scoring.
  • PIP Mobility Questions - outlining the questions and descriptors used for scoring.
  • PIP Appeals.
*These can all be found in the membership menu on the left side of the screen and are available for download. 

To download a copy of this page click here
 
Applying for PIP

It seems like a daunting task to go through, but it is often better to think of it in small stages, just like we have set out for you here.

The first set is to ring the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 and explain that you wish to apply for a PIP.

They will require some basic information, so have it ready to give them:
  1. Your full name, address and telephone number
  2. Your National Insurance Number
  3. Your Date of Birth
  4. Your bank or building society information
  5. You GP and other healthcare professionals who support you
  6. Information on recent hospital or care home stays
  7. Your nationality or immigration status
  8. Details of time spent abroad if you have been away for more than 4 weeks at a time in the last 3 years.
You will also be asked if you have any of the following:
  • A mental health condition
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Learning difficulties
  • Developmental disorders
  • Memory problems
This is simply to assess whether you will need any additional help throughout the claim process.
Inform your adviser if you have a terminal illness, to ensure that they fast track your claim and send you the appropriate forms.
 
The form


You will receive the “How your disability affects you” claim form and an information booklet to help you complete the form in the post. It is definitely worth reading through the information booklet before you attempt to complete the form.

In total there are 15 questions to answer, each relating to your condition and to form the basic assessment of your claim.

Question 1

Information about your healthcare professionals

Include everyone that is connected with your care, such as your GP, a social worker, consultant, etc. Please note that whoever you write down here will need to be aware of your daily living and mobility problems as they will be contacted.

Question 2

Information about your health and medications

List all your health conditions and disabilities and when they started. You do not need to expand on how these affect you in this section as they will be covered later.

List all your current medications and include any side effects that you experience as a result. It may be worth including a copy of your repeat prescription list with your form.

Daily living activities

Questions 3 – 12

In this section you will have tick boxes as well as a place to write about how difficulties with each task asked about.

Tick Boxes

You will be asked if you use an ‘aid or appliance’ to undertake the activity and if it is accepted that you do and that using it is necessary then you will be awarded 2 points.

Next you will be asked if you require help (such as prompting, encouragement, reminding, supervision or physical help) and how much help. If it is accepted that this help is required, then you will be awarded between 2 and 8 points depending upon the level of help you need.

In each case, you are asked to either the ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘sometimes’ box. Choose sometime if the condition is variable.

Extra Info Box

Write here the descriptor (available from the questions and descriptors section in the members menu), which applies to you and explain why. Now use the information below to help you with each question.

Question 3

Include:
  • Anything that is a risk to you during the preparation or cooking of a simple meal, making note of incidents in the past, such as cutting or burning yourself
  • Explain if you have problems understanding sell-by dates or instructions on packets
  • Whether you use any aids or appliances to cook and whether you need help using those
  • Whether you experience tiredness as a result of the preparation and / or cooking of a small meal
Question 4: Eating and drinking

Include:
  • Whether you need someone to encourage you to eat the right portion sizes
  • Whether you can cut up foods, including tougher items like meat
  • Whether you use an appliance, like a feeding pump and whether you need any help to use this properly

Question 5: Managing treatments

Include:
  • Any occasions when you have forgotten to take your medication, or taking the wrong dosage
  • Whether you have intentional took an over-dose, or if you self-harm
  • Whether you need someone to ‘keep an eye’ on you because you are not aware that you condition becomes worse

Question 6: Washing and bathing

Include:
  • Any aids or adaptations you use to wash or bathe yourself, such as long-handled sponge, shower seats or rails
  • Whether there are any parts of your body that you cannot reach even with the use of aids, such as your back

Question 7: Managing toilet needs

Include:
  • Whether you use any aids or appliances, such as a commode, raised toilet seat, bottom wiper, bidet, incontinence pads or stoma bags
  • Whether you need help to use any of these aids or appliances

Question 8: Dressing and undressing

Include:
  • Any aids used to get you dressed, such as modified buttons, zips, Velcro fasteners and shoe aids.
  • Whether you need assistance in using these aids
  • Whether you need someone to choose clothing that is clean and appropriate

Question 9: Communicating

Include:
  • Whether you cannot speak so that others can understand you properly or hear and understand what people are saying to you
  • Whether you have a support worker or family member (including a sign language interpreter) who helps you communicate
  • Whether you do not have anyone to help you and what difference having help would mean to you

Question 10: Reading

Include:
  • Whether you use any aids to help you read
  • Whether you can manage indoors, but cannot read signs, symbols and words outdoors

Question 11: Mixing with other people

Include:
  • If you avoid mixing with other people because you have no one to help you
  • What you would feel / symptoms you would get if you mixed with others without support, such as panicky, angry, etc.
  • Whether you have problems understanding the behaviour of other people

Question 12: Making decision about money

Include:
  • Whether you have difficulties buying a few items from a local shop
  • Whether you can give a shop assistant the correct money and whether you can understand whether you have received the correct change
  • If going to a local shop would not be a problem, include whether you would have problems with more complex things like working out a household budget, sorting out a utility bill and whether if you could manage most of this on your own, whether you would need help to complete the task
Mobility

Question 13: Going Out

The question is concerned with whether you are able to work out and follow a route safely and reliably, both a familiar and unfamiliar route. You should only be considered able to complete an unfamiliar route if you are able to use public transport, such as a bus or train

Tick Boxes

This is to see if you need help from another person, a guide dog or specialist aid to plan a route and get to a location.

You are asked to tick either ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘sometimes’ next to the descriptor given and these correspond to a score between 0 and 12, with 12 being that you are unable to follow a familiar route without help or an aid.

They also enquire about whether you are unable to go out because of severe anxiety or distress

Extra information box

Include:
  1. Whether you are unable to use public transport due to stress or anxiety
  2. Whether you find small disruption or unexpected changes difficult to deal with
  3. Whether you need to have someone with you to get somewhere and why, or if you need an assistance dog or aid
  4. Whether any assistance you need is only required on unfamiliar route or whether you would need them on a familiar route as well

Question 14: Moving around

This is to assess if you can ‘stand’ and then ‘move around

Tick Boxes

You will identify how far you are able to walk or move around using, if necessary, any aids you have. The distance you can move around and walk will determine the score given, which range from 0-12.

It is important to identify how far you can safely walk, in a reasonable time period and without severe discomfort

Whether you can move around should be judged in relation to the type of surface you would encounter outside, like pavements, etc.

You are given a number of boxes to tick which state different distances, you should only tick the ‘it varies’ box if none of the other boxes apply to at least 50% of the time

Extra info box
  • List any symptoms you feel when walking, like pain, fatigue or breathlessness, when you symptoms come on and how long they last for.
  • Whether you are at risk of falling, it can be useful to give occasions in the past when you have fallen and whether you were injured and if you could get back up afterwards, on your own or with assistance
  • If you ticked ‘it varies’ you will need to clarify this in more detail in this box. If there is not enough space in the box, go on to the box for question 15 (indicate you have done so)
 
Question 15

Here you are asked to provide any additional information. This is an opportunity to write down anything that you feel is relevant to your claim that you have not put down elsewhere on the form.

You are encouraged to send supporting evidence with your completed form, which can include:
  • Prescription lists
  • Care plans
  • Information from healthcare professions that you have, which may be helpful
  • Evidence from other people, such as letters from social workers, your carer, a relative or a friend who helps you or knows your difficulties well.
  • A diary; illustrating how your condition affects you over a number of days
The consultation
 
Your consultation will be carried out by healthcare professions from either Atos Healthcare or Capita, depending on your location.

This person may contact your doctor, or consultant for more information prior to seeing you.

Consultation can take place at an appointed centre or in your own home. You are entitled to have someone present throughout if you would prefer.

Typically you will receive 7 days notice of the time and place of your consultation. You must contact the office if you are not able to make the appointment as failure to attend without a good reason will see your claim rejected.

Questions

The professional will ask you some questions about your day-to-day life, your home, how you manage at work (if you have a job) and any social or leisure activities you take part in, including whether you have had to give any up as a consequence of your condition or disability.

Try to explain to them as fully as you can, mentioning whether:
  • You experience tiredness or pain, how you feel doing tasks, both on the actual day and over time
  • Consider how you would feel if you had to do the task over and over again
  • Mention if you need reminding or encouraging undertaking and completing tasks
  • If you condition varies, tell them and let them know what it is like on good and bad days

Medical Examination

You will probably have a brief medical exam, throughout which you should be told of everything that they do and you should not be put in any situation that is likely to cause you pain.

Most of the examination is done whilst you are talking to the professional. They will be able to assess your ability to stand, sit and move around when you walk into the room, although they may ask you to get up and down off the couch, or to pick up your belongings.

At the end of the consultation

Before you leave the consultation, you should be given an overview of their findings and to be asked if you have any questions or would like to clarify anything.

No formal indication will be given about whether or not you will be awarded a PIP.
 
The decision
 
The assessor will write up and send a report to the DWP case manager, who will then decide whether or not to award you a PIP and if so what rate this should be and for how long.
You will be sent a letter to explain whether you have been awarded a PIP.

If you are awarded a PIP

The letter will inform you how much you are entitled to and for how long the award is for. The duration of the award is on an individual basis and can be for 1 year, 5 years or indefinite. However, indefinite awards are only awarded if the case manager feels it is unlikely your condition will improve in the future.

If you are NOT awarded a PIP

The letter will explain why you have not been successful; giving details of the descriptors the case manager feels actually apply to you.

In addition, you will receive a phone call from the DWP to talk through their decision. If you disagree with their decision then tell them now and they will talk you through the appeal process in more detail.
It is important to know what the case manager who is assessing your claim is looking for so that you can inform them exactly what your difficulties are and help them to understand why you consider yourself to fit the descriptor you have assigned to yourself.

Basically you are providing evidence to support your assignment to the category you have selected and therefore the score that is assigned to that category.

The list below shows the marking scheme for each of the questions in the Daily Living component, and the score assigned to each of the descriptors.

 
  Daily Activities and Descriptors  
     
  Preparing food Activity 1
     
a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare ir cook a simple meal Score 2
c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave  
  Score 2
d. Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal Score 2
e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal Score 4
f. Cannot prepare and cook food Score 8
     
     
  Taking nutrition Activity 2
     
a. Can take nutrition unaided Score 0
b. Needs either  
  (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or  
  (ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or  
  (iii) assistance to be able to cut up food Score 2
c. Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition Score 2
d. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition Score 4
e. Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition Score 6
f. Cannot convery food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so Score 10
     
     
  Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition Activity 3
     
a. Either  
  (i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or  
  (ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided Score 0
b. Needs either  
  (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or  
  (ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition  
  Score 1
c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week  
  Score 2
d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 7 hours a week  
  Score 4
e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 14 hours a week  
  Score 6
f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week  
  Score 8
     
   
 

 
 
  Washing and bathing Activity 4
     
a. Can wash and bathe unaided Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe Score 2
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe Score 2
d. Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair or body below the waist Score 2
e. Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower Score 3
f. Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist Score 4
g. Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body Score 8
     
     
  Managing toilet needs or incontinence Activity 5
     
a. Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence Score 2
c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs Score 2
d. Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs Score 4
e. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel Score 6
f. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel Score 8
     
  Dressing and undressing Activity 6
     
a. Can dress and undress unaided Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress Score 2
c. Needs either:  
d. (i) prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or  
   
  (ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing Score 2
e. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body Score 2
f. Needs assiatance to be able to dress or undress their upper body Score 4
g. Cannot dress or undress at all Score 8
     
     
  Communicating verbally Activity 7
     
a. Can express and understand verbal information unaided Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear Score 2
c. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information  
  Score 4
d. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information  
  Score 8
e. Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support  
  Score 12
   
   
 

 
 
  Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words Activity 8
     
a. Can read and uderstand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses  
  Score 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information  
c. Score 2
d. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information Score 2
e. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information Score 4
f. Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all Score 8
     
     
  Engaging with other people face to face Activity 9
     
a. Can engage with other people unaided Score 0
b. Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people Score 2
c. Needs social support to be able to engage with other people Score 4
d. Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either  
  (i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or  
  (ii) the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantual risk of harm to the claimant or another person  
  Score 6
     
     
  Making budgeting decisions Activity 10
     
a. Can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided Score 0
b. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions Score 2
c. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make simple budgeting decisions Score 4
d. Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all Score 6
     


The list below shows the marking scheme for each of the questions in the Daily Living component, and the score assigned to each of the descriptors.
 
  Mobility and Descriptors  
     
  Planning and following Journeys Activity 1
     
a. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided Score 0
b. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant  
  Score 4
c. Cannot plan the route of a journey Score 8
d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person Score 10
e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant  
  Score 10
f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid  
  Score 12
     
     
  Moving around Activity 2
     
a. Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided Score 0
b. Can stand and then move more than 50 metres, but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided  
  Score 4
c. Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres, but no more than 50 metres Score 8
d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres, but no more than 50 metres  
  Score 10
e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres either aided or unaided  
  Score 12
f. Cannot, either aided or unaided, (i) stand, or (ii) move more than 1 metre Score 12
     
Not happy with the decision

You can ask for the DWP to look at their decision again; this is known as reconsideration, but you must do so within 1 month from the date of their initial decision.

Additionally, you can request a reconsideration if:
  • You feel you have been awarded the wrong level of benefit
  • You are not have with the period your award covers

Be aware that the DWP will then review your whole case and may actually remove any rate that you were previously granted if they believe that it is wrong.

So, asking for a reconsideration
  1. Phone the DWP and tell them you wish for your case to be reconsidered and explain why you feel that their decision is wrong
  2. Request copies of all of the evidence used to make their decision
  3. NO further action until you have had the opportunity to respond to that evidence
It is beneficial to also make your request for a reconsideration is writing; retaining a copy of your request and if you do not receive the evidence from your case within 2 weeks of making your request, you should contact the DWP again to remind them.

Supporting your case

Once you have the evidence used to make their decision from the DWP, review it carefully to highlight any places where differences in opinion may lie. It could be that you feel you are not able to manage something, but someone else believes that you can manage. It would, in that instance be worth as for a letter from a medical profession, such as your doctor, to confirm your difficulty or inability to manage the task in question.

All of the information you collect should then be sent to the DWP.

The case manager will then review the new evidence that you have submitted and will write to you explaining whether the evidence your provided enabled them to change their decision in your favour or whether they are unable to change the original decision. You will be sent a mandatory reconsideration notice, which you will need if you decide to appeal.

You have 1 month from the date of this notice to lodge an appeal.

Lodging an appeal


If following the request for reconsideration, the case manager was unable to change the initial decision; your next option is to lodge an appeal against the decision. This will be heard by an independent tribunal.

Step One: Completing an SSCS1 appeal form

Available online, or by phoning the local HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) and asking for the SSCS1 form.

Remember you must have been through the reconsideration stage before you can lodge an appeal.
  • You will need to give information including:-
  • Your name, address and the name of a representative (if you have one)
  • Details of the decision you are appealing against, including the decision date, name of the benefit and what the decision is about
  • Explain clearly why you disagree with the description and what rate of PIP you believe you should have received and why
Step Two: Submitting SSCS 1 form

Make a copy and send original back to the local HMCTS, including a copy of your mandatory reconsideration notice.

Step Three: Information

HMCTS will send you an acknowledgement of your appeal and write to the DWP to inform them of your appeal and request a response to your appeal, along with all documents relevant to their decision.

Step Four: A hearing

You can select to have an appeal without a hearing on your SSCS1 form, but having a hearing and attending will improve your chances of being successful.

The appeal is heard by an independent appeal tribunal which is informal. If you have a carer he/she can attend, as well as provide his/her account of your needs.

If you don’t request a hearing, the tribunal will study all of the appeal papers and based their decision on that alone. Your are allowed to submit extra evidence and comments to the tribunal for consideration at anytime, but your need to do so as soon as possible as there will be no notice of when the tribunal will meet to discuss your case.

Step Five: The decision

A copy of the decision notice will be provided on the day, or soon after and also to the DWP, so that they can put the changes into effect.

If you are successful, the DWP will start paying you immediately and pay any money that you are owed to cover the period when you were appealing.

If you were unsuccessful, you are allowed to request more detailed information explaining why your appeal was not successful.

You can download a copy of the information here
 

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