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.
Call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to start your claim for PIP. In England, Scotland or Wales: Telephone 0800 917 2222
. Textphone 0800 917 7777
The process is different in Northern Ireland: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/personal-independence-payment
Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call. There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a telephone.
They will require some basic information, so have it ready to give them:
You will also be asked if you have any of the following:
- Your full name, address and telephone number
- Your National Insurance Number
- Your Date of Birth
- Your bank or building society information
- You GP and other healthcare professionals who support you
- Information on recent hospital or care home stays
- Your nationality or immigration status
- Details of time spent abroad if you have been away for more than 4 weeks at a time in the last 3 years.
This is simply to assess whether you will need any additional help throughout the claim process.
- A mental health condition
- Behavioural difficulties
- Learning difficulties
- Developmental disorders
- Memory problems
Inform your adviser if you have a terminal illness, to ensure that they fast track your claim and send you the appropriate forms.
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.
You can then call the PIP claims line.
DWP - PIP claims
Information about your healthcare professionals
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Calling from abroad: +44 191 218 7766
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
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.
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.
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 4: Eating and drinking
- 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 5: Managing treatments
- 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 6: Washing and bathing
- 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 7: Managing toilet needs
- 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 8: Dressing and undressing
- 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 9: Communicating
- 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 10: Reading
- 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 11: Mixing with other people
- Whether you use any aids to help you read
- Whether you can manage indoors, but cannot read signs, symbols and words outdoors
Question 12: Making decision about money
- 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 13: Going Out
- 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
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
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
Question 14: Moving around
- Whether you are unable to use public transport due to stress or anxiety
- Whether you find small disruption or unexpected changes difficult to deal with
- Whether you need to have someone with you to get somewhere and why, or if you need an assistance dog or aid
- Whether any assistance you need is only required on unfamiliar route or whether you would need them on a familiar route as well
This is to assess if you can ‘stand
’ and then ‘move around
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)
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
Your consultation will be carried out by healthcare professions from either Atos Healthcare
, 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.
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
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 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.