PIP is intended to cover the extra cost of having a long term condition or a disability. It is not means tested and it is non-contributory, this means it is not dependent on the amount of national insurance that has been paid in the past. It can also be paid whether you are in or out of work.
Does this affect me?
If you have a long term illness or disability and currently receive DLA, or if you are about to apply for DLA and are aged between 16-64, you will be affected by this change.
People with a long term illness or disability under the age of 16 will continue to receive DLA but will be written to at 15 years and 7 months making them aware of their change to PIP.
There is no automatic transfer from DLA, everyone will be assessed to see whether they should receive PIP. If you have a life time award of DLA, you will not necessarily have to attend a face-to-face interview, but you will have to fill out a form. As it is a new assessment process, you may receive a different amount of support from PIP than you did from DLA.
Where are the changes up to?
You might find this Government timetable for PIP replacing DLA useful.
In February 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started inviting the following groups currently claiming DLA to claim PIP:
- people with fixed period DLA awards ending on or after 23 June 2014 (reassessment starts around 20 weeks before existing DLA awards end)
- young people turning 16
- where there is a report of a change in a person’s health condition or disability
- existing DLA claimants aged 16-64 who wish to make a PIP claim.
Between October 2015 – October 2017 DWP contact everyone who still receives DLA about transferring to PIP.
What is the process for transferring to PIP?
The assessment or reassessment process begins with a telephone call from DWP and an introductory letter.
Many people will be invited to a face to face assessment with a health care professional from a private company, either Atos or Capita. The assessment is to understand how someone’s disability or illness will affect their day to day activities.
The assessment is broken down into two parts; Daily Living Activities and Mobility Activities. Each activity has a number of statements which will assess the abilities of the claimant as limited or severely limited. There are ten questions for the Daily Living Activities ranging from ‘communicating verbally’ to ‘washing and bathing’. There are two for Mobility Activities: ‘planning and following journeys’ and ‘moving around’.
The point system is from 0-12 and depending on the level of support that is needed, you will either receive standard rate or enhanced rate PIP. As part of the assessment, you have to be able to do the activity: safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a reasonable time. You will be asked about your average day, the best days and the worst days.
Reassessments will happen more often than they did for DLA, some people could be reassessed every 2 years, others every 5 to 10 years.
Are the benefit rates changing?
The daily living enhanced rate of PIP is the same rate as the higher rate care component of DLA. The standard rate of the daily living component will be paid at the set middle rate of the DLA care component. The mobility rates of PIP will be the same as the DLA rates. Latest details of the rates are shown at www.gov.uk/pip/overview.
I need more information and advice
If you would like more information or advice, please contact: