What is a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?
The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that helps you with the extra costs of having a disability or having a long-term health conditions. It is for people aged 16 to 64. The PIP is not a means tested benefit.
You'll find a great step-by-step guide to filling in the form on this page. Scroll down to the end of the page for lots more information about how to apply, how to appeal a decision and find lots of other organisations that can help you with your PIP application process.
How does the PIP get scored and how many points do you need?
PIP is made up of 2 parts, the daily living component and the mobility component. Each component can be paid at one of 2 rates, either the standard rate or the enhanced rate. You need at least 8 points to get the standard rate or 12 points to get the enhanced rate of PIP. You will qualify for one of these if you need is great enough. The 'points' in each section range from 0-12 depending on the severity of need.
|Daily living - standard rate||£57.30|
|Daily living - enhanced rate||£85.60|
|Mobility - standard rate||£22.65|
|Mobility - enhanced rate||£59.75|
In our step-by step guide below, you'll find charts explaining how the points are awarded.
How to claim PIP
You can make a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 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. The process is different in Northern Ireland.
If a person can’t do things like tell the DWP if their condition gets better or worse, or about changes in address or bank details and so on, another person may need to act on their behalf, as their ‘Appointee’. This must be because of their illness or disability and not just because they are still a young person. Chat to the DWP on the number below to set someone else up as an appointee.
Claim by calling:
Telephone: 0345 850 3322
Textphone: 0345 601 6677
Before you call, you’ll need:
- your contact details, for example telephone number
- your date of birth
- your National Insurance number - this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
- your bank or building society account number and sort code
- your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
- dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital
A Step-by-Step Guide to Filling in your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Form
As soon as your form arrives, put on the kettle and work through our guide. It does take ages but we'll do our best to help you one question at a time.
PIP Q.1 - List all the professionals that you see because of your conditions.
These can include your GP, hospital doctor, specialists nurse, community psychiatric nurse, occupational therapist, teachers, SENco, educational psychologist, physiotherapist, social worker, counsellor, or support worker. Say when you last saw them and include their contact details.
PIP Q2. Conditions & Medications
PIP Q2a - List all of your physical and mental health conditions and disabilities and say when they were diagnosis. If you’re not sure, just put down the year.
PIP Q2b - List all of the medications you’re taking and at what dose. Include any treatments you’re having or will be having and any side effects they have on you.
PIP Q3 - Preparing Food
This question is about if you can prepare a meal for yourself. Can you do things like peeling, chopping or opening packaging? Can you use a hob, oven or microwave oven safely?
PIP Q3a – What other help from an aid or appliance do you need to prepare and cook a simple meal for yourself? Do you need things like perching stools, lightweight pots and pans, easy grip handles on utensils, single lever arm taps and liquid level indicators?
PIP Q3b - Do you need help from another person to prepare or cook a simple meal?
Do they remind you or motivate you to cook? Do they plan the task for you? Do they supervise you, help you physically or do they prepare all your food for you?
PIP Q3c - Extra information - Preparing Food
Write down anything else about how you find preparing food tricky because of your condition. How are you managing now? How long does preparing a meal take? What help do you need? Is it safe for you to cook? Are you in pain or do you get tired?
|Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal.||2|
|Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave.||2|
|Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: you lack motivation to prepare and cook a simple meal on the majority of days due to a mental health condition, or need to be reminded how to prepare and cook food on the majority of days.||2|
|Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. You may need supervision to safely heat or cook food using a microwave oven; or to claimants who cannot safely prepare vegetables, even with an aid or appliance. In cases of a risk of self-harm, there should be good evidence of the risk.||4|
|Cannot prepare and cook food.||8|
PIP Q4 - Eating and drinking
This question is about how you eat and drink because of you condition(s).
Do you remember to Eat? Do you need help cutting up your food? Can you put food and drink into your own mouth and can you chew and swallow?
PIP Q4a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to eat and drink - like weighted cups or adapted cutlery?
PIP Q4b – Do you use a feeding tube or similar device to eat or drink - like a feeding tube with a rate limiting device as a delivery system or feed pump?
PIP Q4c – Do you need help from another person to eat and drink? Does someone have to remind or encourage you to eat? Do they supervise you? Do they physically help you to eat and drink or do they manage your feeding tube?
PIP Q4d - Extra information - Eating and drinking
|Eating and drinking||Points|
|Can take nutrition unaided.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or ii. supervision to be able to take nutrition; or assistance to be able to cut up food.||2|
|Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition. You may require enteral or parenteral feeding but can carry it out unaided.||2|
|Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person.||4|
|Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition.||6|
|Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so.||10|
PIP Q5 – Managing treatments
This section is about how tricky you find it to manage your treatments, monitor your condition and stop yourself getting worse. That might include monitoring your blood sugar level or noticing changes in mental state and pain levels.
Q5a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to monitor your health conditions or take medication or manage home treatments? E.g. Do you use a Dosette Box for tablets.
Q5b – Do you need help from another person to remind you to take medications and treatment? Does someone supervise you while you take your medication? Do they physically help you take medication or manage treatments?
Q5c – Extra information - Managing treatments. Chat about the good days and the bad ones. Do you have any side effects that make managing your medication tricky?
|Does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided.||0|
|Needs either to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition. Eg. You might need help opening bottles or taking pills out of blister packs; help interpreting or reading blood sugar for the correct dose of medication; supervision to ensure the medication is taken properly; prompting to remind the claimant to take medication at the appropriate time(s).||1|
|Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week.||2|
|Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week.||4|
|Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week.||6|
|Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example, a claimant needs 15 minutes of assistance with therapy each day Monday to Friday, or reminding to manage||8|
PIP Q6 – Washing and bathing
How does you condition affect you taking a bath or showering? Can you wash your body, limbs, face, underarms and hair and can you use a standard bath or shower?
Q6a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to wash and bathe yourself, including using a bath or shower? Aids and appliances include things like a bath / shower seat or grab rails.
Q6b – Do you need help from another person to wash and bathe? Do they physically help you? Do they remind you when to wash and bathe and do they watch over you to make sure you are safe?
Q6c – Extra information - Washing and bathing
Tell us more about any difficulties you have when washing and bathing like risks including accidents a safety, the time it takes and if you have pain, breathlessness or get really tired.
|Washing and bathing||Points|
|Can wash and bathe unaided. You can wash and bath unaided, including getting in to and out of both an unadapted bath and unadapted shower.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe. E.g. a long-handled sponge, shower seat or bath rail.||2|
|Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person.||2|
|Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair, or body below the waist.||2|
|Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower.||3|
|Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist.||4|
|Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body.||8|
PIP Q7 – Managing toilet needs
Talk about if you can get on or off a standard toilet, and clean yourself after using the toilet. Can you manage emptying your bowel and bladder? Do you need a collecting device such as a bottle, bucket or catheter?
PIP Q7a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to use the toilet or manage incontinence like commodes, raised toilet seats, bottom wipers, bidets, incontinence pads or a stoma bag?
PIP Q7b – Do you need help from another person to use the toilet or manage incontinence? Do they physically help you? Do they remind you when to use the toilet or do they watch over you to make sure you are safe?
PIP Q7c – Extra information - Managing toilet needs
Say how long it takes you to complete this activity. Is it different day to day? Tell them about good and bad days. Are you incontinent? How you manage it?
|Managing toilet needs||Points|
|Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence.||2|
|Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person.||2|
|Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs. E.g. If you require assistance to get on and off the toilet and/or to clean themselves afterwards, but||4|
|Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel.||6|
|Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel.||8|
PIP Q8 – Dressing and undressing
In this section, you can talk about how your condition affects you putting on and taking off clothes, including shoes and socks. Do you know when to put on or take off clothes, and can you choose clothes that are appropriate?
PIP Q8a – Do you use an aid or appliance to dress or undress like modified buttons, front fastening bras, velcro fastening, shoe aids or an audio colour detector?
PIP Q8b – Do you need help from another person to dress or undress? Do they physically help you? Do they select your clothes for the weather, the occasion or the time of day? Do they tell you when to dress and undress or do they remind you when to change your clothes?
PIP Q8c – Extra Information - Dressing and undressing
Add anything here that helps explain how else your condition affects you doing this activity like how long it takes you to dress and undress or if only have difficulty dressing certain parts of your body?
|Dressing and undressing||Points|
|Can dress and undress unaided.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress. E.g. modified buttons and shoe aids.||2|
|Needs either prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing.||2|
|Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body.||2|
|Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body.||4|
|Cannot dress or undress at all.||8|
PIP Q9 – Communicating
How does your condition affect you communicating? That includes your speech, hearing or how you understand what is being said to you. (In your native language).
PIP Q9a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance to communicate with others like a hearing and voice aids, picture symbols or other assistive computer technology?
PIP Q9b – Do you need help from another person to communicate with others?
Do they help you understand what people are saying? Do you have someone who helps you by interpreting speech into sign language or do they help you by speaking on your behalf?
PIP Q9c – Extra information - Communicating
Mention it here if you have Tourette’s syndrome, Asperger’s or autism and find it difficult to communicate or if your medication has side effects that make it difficult to communicate. Does communicating cause anxiety and distress?
|Can express and understand verbal information unaided.||0|
|Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear. E.g. You might require a hearing aid or an electro larynx.||2|
|Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information. E.g. You may require a sign language interpreter.||4|
|Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. E.g. You may require a sign language interpreter.||8|
|Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support.||12|
PIP Q10 – Reading
This section is about how you read normal sized text and understand signs, symbols and words (in your native language). You should also talk about if you have problems concentrating when you read. Talk about how you read and understand signs, symbols and words written or printed in your native language, not braille. How you understanding numbers, including dates and other day to day reading like timetables.
PIP Q10a – Do you need to use an aid or appliance other than spectacles or contact lenses to read signs, symbols and words like magnifiers or need to take breaks?
PIP Q10b – Do you need help from another person to read or understand signs, symbols and words? Does somebody else need to read or explain signs and symbols to you because you have a learning disability or a mental health problem?
PIP Q10c – Extra information - Reading
Write about how how your condition affects your writing. How long does it take you to write a letter?
|Can read and understand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses.||0|
|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. E.g. You may require vision aids.||2|
|Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information.||2|
|Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information.||4|
|Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all. E.g. You may require another person to read everything for them due to a learning disability or severe visual impairment.||8|
PIP Q11 – Mixing with other people
This question is about how you get on with other people face-to-face, either individually or as part of a group. Do you understand how they're behaving towards you, and can you behave appropriately towards them?
PIP Q11a – Do you need another person to help you to mix with other people? Does someone else need to encourage you to mix with other people? Does someone help you understand how people are behaving and how to behave yourself because you have a learning disability or mental heath problem?
PIP Q11b – Do you find it difficult or stressful to meet other people?
PIP Q11c – Extra information - Mixing with other people
Explain any stress, anxiety or confusion you feel around meeting people. Do you need help to stay safe? Do you have good days and bad ones? How do they differ?
|Mixing with other people||Points|
|Can engage with other people unaided.||0|
|Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people. ‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: may apply to people who need encouragement to engage with others in the presence of a third party.||2|
|Needs social support to be able to engage with other people.||4|
|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 substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person. ‘Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person is unable to function. This may occur in conditions such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, dementia or agoraphobia.
PIP Q12 – Making decisions about money
This section is about how you manage money. Do you understand how much things costs? How much change you should get and how to manage budgets? Can you understand how to pay bills and plan?
PIP Q12a – Do you need someone else to help you to understand how much things cost when you buy them or how much change you'll receive? Do you need someone to do it for you or do they need to remind you to do it or how to do it? Do you need someone to help you understand?
PIP Q12b – Do you need someone else to help you manage your household budgets, pay bills or plan future purchases? Do you need someone to do it for you or do they have to help you manage your bills? Do you need encouragement and help to do it?
PIP Q12c – Extra information - Making decisions about money
How your condition affects you understanding money? Do you have a learning disability that makes understanding money difficult?
|Making decisions about money||Points|
|Can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided.||0|
|Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions.||2|
|Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make simple budgeting decisions.||4|
|Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all.||6|
PIP Q13 – Going out
This section is about how your condition makes it tricky to go out. That includes how to plan and follow a route, follow a train and bus timetable or if you have severe anxiety or stress prevents you from going out.
PIP Q13a – Do you need help from another person to plan a route to somewhere you know well? Do you need someone to help you plan a route, or plan it for you? Do you have an assistance dog or specialist aid, such as a white stick? Do you find it difficult or stressful to handle change? Do you have a mental condition that makes travelling difficult? Do you need somebody with you to stay safe?
PIP Q13b – Do you need help getting to somewhere you don't know well?
Just like in the previous question about travelling to a familiar place this question asks about the same challenges but for an unfamiliar place. Is an unfamiliar journey different in terms of the challenges it presents to you?
PIP Q13c – Are you unable to go out because of severe anxiety or distress?
PIP Q13d – Extra information - Going out
Talk about tell us how your condition affects you going out if you. Talk about any orientation aids you use. Do you have good days and bad days? Do you feel anxious, fearful or nervous? Are you at risk of accidents, injury or do you get lost?
|Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided.||0|
|Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. ‘Overwhelming psychological distress’ means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or intellectual or cognitive impairment which results in a severe anxiety state in which the symptoms are so severe that the person is||4|
|For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot plan the route of a journey.||8|
|For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10 points.||10|
|Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant.||10|
|For reasons other than psychological distress, cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid.||12|
PIP Q14 – Moving around
This question is about you standing safely without help and if you can walk safely
PIP Q14a – How far can you walk taking into account any aids you use? To give you an idea of distance, 50 metres is approximately 5 buses parked end to end.
PIP Q14b – Do you use an aid or appliance to walk? Walking aids include walking sticks, walking frames, crutches, and prostheses.
PIP Q14c – Do you use a wheelchair or similar device to move around safely, reliably and repeatedly and in a reasonable time period?
PIP Q14d – Extra information - Moving Around
Talk about any aids you use, rest breaks you need, pain, the time it takes to move around, accidents and other risks. Do you need someone to help you? Do you regularly fall? Do you find it difficult to move around on certain ground surfaces? Do you use a wheelchair? Is it motorised or manual? Do you experience any other difficulties, either during or after the activity, like pain, breathlessness, tiredness, dizziness or anxiety?
|Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided.||0|
|Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 50 metres but no further than 200 metres either by themselves, or using an aid or appliance such as a stick or crutch, or with support from another person.||4|
|Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 20 metres but no further than 50 metres, without needing to rely on an aid or appliance such as a walking stick, or help from another person.||8|
|Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. For example, this would include people who can stand and move more than 20 metres but no further than 50 metres, but need to use an aid or appliance, such as a stick or crutch to do so.||10|
|Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided. For example, a person who can stand and move more than 1 metre, but no further than 20 metres, either unaided or with the use of an aid or appliance such as a stick or crutch, or support from another person.||12|
|Cannot, either aided or unaided – i. stand; or ii. move more than 1 metre.||12|
PIP Q15 – Additional information
This page is plank. Add any more information in here or on a separate page with your name and national insurance number at the top.
Add any reports from you family or carers here too....and that's just about it! You've definitely learnt another cup of tea.
- Get all of your professional reports as early as possible.
- If you use information in the reports to give evidence of need in your form, then reference it and highlight relevant sections in the reports when you attache them.
- If you're not confident hand writing your form, don't worry. You can answer pretty much everything by using separate pieces of paper that you attach to the form. Remember you MUST put the claimant's name and national insurance number at the top of each page.
- Photocopy everything! You don't want to have to do the whole thing again.
When you've finished your form, post it off in the envelope provided.
You’ll then probably have to have an assessment to complete your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application. This will be a meeting with a health professional who will write a report and send it to the DWP. You need to prepare for the meeting in advance. Happily, there's a fabulous guide from Citizens Advice HERE that will help you prepare.
This guide to the language used in the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment criteria. Whether you can get PIP depends on an assessment of your ability to carry out certain daily living activities and mobility activities. This is measured against a list of descriptors, which describe varying levels of ability under each activity.
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