If you or a loved one have a long-term health condition or disability, you may be eligible to claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP). PIP is designed to provide financial help to people and provide relief from the extra living costs associated with their condition. This includes things like mobility aids, home adaptations, and other necessary expenses.
Applying for PIP can be a lengthy and challenging process. You may be asked many personal questions and they can at times feel intrusive. Be sure to take care of yourself and seek support from family and friends throughout your application process.
Here we guide you through the process of applying for PIP, including eligibility criteria, the application process, and what to expect during your assessment.
How to Start Your PIP Claim
To start your PIP claim, you’ll need to call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and request a form. During the call, you may be asked to provide some personal information including your name, address, national insurance number and information about your condition or disability.
It is a good idea to have this information on hand before you call:
- Your date of birth
- Your address and phone number
- Your national insurance number
- Your bank or building society account details
- Your doctor or health worker’s name
- Dates you’ve been abroad
- Dates you’ve been in a care home or hospital
You can call on behalf of someone who cannot communicate for themselves. Just be sure to let the person you are speaking with know that you are enquiring on behalf of another person.
The form you will need to fill out can be sent to you either through post or email.
Claiming on Behalf of a Child
If you need to claim PIP on behalf of a child who is under 16 years old and is already receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you can become their appointee. This is also an option if your child has just turned 16 and does not have the mental capacity to manage their own money.
To become your child’s appointee, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and inform them that you would like to take on this role. The DWP will arrange a meeting to check that your child needs an appointee, that you are a suitable appointee, and to complete the BF56 application.
Keep in mind that you will only become your child’s appointee once you receive the BF57 confirmation letter. If the DWP determines that you are eligible for PIP over the phone, they will offer to send you either an email link to an online form or a paper form.
How to Answer the Questions on the PIP Form
The PIP claim form is called “How your disability affects you” and is split into two sections:
- Daily Living
You’ll be awarded points for each section depending on your support needs. The number of points will determine if you qualify for the “daily living component” and/or the “mobility component”.
Be prepared to spend some time filling out the form, as there are approximately 50 questions in total. You’ll need to answer questions about how your condition or disability affects your ability to carry out daily living activities, such as preparing food, dressing, and washing.
According to GOV.UK, you might get the daily living part of PIP if you need help with:
- eating, drinking or preparing food
- washing, bathing and using the toilet
- dressing and undressing
- reading and communicating
- managing your medicines or treatments
- making decisions about money
- socialising and being around other people
You’ll also need to answer questions about how your condition or disability affects your mobility, such as if you can move around independently inside and outside your home.
You might get the mobility part of PIP if you need help with:
- working out a route and following it
- physically moving around
- leaving your home
Make sure to answer each question honestly and in as much detail as possible. This will help the assessor to understand the impact of your disability on your daily life. Be sure to explain thoroughly how your condition or disability disrupts your life and provide evidence whenever possible.
To support your claim, you may want to include things like:
- Letters from doctors or healthcare providers.
- Prescriptions, and/or any evidence of treatments like physiotherapy.
- A yellow card or access card if you have one from your local council.
- Your certificate of visual impairment.
- Statements from family members, friends or carers.
- A diary showing how your condition affects you day-to-day.
Remember to send photocopies of your evidence rather than the originals. Keep a copy of everything you send and send it recorded delivery to ensure that it reaches the correct department.
Asking for an Extension
If you need extra support to fill out your PIP form, you can ask for an extension to the deadline. The form will state a specific date by which it needs to be returned, but don’t be afraid to request additional time if you need it.
For instance, if you have a visual impairment or other disability that makes it difficult to complete the form without assistance, you may need to ask for an extension. Contact the PIP enquiry line and explain your circumstances. They are usually willing to grant extensions of two to four weeks.
Once you have been given a new deadline, be sure to write it on the front of your form if you have a paper copy. You may always want to confirm your extension request in writing to the DWP. You can use a template letter provided by Citizens Advice to make this process easier.
It’s important to take your time and ensure that your PIP form is completed accurately and thoroughly. Don’t hesitate to request an extension if you need it, as this can help reduce some of the pressure and ensure that you can provide the necessary information to support your claim.
The Next Step: PIP Assessment
Once you’ve submitted your PIP claim form, you’ll be invited to attend a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional. This assessment is a chance for you to talk about how your condition affects you and for the assessor to ask you more detailed questions.
The assessment will usually take place face-to-face, although in some cases it may be carried out over the phone or by video call. You will be asked questions about your condition, how it affects you, and what help you need to manage your daily life. They may also ask to see any supporting evidence you have submitted.
It’s important to prepare for the assessment in advance by reviewing your PIP claim form and gathering any supporting evidence. This will help you to answer questions accurately and provide additional information where necessary.
After the assessment, the assessor will send a report to the DWP, who will use this to decide on your entitlement to PIP. You should receive a letter with the decision and an explanation of how it was reached.
What Happens If My Claim is Rejected?
If your PIP claim is rejected, you will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informing you of their decision. The letter will explain the reasons for the rejection and provide information on your right to appeal.
If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration by completing the form provided on the back of the decision letter. This form must be returned within one month of the date on the decision letter.
During the mandatory reconsideration process, a different decision maker will review your claim and any additional evidence you submit. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you have the right to appeal the decision to an independent tribunal.
DWP PIP claim line: 0800 917 2222
Scope (if you need help filling in the forms): https://www.scope.org.uk/helpline/
Help from Citizens Advice: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/
RNIB have a PIP toolkit: https://www.rnib.org.uk/living-with-sight-loss/money-and-benefits/pip-toolkit-get-in-touch/
A printable version of GOV.UK’s PIP Guide: https://www.gov.uk/pip/print
Get in Touch
At Liaise, we provide residential and supported living services for people with a wide range of support needs. The funding available for each of these is slightly different. We are here to support you and your family and help you make sense of your funding options.
To find out more about our high quality residential and supported living services and the funding available, do not hesitate to contact us.