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Last reviewed: June 2022

People who live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland,  who have long term ill-health or disability costs can apply for a government funded Personal Independence Payment or PIP. As soon as you are 16 years of age you may be eligible to apply.

If you live In Scotland, PIP is being replaced by the Adult Disability Payment. You can find links about this in the tab ‘ Which country do you  live in on this page. You may still find the Getting Ready for PIP tab below helpful.

If you are already getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) it does not mean that you will automatically qualify for PIP.

The amount of PIP someone gets depends on how their condition affects them, not the condition itself. It is usually paid every 4 weeks. It is tax free and people can get it whether they are in or out of work. If their claim is agreed, the letter they get tells them when it will be next reviewed.

Even if you are moving across from DLA, your application needs to give a detailed picture of your situation. It needs a lot of careful thinking and planning. If you are living with your parents you can work on this together. If you do not live with your parents, talk to your guardian and / or your social worker.

Your parents may still be able to get Carer’s Allowance (see the tab on this page in the Children’s section).

The rest of this section tells you about the system in England, Scotland and Wales.

Follow this link if you live in Northern Ireland. You may still find the Getting Ready To Make Your Claim section below helpful.

Watch this 5-minute video of Jasmine sharing some of her recommendations and tips on applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)!

Recorded: September 2021

You must: 

  • be 16 years of age or over
  • have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
  • expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months
  • have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years, and be in one of these countries when you apply.

There are two parts to PIP payments:

1. Daily living 

People may get the daily living part of PIP if they need help ‘more than half of the time’ ( with things like:

  • preparing or eating food
  • washing, bathing and using the toilet
  • dressing and undressing
  • reading and communicating
  • managing medicines or treatments
  • making decisions about money
  • engaging with other people

2. Mobility 

People may get the mobility part of PIP if they need help going out or moving around.

You will be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get.

Your parent could still get Carer’s Allowance (see the  tab in the Children’s section on this page) if you have substantial caring needs.

If you receive a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and are 16 years or older,  the DWP will invite you to apply for PIP instead. Once you have been invited, you need to make your claim within 28 days by phoning the PIP claim line . If you do not claim when the DWP ask you to, your DLA payments will stop.

If you do not receive DLA, you can start a PIP claim by calling the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Your parents or another person can call on your behalf, but you will need to be with them when they call.

There are also other ways to claim if you find it difficult to use a phone.

Before you call, you will need to have ready:

  • your contact details, for example your phone number
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance Number – you should receive this when you turn 16. If you have not had it, you will need to call HMRC on 0300 200 3500. It can take between 2-4 weeks to sort out
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and phone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you have spent abroad or in hospital

DWP – PIP claims
Freephone: 0800 917 2222
Freetextphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
You will then be sent a ‘How Your Disability Affects You’ form to complete.

You will need to fill in the ‘How Your Disability Affects You’ form using the notes that come with it to help you. There is a lot of really good advice on a number of websites about this so we have not repeated this here. It is well worth reading them and thinking carefully about what you want to say before you fill out your form:

If you are having any difficulties or would like to discuss what you might say on your form, please do get in touch with our Support and Outreach Team.

Once you have filled out your form, return it to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) – the address is on the form. Make sure to keep a copy.

You will be invited to meet with an independent health professional either at your home or at an assessment centre. This is to assess the level of help you need. It will take about an hour. You can have your parents or another person with you.

You will be asked questions about your ability to carry out activities and how your SMA affects your daily life.

The website links we have given you in the ‘Getting Ready’ section (see above) tell you more about what to expect at an interview. The organisation Capita completes the assessments in some areas. Their website also tells you what to expect.

You will get a letter some time after this that will tell you if you will get PIP. If you do, you will be told how much you will get and the date it will be reviewed. This is so that you continue to get the right support.

If your application is turned down, you can appeal. You can find out more about how to appeal.

If you are having difficulties at any stage, please get in touch with our Support and Outreach Team.