Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged over 16 and under State Pension age with a disability, long-term illness or mental health condition who need help completing daily tasks inside their home or getting around.
The latest statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show there are nearly 2.9 million people in the UK, including more than 305,000 living in Scotland, receiving financial support of between £24.45 and £156.90 each week through PIP – the benefit is paid every four weeks so this amounts to between £97.80 and £627.60 every payment period.
How much PIP you will be paid depends on how difficult it is for you to carry out certain everyday tasks including preparing and eating food, washing and getting dressed, basic toilet needs and moving around.
A PIP award can be indefinite, but is usually for a fixed period of time. The length of which depends on an assessment of how likely it is that your daily living and mobility needs may change over time.
PIP is made up of two parts – a daily living component and a mobility component, you may be able to claim one or both of these depending on your circumstances.
If you have claimed for PIP and received an award letter, it will tell you what components you are entitled to and how much you will receive.
This letter will also tell you how long you will get this payment for. If you are awarded PIP for a fixed period, you will be invited to reapply before the award comes to an end.
If you receive either or both enhanced rates of PIP and your health condition is unlikely to improve, you may be given an ongoing award of PIP in what is referred to as a ‘light touch’ review – this means your award will be reviewed every 10 years.
Keep this award letter in a safe place as it is proof of your entitlement.
Is the amount of PIP I receive reviewed?
Your award of PIP may be reviewed by the DWP at any time, usually every 12 months, even if you have an award for a fixed amount of time.
In some cases, when the DWP reviews your claim, you may receive a letter. This will ask you to complete and return an attached PIP review form before the date shown on the letter.
If you don’t send the form back in time, the DWP will stop your claim unless you have a good reason for sending it in late – you will need to tell them why you sent the form late.
However, if you know you are going to be late returning the letter, call the PIP inquiry line and advise them of this and ask for more time to complete it.
When the DWP receives your PIP review form, they will decide whether your claim should stop or continue.
What if something changes?
Your PIP award may change if something in your life changes. For example, if your health gets better, your PIP may go down or stop. If your health gets worse, your PIP award may increase.
It is up to you to tell the DWP when your condition gets better or worse.
If you don’t tell the DWP at the time, you could miss out on benefits that you are entitled to or you could be overpaid benefits that you would have to pay back.
If you disagree with a decision
You can challenge a decision about your PIP claim, this is called asking for Mandatory Reconsideration.
Details about this can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
What happens if I go into hospital?
If you are 18 or over, your PIP stops after you have been a patient in hospital for 28 consecutive days. It starts again after you have been discharged.
What happens if I go into a care home?
The daily living component of your PIP stops after you have been living in a care home for 28 days. It starts again if and when you leave to live independently.
The mobility component of PIP continues to be paid as normal however long you live in a care home.
What happens as I get older?
Getting older does not stop your PIP award but it can stop you from renewing your claim or making a new claim.
If you are over State Pension age and you want your PIP to continue, make sure you renew your claim when your current award ends.
There are currently 358,289 people over State Pension age claiming PIP across the UK and 37,721 in Scotland.
If you are over State Pension age and your last award of PIP ended over a year ago, you cannot renew your claim or make a new claim.
You may, however, be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead but this does not include a mobility component.
For more information about PIP, visit the GOV.UK website here.
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