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Personal Independence Payment

A Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with the extra costs of disability or long-term health conditions for people aged 16 and over and under State Pension age.

It's a non means-tested benefit. So you can get it regardless of how much you earn, or whether you have savings or capital.

Who can get Personal Independence Payment?

To get Personal Independence Payment you must:

  • need help with everyday tasks or getting around, or both because of a physical or mental health condition
  • have needed this help for at least three months and expect to need it for at least another nine months, unless you're terminally ill with less than 12 months to live where different rules apply. You can start your claim within the first three months of needing help but your PIP entitlement won't begin until the three month period has finished

Things that won't prevent you getting Personal Independence Payment

A lot of things that affect other benefits, don't matter at all when you claim Personal Independence Payment.

  • work - you can claim PIP regardless of whether you are in full-time work, part-time work, self-employed or unemployed
  • income - it doesn't matter whether you have a huge income or no income at all
  • savings - it makes no difference whether you have savings or no savings at all
  • National Insurance contributions - these are irrelevant to a PIP claim
  • who you live with - you can claim PIP regardless of whether you live alone or with other people
  • carers - you can be entitled to PIP if you have carers or if you don't have carers

Personal Independence Payment points system

Personal Independence Payment uses a points system to determine if you will be awarded it or not. For example, if you need help from another person to wash your hair you get 2 points, or if you need help to get into the shower or bath you get 3 points. You only score one set of points from each activity. It doesn't matter if you actually get this help or not. You have to fit the difficulties you have with each activity to one of the descriptors - you don't get any points for having a different difficulty. To be entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component, you need to score at least 8 points under the 10 daily living activity headings. To be entitled to the enhanced rate, you need to score at least 12 points.

Likewise, to be entitled to the standard rate of the mobility component, you need to score at least 8 points under the two mobility activity headings. To be entitled to the enhanced rate, you need to score at least 12 points.

You score points when you are not able to complete a task safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time. See the following descriptions for more information.


In a way that is unlikely to cause harm to you or anyone else, either during or after you have completed the task. The DWP must consider whether there is a real possibility of harm occurring that cannot be ignored, considering the nature and gravity of the harm in question.

To an acceptable standard

A standard that is good enough and of a standard that most people would normally expect to achieve. An example of not completing a task to an acceptable standard would be if you can wash yourself but you do not realise you have done so inadequately and are still not clean after you have finished.


Being able to repeat the task as often as is reasonably required. The cumulative effects of symptoms such as pain and fatigue are relevant because the effort of completing a task could make it harder for you to repeat it or to complete other tasks. For instance, if you are able to prepare breakfast without help, but the exhaustion from doing this means that you could not prepare another meal that day, you should be treated as being unable to prepare a meal unaided. This is because it is reasonable to expect someone to be able to prepare more than one meal a day.

In a reasonable time

No more than twice as long as the maximum time normally taken by someone without a disability.

Visit our Personal Independence Payment (PIP) guide for more information.

How to apply

To make a claim, you will need to fill out a PIP claim form. You can call the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 917 2222 or textphone 0800 917 7777. They will ask you for some basic information and then send you a claim form.

Alternatively, you can write to Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.

Preparing for the call

You will need the following information ready before calling:

  • your full name, address and telephone number
  • your National Insurance number
  • your date of birth
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • details of your GP and any other health professionals who support you
  • details of any recent stays in hospital or care homes
  • your nationality or immigration status
  • details of any time spent abroad for more than 4 weeks over the last 3 years

Help with applying

Completing the form correctly can be complex and take time. Stockton Advice and Information Service can help you with your claim form. Call 01642 633877 or visit the Stockton and District Advice and Information Service website for more information.

We have also provided detailed guidance on how to complete the form yourself. The guidance is structured to mirror the application form. Visit our Personal Independence Payment (PIP) guide for detailed guidance to help you fill in the application form.