Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

What is Personal Independence Payment?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a tax-free benefit that can help with the extra costs of living with a health problem or a disability that is expected to be long-term (12 months or longer).

It has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA), although existing claimants of DLA do not need to do anything unless contacted by DWP about transferring onto PIP.

In most cases you need to be below the State Pension age to start to be eligible for PIP. If you are older than this, you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.

Applying for PIP

You can apply for PIP by phone or by writing to the Personal Independence Payment New Claims address. Details are available on the government website.

Following your application, you will receive a form called ‘How your disability affects you’. This form will give you the opportunity to explain how brain injury affects specific aspects of your daily living and mobility.

After submitting the form, you will likely be asked to attend an assessment, and the responses you give on the form and in the assessment will be used to give you a score for the two ’components’ of PIP: 

Daily Living Component

This component assesses how capable you are of independently carrying out day-to-day activities such as washing and dressing yourself and mixing with others

Mobility component

This component assesses how able you are to move around independently

Your overall score will be totalled using a list of descriptors. It will determine whether you will be able to receive PIP and if so, how much.

It can be helpful to be familiar with the activities of each component so that you can provide as much detail as possible on your application and in the assessment. This will help to make sure that you receive an accurate score.

Remember that for each activity, you should carefully consider the following:

  • how safely you can complete the task
  • how long it takes you
  • whether you need any help (from other people or equipment/aids)
  • whether completing the task makes you feel anxious, upset or fatigued
  • whether your ability to do the task fluctuates from day to day or within each day.

You should also describe any times that things have gone wrong for you while completing the task that may have risked your safety.

PIP application outcomes

If you are considered to be eligible, the amount you get will depend on your score for each component. You can receive PIP for either component, or both.

If you are considered to be ineligible or disagree with the amount you will receive, you should seek advice about the risk of challenging the decision, as while your award may go up following reconsideration, it could also go down or stay the same. You should ask for a mandatory reconsideration before appealing.

For more detailed guidance and advice, see the factsheet Personal Independence Payment after brain injury (PDF).