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What changes have been made to Disability Living Allowance?

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are starting to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between the ages of 16 and 64. PIP was introduced on April 8, 2013.

What is PIP?

PIP is to help towards some of the extra costs associated with a health condition or disability. It is based on how a person’s condition affects them, rather than the condition they have.

What does a personal independence payment actually include?

PIP includes an assessment of individual needs and aims to make sure financial support is targeted at those who face the greatest challenges of living independently. You can receive PIP whether you are in or out of work.

What happens to DLA for those under 16?

DLA will remain in place for children up to the age of 16. When a child reaches 16, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact them to explain what will happen next.

What happens to DLA for those over 65?

If you were born on or before 8 April 1948, you’ll continue to get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as long as you’re eligible for it. If you were born after 8 April 1948, your DLA will end at some point. You’ll get a letter telling you when that will happen. You’ll continue to get DLA until that date.  Unless your circumstances change, you do not need to do anything until you get this letter.

What do I need to know about PIP?

You can receive PIP whether you are in or out of work and there are two components to it:

  • Disability Living
  • Mobility Needs

Each component can be paid at either a standard rate or an enhanced rate. Your needs are assessed by a health professional and this is normally done by a face-to-face consultation.

Awards will be reviewed to make sure that you are receiving the right support, with reviews being at appropriate intervals depending on how likely it is for your condition or impairment to change.

I’m on DLA – will I need to transfer to PIP?

Those who have an existing award of DLA will be contacted at some point and invited to make a claim for PIP instead.

The following events will trigger a claim for PIP to be made:

  • Young people turning 16 (unless they have been awarded Disability Living Allowance under the ‘special rules’ i.e. because they are terminally ill).
  • Reaching the end of a fixed period Disability Living Allowance award (‘reassessment’ starts approx 20 weeks before the end of an existing award).
  • Reporting a change in their condition that would affect their rate of payment.
  • Self-selectors – Disability Living Allowance claimants who are seeking to make an early claim for Personal Independence Payment (some people may be better off on Personal Independence Payment).

Everyone else (who was under 65 on 8.4.13), for example those with an ‘indefinite’ or ‘lifetime’ award, will be invited to make a claim for PIP at some point between now and February 2021.

How do I know if I would be able to apply for PIP?

If you think that you may be eligible to claim PIP but have not done so, then you can contact us and ask for a benefit health check. One of our benefit advisors can go through everything with you and advise you if you would be eligible to make a claim.  The benefit advisor will also help you make your claim.

How do I claim PIP?

If you are already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), then the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you nearer the time that they require you to move over to PIP.

If you are not in receipt of DLA or PIP, and think that you should be, then you need to phone the DWP to make a claim. The phone number is 0800 917 2222

When you call you will need to provide them with:

  • your contact details, for example telephone number
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital

The DWP will then send you a form for you to explain how your disability affects your daily life – including both your good days and the bad days.

You can send supporting evidence with this form. Once you have returned the form to the DWP, they will pass on all your details to a health professional near you. You will then be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation unless a decision can be reached on the basis of written evidence.

Home visits are available where necessary and you can take support with you to your consultation.

After your consultation, the health professional will review the claim against a clear set of descriptors in order to assess the challenges faced by the individual making the claim.

All the information is then passed on to the DWP decision maker who will use all the information provided. They will then make a reasoned decision on your entitlement including the level and length of your award.

You can find more here on how to claim.

What happens if I’m going to be refused PIP?

If you’re going to be refused PIP, the DWP will phone you to advise. During this phone call, they will review your case and reconsider the award if they can.

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