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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?

DLA will also remain in payment to those who are 65 or over as of April 8, 2013.

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.

What were the original timescales for PIP?

April 8, 2013

New claims for personal independence payments accepted for people living in certain areas of the UK.

June 10, 2013

New claims for personal independence payments started for the rest of the UK. As of this date, there will be no new claims for DLA for people aged 16 to 64.

October 2013

DLA awards that are due to come to an end, young people turning 16 and DLA claimants who reported a change in their condition were reassessed and had to make a claim for PIP.

October 2015

The DWP will start to select existing DLA claimants and tell them what they need to do to claim PIP instead.

People who turned 65 after April 8, 2013 will be prioritised first.

What has changed?

The UK Government has now revised this timetable as it has taken longer than expected to assess claimants so the scheme will now be phased in more gradually.

From October 2013, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) awards that were due to come to an end for young people turning 16 and all DLA claimants who reported a change in their condition were to be reassessed for PIP.

This will now only apply to claimants in Wales, the East and West Midlands and East Anglia from October 28, 2013.

It is now expected that the vast majority of claimants will continue to claim DLA until 2015.

The Department for Work and Pensions will send information out to individuals closer to the time when they will need to reapply for PIP.

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.

Paper claims will not be used and online claims won’t be available before 2014.

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.

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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