Personal Independence Payment or PIP as it will be commonly known is a welfare benefit aimed at helping disabled people with the additional cost of disability and daily living. It is due to be introduced and replace DLA from 2013-2014 when current claimants will be tested under the new benefit criteria, if they pass they will be transferred onto PIP.
PIP has gone through a number of consultations and two components have been decided on, daily living and mobility components which on the surface are similar to the two components of DLA, there are however a number of marked differences not least the daily living component which now only has two levels instead of three in DLA. The full details have now been published and clearly at least 500,000 disabled people who previously qualified under DLA rules will not qualify for PIP. Other marked differences between PIP and DLA are initially it is aimed at 16-64 year old not children or people of pensionable age, you will attend regular face to face assessments and awards will be shorter.
The main difference will be that each daily task and mobility test will attract a certain amount of points, this is different to DLA and is more in line with the controversial sickness benefit ESA. The government has gone to great lengths to ensure the points based system is fair, that said we will not know until PIP is introduced whether they have been successful or not. Looking at the published points it would seem that meeting the criteria for PIP will be very difficult.
There will be special rules as per DLA meaning people with a terminal illness will qualify for an enhanced rate and will not need to meet the 3 month prior rule. If you are in care, prison or hospital you will not be entitled to PIP.
The two PIP components will be known as the daily living component and the mobility component, these will then be broken down into two rates standard and enhanced, at the time of writing no financial amount has been attached to these rates.
The daily living component will test the following activities:
- Planning, buying and preparing food,preparing and cooking food
- Taking nutrition
- Managing medication and monitoring health conditions
- Managing prescribed therapies other than medication
- Washing, bathing and grooming
- Managing toilet needs or incontinence
- Dressing and undressing
- communicating with others
There is a lot more to the above descriptors in terms of the amount of help you need and how much you are able to do alone, in general the main question is how much help do you need with daily living?
For an in depth list of daily living descriptors go here.
The mobility component will test your ability too:
- Plan and follow a route and move around
The points needed to qualify for the standard and enhanced rate of personal independence payment are as follows:
Standard Mobility = 8 points
Enhanced Mobility = 12 points
Daily Living Component
Standard Daily Diving = 8 points
Enhanced Daily Living = 12 points
In order to achieve these points you will be tested against a number of descriptors with each descriptor carrying an amount of points, these will then be added up to check if you qualify for either rate.
This has been a simple overview of PIP and of course as information and guidance become available it will be published on this site, for now if you would like to read the official version of the PIP proposals then click on personal independence payment on the right of this page.