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 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions

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PostSubject: Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions    Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:02 am

Introduction

Throughout our ongoing engagement with disabled people and their
representatives we have been asked a number of questions about Personal
Independence Payment and have been made aware of some areas where
there are frequently misunderstandings. We have responded by providing
answers below to the most common questions.
The legislation required to establish Personal Independence Payment was
included in the Welfare Reform Bill 2011, which secured Royal Assent on 8
March 2012 to become the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
We have consulted with disabled people and their organisations about the
regulations, detailed design and assessment thresholds for Personal
Independent Payment.

1. What is Personal Independence Payment?

• It is a new benefit to help disabled people live full, active and
independent lives.
• Personal Independence Payment will replace Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) from 8 April 2013. It will apply to all new claimants
aged 16 to 64 and existing DLA claimants who are aged 16 to 64 on
8 April 2013.
• DLA has been in place for almost 20 years largely unchanged. The
new benefit will better reflect today’s understanding of disability which
has changed a lot in the last two decades.
• It will help towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long
term condition (this means ill-health or disability expected to last 12
months or longer).
• Personal Independence Payment is a non-means-tested and non-
taxable cash benefit which people can spend in a way that best suits
them.

2. What is Personal Independence Payment made up of?

• Personal Independence Payment will have a Daily Living component
and a Mobility component.
• Awards will be made up of one or both of these components.
• Each component will have two rates – standard and enhanced. The
amount for each rate is still to be decided.
• Awards of Personal Independence Payment will be based upon the
circumstances of the individual and will look at the impact of the
disability or health condition and the extent to which they are able to
live independently and participate in society.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions

3. How long will I have to wait to qualify for Personal
Independence Payment?


• If you want to claim Personal Independence Payment for the first time
there is a three month qualifying period (this is the period during
which you have had a health condition or disability) and the needs
arising from your condition or disability must be expected to last for a
further nine months as well (we call this the “prospective test”) to
qualify for the new benefit.
• You will not necessarily have to wait three months, as the qualifying
period starts from when your eligible needs arise and not from when
you make a claim.
• For example, if you have had difficulty walking for three months or
more when you apply for Personal Independence Payment and the
condition is expected to last a further nine months, you may be
entitled to payment from the date of your claim.
• If you already receive DLA and apply for Personal Independence
Payment you will not have to meet the three month qualifying period
but will have to meet the prospective test (the need is expected to
last for a further nine months).
• A person with a terminal illness will be fast tracked on to a
guaranteed payment of the enhanced rate of the Daily Living
component of Personal Independence Payment without having to
satisfy the qualifying period or the prospective test. They will also be
able to apply for the Mobility component and receive that immediately
if they qualify.

4. When can I make a new claim for Personal Independence
Payment?


• The new benefit is being introduced in stages so that we can check
that processes are working effectively. We will initially take new
claims from people in areas including Merseyside, North West
England, Cumbria, Cheshire and North East England.
• We will begin by taking a few thousand new claims to Personal
Independence Payment from 8 April 2013 for people living in those
areas. During this period new claimants in all other parts of the
country will continue to claim DLA as now.
• We plan to take new claims from people in all parts of the country
from June 2013.

5. Will there be automatic entitlement to Personal
Independence Payment for people with certain
conditions like DLA?


• No. Entitlement for the new benefit will be based on how your
conditions or disabilities affect you.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• In Personal Independence Payment we want to treat everyone as an
individual. The benefit will go to those individuals whose impairments
impact most on their ability to participate in society.
• The only way to accurately decide who should get the new benefit is
to assess you individually, looking at your personal circumstances
and any barriers you may face. This is because people’s health
conditions or disabilities can affect them in very different ways and
some individuals have more than one health condition or disability.
• The assessment for Personal Independence Payment will make
greater use of evidence from the people who support you (such as a
GP, consultant or specialist nurse) and help us to accurately and
consistently assess you and decide your entitlement.
• Exceptions will be made for claimants who are terminally ill and who
are not expected to live for more than six months. We will deal with
these claims quickly and the person will not need a face-to-face
consultation, or to fulfil the three month qualifying period.

6. I get DLA. Will I be entitled to Personal Independence
Payment?


• There is no automatic transfer from DLA to Personal Independence
Payment. If you are already getting DLA, and you are of an eligible
age (see the answer to question 1 for the eligible age criteria) you will
need to make a claim for the new benefit when invited to do so.
• We will write to you to let you know when you can make a claim to
Personal Independence Payment and how to do that. This stage will
begin in October 2013 and all current DLA claimants of an eligible
age will have been contacted by Spring 2016.
• The new benefit will have different entitlement criteria to those for
DLA to better reflect today’s understanding of disability.
• Everyone will be individually assessed against the new entitlement
criteria (some people understand these as rules).
• This means we will look at your individual circumstances and the
impact that your condition or disability has on your ability to live an
independent life.
• Entitlement will depend on how your ability to carry out daily living
and / or mobility activities is affected by your condition or disability.
Entitlement will not depend on what health condition or disability you
have.
• In the past DLA focussed too much on physical disability. Personal
Independence Payment will have a better balance to take into
account the needs of those with sensory, mental health, intellectual,
cognitive and developmental impairments.
• We expect that some people will receive more support, some broadly
the same, others less and some will leave the benefit altogether.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• Our consultation on the entitlement criteria and detailed design are
now closed. We are considering the responses received and
evaluating what further changes may need to be made.
• The Government will publish a single response to both consultations
later this year. These and previous consultations can be found at
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip.

7. I get DLA. Will I be told what to do to claim Personal
Independence Payment?


• Yes. All those who get DLA and are of an eligible age (see the
answer to question 1) will be asked whether they wish to claim
Personal Independence Payment.
• We will begin inviting every eligible person who gets DLA to claim
Personal Independence Payment from October 2013 and we aim to
have contacted them all by Spring 2016.
• When you make a claim to Personal Independence Payment we will
explain what will happen throughout the assessment process, how
and where it will take place, what you need to do and what help is
available to support you through the process.
• If you satisfy the entitlement criteria for the new benefit, you will be
awarded Personal Independence Payment and your payment of DLA
will stop.
• If you are assessed as not entitled to Personal Independence
Payment, or choose not to claim it, you will not be able to retain your
DLA as an alternative.

8. I get DLA. When will I be asked to claim Personal
Independence Payment?


• Personal Independence Payment is being introduced from 8 April
2013, so there will be no changes to your DLA benefit award before
then.
• If you report a change in your condition from October 2013, or will
reach the end of a fixed term award, you will be invited to claim
Personal Independence Payment.
• If your condition changes before October 2013 you should continue
to report any change to DLA as normal.
• We plan to reassess other existing DLA claimants between October
2013 and Spring 2016. We expect to begin by inviting about 30,000
existing DLA claimants to claim Personal Independence Payment
between October and December 2013 to allow us to check
processes.
• We expect full national reassessment to begin in January 2014.
• We are involving disabled people and their organisations in designing
how we communicate information about the assessment for Personal
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
Independence Payment to make sure we provide information that
they will find helpful.
• A note that sets out our thinking on the ways in which eligible DLA
claimants could become entitled to Personal Independence Payment
when it is introduced can be found at www.dwp.gov.uk/pip

9. I have a life /or indefinite award period for DLA. Will I
have to have an assessment even though my condition
has not changed / is never going to change?


• Yes, but not all these assessments will involve a face-to-face
consultation.
• Most people will be asked to have a face to face consultation with a
health professional, as part of their assessment.
• But, people with the most severe health conditions or disabilities,
might not need to attend a face-to-face consultation. This will be
decided on a case by case basis.
• Exceptions will be made for claimants who are terminally ill (see
answer to question 5 for further details.
• If you are of an eligible age (see answer to question 1) and get DLA
we will ask you if you want to claim Personal Independence Payment
even if you have an indefinite award period. This is because the new
benefit will have different entitlement criteria to those for DLA.
• All existing DLA claimants of an eligible age will have been contacted
about claiming Personal Independence Payment before Spring 2016.
• We will write to you to explain what will happen through the
assessment process, how and where it will take place, what you need
to do and what help is available to support you through the process.

10. How will my entitlement to Personal Independence
Payment be assessed and decided?


• The assessment for the new benefit will look at your needs to help us
decide your benefit entitlement.
• It will involve health professionals considering your personal
circumstances to understand how your condition or disabilities affect
you.
• The health professional will consider the evidence provided by you
and any professionals that may support you on a regular basis.
• Most people will also be asked to a face-to-face consultation with this
health professional as part of the claim process.
• The health professional will provide advice to a benefit decision
maker at the Department for Work and Pensions.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• The benefit decision maker will then use all of this information to
decide whether you are entitled to Personal Independence Payment,
at what rate and how long your award is for.
11. If I am awarded Personal Independence Payment will I
need to undergo further assessments in the future?


• Probably. Awards of Personal Independence Payment will be based
upon your circumstances and will look at the impact of your disability
or health condition and the extent to which you are able to live
independently.
• Over time, people’s conditions can change and we want to make sure
that a person’s award of benefit reflects their current needs.
• At the moment there are no regular checks under DLA, leaving
disabled people at risk of receiving incorrect levels of support.
• The length of award you get will depend on your individual
circumstances and the likelihood of this changing.
• This will be determined by the benefit decision maker, following
advice from a healthcare professional.
• Some people will get short awards (for example this could be up to
two years) and others will get longer ones (such as five or ten years).
Others will get indefinite awards, which will be subject to review.
• If you are awarded Personal Independence Payment you will get a
letter telling you how long your award is for and how and when you
need to tell us about any changes in your circumstances.
• If you get a longer award we will contact you occasionally, to see if
your needs have changed over time, to ensure that you continue to
receive the correct level of benefit.
• When your award comes to an end, if you still have needs arising
from your health condition or disability you can decide to make a
further claim for Personal Independence Payment.

12. My child is under 16 years old. Will they be affected by
the introduction of Personal Independence Payment?


• At the moment there are no plans to replace DLA for those under the
age of 16.
• We want to see how the new benefit works for people of eligible age
(see the answer to question 1) before making any decisions about
children.
• If your child is under age 16 you can continue to make a claim to DLA
as usual.
• Children getting DLA may remain on this benefit until they reach age
16 provided that they continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria. They
will then need to claim for Personal Independence Payment.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• All children entitled to DLA approaching age 16 will be asked if they
want to claim Personal Independence Payment from their 16 th
birthday.
• We are developing specific plans to take claims to Personal
Independence Payment from young people from age 16 as smooth
and straightforward as possible.
• We are continuing to talk to young disabled people, their families and
organisations representing them about the best ways of doing this.
• Our current thinking about how we support young people during the
introduction of Personal Independence Payment can be found in a
briefing note at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-briefing-young-
people.pdf
• If your child is awarded Personal Independence Payment we will
ensure that there are no gaps between benefit payments.

13. I am a pensioner and get DLA. Will these changes affect
me?


• Only DLA claimants who are over the age of 16 and under the age of
65 on the 8 April 2013, or who reach the age of 16 after October
2013 will be asked to claim the new benefit.
• If you are aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 you will not be able to
claim Personal Independence Payment and will continue to receive
DLA for as long as you meet the entitlement conditions.
• Because we will not begin to ask eligible DLA claimants whether they
want to claim Personal Independence Payment until after Personal
Independence Payment is introduced for new claims in April 2013, a
number will be over 65 when we contact them.
• We want to see how the assessment for the new benefit works for
people of eligible age (see the answer to question 1) before deciding
if Personal Independence Payment should be extended to people
over 65.

14. I get Attendance Allowance (AA). Will I be affected by
these changes?


• No. If you get AA you will not be affected by the introduction of
Personal Independence Payment.

15. Will there be a break in my benefit payments if I move
from DLA to Personal Independence Payment?


• You will need to decide if you want to claim Personal Independence
Payment. This is because the new benefit has different entitlement
rules to DLA.
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• We will contact you, providing plenty of notice, explaining what will
happen and what you will need to do to claim Personal Independence
Payment.
• If you decide to claim Personal Independence Payment we will
further explain what you need to do through the claims process, what
will happen through the assessment process, how and where it will
take place and what help is available to support you through the
process.
• If you are awarded Personal Independence Payment we will ensure
there are no gaps between benefit payments so long as you send us
the information we need when we ask for it.

16. I currently have a Blue Badge because of my DLA. Will
Personal Independence Payment provide the same
“gateway” or “passport” to the additional help and
support that DLA attracts?


• We recognise you value the additional help that passported benefits,
such as the Blue Badge, Carer’s Allowance, Motability schemes and
public transport concessions provide.
• It is our intention that the existing passporting arrangements will be
maintained wherever possible.
• We are working with the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly
for Wales and other Government Departments that currently use DLA
as a passport to schemes they provide to ensure that any future
passporting arrangements remain appropriate for their own schemes.
• Our intention is that individuals will receive an award letter, as now,
which would continue to act as confirmation that they are in receipt of
particular component(s) of Personal Independence Payment at a
particular rate. We will continue to work with colleagues across
Government to look at further opportunities to make this process
simpler.
• The Department for Transport has recently consulted on the
Government’s changes to welfare reform and the effect they will have
on eligibility for a Disabled Person’s Parking Permit, or Blue Badge.
This was published on 9 July 2012 and closed on 2 October 2012.
The consultation document can be found at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-30/
• The Scottish Government has consulted on using PIP as a passport
to other benefits and schemes, including Blue Badge and
concessionary travel. The consultation closed on 28 September
2012. To view the consultation document, click on the link below:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/07/12102032/0
• The Welsh Government has also consulting on the planned changes
to eligibility of the Blue Badge in Wales. The consultation
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
commenced on 7 August 2012 and is due to end on 30 October
2012. To view this consultation, click on the link below:
http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/bbadgecriteria/?lang=en
• We will publish further information about passporting arrangements
once it has been decided how this will work.

17. How will you provide support to those that need it when
applying for Personal Independence Payment?


• We recognise that we will need to adapt our approach to delivering
Personal Independence Payment to address the specific needs of
certain people.
• We have carried out consultation sessions with DLA claimants and
partner organisations to understand the preferences and health
issues of disabled people.
• The information from these sessions and other work with disabled
people and their representatives is being used to inform all aspects of
how we deliver Personal Independence Payment, including how we
identify those people who need support through the claim process
and how to provide that.
• We remain committed to providing support for people in the most
vulnerable situations and will continue to involve disabled people and
their organisations in the detailed design and delivery of Personal
Independence Payment.

18. Are these changes driven purely to achieve a reduction
in costs?

• No, DLA has been in place for almost 20 years, largely unchanged
and no longer properly takes into account the needs of all disabled
people.
• DLA does not have some of the checks that are a key part of other
state benefits and it needs to be brought up to date.
• The cost of DLA has risen by a third over the last nine years.
Only around a third 1 of that increase can be accounted for by
demographic change.
• These changes will ensure that Personal Independence Benefit will
remain affordable in the future.
• The amount we expect to spend in real terms in 2015/16 on Personal
Independence Payment and DLA will be higher than we spent in
2010/11.
1
Disability Living Allowance: Growth in the number of claimants 2002/03 to 2010/11
(08/08/2011):
http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/dla_growth_in_caseload.pdf
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• It was clear from the responses received to the public consultation on
DLA Reform in December 2010 and subsequent engagement with
disabled people and their organisations, that some reform of DLA is
welcomed.
• Through greater use of evidence and reassessment the intention is
that the new benefit will enable a more accurate assessment of an
individual’s entitlement to make sure support is reaching those who
need it most.

19. Has the DWP asked the PIP assessment providers to
meet any targets in relation to the PIP assessment or the
number of people who receive the benefit?


• Neither the DWP nor the PIP assessment providers will have any
targets in relation to the PIP assessment or the number of people
who receive the benefit.
• To have any such targets in place would undermine the principle at
the heart of the benefit.
• We are clear that every individual case will be considered on its own
merit and priority in the benefit awarded based on individual
circumstances. DWP will be closely monitoring and auditing
assessments to ensure their quality and consistency.

20. I am an injured soldier. Can I claim Personal
Independence Payment?
• From April 2013, Ministry of Defence (MoD) will introduce a new
scheme to support those individuals who have been seriously injured
as a result of military service.


• The MoD and DWP have worked together to ensure that financial
support recognises the unique support needs of veterans. Those
individuals who receive an award for a serious injury from the Armed
Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) will continue to receive at
least the amount they are currently receiving under DLA. These
payments will provide financial reassurance for the future for those
injured as a result of service.
• All existing DLA claimants (aged 16-64) who are not eligible for the
new payments will be reassessed for entitlement to PIP.
• The MoD and DWP are continuing to work together on the details of
this support and will provide more information about how this will
work in due course.

21. Where can I find more information about Personal
Independence Payment?


• We have published various documents to keep people informed of
our plans including the following:
www.dwp.gov.uk/pip – October 2012 Personal Independence Payment – Frequently asked questions
• DLA reform consultation (6 December 2010)
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dla-reform-consultation.pdf
• Government response to this consultation (4 April 2011)
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dla-reform-response.pdf
• Personal Independence Payment briefing notes
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/disability/personal-independence-
payment/briefing-notes/
• Second draft assessment criteria (14 November 2011)
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-second-draft-assessment-criteria-
note.pdf
• Personal Independence Payment assessment thresholds
consultation (16 January 2012).
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-assessment-thresholds-and-
consultation.pdf
• Personal Independence Payment detailed design consultation (26
March 2012).
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-detailed-design-consultation.pdf
• We will use the responses we have received to the consultations, and
the continued input from disabled people and their organisations, to
enable us to ensure the new benefit is easier to understand, has a
simpler claim process, and is more straightforward to administer.
• We will continue to update these briefing documents and publish
further documents to ensure people have the latest information.
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