The process of applying for a PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is not a quick one and in some cases, it can take as much as four months from start to finish. That means you want to be aware of all the steps in the process and what you need to do to avoid extra delays.
Moving from DLA to PIP
If you are moving from DLA to PIP, the payments you receive won’t stop while you are in the application process. This is as long as you make the PIP claim within 28 days of being told you need to. The DWP will send you a letter telling you that the process needs to start, and this is when the countdown starts.
If you don’t currently get DLA, then the first payment for PIP will start from the date that you make your claim. This will continue for the period of time that it takes the DWP to make their decision. But PIP isn’t backdated so you won’t receive anything for the time before you make the claim.
The claim process
You need to have all the information on hand when you make the claim so that nothing holds it up. The current claims process has three stages:
- Start the claim by ringing the DWP
- Complete the claim form that they send out
- Go to the face to face assessment (unless you are terminally ill)
It normally takes around 14 days for the claim form to be received after you call the DWP. In that time, get together any supporting evidence you will submit with it to back up your claim. When it is received, you need to send it back within 1 month or the claim will automatically shut down and you will have to apply again.
If you think you have been waiting longer than you should, you can make a complaint to DWP. They may even give you compensation if they agreed the wait has been unlawful. But there are no set rules as to what this is.
Start the claim
You need to complete the form PIP1 to start the claim and this can be obtained in two ways. You can either complete it over the phone with the DWP, which normally takes around 20 minutes. Or you can fill in the paper form that the DWP sends out to you and post it back. At the moment you can’t complete the form online.
The phone is quicker and because the claim starts from the date the form is completed, this can mean you get your decision quicker.
There is certain information that is needed to make the claim so preparing this beforehand can save you time. You will need:
- Name, address, phone number and national insurance number
- Bank or building society account information for payments
- Details of your GP or other medical professionals you are currently seeing
- Dates and details of any hospital or residential care stays
- Nationality or immigration status
- If you have been aboard for more than 4 weeks during the last 3 years and dates for these
You will also be asked about health or mental health conditions, behavioural conditions or learning difficulties that you might have to help with the claim.
How to claim
If you want to make the claim on the phone, you should ring 0800 917 2222 or use 0800 917 7777 for textphone users. Lines are open from 8 am until 6 pm weekdays and calls are free. It takes around 20 minutes to complete the form on the phone.
If you want to fill in the form, then ring the number above for it to be sent out then post it back to:
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B
The next steps
The DWP will then set about assessing your claim and deciding if you meet the basic eligibility settings. If you do, they will send the claim form to tell them about how your condition affects you. If you haven’t received this within 2 weeks of the call, get back in touch with them.
If you don’t meet the eligibility conditions, then you will get a letter telling you why you’ve been refused. If you think the decision is wrong, you can challenge it through the official appeals process.