Personal Independence Payment or PIP is a payment that is designed to help people who have an illness, disability or mental health condition.
PIP isn’t associated with whether you have worked or paid National Insurance. Nor is connected to savings you might have or any work you are doing.
Here’s how to find out if you are eligible for the payment.
Main eligibility rules
The primary eligibility rules for PIP are:
- You are between the age of 16 and 64
- You need help with getting around or everyday tasks
- You have needed this help for at least three months and will need it for at least another 9 months
- You are a resident of England, Wales or Scotland for at least 2 years
- You are a refugee or immediate family member of one living in the UK for less than 2 years
There are also some exceptions to these rules if you are terminally ill or if you have been serving in the armed forces. If you are receiving DLA, then you may need to check as the rules are a little different.
If you have a terminal illness, there are different rules regarding how long you need help or how long you have lived in the country. And the rules don’t apply if you have been in the armed forces or are a close family member of someone who has.
Your illness, disability or mental health condition
PIP doesn’t treat illnesses, disabilities or mental health conditions differently but rather looks at how the condition affects your ability to do everyday tasks. This is assessed based on how you can handle specific activities.
If you have trouble with any of the following you may be eligible for PIP:
- Preparing and cooking meals
- Eating and drinking
- Washing and bathing
- Managing toilet needs
- Dressing and undressing
- Managing treatments
- Communicating with people and mixing with others
- Reading or understanding written information
- Handling money
- Planning a journey including following a route
- General problems moving around
You may receive help from someone, it may be from an aid such as a walking stick or guide dog or could mean your home has been adapted to help you.
Important note – if you have a visa that says ‘no recourse to public funds’ or you are subject to any immigration control you may risk your status if you apply for benefits. Talk to your local Citizens Advice centre about this before making an application.
If you aren’t eligible
If you are not eligible for PIP, there are other benefits and systems that may be able to offer some assistance. These include Attendance Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) so you should look at these options to see if you can qualify for them.