Benefits for Students in Scotland Handbook
Part 1: Benefits and tax credits
Chapter 10: Personal independence payment
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Chapter 10: Personal independence payment

This chapter covers:

1. What is personal independence payment (below)

2. Who is eligible (Cross reference)

3. Amount of benefit (Cross reference)

4. Claiming personal independence payment (Cross reference)

5. Challenging a decision (Cross reference)

6. Other benefits and tax credits (Cross reference)

Basic facts

– Personal independence payment (PIP) is for people who need help with daily living or who have mobility difficulties.

– Part-time and full-time students can claim.

– If you are a full-time student, getting PIP allows you to claim universal credit (although you must meet a medical test). Getting PIP also allows you  to claim income-related employment and support allowance and may also allow you to claim housing benefit.


1. What is personal independence payment

Personal independence payment (PIP) is a new benefit which replaces disability living allowance (DLA) for people of working age (aged 16 to 64).

If you are already on DLA and are of working age, you are expected to be assessed for PIP by the end of 2018. If you were 65 or over on 8 April 2013, you remain on DLA. If you are getting DLA and are of working age, you must claim PIP instead if you are invited to do so, or if your DLA award is due for renewal, you have a change of circumstances or you turn 16.

PIP is not means tested, so it is not reduced because of your student support or other income. It comprises two components: for daily living and mobility. Each component has two rates: a standard rate and an enhanced rate.


2. Who is eligible

You qualify for personal independence payment (PIP) if you meet all the following conditions.

You are aged 16 or over and under 65. You satisfy certain rules on residence and presence in the UK, and are not a ’person subject to immigration control’. See CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for details. You satisfy the disability conditions for the daily living component and/or the mobility component. You have satisfied the disability conditions for the last three months (unless you are terminally ill) and are likely to continue to do so for the next nine months.

Your ability to undertake various activities is assessed, usually at a medical examination. Depending on the type and level of help you need, you score points on different activities. If you score eight points, you get the standard rate of a component; if you score 12 points, you get the enhanced rate. For example, if you cannot dress or undress yourself, you score eight points.

See CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook for more information about the activities and the points awarded.


Daily living component

To get the standard rate of the daily living component, your ability to undertake certain specified day-to-day activities must be limited by your health or disability. To get the enhanced rate, your ability to undertake the activities must be severely limited.

You are assessed on your ability to carry out the following activities:

preparing food. If you cannot prepare and cook a simple meal yourself, you can score points;

taking nutrition;

managing your therapy or monitoring your health condition;

washing and bathing;

managing your toilet needs or incontinence;

dressing and undressing;

communicating verbally. If you need to use an aid to help you speak or hear, you can score two points; if you need a British Sign Language interpreter to help you understand or express information, you can score four to eight points, depending on the help you need;

reading and understanding signs, symbols and words. If you need help to read, or need to use an appliance or aid (other than glasses or contact lenses), you can score points;

engaging face-to-face with other people;

making budgeting decisions. You can score points if your disability means you need help with budgeting.


Mobility component

You get the standard rate of the mobility component if your ability to undertake certain mobility activities is limited by your health or disability. If your ability to undertake the activities is severely limited, you get the enhanced rate.

You are assessed on your ability to plan and follow journeys, and to move around. You can score points if you need help to follow an unfamiliar or familiar route, including if you can only do so with the help of a guide dog or orientation aid.


Students

If you are a part-time or full-time student, you can get PIP if you meet the qualifying conditions. Starting studying should not affect your award, provided you still have daily living and/or mobility needs. 


3. Amount of benefit

Weekly rate from April 2018

Daily living component    

Standard rate   £57.30

Enhanced rate          £85.60

Mobility component

Standard rate   £22.65

Enhanced rate           £59.75


4. Claiming personal independence payment

Phone 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777) to make a claim for personal independence payment (PIP). If you cannot claim by phone, you can ask for a claim form to be sent to you. Claims cannot be backdated, so claim as soon as you think you qualify.

When you phone, some basic information is taken from you. You are then sent a form on which to give more information about your condition and how it affects you. You must normally return this form within one month. You must then usually attend a medical assessment.

Awards of PIP are usually made for a fixed period – eg, two years or five years.

PIP is usually paid directly into your bank account, and is paid every four weeks in arrears.


5. Challenging a decision

If you think a decision about your personal independence payment is wrong, you can ask the DWP to look at it again. This process is known as a ‘reconsideration’ (the law refers to it as a ‘revision’). Provided you ask within the time limit (usually one month), the DWP notifies you of the decision in a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’. If you are still not happy when you get this notice, you can appeal to the independent First-tier Tribunal. If it was not possible to ask the DWP to reconsider the decision within a month, you can ask for a late revision (within 13 months), explaining why it is late. You can also ask the DWP to look at a decision again at any time if certain grounds are met – eg, if there has been an official error.


6. Other benefits and tax credits

If you get personal independence payment (PIP) and are in a universal credit (UC) 'full service' area (see Cross reference) and you have limited capability for work, you are eligible for UC (see Cross reference). All areas in Scotland are expected to be full service by the end of 2018. If you are a full-time student and get PIP, you are eligible for income-related employment and support allowance and, usually, housing benefit.

If you claim other benefits or tax credits, make sure the office dealing with your claim knows you get PIP, as it may qualify you for additional amounts in these.

If you, your partner or a young person you are responsible for get PIP, you are exempt from the benefit cap (see Cross reference and Cross reference).


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