Applying for PIP

Many people with MS can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – a benefit that can help cover the extra costs you may face if you need help doing everyday tasks or find it difficult to get around your home. PIP has two components, you can be awarded either or both of these components.

Find out if you qualify here. Then, use the flowchart below to work your way through the stages of the claim. Click on each box to read more detailed information about the steps involved.

PIP flowchart

Start your claim

Call the claim line on 0800 917 2222 or textphone 08100 917 7777 (between 8am-6pm Monday to Friday).You'll be asked some basic information and you’ll get a letter to tell you if you qualify or not.

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You qualify for PIP

You qualify and will receive the ‘How my disability affects me’ form.

You have one month to complete the ‘How my disability affects me’ form.The answers you give on this form will help the decision makers decide whether or not you get PIP.  Read our guide to filling out the form.

If you don’t qualify, you’ll get a letter to tell you why. For support or help, you can contact local advice agencies such as Citizens Advice.

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Face-to-face consultation

Once you’ve sent your form back, you’ll be contacted to arrange a face-to-face consultation with a health-care professional. You must be given at least seven days’ notice of the time and place of the consultation.

What to expect

At the face-to-face consultation the health care professional will ask questions about your day-to-day life, your home, how you manage at work if you have a job, and about any social or leisure activities that you engage in (or have had to give up). They will often ask you to describe a typical day in your life.

When answering, explain your difficulties as fully as you can.

  • Tell them about any pain or tiredness you feel, or would feel while carrying out each activity, and after you have carried it out
  • Consider how you would feel if you had to do the same task repeatedly
  • Tell them if you need reminding or encouraging to complete each activity

Don’t overestimate your ability to do things. If your condition varies, let them know about what you are like on bad days as well as good days. The health care professional’s opinion should not be based on a snapshot of your condition on the day of the consultation. They should consider the effects of your condition over time.

Before the consultation ends, the health care professional should give you an overview of their findings and invite you to ask questions and add or clarify anything you wish. You will not receive a formal decision at the consultation of whether you will be awarded PIP.

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PIP not awarded

If your claim is turned down, you'll get a letter telling you why. The DWP will also usually call you to discuss this, but you can call the number on the letter if you’d like to talk the decision through before they do.

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Ask for a mandatory reconsideration

If you’re not happy with the decision you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This means your case will be looked at again. When requesting a mandatory reconsideration, you have the right to ask for copies of all the evidence that was used in making the decision. You can also ask them not to take any further action until you have had the chance to respond to that evidence.

If your PIP claim has been rejected you might also want to send a reconsideration letter to the DWP. The organisation Advicenow has a tool available to help you write your letter.

>> Find out more about this tool.

If you are in any doubt about what might happen during a reconsideration, you can seek advice from a local advice centre, such as Citizens Advice.

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If you’re not awarded PIP after the mandatory reconsideration and are still unhappy, you can appeal to an independent  tribunal.

You have one calendar month from the date of the mandatory reconsideration notice to lodge an appeal to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The form you need is the SSCS1 – and the mandatory reconsideration notice will have details of how to get an SSCS1 form.

You’ll need to attach a copy of the mandatory reconsideration decision to your SSCS1 form before you send it off (you can only appeal once you’ve first asked for a mandatory reconsideration).

As well as giving details of the decision you’re appealing against, you must also state clearly why you disagree with the decision. State what rate of PIP you consider you should have been awarded and your reasons for this.

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PIP is awarded

If your claim is successful, you'll receive a letter telling you what rate of the PIP you'll get. The award will usually be set for a fixed period of time. This could be for a short period of one or two years, or a longer period of five or 10 years. The award will only be for an indefinite period if the case manager considers it unlikely that your condition will change in the future so your needs will remain broadly the same.

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To qualify for PIP

  • you must: be aged 16-64 when you claim. You'll not be able to claim PIP once you're 65, but you'll be able to stay on PIP if you claimed or received it before you reached 65. If you’re over 65 and have care needs, you can claim Attendance Allowance instead
  • children under 16 with care needs of mobility problems can claim DLA
  • you must live in the UK (PIP is now also available in Northern Ireland)
  • you must also meet the disability conditions. The disability conditions look at your daily living needs and your mobility needs

If you're unsure whether or not you qualify, call the claim line on 0800 917 2222 or textphone 0800 917 7777.

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The two parts of PIP

The daily living component: this helps to cover the extra costs that you may face if you need help doing everyday tasks.

The mobility component: This helps to cover extra costs that you may face if you  have difficulties in getting around. It's paid at two different rates - a standard and an enhanced rate. The rate you are paid depends on whether your ability to carry out mobility activities is limited or severely limited.

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