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Disability Living Allowance and PIP

For most people over 16, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP), but DLA is still a benefit for disabled children under 16 and some adults who already claim it.

It can help with the extra costs of everyday care and getting around.

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On this page we answer some of the questions you might have if you already get DLA: 

New claims for DLA

In most of the UK, if you're making a new claim and you're aged between 16 and 64, you'll need to apply for PIP rather than DLA. 

If you want to claim for a child under 16 years old, you can still claim DLA in most parts of the UK - you might find the Disability Rights UK factsheet on DLA helpful.

In Scotland, a new Child Disability Payment is being gradually introduced. Where it's already available, 16 and 17-year-olds need to apply for that instead. Find out more on our brief guide to benefits page

Do I have to switch to PIP?

Most people who currently receive DLA will need to be reassessed for PIP.

But you don't need to do anything about switching over to PIP until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to you to tell you that you need to change.

If you were aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013, you'll continue to receive DLA and will not be reassessed for PIP.

If you claim DLA for a child in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, they'll receive DLA until they turn 16, at which point they'll need to apply for PIP.

In Scotland, under 16s who already get DLA might be contacted by Social Security Scotland about Child Disability Payment. Find out more in our brief guide to benefits page

When will I be reassessed?

Exact dates depend on your circumstances, including where you are in the UK. But people claiming DLA will be asked to apply for PIP at some stage.

However, your DLA award will be reassessed for PIP earlier if:

  • you report a change in how your MS affects you
  • you have a current DLA award that's due to expire (a renewal claim)

You don’t have to do anything about switching over from DLA to PIP until the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to you and asks you to begin the PIP process.

If you are invited to claim PIP, you should claim it.

What if I have a lifetime award of DLA?

Even if you have a lifetime award of DLA, you'll not be automatically eligible for PIP. You'll need to apply for it as a new benefit.

The DWP will contact you when you need to apply for the new benefit.

How will I know what I need to do and when?

When you report a change in your condition or your DLA is up for renewal you will be sent a letter explaining that you now have to make a claim for PIP.

Once you receive this letter, you'll have 4 weeks to start the PIP claims process.

During the process you'll keep getting DLA until a decision on your eligibility for PIP is made.

If you miss the 4-week deadline to begin your claim, your DLA will be suspended for 4 weeks.

If you do not claim within a further four weeks of the suspension coming into effect, your DLA award will be stopped completely.

If you need more time, call the PIP enquiry line on 0800 121 4433 (textphone 0800 121 4493). The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) might give you an extension and keep paying your DLA.

Once the DWP has made a a decision on your PIP entitlement, your DLA will run for a further 28 days, even if your PIP claim has been unsuccessful.

There are special rules for people who are terminally ill. If you are terminally ill and you get DLA, you must now claim PIP. You can find the details about this and other benefits for people who are terminally ill at gov.uk 

Will changing to PIP affect Carer’s Allowance?

Both DLA and PIP are qualifying benefits for Carer’s Allowance. So, as long as the person you care for is eligible for PIP, you will still be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. 

Will changing to PIP affect Motability?

If you currently receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA and use it to access the Motability scheme, you'll still get that until you receive a decision on your PIP claim.

If you receive the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP, you'll be able to claim Motability as you do now.

If you don't qualify for the enhanced rate of PIP, you'll be asked to return the car. It normally has to be returned within 8 weeks. If you've been with the Motability scheme since before 2014, it normally needs to be returned within 26 weeks. 

For some people who, after their PIP reassessment, are no longer eligible for the Motability Scheme, Motability provides a one-off 'transitional support package'. This can help towards finding a new arrangement for getting around.

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