Press release

Personal Independence Payment rolls out to existing claimants

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Personal Independence Payment is being rolled out to existing claimants of Disability Living Allowance.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – a new disability benefit being introduced to better reflect today’s understanding of disability – is being rolled out to existing claimants of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from today (28 October 2013).

PIP replaces DLA for working-age claimants, which was introduced over 20 years ago. The new benefit is designed to support disabled people to live independent lives and includes a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews.

The re-assessment of existing claimants will start from today with a phased geographical introduction in:

  • Wales
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • East Anglia

Existing claimants will be reassessed if there is:

  • a change in circumstance
  • an end of an existing award
  • a young person approaching 16

This means most existing DLA claimants won’t be re-assessed until 2015 or later, after DWP has considered the findings of the first independent review in 2014.

Minister of State for Disabled People, Mike Penning, said:

DLA is an outdated benefit introduced over 20 years ago whereas the new benefit is designed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability, particularly with regards to mental health and fluctuating conditions.

Under the Personal Independence Payment claimants will have a face-to-face assessment and systematic reviews – something missing in the current system. And these reforms will ensure the billions we spend give more targeted support to those who need it most.

We are using a phased approach to roll out PIP for existing claimants, which is the way we have been introducing all our other welfare reforms learning lessons from live running.

Under the current system of DLA, 71% of claimants get indefinite awards without systematic reassessments and over 50% of decisions on entitlement are made on the basis of the claim form alone – without any additional corroborating medical evidence.

The new assessment looks at an individual’s ability to carry out a broad range of everyday activities such as:

  • washing
  • dressing
  • cooking
  • getting around

It also looks at reading, verbal communication and how someone engages with other people, which is one reason why it better recognises mental health conditions.

In the past, higher rate mobility was focussed on individuals with a physical disability. Now claimants will be able to get the enhanced rate if their condition means they can’t plan and follow a familiar journey unassisted.

PIP started in April with a phased introduction in the north of England and was rolled out to the rest of England, Wales and Scotland in June. Some existing working age claimants will now start to be re-assessed from 28 October, but only if there is a change in circumstance, if an existing award ends or if someone reaches age 16.

Personal Independence Payment – fact sheet

What is the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

The PIP is a benefit that provides a cash contribution towards the extra costs associated with a long-term health condition or disability. It provides support for those disabled people with the greatest needs in overcoming barriers to live independent lives.

Like the benefit it replaces – Disability Living Allowance – it is non-means tested, non-taxable and is paid to people who are in or out of work.

What is the difference with Disability Living Allowance (DLA)?

Entitlement to the new benefit is underpinned by a new assessment designed to better reflect today’s understanding of disability, particularly to update our thinking on mental health, and fluctuating conditions.

The assessment criteria are fairer because they give equal weight to needs arising from physical, mental and cognitive conditions.

There will also be more regular reviews to make sure people are getting the right levels of support.

When do the changes come in?

8 April 2013 – New claims started in the north of England with a phased introduction of a few thousand claims a month.

10 June 2013 – New claims for PIP from the rest of the country (apart from Northern Ireland)

October 2013 – The re-assessment of some current DLA claimants will start from Oct 2013 – but only if they live in Wales, East Midlands, West Midlands or East Anglia and there is a change in circumstance, end of an existing award, or young people approaching 16.

This means the majority of existing claimants won’t be reassessed until 2015 or later.

What is the cost and how many claimants?

When DLA was introduced in 1992 there were around 1m people claiming and we were spending around £3 billion. We now spend more than £13 billion a year on DLA.

In 10 years, the number of people claiming DLA has risen by over 31% (from 2.5 million to 3.3 million).

If the government was not introducing PIP, then total DLA claims would rise to 3.6 million by 2018. That’s around 1 in every 17 people who would be claiming disability benefits.

Over 11 million people in the UK report having an impairment or long-term health condition and around a third of them report not having it a year later.

How will the assessment work?

The new assessment will look at someone’s ability to carry out a broad range of everyday activities such as washing, dressing, cooking and getting around.

What are the PIP benefit rates?

Benefit component Enhanced rate a week Standard rate a week
Daily Living Component £79.15 £53.00
Mobility Component £55.25 £21.00

More information

Find out more about Personal Independence Payment

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