Welfare reform

Supporting detail:

Introducing Personal Independence Payment

This page explains the government’s policy on introducing Personal Independence Payment. If you are looking for information about how Personal Independence Payment will affect you, see information for Personal Independence Payment claimants.

We are committed to supporting disabled people to lead independent and active lives. We started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for eligible people aged 16 to 64 with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 8 April 2013.

PIP helps towards some of the extra costs arising from a long term ill-health condition or disability and is based on how a person’s condition affects them, not the condition they have. It is not means-tested or subject to tax and it is payable to people who are both in and out of work.

We have run a number of consultations to help us develop PIP.

What the change means


  • involves a more objective assessment, with a face-to-face consultation with an independent health professional for most people
  • includes regular reviews so that individuals continue to get the right support

There are no plans to replace DLA for children under 16 or for DLA recipients who were aged 65 and over on 8 April 2013.

PIP is based on an assessment of individual need. It will not consider what impairment an individual has, labelling them simply on this basis. Instead it will consider how their impairment affects their life, considering their ability to carry out a range of everyday activities.

Information will be gathered from the individual, as well as health, social care and other professionals who work with and support them. Most people will be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with an independent health professional as part of the assessment process. The health professional will ask questions about the claimant’s circumstances, their health condition or disability and how this affects their daily life.

Including consideration of reliability in the PIP regulations

On 5 March 2013 the Regulations on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), were amended to make clear that, when assessing whether an individual can carry out an activity, we must look at whether they can carry out that activity:

  • safely
  • to an acceptable standard
  • repeatedly
  • in a reasonable time period

We call this the ‘reliability criteria’. This concept had always been integral to the department’s proposals for the PIP assessment, but ministers agreed to include it in the regulations to make the policy intent clear in legislation.

We recognise that the reliability criteria are an important protection for claimants. As a result of feedback received during the consultation on the PIP moving around criteria, we will put in place measures to ensure that the reliability criteria are properly and consistently applied as part of the assessment.

The full PIP regulations are published on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Timetable for introducing PIP

New claims

We initially started taking new claims to PIP in parts of the north of England in April 2013. We extended this to cover all parts of Great Britain from June 2013.

We have taken a controlled approach to the introduction of PIP, continuously testing and reviewing the processes to ensure they are right.

Existing DLA claimants

We are introducing PIP in stages over a number of years for existing DLA claimants who:

  • were aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013
  • reach age 16 after 8 April 2013

From October 2013 we started a phased approach of re-assessing existing claimants of DLA for PIP if:

  • we receive information about a change in care or mobility needs
  • their fixed term award is due to expire
  • children turn 16 years old (unless they have been awarded DLA under the Special Rules for terminally ill people)
  • an individual chooses to claim PIP instead of their DLA

This is similar to how we introduced PIP to new claimants from April 2013 and is the way we have been introducing all our other programmes of change.

The table shows the areas for the phased approach.

From Areas
28 October 2013 Wales, East Midlands, West Midlands, East Anglia
13 January 2014 Postcodes beginning: DG (Dumfries and Galloway), EH (Edinburgh), TD (Galashiels), ML (Motherwell)
3 February 2014 Postcodes beginning: CA (Carlisle), DL (Darlington), HG (Harrogate), LA (Lancaster), YO (York)
17 November 2014 Postcodes beginning: CH (Chester), HD (Huddersfield), L (Liverpool), M (Manchester)
26 January 2015 Postcodes beginning: DH (Durham), G (Glasgow), IV (Inverness), NE (Newcastle), SR (Sunderland), WA (Warrington), WN (Wigan)
23 February 2015 Postcodes beginning: AB (Aberdeen), BB (Blackburn), BD (Bradford), DD (Dundee), DN (Doncaster), EX (Exeter), HX (Halifax), KA (Kilmarnock), KY (Kirkcaldy), LS (Leeds), PH (Perth), PL (Plymouth), PO (Portsmouth), PR (Preston), S (Sheffield), SO (Southampton), TS (Cleveland), WF (Wakefield)
30 March 2015 Postcodes beginning: BL (Bolton), CW (Crewe), FK (Falkirk), FY (Fylde), HU (Hull), OL (Oldham), SK (Stockport), TA (Taunton), TQ (Torquay), TR (Truro)
25 May 2015 Postcodes beginning: BS (Bristol), CB (Cambridge), CM (Chelmsford), CO (Colchester), DA (Dartford), GL (Gloucester), MK (Milton Keynes), PA (Paisley), RM (Romford), SN (Swindon), SP (Salisbury), SS (Southend)
22 June 2015 Postcodes beginning: BA (Bath), BH (Bournemouth), BN (Brighton), BR (Bromley), CT (Canterbury), CR (Croydon), DT (Dorchester), E (London East), EC (London East Central), GU (Guildford), HP (Hemel Hempstead), IG (Ilford), LU (Luton), ME (Maidstone), OX (Oxford), RG (Reading), RH (Redhill), SE (London South East), SG (Stevenage), SW (London South West), WC (London West Central)
27 July 2015 Postcodes beginning: AL (St Albans), EN (Enfield), HA (Harrow), HS (Hebrides), KT (Kingston), N (London North), NW (London North West), KW (Kirkwall), SL (Slough), SM (Sutton), TN (Tonbridge), TW (Twickenham), UB (Uxbridge), W (London West), WD (Watford), ZE (Lerwick)

We’ve published a postcode map for these areas.

Alongside the phased introduction of reassessment activity, we will continue to take new claims for PIP across Great Britain.

We’ll start to ask the majority of existing DLA claimants to claim from later in 2015 and onwards. We will write to individuals in plenty of time and they do not need to contact DWP now. We expect to have contacted everyone who needs to claim PIP by late 2017.

Providing information about PIP

Information for claimants

We have published information about PIP for both new and existing DLA claimants.

We have sent information about PIP directly to DLA claimants with the annual DLA uprating letter. We will continue to do this each year until we have reassessed all DLA claimants for PIP.

Information for support organisations and advisers

We have published general information about PIP for support organisations and advisers in the Personal Independence Payment toolkit. This includes fact sheets and copies of PIP forms and letters.

Common questions and misunderstandings

We have published clarification on some common misunderstandings and questions about PIP in the PIP myth buster.

Policy briefing notes

We have published a series of policy briefing notes that set out important elements of policy and strategy relating to PIP and provide greater clarity on our proposals. They are intended to help people understand the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the regulations.

Guide for assessment providers

We have produced guidance for providers carrying out assessments for PIP.

PIP statistics

We have published statistics about PIP claims.

Independent review of PIP assessments

Section 89 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 commits the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to publish 2 independent reports on how the PIP assessment is working. The first was due within 2 years of PIP starting in April 2013.

First review – 2014

On 10 April 2014, the Minister of State for Disabled People appointed Paul Gray to lead the first independent review of the PIP assessment. We published Paul Gray’s independent review on 17 December 2014.

Paul Gray ran a call for evidence to inform his review from 23 June 2014 to 5 September 2014.

The government published its response to the review on 27 February 2015.