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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 have 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. This was extended 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.

We started re-assessing existing claimants of DLA for the new Personal Independence Payment from 28 October using a phased approach. 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.

From 28 October 2013 we started inviting individuals living in Wales, East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia to claim 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) or
  • an individual chooses to claim PIP instead of their DLA

From 13 January 2014, we will extend the areas where we’re inviting existing DLA claimants to claim PIP (under the circumstances described above) to postcodes beginning:

  • DG (Dumfries and Galloway)
  • EH (Edinburgh)
  • TD (Galashiels)
  • ML (Motherwell)

From 3 February, we’ll further extend these areas to postcodes beginning:

  • CA (Carlisle)
  • DL (Darlington)
  • HG (Harrogate)
  • LA (Lancaster)
  • YO (York)

The postcode map for these areas can be found in the PIP toolkit for support organisations.

Alongside the phased introduction of reassessment activity, new claims to PIP will continue to be taken across Great Britain.

Further decisions on extending reassessment will be taken and communicated to the rest of the country in due course and will be informed by the experience of introducing reassessment in a gradual way first.

From October 2015 we plan to start to contact everyone else receiving DLA inviting them to claim PIP. 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.

You can find information about PIP in the PIP toolkit for support organisations.

Providing information about PIP

Information for claimants

We have published information about PIP for both new and existing DLA claimants. We have also sent information about PIP directly to DLA claimants with the annual DLA uprating letter and will do so each year until reasessment to PIP is completed.

You can find more information about PIP in alternative formats in the PIP toolkit.

Information for support organisations and advisers

We have published general information about PIP for support organisations and advisers in the PIP toolkit for support organisations. This includes fact sheets, copies of PIP letters and suggested text to use in communications and guidance.

Common questions and misunderstandings

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

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 and the regulations.

Guide for assessment providers

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

Management information: statistical release

We have reported management information for PIP new claims registered and decisions made from April to December 2013.

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