Changing from DLA to PIP

This information applies to England and Wales.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for most adults.

If your child claims DLA, they will move from DLA to PIP when they turn 16.

Changing from DLA to PIP at 16

If you already get DLA

You’ll need to apply for PIP when you:

  • turn 16
  • are an adult and report a change in your condition to DLA
  • receive a letter inviting you to claim PIP

If your DLA claim has an end date, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will invite you to apply for PIP before that date.

The DWP does not say how far in advance they will contact you.

It’s likely the DWP will invite you to apply for PIP before 2025, even if you have an indefinite DLA claim.

Warning Apply before the date in the invitation letter

If you do not apply for PIP by the date in the invitation letter, the DLA payments will stop.

You will then have another 28 days to apply for PIP.

If you meet the second deadline, DLA payments will start again until a decision is made about the PIP claim.

DLA payments will not be backdated to the date they were stopped.

DLA if you’re State Pension age

If you are State Pension age, you can only make a claim for PIP if the DWP invites you.

You'll continue to get DLA if you:

  • were born on or before 8 April 1948 and
  • are still eligible for DLA

Changing from DLA to PIP at 16

Shortly after your child’s 16th birthday, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send a letter inviting them to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by a certain date.

The PIP application process for 16-year-olds is the same as the application process for adults. To apply, you must:

You may need to have an assessment if more information is needed.

Contact the number on the letter if you need any reasonable adjustments.

When you apply, your child’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments will continue until a decision is made about their PIP claim.

If you do not apply by the date in the letter, their DLA payments will stop.

It takes an average of 14 weeks to get a PIP decision, but it can take longer.

DLA when your child turns 16 (GOV.UK)

As the parent or carer, you know the challenges your child faces. Use your knowledge of their condition and its impact on everyday life to answer the questions in the application.

Where you can, provide evidence for the activities described in the PIP form. DWP will only consider the activities in an assessment of your child’s suitability for PIP.

Being your child’s appointee

Your child may want to manage their own money and benefits when they turn 16.

If you are already their appointee for DLA, this does not automatically move over to PIP. You must apply to continue being their appointee.

The process is the same if you are not the appointee but wish to be. You must also apply.

Ask for the appointee form when you call to apply for PIP if you have not already received this. The DWP will arrange a support visit and interview you to make sure that an appointee is needed.

Becoming an appointee

Disabled child addition and premium

You might already receive a disabled child addition or premium if you claim:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Child Benefit

You could still receive the extra money when your child moves from DLA to PIP.

Your child needs to:

  • get the daily living component of PIP and
  • be under 16 or a qualifying young person

Qualifying young person when your child is 16 to 19

The amount of money you receive will depend on what rate of the daily living component your child gets.

If your child does not qualify for PIP, you will no longer receive the additional money.

Preparing for PIP

PIP has a daily living and a mobility component. Depending on the number of points you’re awarded for the activities, you’ll receive either the standard or the enhanced rate for each of the components.

How PIP decisions are made (Citizens Advice)

See how points are awarded for each activity (Benefits and Work)

Completing your PIP claim form

Warning PIP and DLA have different criteria

There’s no guarantee that you will receive the same amount for PIP. You might get less or not be eligible. You will not be able to go back onto DLA.

If you receive the highest amount for DLA, you cannot get more money on PIP.

Losing your DLA can affect other benefits you receive. For example, if you:

Gathering evidence for PIP assessment

You or your child will be assessed on their ability to do certain tasks reliably. The DWP defines this as doing the task:

  • safely
  • to an acceptable standard
  • repeatedly
  • within a reasonable time

The DWP wants to know about:

  • any additional needs at school, in the home or when out
  • extra help needed with dressing, washing, eating, communicating and moving about
  • any personal budget or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Keep a diary to record how your or your child’s condition affects daily life. Ask for supporting evidence from health professionals, your child’s school, private tutor or social worker. The more details and evidence you can provide, the better.

Send the evidence with your form.

Getting evidence to support your PIP claim (Citizens Advice)

How to get evidence for a PIP claim (Mental Health and Money Advice)

Applying for PIP can be a stressful and emotional process.

Find local benefits advice through Turn2us

If you are applying for PIP on behalf of your child, Contact provide support.

Book a free appointment for emotional support from charity Contact

PIP assessments

You will have an assessment once the DWP has looked at your form. This is normally in person at an assessment centre. But assessments can be a phone call or home visit.

Paper-based assessment

If you provide enough supporting evidence with your application form, the DWP will consider a paper-based assessment of your claim.

This means you or your child will not have to meet the assessment provider’s health professional in person.

To be considered for a paper-based assessment, you must give evidence that you or your child has 1 of the following:

  • a high level of impairment and cannot perform most or all of the activities in the PIP claim form safely, reliably and repeatedly
  • a record of hospital admission and is under GP care
  • a condition such as autism or learning difficulty that will make a face-to-face consultation stressful
  • enough medical evidence for a decision to be made without a face-to-face assessment

If the DWP feels that there is not enough evidence to make a paper-based decision, you may have to attend a face-to-face or telephone assessment.

Warning Assessments

Once you send your form, you may get a letter saying you or your child will be assessed in person or by phone. This may also happen if the DWP feels that there is not enough evidence to do a paper-based assessment.

If this type of assessment is not accessible, you can ask for reasonable adjustments.

Contact the organisation that sent you the letter. This will be Capita or Independent Assessment Services.

Asking for reasonable adjustments

Preparing for your PIP assessment

Appealing a PIP decision

If you do not agree with the DWP decision about the PIP claim, you can appeal it.

You have 1 calendar month from the date on your decision letter to ask the DWP to reconsider the decision.

Appealing a benefits decision

Last reviewed by Scope on: 11/07/2024

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