Completing your PIP claim form

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is for people aged 16 to 64 years who are defined as disabled under the Equality Act 2010. As a payment to help meet the extra cost of disability, PIP is not means-tested so the amount you receive is not affected by earnings, other income or savings.

Unless you’re terminally ill, it can take up to 4 months from your claim until you receive your money. So it’s important to begin your PIP application

An example of the Personal Independence Payment: How your disability affects you (pdf, GOV.UK) claim form is on the DWP website with the How your disability affects you: information booklet. The form asks for examples of how your condition affects your daily life. People find providing these examples the most challenging.

Understanding PIP

The more you know about PIP, from eligibility criteria to what you receive the easier it’ll be to support your claim. It’s up to you to prove you’re eligible by telling DWP about how your condition affects your daily life.

PIP has a daily living and a mobility component. Depending on the number of points you’re awarded for your responses to questions, you’ll receive either the standard or the enhanced rate for each of the components. A total of 8 points for the standard payment and 12 points for the enhanced payment.

If you have a terminal illness and you expect to die within 6 months, you may get both components at the enhanced rate immediately.

PIP activities, descriptors and points

For the daily living allowance, you need to show how your condition affects everyday activities. For the mobility allowance, it’s how it affects you getting about. For each activity there is a list of PIP descriptors.

You get points depending on your answers. You should aim to get maximum points in each of the following activities:

  • preparing or eating food
  • washing, bathing and using the toilet
  • dressing and undressing
  • reading and communicating
  • managing your medicines or treatment
  • making decisions about money
  • engaging with other people
  • going out and moving around

Read each descriptor and ask yourself if you can do this:

  • properly, most of the time and safely
  • whenever I need to
  • in reasonable time
  • without the help of someone or an aid

Example: preparing food activity

Descriptors Points
a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0
b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2
c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. 2
d. Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2
e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4
f. Cannot prepare and cook food. 8

    PIP examples

    Based on the DWP descriptors, if you can safely prepare and cook a simple meal without help, most of the time, whenever you need to and in reasonable time, you’ll get 0 points.

    If you cannot prepare and cook food, you’ll get the maximum 8 points.

    When you’re filling in the form, include the descriptor and always use the word ‘because’ in your answer. Try to give examples of difficulties or accidents you’ve had when attempting the activity, or when you’ve needed help or used an aid.

    Preparing Food

    Descriptor AnswerPoints
    Descriptor a.I can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0
    Descriptor b.I need to use an aid or appliance to prepare or cook a simple meal most of the time because I am unable to stand without support. So I can’t wash vegetables at the sink or carry a hot pan from the stove to the table. I can drop plates of food, which means I have to start again. If I’m too tired to do that, I don’t eat.
     2
    Descriptor c.I cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker and I cannot use a microwave most of the time because I am unable to grip and pull open the door of the microwave. So I rarely eat a hot meal. 2
    Descriptor d.
    I need prompting to prepare or cook a simple meal most of the time because my condition means I forget I need to eat, or I don’t remember things. If no one is there to remind me, I don’t eat. I once caught a tea towel on fire because I forgot the gas ring was on and put the towel on it.
     2
    Descriptor e.
    I need supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal most of the time because my condition means I cannot hold kitchen utensils, plates or pans. If I try to pick up something, I will drop it. I once cut my leg when I dropped a kitchen knife.  4
    Descriptor f.
    I cannot prepare and cook food because my condition makes it impossible. If someone does not prepare food for me, I do not eat. I once went 24 hours without eating because my carer had to go to hospital for an emergency and was unable to tell anyone I was at home.
     8

    PIP tips

    The more information you give the DWP the better. It’s also important how you present the information. You should:

     Do:Do not: 
    • state the obvious even if it seems normal or easy to you
    • say you can do something if you cannot do it all the time
    • ask a friend or relative to reflect back on your difficult days or remind you of the times they’ve helped
    • say you can do something if you cannot do it safely, repeatedly, in a reasonable time and to the same standard as everyone else
    • use ‘because’ to explain why you cannot do something
    • be embarrassed when giving information about your condition because everything helps
    • tick all the ‘it varies’ boxes as it suggests you can do the activity some of the time
    • mention when you feel pain, fatigue or unmotivated
    • give up filling in the form and get help if you start feeling stressed
    • refer to the activity’s descriptors and use them in your answers
    • try and give several examples, especially for things that are difficult or not safe

    Warning Think about your bad days

    Do not exaggerate but when providing examples, be prepared to describe your bad days. What seems normal or easy to you might not be to others, especially if you’ve adapted because of your condition. Make sure you include everything you find difficult or impossible to do, even if it’s not every day. And explain why it’s difficult or impossible.

    Help completing your PIP form

    The following sources provide information about filling in the PIP claim form.

    Last reviewed by Scope on: 11/12/2018

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