Changes to PIP - what we know so far.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with a mental or physical health condition to help with the extra cost of living because of ill health or disability. In January 2018 the government announced huge changes to who recieves these benfits and how they are assessed. While the scope of these changes is still unclear, the links below offer a round up of what we know so far. We will be adding to this page as we know more in the coming weeks.
What are Personal Independence Payments?
- PIP has two different components, the daily living component and the mobility component. The changes affect the mobility component of PIP.
- When you apply for PIP, the DWP assesses you and you are given points.
- If you get fewer than 8 points for the mobility component you will not get the mobility component.
- If you get between 8 and 11 points you get the standard rate of £22 per week.
- If you get 12 points or more you will get the enhanced rate of £58 per week.
Our Mental Health and Money advice service has all you need to know about these benefits.
What’s happening with PIP?
A December 2016 court verdict would have made it easier for people with mental illness to score 12 points in the mobility component of PIP.
In March 2017 the government changed the rules on PIP and made it harder for people with mental illnesses to get the mobility component of PIP.
In December 2017, the high court ruled that these changes were unfair and have said the rules need to be changed back.
The situation is changing quickly with PIP. This information is based on what the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have told us and could change.
What are the DWP going to do?
The DWP are updating the guidance they give to their assessors. This will tell the assessors how to consider mental health conditions when they are assessing people for the mobility component of PIP. We don’t know how long this will take.
What will happen if I already get the mobility component of PIP?
If you get the enhanced mobility component of PIP, you are already getting the highest component and nothing will change.
If you claimed after 28 November 2016 or have been in receipt of PIP at any point since that date and were awarded either the standard rate mobility component or no mobility component at all, then the DWP will review your claim. You will not need to go to an additional face to face assessment but they may contact you by phone or post if they need to ask you questions about your claim.
If the DWP think that you should have gotten more PIP they will pay you a backdated payment to either the date of your claim or 28November 2016 (whichever date is latest). It is not clear when this will happen.
No one will get their PIP award reduced because of the new rules.
What happens if I start a new PIP claim?
The DWP haven’t finished writing the guidance on the new rules yet. This means they will assess you under the old rules if you make a claim before they have written the new guidance. It will be harder for you to get the mobility component of PIP because of a mental illness.
But once they have written the guidance they will re-assess your case and will pay you a backdated payment if they think you should have gotten a higher rate of PIP. We do not know how long this will take and will update this page when we have further information.
I am already appealing my PIP claim, what will happen?
When you appeal a PIP claim a tribunal decides whether or not the DWP made the right decision. Tribunals are already applying the new rules. So if you are waiting for a tribunal, they will look at whether or not you find it hard to make journey because of ‘overwhelming psychological distress.’
I have a current claim - could this affect me?
Yes, all new claims will be assessed on the new rules once these are introduced. If your assessment finds that you experience ‘overwhelming psychological distress to follow the route of a familiar journey without another person’ you are likely to get an enhanced rate.
I claimed after November 2016 and did not receive the enhanced rate – will this affect me?
Yes, it is likely to. The court ruling applies to previous claims as well as new claims. This means some people will be owed backdated payments of PIP. It is not clear when this will apply from, but the earliest date could be 16 November 2016.
How will I find out if I am eligible for a back payment?
The Government has said it will review all PIP claims. They will contact anyone whose claim could be affected by the changes. We do not know if the backdating will be an automatic process, or if new assessments will be required for anyone who was affected. But the Government have confirmed that nobody will be required to attend a face-to-face assessment as part of this process.