Changes to disability living allowance

Disability living allowance (DLA) was changed to Personal Independence Payments in summer 2013 and will affect you if you claim DLA and are aged 16-64.

What if you get Disability living allowance?

You’ll automatically be entitled to PIP if you’re on DLA care under the special rules. If you also get the mobility component, you’ll be reassessed to see if you meet the new PIP mobility criteria. 

You may automatically go onto (or off) PIP from October 2013 if you report a change, or your DLA claim comes up for renewal, or you turn 16.

You’ll be reassessed from October 2015 to see if you’ll get the new payment, even if an indefinite award was made before. This may include you if you were aged 64 in April 2013 (when PIP was introduced), but then turned 65.

You’re not guaranteed to get PIP when you’ve been reassessed as it has different entitlement criteria.

If you go over to PIP, your claims will change and your DLA will stop.

If you don’t go over to PIP you’ll be told and your DLA will stop. It will affect your income and maybe your entitlement to other benefits.

What's staying the same?

  • PIP will have two parts: mobility and daily living
  • It won’t be means tested or taxed, and won’t depend on national insurance contributions
  • You can claim if you’re in or out of work
  • It’s a cash payment
  • It’s payable if you claim before you reach 65, and can continue beyond that age
  • There’s still special rules claims for people who are terminally ill
  • Motability will still be supported 
  • The time you have to wait before claiming PIP is three months
  • The Government plans for the existing passporting arrangements for Blue Badge, Carers Allowance, and access to public transport concessions to be the same.

What's changing?

  • The 'needs' that cause you to claim for PIP will have to last nine months (an increase from six months)
  • The upper age limit of 65 will go up, in line with the changes to state pension age
  • If you already claim PIP when you reach 65 or state pension age (whichever is higher) you’ll carry on to get PIP as long as you meet the eligibility criteria (this may change at a later date)
  • If you have a condition that is expected to have periods of remission, you won’t get PIP during those periods. But you won’t have to meet the qualifying period again if you need to claim again within a year of the date when you were last entitled to PIP
  • There won’t be an automatic entitlement for specific conditions or impairments
  • There’ll only be two rates for each part - a standard rate and an enhanced rate. This is different to DLA, which has three rates for the care component
  • The Government aims to make the claiming process easier. Most claims will be made online or over the phone. If you’re not able to claim that way, you will be able to request a claim form. The form will be shorter and will just ask for basic information
  • There’ll be a new assessment system
  • Most people will have a face-to-face assessment with a health professional (apart from people awarded under the 'special rules').
  • More account will be taken of aids and adaptations.
  • There’ll be fixed term awards, except in exceptional circumstances. The length of award will be based on your needs and the likelihood of your health condition or impairment changing.
  • The Government plans to change the residence test to bring PIP in line with other non-contributory benefits.

What about PIP and Carers allowance?

Both the daily living parts of PIP act as a passport to Carer's Allowance, in the same way the mid and high rate parts of DLA do at the moment.

What about PIP and motability?

You’ll be able to qualify for motability help if you get the enhanced mobility component of PIP.