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Personal independence payment explained

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is designed to help towards the extra costs arising from the impact of a disability, health condition or impairment.

It's based on how someone's condition(s) affect their ability to lead an independent life and on an assessment of their individual need. It's not based on the condition(s) they have. Any assessment focuses on an individual's ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life.

Claims will normally be made to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the phone, although claimants will also be asked to complete a questionnaire providing information on how their disability affects them. Most people will then be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with a health professional as part of the claim process. Claimants can take somebody with them for support. This could include a social worker, friend or carer.

There are two components of PIP – one for daily living and one for mobility. Each can be paid at a standard or an enhanced rate, based on an assessment of their individual needs. Awards will also be reviewed more regularly to make sure the right level of support is offered.

PIP is not considered as income for the purpose of entitlement to current income-related benefits, or in future universal credit. PIP can be claimed whether someone is working or not, and it can still help people access other support, such as helping a carer qualify for carer's allowance.

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