3. Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independance Payment is a benefit which is meant to cover the additional cost of having a disability. It is possible to receive PIP regardless of whether or not you are able to work. There are two components of PIP:

  • Daily living component
  • Mobility component

Each component can be awarded at either a standard or enhanced rate, if the claimant is awarded 8 or 12 points respectively for the Activities for that component.

The two components are independent – so a client could have Daily Living but no Mobility or vice versa.

Claimants must meet the conditions three months retrospectively and nine months prospectively. PIP can ”passport” claimants with other benefits or services such as exemption from the bedroom tax and benefit cap, the Motability scheme etc.

Definition of terms


Physical help from another person with completing some part of an activity.


Continuous presence of another person throughout the activity to ensure your safety.


Another person needs to remind or encourage you to carry out an activity, or explain how to do it.

Aid or appliance

Something that improves, provides, or replaces a mental or physical function; must be needed because of your physical or mental condition.

Considering aids and appliances

Could the client use an aid or appliance? Think about:

  • Whether they have an aid or appliance
  • Cost and availability of aid or appliance
  • Ability to use and store
  • Medical advice they would get about using one

Four key tests

Clients can only be considered to be able to complete an activity if they can do so reliably. This is broken down into four tests

  • Safely-  in a manner unlikely to cause harm to [the claimant] or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity.
  • Repeatedly- as often as the activity being assessed is reasonably required to be completed.
  • Within a reasonable time period– no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a person without a physical or mental condition which limits that person’s ability to carry out the activity in question would normally take to complete that activity.
  • To an acceptable standard– in an appropriate manner, as well as with consideration to the effects of pain. 


Daily living

  • Preparing food
  • Taking nutrition
  • Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • Engaging with other people face to face
  • Making budgeting decisions


  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

Descriptors to be aware of

Activity 1 – Preparing food

Cooking means heating food at or above waist height (not bending for oven) and prepare covers a cooked one-course meal for one using fresh ingredients. An aid can include the use of a stool.

Activity 3 – Managing medication or therapy

Can include using a dossette box

Activity 5 – Managing toilet needs

Think about use of pads, incontinence underwear, adapted toilets or grab rails around the toilet.

Activity 6 – Dressing and undressing

Includes putting on and taking off socks and shoes

Activities 8 and 9 – Communicating verbally and reading

Language is irrelevant – inability must be due to a physical or mental condition.

Reading includes signs, symbols and words but does not include Braille.

Activity 11 – Planning and following journeys

An orientation aid could include a long cane.

Activity 12 – Mobilising

Standing means “at least one biological foot on the ground” so bilateral amputees with prostheses would not be considered able to stand.

Last updated on February 20th, 2019 at 04:09 pm