How long Personal Independence Payments last and expected award length for long-term illnesses

By Staff 10 Min Read

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not award lifetime payment awards to anyone who claims Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – the shortest can be nine months while the longest is reviewed every 10 years

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New data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals that 3.5 million people across Great Britain, including nearly 219,000 in Scotland, are now claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is the highest number of people ever to receive this disability benefit.

However, this total doesn’t include the 109,385 Scots who have switched from PIP to Adult Disability Payment (ADP).

But, those applying for PIP for the first time might not know that the length of a successful award can vary. The shortest award lasts nine months, while the longest is an ongoing award with a ‘light touch’ review every 10 years.

The 2024 PIP Handbook explains that the decision maker will decide on a PIP award based on how the claimant’s health condition or disability affects their daily life and their ability to live independently. It also says: “The length of award will be based upon each claimant’s individual circumstances.”

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It’s crucial to remember that the DWP guidance also states that most claimants will have their award regularly reviewed, “regardless of the length of the award”, to ensure “everyone continues to receive the most appropriate level of support”.

Certain claimants will be awarded for a fixed period of up to two years – DWP confirms these awards won’t be reviewed. Awards with no review date are given when someone’s health is likely to improve.

Rules are different for those reaching the end of life who will receive three-year awards, and all will get the higher rate for daily living. How much they get for mobility depends on how difficult it is for them to move around.

On-going awards that have ‘light touch’ reviews, as per the Daily Record:

The term ‘light touch’ review refers to those:

A ‘light touch’ review is for claimants who have:

  • very stable needs which are unlikely to change over time
  • high level needs which will either stay the same or get worse
  • a planned award review date due on or at State Pension age
  • a special rules for end of life claim due when of State Pension age

This guidance from DWP reads: “These claimants would not usually be expected to have a face-to-face assessment at review.”

Currently, a successful PIP or ADP claim can mean an extra £26.90 to £172.75 each week. As this benefit gets paid every four weeks, that’s between £107.60 and £691.00 every pay period.

But from April 8, 2024, payments may increase by 6.7 per cent.

Your weekly PIP / ADP payment rates in 2024/25.

Daily Living Component

  • Enhanced: £108.55 (from £101.75)
  • Standard: £72.65 (from £68.10)

Mobility Component

  • Enhanced: £75.75 (from £71.00)
  • Standard: £28.70 (from £26,90)

How much PIP you get depends on how hard it is for you to do everyday things like prepare and eat food, wash and get dressed, go to the toilet, basic needs and moving around.

Breaking down PIP awards

Most PIP awards are given for a set amount of time – the end date is mentioned in your decision letter. But, the DWP can get in touch to review a PIP claim, even if there’s still a few years left on the PIP award.

PIP awards that last up to two years are given when it’s expected that the person will get much better.

Awards that last 5-10 years are given when changes in the person’s condition could happen but are less likely.

In summer 2018, the DWP said that people who get the highest level of PIP – and have severe or conditions that get worse over time where their needs are expected to stay the same or increase – will get an ongoing PIP award with a ‘light touch’ review every 10 years.

Before your award ends, you’ll be asked to apply to renew your claim. You might be asked to fill out a PIP review form (AR1), which is shorter than the PIP2 form filled out by new claimants and focuses on changes in your circumstances.

Or, you might be asked to fill out the PIP2 form again.

What happens if my condition changes?

Your PIP award might change if something in your life changes. For example, if your health gets better, your PIP might go down or stop.

If your health gets worse, your PIP award might go up.

It’s your job to tell the DWP when your condition gets better or worse. If you don’t tell the DWP at the time, you could miss out on benefits that you should get or you could be given too many benefits that you would have to pay back.

What happens if I end up in hospital?

If you are 18 or over, your PIP stops after you have been a patient in hospital for 28 consecutive days. It starts again after you have been discharged.

What happens if I go into a care home?

The daily living component of your PIP stops after you have been living in a care home for 28 days. It starts again if and when you leave to live independently.

The mobility component of PIP continues to be paid as normal, however long you live in a care home.

What happens as I get older?

Getting older does not stop your PIP award but it can stop you from renewing your claim or making a new claim.

If you are over State Pension age and you want your PIP to continue, make sure you renew your claim when your current award ends.

There are currently 650,801 people over State Pension age claiming PIP across the country.

If you are over State Pension age and your last award of PIP ended over a year ago, you cannot renew your claim or make a new claim. However, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead but this does not include a mobility component – find out more here.

For more information about PIP, visit the GOV.UK website here.

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