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How do I apply for PIP?

Photo: You can ask a family member to help with your claim

There are three steps to applying for PIP. Remember there's a lot of help available so you don’t have to do it by yourself. As well as independent free advisors you can also ask a trusted family member to help you if you need it and if you want, you can give permission for them to speak on your behalf if you would prefer that.

If you don't think you can manage the claim and the money you can get an appointee to help you, this is usually a family member. If you have an appointee they will manage your claim and receive the payments themselves. You can find out more about appointees on the government website here.

The steps to claim are:

  1. Register and start your claim: This can be done by phone, text, BSL video relay and next generation text. The call centre will start your claim, called a PIP1, with some basic information to check you are allowed to receive benefits. You can write by post or email to ask for a paper claim form but this can take longer and if your claim is successful it will only be paid from the date they receive the PIP1 form. 
  2. Complete your assessment form: This is the PIP2 form and it asks lots of questions about your health and disability and how you are affected to assess how you fits in with the criteria. You can also send evidence to help, like letters from professionals.
  3. Assessment: The final stage is to look at all of the information you’ve sent in. If they can’t make a decision they may write to your professionals. If they don’t get a reply or still need more information they may ask to meet you so they can ask you some more questions. It’s important if you are asked to attend a face to face assessment that you go as they usually stop your claim if you don't and you may have to start over again.

To find out how to start your claim see

If you are sending a written form make sure you put your national insurance number on it and explain you are deaf and need to be sent a PIP1 form. 

  • Write to: Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.
  • Email: [email protected]

If you live in Northern Ireland contact the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre:

  • Phone: 0800 012 1573
  • Textphone: 0800 012 1574
  • Write to: Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Centre, Castle Court, Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1HR.

Before you call, you’ll need:

  • your contact details, for example telephone number
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number - this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent abroad, in a care home or hospital


  • If you claim over the phone, textphone, NGT or video relay your claim starts from the date you contact the DWP.
  • If you claim on a paper form, your claim won’t start until the form is received by the DWP which could mean you lose money because your claim will start later.

The whole process usually takes around 13 weeks but it can vary. Most people receive their PIP2 form about two weeks after starting the claim. The form will need to be returned within a month of starting your claim. You'll get texts or letters confirming they've received your papers and telling you if they need more information. If you find it's taking too long or you're worried you should contact the office dealing with your claim. If you're not happy you can make a complaint.


  • The form has a unique claim code so no one else can use it. This means you can only claim PIP using this form, you won't be able to use a form you've downloaded or got from someone else.
  • The form comes with an information booklet explaining more about how to fill it in. Make sure you read the booklet carefully but remember you can contact the DWP or our Helpline if there’s something you don’t understand.

You'll be sent the decision by letter. It will state if you've been successful and if so at what rate. If you're refused or you're not happy with the level you have been given you can appeal, if you want to challenge it you need to do it within a month of the decision. This can sometimes be extended if you're late but no more than 13 months.

If you've been awarded PIP but want to challenge the amount, you should ask for advice first as you could lose what you've been awarded.

If you're awarded PIP it'll usually be paid from the date you started your claim. Depending on the rate and which parts you're given, you may be able to get other support. For example, if you get the enhanced rate of mobility you may be able to get a blue badge for parking. You should get a benefit check to make sure you are not missing out on anything. You can find more information on how to do this here: and

Watch the DWP's video on decisions and payments to find out more:


There are two parts with different rates which look at activities someone with a disability or long term health condition may find difficult. 

The daily living part looks at a range of activities - the main ones for deaf young people are difficulty with communicating, mixing with other people, cooking and bathing safely. There are other activities like washing, dressing and eating but these usually apply if you have additional needs, for example if you have depression and need prompting to do things or if you have a health condition. It’s important to make sure you do list all of the conditions and disabilities you have and think about how they might affect you or make things more difficult and not just focus on your deafness. 

The other part is about mobility or getting around. Some deaf people will qualify because of difficulties managing traffic and risks of crossing roads, difficulty following directions or asking for help if you get lost or if there are platform announcements at a station.

For more information about the activities using these videos:

Have a look at our guidance to find out more about how to complete the form.

The form is quite long but it’s important you fill in all the parts which apply to you even if you think you're repeating yourself. To help, you should read through the guidance you're sent with the form and speak to people who know you well and who may be able to remind you about some of the things they do to support you. Keeping a diary for two weeks can help too.

Make sure you list all of your conditions, treatment and therapies including any therapy you do yourself like speech exercises. 

Remember this is if you have difficulty with an activity and you don't need to have a carer or someone doing it for you. It should also be if you can only do an activity safely, reliably and well. For example, if you get tired and sometimes cannot do something then you would say you cannot do it.

There’s lots of help for you with the forms, you can contact Our Helpline or you can see if there is a local independent service like: 

Remember to keep a copy of your form and any evidence you send with it. 

Send any extra evidence you have which supports what you wrote in the PIP form, this could be a letter from an audiologist or teacher of the deaf or even a statement from a family member. However, sometimes evidence which looks helpful might not be useful for benefit claims so you should speak to an expert like a benefits adviser or call our helpline to get advice about whether to use something.

If you don’t have the evidence already, don’t delay sending in the form. Put a note on the form saying you’ll send in supporting evidence later.

Extra evidence could include:

  • Reports or letters from your Teacher of the Deaf, audiologist, or other professionals who help you.
  • Reports on any extra help you get at school, college, university or work place.
  • Your Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (England), statement of special educational needs (Wales and Northern Ireland) or coordinated support plan (Scotland).
  • Letters or statements from people who know you well.

Make sure that the evidence is up to date, that you agree with it, and it relates to any problems you have with the PIP activities.

If someone is writing a letter or statement to support you, you can ask them to comment on the tasks you need help with because of your condition and that you think are more important to your claim.

We have a factsheet for audiologists called ‘Writing Reports for Non-Specialist Audiences’. It has lots of useful information to help them write a letter that gives other agencies, like the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a full understanding of your needs.

You may also want to keep a diary. This can be particularly helpful if your needs vary and it can be a helpful way to use your own words to describe the type of help you need. 


  • Remember to keep a copy of everything you send to the DWP and write a list in the extra information page.
  • Label all supporting evidence with your name and national insurance number (this will be the reference number on any letters from the DWP about PIP).

Your claim will be referred to an independent assessor who will look at your form and any papers you sent in. They might write to the professionals you named. If they don’t get an answer or need more they will ask to meet you to find out more. This is usually done in an assessment centre by an independent contractor, your travel will be refunded. If you need a home visit you can put this on your form or contact them to tell them the reason why. You can take someone with you to support you and they will arrange an interpreter if you need one.

The assessment usually lasts about an hour, the assessor will ask you about your deafness and any other conditions. They will observe you in the meeting so it’s important you tell them if you feel the assessment isn’t accurate for example if the room is very quiet and not realistic so explain what it’s like for you in different environments like work or college.  

To find out more about the assessment there are some helpful videos here  

If you can’t go to the assessment you need to contact the assessment centre using the details on your appointment letter as soon as possible to explain why and arrange a new date.

You aren’t allowed to change the date a second time, so make sure you can definitely go, and anyone you want to come with you can come too, before re-booking.


  • Lots of assessors don’t know much about deafness so it's really important that you explain everything to them as clearly as possible
    • Example: Some assessors think wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant means you can hear fine. You need to explain this isn’t the case.
    • Example: Your assessment will be in a quiet room with only two or three people (you, the assessor and anyone you bring with you). The assessor will be facing you and there won’t be background noise. You need to explain that in the real world you can’t hear as well as it’s often noisy and people don’t face you and so on.

If you think the assessment hasn’t been carried out properly contact our Helpline and complain to the assessor, complaining won’t affect your claim.

If you are awarded PIP you will need to make sure you tell the decision making office about any changes in your circumstances which could include things like moving abroad, moving home, if your needs go up or down.

Yes, but it will depend which part you get. The mobility part can still be paid but the daily living part will stop once you have been in residential school or college for 28 days. You can be paid a daily rate, for example weekends, it would then stop when you return. Days spent travelling. If you return home for 28 days or more the clock starts again, this usually only happen in the summer holidays.