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How does my child claim Personal Independence Payment?

Photo: Information and tips on making a PIP claim

The claim process

Stage one

Your child needs to phone the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone: 0800 917 7777). There is also British Sign Language (BSL) video relay available.

The DWP will ask your child for some basic information, plus details of time they’ve spent abroad or in hospital or care, and then decide whether they meet the basic conditions to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Or, your child can ask for a paper form by:

  • emailing [email protected]
  • writing to Personal Independence Payment, PO Box 1303, Blackpool FY1 9HF.

However the DWP have told us that “the telephone service is still the quickest way to make a PIP claim, because information is captured immediately instead of waiting for a form to be received in the post.” A digital claim process is currently under review and we will provide information about this when it’s available.

Stage two

If your child meets the basic conditions, they’ll be sent a PIP questionnaire called How your disability affects you. It's also sometimes referred to as the PIP2 questionnaire.

This asks for details about your child’s disability. They have one month to return the questionnaire, but can ask for more time if they need it, for example to gather evidence or get someone to help them fill it in.

For guidance on filling in this form, see our factsheet Supporting your child with filling in the 'How your disability affects you' questionnaire (PIP2)

Stage three

Once your child’s questionnaire has been returned to the DWP they’ll pass it to an assessment provider who’ll decide whether they need to get further information, for example from your child’s Teacher of the Deaf.

In most cases, your child will be sent an appointment for a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional. Following the assessment, the healthcare professional will prepare a report for the DWP.

Sometimes, the assessment provider may decide that they already have enough information to prepare a report without needing to ask your child to attend a face-to-face meeting.

Stage four

If your child does need a face-to-face assessment, the assessment provider will arrange an appointment for the assessment, which may be at home or at an assessment centre. They should provide a signer or a spoken language interpreter, or both, if your child needs one.

It's worth contacting the assessor as soon as your child receives the date to make sure they know about any access needs your child has.

The assessment should happen within a few weeks of your child returning the questionnaire.

Stage five

After the assessment the assessor writes up their findings and sends them to the DWP, who will make a decision on your child’s claim and send your child a letter in the post telling them how many points they scored and if they have been awarded PIP or not.

Tips for claiming PIP

  • For each activity on the How your disability affects you form your child should think about whether they can do it safely, to a good standard, in a reasonable amount of time, and repeatedly.
  • Make sure your child explains all the help they need, and the difficulties they face, for each activity even if it feels like they’re repeating themselves.
  • The examples your child gives must be directly linked to their disability or health condition, e.g. “I need to be able to see someone’s face so that I can lip-read because I have difficulty hearing certain sounds”.
  • Never assume a DWP decision maker will ‘fill in the gaps’ – your child needs to explain everything clearly and in detail.
  • Remember that DWP decision makers aren’t experts on deafness. For example, your child should explain things like concentration fatigue and that hearing technology doesn’t mean they can hear ‘normally’.
  • On page 6 of the How your disability affects you form your child should give details of the professional best placed to describe the effects of their deafness. 
    This isn’t always a GP because they might not know enough about the effects of your child’s hearing loss if they don’t see them about their deafness.
  • Hearing aids and cochlear implants can be treated as an 'aid or appliance' under PIP rules and may score points under some of the PIP activities. 
    Your child should think about how well they can carry out an activity when using their hearing equipment, and factors that affect how useful the equipment is, such as background noise, or when it can’t be worn due to damage or an ear infection. 
  • Your child should send in supporting evidence.
  • Your child should keep a copy of the form and any supporting evidence they send.
  • If returning the form in the post, your child should take it to the post office and get proof of postage.

How long should the claim process take?

Receiving the How your disability affects you questionnaire

If it takes more than a couple of weeks for the form to reach your child, then chase it up in case it’s got lost. If there’s a delay your child won’t lose out as their claim starts from when they make the initial phone call or when the DWP received your child’s letter.

Waiting for an assessment

If the healthcare professional assigned to your child’s case decides they need information from a face-to-face assessment, your child should be sent an appointment for an assessment a few weeks after sending in the How your disability affects you questionnaire.

Waiting for a decision

If your child hasn’t had a decision within eight weeks of sending in the How your disability affects you questionnaire or attending an assessment, they should contact the DWP to find out what the delay is.