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Last updated:
15/08/2019

How does the DWP decide on PIP claims?

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision maker will determine if you get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and at what rate. We explain how they assess and score your PIP claim.

The DWP decision maker uses the following information to decide whether you’re entitled to PIP, at what rate and for how long:

  • The answers you put on the PIP form (‘How your disability affects you form’)
  • Any medical evidence that your doctor, social worker, nurse or other professionals supplied
  • A PIP medical assessment report by an independent healthcare professional.
    • They evaluate your ability to carry out specific daily living and mobility activities.
    • They consider whether your mental health condition limits your ability to carry out the activities, and what support is needed to do so.

PIP is made up of two components - you may qualify for one or both:

  • Daily living component
  • Mobility component

Components are awarded at either a standard or an enhanced rate of PIP. The amount of PIP that you get depends on the number of points awarded to you by the DWP for each component.

PIP Daily living activities

To be eligible for the daily living rate of PIP your physical or mental health condition must affect your ability to complete everyday tasks for any of the activities listed:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating and drinking
  • 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
  • Manage your money

PIP mobility activities

To be eligible for the mobility rate of PIP your physical or mental health condition must affect your ability to complete the following activities:

  • planning and following journeys
  • moving around

PIP descriptors

PIP descriptors are used to assess your ability to carry out specific daily living and mobility activities. Each of the daily living and mobility activities has several PIP descriptors.

Each descriptor has a points score assigned to them ranging from 0 to 12. The independent healthcare professional will advise the DWP which descriptor is most relevant to you.

When assessing which descriptor applies to you, the healthcare professional must consider how you can complete each activity:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • More than once
  • In a reasonable time

PIP points scoring

The amount of PIP awarded depends on the number of points you score for both the daily living and mobility activities. The table below explains the points you require for each component.

The 2019 PIP points scoring:

Component Points required
Daily living - standard rate 8-11
Daily living - enhanced rate 12
Mobility - standard rate 8-11
Mobility - enhanced rate 12

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