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Last updated:
15/08/2019

How to fill in the PIP form

We explain how to fill in your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim form - PIP2: How your disability affects you. We guide you through each question, explaining what it means and suggest what you could include when living with a mental health condition.

Our PIP form guide will help you fill in your PIP claim form. We offer advice for each question, including:

  • An explanation of the question
  • What to consider when answering the question
  • Examples you may put when living with a mental health condition
  • Help and tips when explaining how your mental health affects you

Each of the PIP form questions is based on an activity in the daily living and mobility test. You should answer them carefully and thoroughly.

  • Questions 3–12 are for the daily living component.
  • Question 13 and 14 are for the mobility component
  • Question 15 is for additional information. You can write any extra information here which you think will help your claim.

Note

You must complete the PIP form and send it back to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) within one month.

If you need more time to fill in the PIP form, you will need to phone the DWP and ask them for an extension. If you don’t send the form back in time, the DWP will refuse your claim unless you have a good reason for sending it in late.

PIP form tips and help

In addition to specific PIP form question tips, we have listed a few general tips for filling in the PIP form:

  1. Always use the ‘extra information’ boxes to explain exactly how your illness affects you.
  2. Don’t feel you have to fit your answer into the box provided. You can use the space at the end of the form or extra sheets of paper if you need to.
  3. If you use extra paper, add your name and National Insurance number and staple it to the form securely.
  4. Try to give clear, short explanations and examples that are relevant to the activity.
  5. You do not have to get treatment or support to meet the criteria for PIP. If you don’t get all the support you need, think about how your life could be improved if someone could encourage, help or prompt you with the activity.
  6. Think about how you can do each activity.
    a. Safely: Can you do the activity without causing danger to yourself or someone else?
    b. Well enough: For example, you may be able to make a meal, but you will not be able to eat it if it is undercooked.
    c. More than once: Can you repeat the activity as many times as you need to?
    d. In a reasonable time: Does it take you longer to do the activity than it would take most people?
  7. To qualify for PIP, you need to show that you need help with the activities on more than half the days in a year. Make it clear on the form how often you have problems with the activities.
  8. If your health changes, explain how often this happens and the effect it has on you. It may help to keep a diary.

Definition of PIP form keywords and phrases

When filling in the PIP form, you should understand several definitions used throughout the assessment criteria. We have listed a few keywords below, but if you need, we also have an extensive list of PIP form definitions here.

  • Supervision means you need another person watching over you all the time to make sure you are safe.
  • Prompting means another person must remind or encourage you to do something or explain something to you.
  • Assistance means another person is there to help you to do something physically. This does not include someone else speaking for you.
  • Psychological distress means mental distress such as anxiety, confused emotions, hallucination, rage or depression.

PIP form question 1: Contact details of healthcare professionals

You need to provide the contact details and the date of your last appointment for any health professional you've seen about your condition. These could include:

  • GP, nurse
  • Psychiatrist, psychologist or occupational therapist
  • Care co-ordinator
  • Community psychiatric nurse (CPN)
  • Social or support worker
  • Hospital consultant

If you don’t know the exact date, you last saw them it's ok to just give the year. If a family member cares for you, you can add their details in question 15.

PIP form question 2a: Your health conditions

You are required to list the physical and mental health conditions you have and the date they started. You should give your most recent diagnosis first and list and previous conditions if they are relevant.

You are not required to go into detail as to how it affects you as questions 3-15 will cover this. For example:

Health condition or disability Year started
Agoraphobia 2019
Anxiety 2017

If you do not have a diagnosis, explain why and give the main symptoms of your condition.

PIP form question 2b: Your medication or treatment

You should list all paid for or prescribed, tablets, medications, treatments and therapies you use or are about to start – you are not required to explain the frequency, dosage or reason.

If you have been prescribed medication but can’t take it because of the side effects, you should include this.

PIP form question 3: Preparing food

Explanation

This question is about how your condition impacts your ability to make a simple meal. It’s created to assess whether you need any help to make yourself regular cooked food daily. For example, can you:

  • open packaging
  • peel, chop and serve food
  • use a cooker, hob or microwave for cooking or heating food.

It does not consider your cooking skills but does look at any required help you need to make meals safely. This includes physical help or needing someone else to prompt you.

Definitions

  • Simple meal: a cooked one-course meal for one using fresh ingredients.
  • Aid or appliance: any device which improves, provides or replaces your impaired physical or mental function. For this question, that could be a stool or lightweight pans, or an electric cooker instead of gas.

Questions

PIP question Answer
3a: Do you use an aid or appliance to prepare or cook a simple meal? Yes/no/sometimes
3b: Do you need help from another person to prepare or cook a simple meal? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to prepare and cook a meal.

Preparing food PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
1. Preparing food a. Can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2
  c. Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave. 2
  d. Needs prompting to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 2
  e. Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal. 4
  f. Cannot prepare and cook food. 8

PIP preparing food mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to prepare and cook a meal. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Do you need to sit down while preparing or cooking - a stool or similar counts as an aid?
  • Do you need someone to remind or help you to make meals?
  • Do you need someone to cook for you?
  • Do you need help to follow cooking instructions?
  • Does your illness or medication affect your ability to make or prepare a meal?
  • Do you often lack the motivation to make meals?
  • Do you become distracted when cooking?

PIP form question 4: Eating and drinking

Explanation

This question is about how your condition impacts your ability to eat or drink. For example, can you:

  • Cut food,
  • Put food in your mouth,
  • Chew and swallow,
  • Recognise when, and how much, you need to eat and drink.

Definitions

  1. Aid or appliance: any device which improves, provides or replaces your impaired physical or mental function. For this question that could include a straw or cutlery that has been modified for your needs.

Questions

PIP question Answer
4a: Do you use an aid or appliance to eat and drink? Yes/no/sometimes
4b: Do you use a feeding tube or similar device to eat or drink? Yes/no/sometimes
4c: Do you need help from another person to eat and drink? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to eat and drink.

Taking nutrition PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
2. Taking nutrition a. Can take nutrition unaided. 0
  b. Needs – (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or (ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or (iii) assistance to be able to cut up food. 2
  c. Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition. 2
  d. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. 4
  e. Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 6
  f. Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so. 10

PIP nutrition mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to eat and drink. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Do you often miss meals?
  • Do you refuse or forget to eat?
  • Do you need someone to remind, prompt, supervise or help to make sure you eat and drink?
  • Do you need someone near you to make sure you’re safe or not a risk?
  • Do you have an eating disorder?
  • Does your medication cause tremors or spasms which make eating or drinking difficult?
  • Do the difficulties you have eating or drinking cause you any physical or mental symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks?

PIP form question 5: Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

Explanation

  • This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:
  • Manage your treatments or therapy
  • Monitor your health condition, including your mental health
  • Act to stop your condition getting worse

Definitions

  1. Aid or appliance: any device which improves, provides or replaces your impaired physical or mental function. For this question that could include a pill box or organiser.

Questions

PIP question Answer
5a: Do you use an aid or appliance to monitor your health conditions, take medication or manage home treatments? Yes/no/sometimes
5b: Do you need help from another person to monitor your health conditions, take medication or manage home treatments? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to manage your treatments.

Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
3. Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition a. Either – (i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or (ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided. 0
  b. Needs either – (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; or (ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor a health condition. 1
  c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week. 2
  d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week. 4
  e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week. 6
  f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week. 8

PIP managing therapy mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to manage your therapy or monitor your health.

If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Do you notice when your mental health changes?
  • Can you get help to avoid becoming more unwell?
  • Can you manage your medication or home therapies (such as relaxation techniques or meditation)?
  • Do you need a pill organiser to remind you what medication to take?
  • Do you need an alarm or someone to remind you to make sure you take your medication at the right time?
  • Does someone need to supervise you to make sure you take the right medication?
  • Do you often forget to take medication?
  • Have you taken a deliberate overdose?
  • Do you self-harm?

PIP form question 6: Washing and bathing

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • Wash or bathe in a standard bath or shower

Definitions

  1. Aid or appliance: any device which improves, provides or replaces your impaired physical or mental function. For this question that could be a shower seat or handrail.

Questions

PIP question Answer
6a: Do you use an aid or appliance to wash and bathe yourself, including using a bath or shower? Yes/no/sometimes
6b: Do you need help from another person to wash or bathe? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to wash and bathe.

Washing and bathing PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
4. Washing and bathing a. Can wash and bathe unaided. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to wash or bathe. 2
  c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to wash or bathe. 2
  d. Needs assistance to be able to wash either their hair or body below the waist. 2
  e. Needs assistance to be able to get in or out of a bath or shower. 3
  f. Needs assistance to be able to wash their body between the shoulders and waist. 4
  g. Cannot wash and bathe at all and needs another person to wash their entire body. 8

PIP washing and bathing mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to wash or bathe. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Does your illness or medication mean you do not regularly wash and bathe?
  • Do you often lack the motivation to wash or bathe?
  • Do you need to sit down in the shower because your medication causes light-headedness?
  • Do you need someone to remind or help you to wash or bathe?
  • Do you wash too much, for example, if you have a condition like OCD?
  • Do symptoms of your mental health condition mean you don’t wash and bathe every day?

PIP form question 7: Managing toilet needs

Explanation

  • This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:
  • Get on and off a toilet seat
  • Clean yourself afterwards
  • manage incontinence (if applicable)

People who have a mental illness only and not a physical condition do not usually score any points in this section.

Questions

PIP question Answer
7a: Do you use an aid or appliance to go to the toilet or manage incontinence? Yes/no/sometimes
7b: Do you need help from another person to go to the toilet or manage incontinence? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability manage your toilet needs.

Managing toilet needs or incontinence PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence a. Can manage toilet needs or incontinence unaided. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or incontinence. 2
  c. Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs. 2
  d. Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs. 4
  e. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of either bladder or bowel. 6
  f. Needs assistance to be able to manage incontinence of both bladder and bowel. 8

PIP managing toilet needs mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to manage your toilet needs. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • It may be possible to score points if your illness or medication causes incontinence.
  • You may score points if you have a physical health condition that affects your toilet needs.

PIP form question 8: Dressing and undressing

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to choose, put on and take off appropriate, un-adapted clothing.

Definitions

  1. Appropriate clothes: clothing appropriate for the weather, occasion and time of day.

Questions

PIP question Answer
8a: Do you use an aid or appliance to dress or undress? Yes/no/sometimes
8b: Do you need help from another person to dress or undress? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to dress and undress.

Dressing and undressing PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
6. Dressing and undressing a. Can dress and undress unaided. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress. 2
  c. Needs either - (i) prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or (ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing. 2
  d. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body. 2
  e. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body. 4
  f. Cannot dress or undress at all. 8

PIP dressing and undressing mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to dress and undress. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Does your illness affect your ability or motivation to dress yourself?
  • Do you need someone to prompt you to get dressed or undressed?
  • Do you find it difficult to decide what clothing is appropriate for the time of day or weather conditions?
  • Can you keep your clothes clean so that you can dress appropriately?

PIP form question 9: Communicating verbally

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • Speak to others, so they understand you
  • Hear and understand what other people are saying

You will be assessed in your first language.

Definitions

  • Basic verbal information: giving information in a single sentence.
  • Complex verbal information: giving information in more than one sentence, or a complicated single sentence.
  • Communication support: help from a person that is trained or experienced in helping people with communication needs, for example, a sign language interpreter.

Questions

PIP question Answer
9a: Do you use an aid or appliance to communicate with others? Yes/no/sometimes
9b: Do you need help from another person to communicate with others? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to communicate verbally.

Communicating verbally PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
7. Communicating verbally a. Can express and understand verbal information unaided. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear. 2
  c. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information. 4
  d. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. 8
  e. Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support. 12

PIP communicating verbally mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to communicate verbally. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Does your illness or medication make it difficult for people to understand you?
  • Can you understand other people?
  • Is it hard for you to concentrate when you are speaking to people?
  • Do you get easily confused when someone is explaining things to you?

PIP form question 10: Reading

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • read information that is a standard text size
  • read signs
  • read indoors and outside

Definitions

  1. Basic information: means signs, symbols or dates
  2. Complex information: is more than one sentence of written or printed standard size text.

Questions

PIP question Answer
10a: Do you use an aid or appliance other than spectacles or contact lenses to read signs, symbols and words? Yes/no/sometimes
10b: Do you need help from another person to read or understand signs, symbols and words? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to read.

Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words PIP descriptors

The 'reading and understanding signs, symbols and words' activity judge your ability to read and understand written or printed information.

Activity Descriptors Points
8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words a. Can read and understand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses. 0
  b. Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information. 2
  c. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information. 2
  d. Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information. 4
  e. Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all. 8

PIP Reading mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to read. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Does your illness affect your ability to read?
  • Can you read and understand your gas bill or bank statement?
  • Can you follow simple written instructions? For example, the guidance on your medication which explains how much and when you should take it.

PIP form question 11: Mixing with other people

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • meet people and mix with them socially
  • judge situations when you're with other people and behave appropriately
  • establish relationships with people e.g. make friends.

The DWP are not interested in whether you choose not to mix with people. They want to know how your condition makes you feel when you do.

Definitions

  1. Help: Someone prompting or encouraging you to do so, being there to support or reassure you, and helping you understand how people are behaving towards you.

Questions

PIP question Answer
11a: Do you need another person to help you to mix with other people? Yes/no/sometimes
11b: Do you find it difficult to mix with other people because of severe anxiety or distress? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to mix with other people.

Engaging with other people face to face PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
9. Engaging with other people face to face a. Can engage with other people unaided. 0
  b. Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people. 2
  c. Needs social support to be able to engage with other people. 4
  d. Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either – (i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or (ii) the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person. 8

PIP mixing with other people mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to engage and mix with other people. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • You need someone with you when you meet people you don’t know
  • You need someone to be with you when you meet and mix with people
  • You are unsure how you’re going to react when you meet and mix with other people
  • You become anxious when you meet and mix with other people
  • You don’t like the idea of mixing with other people
  • You avoid mixing with other people because of the anxiety and distress it causes you.

PIP form question 12: Making decisions about money

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to manage your money, including:

  • Buying items from a shop or restaurant
  • Budgeting for and paying your bills
  • Saving and budgeting for future purchases

Definitions

  1. Simple budgeting decisions: means working out how much things cost and how much change you need when you buy something.
  2. Complex budgeting decisions: means working out budgets, paying bills and planning what to buy in the future.

Questions

PIP question Answer
12a: Do you need someone else to help you to understand how much things cost when you buy them or how much change you'll receive? Yes/no/sometimes
12b: Do you need someone else to help you to manage your household budgets, pay bills or plan future purchases? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to manage your money.

Making budgeting decisions PIP descriptors

Activity Descriptors Points
10. Making budgeting decisions a. Can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided. 0
  b. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make complex budgeting decisions. 2
  c. Needs prompting or assistance to be able to make simple budgeting decisions. 4
  d. Cannot make any budgeting decisions at all. 6

PIP making decisions about money mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to make decisions about money.

If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Do you need help to make sure you pay your bills?
  • Can you budget to make sure you have money to buy essential items such as food?
  • Do you have problems with motivation which stop you paying bills?
  • Are you ever overly generous with your money? For example, do you give money to others when you cannot afford it?
  • Do you need someone to go to the shops with you to help you with making payment and getting the right change?
  • Do you understand the value of money?

PIP form question 13: Planning and following journeys

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • Plan and follow a route to a place you know
  • Plan and follow a bus or train route to a place you don't know
  • Cope in places that you don't know
  • Leave the house because of stress or anxiety (if applicable)

Questions

PIP question Answer
13a: Do you need help from another person to plan a route to somewhere you know well? Or do you need another person, guide dog or specialist aid to help you get there? Yes/no/sometimes
13b: Do you need help from another person, guide dog or specialist aid to get to a location that is unfamiliar to you? Yes/no/sometimes
13c: Are you unable to go out because of severe anxiety or distress? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to plan and follow journeys.

Planning and following journeys PIP descriptor

If you cannot use public transport, the DWP should not count you as able to plan and follow an unfamiliar journey alone.

Activity Descriptors Points
1. Planning and following journeys a. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. 0
  b. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 4
  c. Cannot plan the route of a journey. 8
  d. Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10
  e. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10
  f. Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12

PIP planning and following journeys mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to plan and follow journeys. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • Can you only go places you have been before?
  • Do you struggle to go somewhere new?
  • Do you need someone with you when you go out?
  • How does going out and making a journey make you feel?
  • If there was a disruption to a journey you have planned, for example, a closed road, would you be able to carry on with your journey?
  • Does your stress, anxiety or other mental health condition make it difficult for you to go out?
  • Do you find it hard to cope with large crowds or loud noises?
  • Does someone help or encourage you to go out?
  • Does your mental health condition makes using a bus or train difficult?
  • Can you plan a route to an unfamiliar place yourself?

PIP form question 14: Moving around

Explanation

This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:

  • Stand safely without help
  • Walk safely without stopping and without help

People who have a mental illness only and not a physical condition do not usually score any points in this section.

Questions

PIP question Answer
14a: How far can you walk, taking into account any aids you use? less than 20 metres/between 20 and 50 metres/between 50 and 200 metres/200 metres or more/it varies
14b: Do you use an aid or appliance to walk? Yes/no/sometimes
14c: Do you use a wheelchair or similar device to move around safely, reliably and repeatedly and in a reasonable time period? Yes/no/sometimes
Extra information This is your chance to explain how your condition affects your ability to physically move around.

Moving around PIP descriptor

Activity Descriptors Points
2. Moving around a. Can stand and then move more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided. 0
  b. Can stand and then move more than 50 metres but no more than 200 metres, either aided or unaided. 4
  c. Can stand and then move unaided more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. 8
  d. Can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres. 10
  e. Can stand and then move more than 1 metre but no more than 20 metres, either aided or unaided. 12
  f. Cannot, either aided or unaided, – (i) stand; or (ii) move more than 1 metre. 12

PIP moving around journeys mental health considerations

You should consider how your mental health condition affects your ability to move around. If any of the following apply to you, you should explain this in detail in the extra information section of the question:

  • If you have a physical health issue that affects your ability to move around, you may score points.

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