Fitting the pieces together

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PIP is a new benefit for people who, because of an impairment,  need help to participate in everyday life or get around.  It is expected to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all existing DLA claimants aged between 16 and 64, by September 2017.   (Existing DLA claimants aged 65 or more, however, will not be expected to apply for PIP.)

• Although in some ways, PIP appears to be similar to the equivalent DLA, the criteria for PIP are quite different.

There are two parts to PIP, a Daily Living component and a Mobility component. Each is considered separately, and each has two levels of benefit: a Standard Level, and an Enhanced Level.

Eligibility is established through a PIP assessment, a face-to-face points-related assessment of physical and mental and cognitive functions within a range of 12 different types of activity.

Activities – Daily Living

1. Preparing food

Your physical or mental ability to prepare and cook a simple one-course meal.

2. Taking nutrition

Your ability to eat and drink by cutting up food, moving it to your mouth, chewing etc, or using a food tube or similar device.

3. Managing therapy or monitoring a medical condition

The support you need from others (not medical professionals) to actively manage your medication taken at home, or monitor your health condition (when failure to do would cause health to deteriorate.)

4. Washing and bathing

Your physical or mental ability to wash and bathe in a standard un-adapted bathroom

5. Managing toilet needs or incontinence

Your ability to manage your own toilet needs or incontinence condition using an un-adapted WC

6. Dressing and undressing

Your ability to select, put on and take off un-adapted clothing which is suitable and appropriate, including socks and shoes

7. Communicating verbally

Your ability to communicate using words in your native language and whether you need specialist support to express or understand verbal communication.

8. Reading and understanding signs, symbols, words and dates

Your ability to read and understand signs, symbols, words and dates, in your own native language, not including an ability to read braille

9. Engaging with people face to face

Your ability to engage with other people in an appropriate way, without causing distress, to understand body language and establish relationships and whether you need specialist support.

10. Making budgeting decisions

Your ability to spend and manage your money, including complex and basic budgeting decisions without prompting or assistance.

Activities – Mobility

1. Planning and following journeys.

Your ability to work out and follow a route safely and reliably, and whether you can do so with an assistance dog or orientation aid.

2. Moving around

Your physical ability to stand and then move around without severe discomfort, on normal types of outdoor surfaces such as streets and pavements. Standing means on your own biological foot or feet, so amputees cannot ‘stand’ under this test.

Each of the 12 Activities has several descriptors of varying degrees of difficulty worth differing numbers of points. You get points for things you cannot do. Within the separate components, Daily Living’ and ’Mobility’, the highest points score from each Activity, is combined with that from any other Activities in that component. This indicates which, if any, level of benefit you may be eligible for. It is possible to have a different level of benefit (or none at all) in the separate components.

Generally, if you need aids, assistance, prompting or supervision, you score more points. If you can’t do a descriptor safely to an acceptable standard, repeatedly, within a reasonable time period, then you should be assessed as being unable to do it

Furthermore, if you can’t do a descriptor on more than half the days of a year, looking 3 months back and 9 months forward, then you can’t do it at all! Whether or not you can do a descriptor is measured over a whole 24 hour period, (unlike DLA), as night and day needs are not treated differently.