Welfare Reform Changes April 2013

Disability Allowance DLA

Diability Living Allowance (DLA) will be replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 from 8 April 2013.  This will initially be for new claims only.

The introduction of PIP is part of a wider reform of the welfare system.  PIP will include an assessment of individual needs and aims to ensure that financial support is targeted at those who face the greatest challenges to living independently.

Personal Independence Payments will be assessed and administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and they will write to you if you are affected with your usual annual letters in March 2013.

Full guides to PIPs can be found on the Government’s information gateway and we have included their frequently asked questions below.

To make an application for a Personal Independence Payment please call 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777)

For any other enquiries about your PIP, please call the PIP enquiry line on 0845 850 3322 (textphone 0845 601 6677)

1. What is Personal Independence Payment?

It is a benefit to help disabled people live full, active and independent lives.

Personal Independence Payment will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 8 April 2013. It will apply to all new claimants aged 16 to 64 and existing DLA claimants who are aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013.

DLA has been in place for almost 20 years largely unchanged.

Personal Independence Payment will better reflect today’s understanding of disability which has changed a lot in the last two decades.

It will help towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long term condition (this means ill-health or disability expected to last 12 months or longer).

Personal Independence Payment is a non-means-tested and non-taxable cash benefit which people can spend in a way that best suits them.

Personal Independence Payment, like DLA, will be payable to people in work or out of work.

Eligible age criteria: Personal Independence Payment will apply to all new claimants aged 16 to 64 and existing DLA claimants who are aged 16 to 64 on 8 April 2013.

2. What is Personal Independence Payment made up of?

Personal Independence Payment will have a Daily Living component and a Mobility component.

Awards will be made up of one or both of these components.

Each component will have two rates – standard and enhanced.

Proposed benefits rates for 2013/14:

Daily Living

  • Enhanced Rate £79.15
  • Standard Rate £53.00


  • Enhanced Rate £55.25
  • Standard Rate £21.00

The daily living enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment will be the same as the higher rate care component of DLA and the standard rate of the daily living component will be set at middle rate DLA care component

The mobility rates of Personal Independence Payment will be the same as the DLA rates.

Awards of Personal Independence Payment will be based upon the circumstances of the individual and will look at the impact of the disability or health condition and the extent to which they are able to live independently and participate in society.

3. I am a pensioner and get DLA. Will these changes affect me?

Only DLA claimants who are over the age of 16 and under the age of 65 on the 8 April 2013, or who reach the age of 16 after October 2013 will be asked to claim the new benefit.

If you are aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 you will not be able to claim Personal Independence Payment and will continue to receive DLA for as long as you meet the entitlement conditions.

If you are aged 64 on 8 April 2013 and turn 65 once Personal Independence Payment has been introduced, you will need to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment. Because we will not begin to ask DLA claimants whether they want to claim Personal Independence Payment until after October 2015 (unless they have a fixed term award which is due to expire or their condition changes) then some people will be over 65 when we contact them.

We want to see how the assessment for the new benefit works for people age 16-64 before deciding if Personal Independence Payment should be extended to people over 65.

4. I get Attendance Allowance (AA). Will I be affected by these changes?

No. If you get AA you will not be affected by the introduction of Personal Independence Payment.

5. My child is under 16 years old. Will they be affected by the introduction of Personal Independence Payment?

At the moment there are no plans to replace DLA for those under the age of 16.

We want to see how the new benefit works for people of eligible age (see the answer to question 1) before making any decisions about children.

If your child is under age 16 you can continue to make a claim to DLA as usual. Children getting DLA may remain on this benefit until they reach age 16 provided that they continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria. They will then need to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment.

We will contact children entitled to DLA approaching age 16 or their appointee and advise what they need to do to claim Personal Independence Payment from their 16th birthday. We will also contact their parent / guardian to make them aware of the need to make a claim.

We are working with young disabled people, their families and organisations representing them as we are developing plans to take claims to Personal Independence Payment from young people from age 16 as smooth and straightforward as possible.

6. I am an injured soldier. Can I claim Personal Independence Payment?

From April 2013, Ministry of Defence (MoD) will introduce a new scheme to support those individuals who have been seriously injured as a result of military service.

The MoD and Department for Work and Pensions have worked together to ensure that financial support recognises the unique support needs of veterans.

Those individuals who receive an award for a serious injury from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) will continue to receive at least the amount they are currently receiving under DLA.

Payments under the new scheme will provide financial reassurance for the future for those injured as a result of service.

All existing DLA claimants (aged 16-64) who are not eligible for payments under the new scheme will be able to claim Personal Independence Payment.

7. I currently have a Blue Badge and a Carer because of my DLA. Will Personal Independence Payment provide the same “gateway” or “passport” to the additional help and support that DLA attracts?

We recognise you value the additional help that passported benefits, such as the Blue Badge, Carer’s Allowance, Motability schemes and public transport concessions provide.

It is our intention that the existing passporting arrangements will be maintained wherever possible.

If you have a carer, then being entitled to either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment can help them qualify for Carer’s Allowance. If your carer already receives Carer’s Allowance they will continue to receive the benefit for as long as you continue to receive Personal Independence Payment and they satisfy the other entitlement conditions. Carer’s of young people aged below 16 will not be affected by these changes.

More information about Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Credit is available at www.gov.uk/carers-allowance (GOV.UK)

We are working with the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and other Government Departments that currently use DLA as a passport to schemes they provide to ensure that any future passporting arrangements remain appropriate for their own schemes. On 25 January 2013 the Department for Transport in England published the results of their consultation on Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge.

Our intention is that individuals will receive an award letter, as now, which would continue to act as confirmation that they are in receipt of particular component(s) of Personal Independence Payment at a particular rate.

The Government’s response to the detailed design consultation provides further information on our passporting arrangements. This can be found at:

8. How will you provide support to those that need it when applying for Personal Independence Payment?

We recognise that we will need to adapt our approach to delivering Personal Independence Payment to address the specific needs of certain people.

We have worked with DLA claimants and partner organisations to understand the preferences and health issues of disabled people.

The information from these sessions and other work with disabled people and their representatives is being used to inform all aspects of how we deliver Personal Independence Payment, including how we identify those people who need additional support through the claim process and how to provide that.

We will continue to involve disabled people and their organisations in the detailed design and delivery of Personal Independence Payment to get our process right.

9. Are these changes driven purely to achieve a reduction in costs?

No, DLA has been in place for almost 20 years, largely unchanged and no longer properly takes into account the needs of disabled people today.

DLA also does not have some of the checks that are a key part of other state benefits and it needs to be brought up to date.

These changes will ensure that Personal Independence Payment will remain affordable in the future.
The amount we expect to spend in real terms in 2015/16 on Personal Independence Payment and DLA will be higher than we spent in 2009/10.

It was clear from the responses received to the public consultation on DLA Reform in December 2010 and subsequent engagement with disabled people and their organisations, that some reform of DLA is welcomed.

Through greater use of evidence and reassessment the intention is that the new benefit will enable a more accurate assessment of an individual’s entitlement to make sure support is reaching those who need it most.

Most DLA claimants will continue to receive support under Personal Independence Payment.