PIP claim – How long for a decision? 

PIP claim - How long for a decision? 

In this article, we address the following question: “We’ve not got all the information we need to decide your PIP claim – how long for a decision?

Keep reading to learn how is your PIP claim assessed and how long you have to wait for a decision.

PIP claim - How long for a decision? 

“We‘ve now got all the information we need to decide your PIP claim.” How long for a decision?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will make a decision on your PIP claim after the medical assessment has been completed.

The DWP’s decision about your PIP entitlement is based on the information in:

  • Your claim form
  • The documents you sent with your claim form
  • The Health Professional’s notes from the medical assessment

On average, it takes the DWP 12 weeks from the date you started your claim to make a decision.

Some claims take less time, some take more.

How your claim is assessed

Once your ‘How your disability affects you’ form has been returned, your case will be passed to one of the two companies contracted to carry out the PIP assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland: Capita and Atos Healthcare. 

Capita covers Wales, Central England, and Northern Ireland and Atos Healthcare covers the rest of the UK.

Once your case has been passed to one of the two companies, they will allocate it to a healthcare professional working for them.

This healthcare professional may initially contact your doctor, rheumatologist, specialist nurse or occupational therapist for further information. 

However, in most cases, the healthcare professional will arrange to see you at a ‘face-to-face’ consultation’.

The consultation will normally take place in an Assessment Centre.

A home visit should be arranged instead if you provide evidence from your doctor, rheumatologist or specialist nurse that you are unable to travel on health grounds.

If you do not attend or take part in the consultation without good reason (taking into account your health and the nature of your disability), your claim will be disallowed.

You should first be contacted and asked to explain your reasons. If the DWP or DfC decides that you did not have a good reason, you can ask them to reconsider the decision.

If you are unhappy with their reconsidered decision, you then have a right to appeal.

PIP claim - How long for a decision? 

What happens at the face-to-face consultation

At the consultation, the healthcare professional will identify the descriptors that they consider apply to you with respect to the PIP assessment.

To do this, they will ask questions about your day-to-day life, your home, how you manage at work if you have a job, and about any social or leisure activities that you take part in (or have had to give up). 

They will often ask you to describe a typical day in your life. When answering, explain your difficulties as fully as you can.

Tell them about any pain or tiredness you feel, or would feel, while carrying out each task, and after you have carried it out.

Also, consider how you would feel if you had to do the same task repeatedly. Don’t overestimate your ability to do things. 

If your condition varies, let them know about what you are like on bad days as well as good days and how often you have good and bad days.

The healthcare professional’s opinion should not be based on a snapshot of your condition on the day of the consultation; they should consider the effects of your condition over time.

At the consultation, the healthcare professional will be able to see you stand, sit and move around. 

They may watch you getting on and off the examination couch or your settee and bending down to pick up your belongings.

They will check whether you have any aids or appliances, and the extent to which you use them.

The healthcare professional may carry out a brief physical examination.

They should explain each stage of the examination to you and ask your permission before carrying anything out.

They should test ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’ movements – an active movement is entirely voluntary and done without any help, whereas a passive movement is one where someone helps you.

You should not be asked to do anything that will cause you pain either during or after the consultation.

Before the consultation ends, the healthcare professional should give you an overview of their findings and invite you to ask questions or add to what you have told them.

You will not be told at the consultation whether or not you will be awarded PIP.

If you have written evidence that you’ve not yet sent to the DWP or DfC, such as a letter from your doctor or other health or social care professional, you can give it to the health professional.

They should take a copy of it and consider it with the other evidence.

The Decision letter

Following the face-to-face consultation, the healthcare professional will complete their report.

Once they have done this, they will send it to a DWP or DfC case manager who will decide whether or not to award you PIP and, if it is awarded, at what rate and for how long.

The DWP will send you a letter to tell you their decision.

The letter confirms whether you will get PIP, which PIP components you get and which rate, and the amount of points you score in the PIP test.

Keep the letter in a safe place. You may need to give people a copy when you claim other benefits.

You may want to show it to an adviser if you disagree with the decision.

If you disagree with the decision, you have one month from the date you received the letter to challenge it. 

You can only challenge the decision after one month if you have a good reason for challenging it late.

PIP claim - How long for a decision? 

Qualifying for PIP

To be entitled to PIP, you must satisfy all of the following basic qualifying conditions: 

  1. You must be aged 16-64 (inclusive) when you claim. You will not be able to claim PIP for the first time once you are 65 years old but you will be able to stay on PIP if you claimed it before you reached that age. If you are aged 65 or over, you can claim Attendance Allowance instead if you have care needs. If you have a child under 16 who has care needs or mobility problems, they can claim Disability Living Allowance instead. 
  2. You must have been present in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years. If you are terminally ill, you only have to be present in Great Britain; you do not need to have been present in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years. 
  3. You must be habitually resident (i.e. normally live) in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Republic of Ireland or the Isle of Man. You must not be subject to immigration control.

To qualify for PIP, you have to score enough points on the PIP test for daily-living or mobility (or both).

If you score between eight and 11 points for the daily living activities, you get the standard rate of the daily living component.

If you score 12 or more points, or you are terminally ill, you get the enhanced rate of the daily living component.

If you score between eight and 11 points for the mobility activities, you get the standard rate of the mobility component.

If you score 12 or more points, you get the enhanced rate of the mobility component.

How long does PIP take to process?

Figures released Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics in 2019, show that the current waiting time for the disability benefit test results has almost doubled when compared to those of the previous six months.

For example, people that were referred for a medical assessment in April waited an average of nine weeks.

That is an obvious rise from an average of waiting only five weeks in October the year before.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) handles the benefit claims. When enquired “How long does PIP take?”

The department admitted that “PIP clearance times” had risen sharply over the first six months of 2017 and the situation did not improve much in 2019 either, as the PIP decision timescale continued to escalate. 

The entire start-to-finish process is measured from the first PIP registration to when a decision-maker at DWP makes the final conclusion.

The PIP timescale saw a rise from ten weeks to thirteen weeks for new PIP claims since October 2016.

Conclusions

In this article, we addressed a popular subject: “We’ve not got all the information we need to decide your PIP claim – how long for a decision?”

You now know that on average, it takes the DWP 12 weeks from the date you started your claim to make a decision.

Some claims take less time, some take more.

Please let us know in the comment section below if there is any question that we have not clarified well enough, or if you have any advice for other people who are claiming PIP.

FAQ about We’ve now got all the info we need to decide your PIP claim, how long for a decision

How long does it take to get a decision after a PIP assessment?

After a PIP assessment, you will receive your decision in about 12 weeks.

On average, this is the time it takes the DWP to study all the evidence and make a decision regarding your claim.

How long does PIP take to process?

To process your PIP claim, DWP has to adhere to certain steps and policies.

On average, it can take up to three or four months from starting the application to getting your money.

If you’re terminally ill your claim will be processed more quickly.

Do PIP text you when they have made a decision?

You will not receive a text after the DWP made a decision, but a formal letter that informs you what decision was taken regarding your claim

Does PIP contact your doctor?

In some cases, yes, the DWP contacts your doctor regarding your PIP claim, for more details regarding your diagnosis and assessment. 

Does everyone who applies for PIP have an assessment?

Yes, in most cases people who apply for PIP have a face-to-face assessment.

The PIP assessment is mandatory and provides a great deal of information regarding your case. 

How long does PIP decision take 2019?

In 2019, a PIP decision took 13 weeks from the point of registration to a decision being made on the claim and 9 weeks from the point of referral to the Assessment Provider to a decision being made on the claim.

Recommendations

  1. Personal Independence Payment: What You Need to Know
  2. Government’s Response to the Independent Review of the Personal Independence Payment Assessment
  3. Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability: Getting & Keeping Your Benefits
  4. Insider’s Guide to Government BenefitsSocial Security, Medicare and Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your 
  5. Guide to Government Benefits: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Disability

References

Gov.uk

Nras.org.uk

turn2us.org.uk

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.