Why is this important?
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - the 'How your disability affects you' form
You usually start your claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with a phone call to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) PIP claims line. The DWP will ask you for some basic information to find out if you’re eligible to claim PIP.
If the DWP are satisfied that you meet the basic conditions, they will send you form PIP2 - ‘How your disability affects you’ to fill in.
This page explains more about the form and what you should do when you receive one.
How to complete the questionnaire
It's important to complete the form as fully as possible to give the DWP a complete picture of how your disability or health condition affects you. Although you don’t have to fill in the 'Extra information' boxes on the form, it could help your claim to succeed if you provide more information about your claim here. You could also ask a friend, relative or carer to complete the boxes if you wish. The form suggests what types of information might be helpful to include.
What is the ‘How your disability affects you’ form?
The ’How your disability affects you’ form asks about any health conditions or disabilities you have and how these affect your ability to live independently and carry out certain activities.
You can see an example of the form on the DWP website. However, you’ll need to complete the one that the DWP sends you as it will contain basic personal details about you. You can't get it from an advice agency, a friend, or download it from the internet.
- See an example of the ’How your disability affects you’ form' on the GOV.UK website, at www.gov.uk
Time limit for completing the form
It's important to complete and return the 'How your disability affects you' form to the DWP within one month of them sending it to you. The date you must return it by will be in the covering letter.
If you don't return the form within one month, your claim for PIP will be turned down, unless you can show that you had a good reason for the delay. For example, you may have a good reason if your state of health or disability prevented you from returning it on time.
If you're getting DLA and you fail to return the form within one month without a good reason, your DLA will stop as well as your claim for PIP being turned down. Your DLA payments will stop 14 days after the first pay day following the date of the DWP decision to refuse your PIP claim.
Getting an extension of the time limit
If you need more time to complete the form, phone the DWP on the number shown in the covering letter to ask for a 14-day extension. You must do this within one month of the form being sent to you.
If you need to ask for a longer extension, or make a repeated request for an extension, you’ll have to give a good reason. For example, this might be because you've gone into hospital or you need to arrange an appointment with an adviser.
Help with completing the form
The DWP will send you an information booklet with the form and you should refer to this as you fill it in.
You can ask a relative, friend, carer or advice agency to help you complete the form. If you need more time to arrange this, phone the DWP within a month of the date that they sent you the form to ask for an extension of the time limit.
DWP enquiry line staff can't complete the form for you on the phone, although they may be able to explain what a particular question means if you don't understand what information is needed. If necessary, they can call you back and talk you through it as you complete it. In exceptional cases, they may be able to arrange a home visit to do this. Their telephone number is on the letter that comes with the form and in the information booklet.
- For a copy of the DWP information booklet to help you complete the form, go to www.gov.uk
Providing evidence with the form
It's important to send photocopies of any additional evidence that you have to the DWP with the form. For example, this could include copies of:
- care plans
- information from professionals such as a GP, hospital doctor, specialist nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, support worker or counsellor
- any other relevant information.
The information doesn't have to be recent and you might have obtained it when you made a previous benefit claim, or for another reason. For example, you could use evidence that you got to support an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claim if you think it would be helpful. However, the conditions for getting ESA and the conditions for getting PIP are very different, so evidence relating to an ESA claim won't always be helpful for getting PIP.
The DWP suggests that you only send evidence that you already have. If you try to get further evidence, it could slow down your claim and in some cases, you may have to pay for it. For example, a doctor may charge for providing a medical report.
The health professional who assesses your claim for the DWP can request and pay for this evidence if they think it's needed.
Providing evidence after you have returned the form
You should return your completed form to the DWP as soon as possible. However, if you get new evidence that could help your claim after you’ve sent the form back, you can take it to your face-to-face assessment if you have one.
If you decide to ask for a report or supporting letter from a health or social care professional who knows you, check first whether they will charge for this. It may be helpful to give them a list of the exact activities and descriptions that the DWP use when they’re assessing your claim. You can ask them to use these terms to describe your condition to make sure that your evidence matches what the DWP is looking for.
- More about the list of PIP activities, descriptors and points
What happens when the DWP receives your form
The DWP will pass your completed form and any evidence that you provide to a health professional to carry out an assessment.
In most cases, you’ll be asked to attend a face-to-face consultation with the health professional, but sometimes this won't be necessary.
Other useful information
- DWP Example of PIP2 'How your disability affects you' form and information booklet about completing the form at www.gov.uk
- DWP information booklet about completing the PIP2 form at www.gov.uk. This booklet will be sent to you with the form.
- DWP fact sheet 'Completing the 'How your disability affects you' form' at www.gov.uk. This fact sheet summarises the information booklet that will be sent with the form.