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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment

A straightforward guide to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) test, what the activities are and what you can score points for

1. What is the PIP test?

The PIP test is what the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) use to decide whether you are entitled to Personal Independence Payment. 

There are two sections in the PIP test for each component of PIP: daily-living and mobility.

There are activities in each section. You are awarded points for each activity, depending on your ability and how much help you need to do it. The points you score for each activity in a section are added together.

If you score between eight and 11 points for your daily living needs in the PIP test, you get the standard rate of the daily living component. You get the enhanced rate of daily living component if you score 12 points or more.

If you score between eight and 11 points for your mobility needs you get the standard rate of the mobility component.  If you score 12 points or more you get the enhanced rate of mobility component.

The DWP decides what you score in the PIP test after looking at:

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

You can check what you might score points for by looking at each of the activities in this guide.

Or you can do the PIP questionnaire on the c-App website or do the PIP self test on the Benefits and Work website.

To find out more about claiming PIP, you can read our Claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit guide.

 

Updated October 2018

2. Make food or cook


One of the daily living activities is preparing food. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for making food or cooking, think about what help you need to do it:

  • Safely
  • Fast enough
  • Well enough
  • Often enough

You score points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for making food or cooking, do not add them together.

No points

You can make a simple hot meal on your own without any special aids.

Examples of simple hot meals:

  • Pasta and sauce
  • Cheese and tomato omelette

Example of special aids:

  • Stool to sit on

Two points

You can make a simple hot meal if you use a special aid (like a stool to sit on).

You can’t make a simple hot meal using a cooker but you can if you use a microwave.

You can only make a simple meal if someone reminds you to or tells you to.

Four points

You can only make a simple meal if someone is with you to watch you or to help you.

Eight points

You can’t make a simple hot meal at all, even if you have someone helping you.

 

Updated May 2017

3. Feed yourself

Taking nutrition is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for feeding yourself, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for feeding yourself, do not add them together.

No points

You can cut your food, put food and drink in your mouth, chew and swallow without any help.

Two points

You need someone else to help you cut your food.

You can only eat your food, and drink, if someone is with you to keep you safe.

You use a parenteral or enteral tube with a delivery system or pump to eat and drink.

You need a special aid to cut your food, put food or drink in your mouth, or chew and swallow.

Examples of special aids:

  • Knives, forks or spoons with extra large grips
  • Stabilising fork or spoon for people with tremors
  • Special cups

Four points

You can only cut your food, put food and drink in your mouth, chew or swallow if someone reminds you or tells you to.

Six points

You need someone else to help you use a parenteral or enteral tube to eat and drink.

Ten points

You need someone else to put food or drink in your mouth for you.

 

Updated May 2017

4. Getting treatment

Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for getting treatment, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for getting treatment, do not add them together.

No points

You have not been prescribed any medicine or activity to do at home.

You are able to take or apply your medicine, and do activities your doctor (or nurse or health professional) told you to do, without any help.

Examples of medicine:

  • Painkillers or tablets prescribed by your GP
  • Creams, lotions or injections prescribed by your doctor

Example of activity you may have been told to do:

  • Special exercises
  • Special diet
  • Keep a diary
  • Notice when your condition gets worse

One point

You can only take your medicine correctly (the right amounts at the right time) if you use an aid to help you.

You can only take your medicine correctly if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

You can only do activities you have been told to by your doctor (or nurse or health professional) if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

Examples of aids:

  • Reminder alarms
  • Dosette or pill box
  • Special applicator (like a long-handled sponge for applying cream)

Two points

You have to do therapy that takes up to 3.5 hours a week but you can only do it if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

Examples of therapy:

  • Physiotherapy prescribed by your doctor
  • Using oxygen mask and tank
  • Using dialysis machine

Four points

You have to do therapy that takes between 3.5 and 7 hours a week but you can only do it if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

Six points

You have to do therapy that takes between 7 and 14 hours a week but you can only do it if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

Eight points

You have to do therapy that takes over 14 hours a week but you can only do it if someone reminds you or helps you, or watches you to keep you safe.

 

Updated June 2019

5. Washing and bathing

Washing and bathing is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for washing and bathing, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for washing and bathing, do not add them together.

No points

You can wash and bathe yourself without any help.

Two points

You can only wash or bathe yourself if you use a special aid.

You can only wash or bathe yourself if someone reminds you to.

You can only wash or bathe yourself if someone watches you to keep you safe.

You can only wash your hair if someone helps you.

You can only wash below your waist if someone helps you.

Examples of special aids:

  • Bath grab rails or hoist
  • Bath or shower chair
  • Long handled bath brush

Three points

You need someone to help you get in or out of the bath or shower.

Four points

You need someone to help you to wash your body between your shoulders and your waist.

Eight points

You can’t wash or bathe at all and you need someone to do it for you.

 

Updated May 2017

6. Going to toilet

Managing toilet needs or incontinence is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for going to toilet, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for going to toilet, do not add them together.

No points

You can get on and off the toilet, go to the toilet and clean yourself afterwards without any special aids.

You suffer from incontinence, you can manage it yourself and you can clean yourself afterwards without any special aids.

Examples of special aids:

  • Adapted toilet or commode
  • Incontinence pads
  • Grab rails

Two points

You can only get on or off a normal toilet, go to the toilet and clean yourself afterwards with a special aid.

You can only get on or off a normal toilet, go to the toilet and clean yourself afterwards if someone reminds you or watches you to keep you safe.

You suffer from incontinence and you can only manage it yourself and clean yourself afterwards if you use a special aid.

You suffer from incontinence and you can only manage it yourself and clean yourself afterwards if someone reminds you or watches you to keep you safe.

Four points

You need someone to help you to get on or off the toilet, go to the toilet or clean yourself afterwards.

Six points

You suffer from incontinence (either bladder or bowel) and you need someone to help you to manage it or clean yourself afterwards.

Eight points

You suffer from incontinence (both bladder and bowel) and you need someone to help you to manage it or clean yourself afterwards.

 

Updated May 2017

7. Dressing and undressing

Dressing and undressing is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for dressing and undressing, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for dressing and undressing, do not add them together.

No points

You can get dressed and undressed without any help or special aids.

Examples of special aids:

  • Sock aids
  • Button hooks

Two points

You can only get dressed or undressed if you use a special aid.

You can only get dressed or undressed, or stay dressed, if someone reminds you to.

You need someone to remind you or help you to choose the right clothes for the weather.

You need someone to help you dress or undress your lower body.

Four points

You need someone to help you dress or undress your upper body.

Eight points

You cannot get dressed or undressed at all.

 

Updated May 2017

8. Speaking

Communicating verbally is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for speaking, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for speaking, do not add them together.

No points

You can speak and understand other people speaking without any help or special aids.

Examples of special aids:

  • Hearing aid
  • Communication book

Two points

You can only speak or hear if you use a special aid.

Four points

You need a specially trained person or an experienced person to help you to speak more than one sentence or to understand someone saying more than one sentence.

Examples of a specially trained person:

  • NOT someone to interpret English
  • Someone to interpret sign language
  • Support worker who can communicate with people with your disability

Examples of an experienced person:

  • A friend or family member who has helped you to speak before
  • Support worker who has communicated with people with your disability

Eight points

You need a specially trained person to help you to speak to say a simple sentence or understand someone saying a simple sentence.

12 points

You cannot speak or understand other people speaking, even with a specially trained person to help you.

 

Updated May 2017

9. Reading and understanding

Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for reading and understanding, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • In your own language
  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough
  • Because you have a physical or mental disability

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for reading and understanding, do not add them together.

No points

You can read and understand written sentences when you are wearing your glasses or contact lenses.

You can read and understand written sentences without any help or special aids.

Examples of special aids:

  • NOT glasses or contact lenses
  • Larger font size
  • Screen reader
  • Magnifier
  • Braille

Two points

You can only read or understand written sentences if you use a special aid.

You can only read or understand written sentences if someone reminds or encourages you.

Examples of complex written information:

  • Letters about your benefits
  • Letters from your doctor

Four points

You can only read or understand signs, symbols, dates or simple text if someone reminds or encourages you.

Eight points

You cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all.

 

Updated May 2017

10. Socialise

Engaging with other people face to face is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for socialising, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for socialising, do not add them together.

No points

You can socialise with other people, on their own or in small groups, without any help.

Examples of socialising:

  • Talking to people and understanding their words and their moods
  • Behaving appropriately
  • Making friends

Two points

You can only socialise with other people if someone else reminds you or encourages you.

Four points

You need a specially trained person or a person who knows you well to help you to socialise with other people.

Examples of a specially trained person:

  • Your carer
  • Support worker

Eight points

You can’t socialise with other people because it makes you hurt yourself or other people.

You can’t socialise with other people because it makes you so distressed that you can’t do anything.

Examples of so distressed that you can’t do anything:

  • You have an anxiety or panic attack
  • You have a breakdown or meltdown

 

Updated: March 2019

11. Handle money

Making budgeting decisions is a daily living activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for other daily living activities to find out if you may be entitled to the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for handling money, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for handling money, do not add them together.

No points

You can plan your budget and pay your bills without any help.

Two points

You can only plan your budget and pay your bills if someone reminds you or helps you.

Four points

You can only add up your shopping and work out the change if someone reminds you or helps you.

Six points

You can’t add up your shopping or work out the change, even if someone helps you.

 

Updated May 2017

12. Plan and follow a journey

Planning and following journeys is a mobility activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for the other mobility activity to find out if you may be entitled to the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for planning and following a journey, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for planning and following a journey, do not add them together.

No points

You can plan how to get somewhere, and find your way there, without any help.

Four points

Leaving your house makes you so distressed that you can’t do anything, unless someone encourages you.

Examples of so distressed that you can’t do anything:

  • You have an anxiety or panic attack
  • You have a breakdown or meltdown

Eight points

You can’t plan how to get somewhere.

Ten points

You can’t leave the house because it makes you so distressed that you can’t do anything.

You can’t travel to a new place without someone else, a guide dog or a special aid to help you.

Examples of special aids:

  • NOT SatNav unless it is especially for disabled people
  • Cane or white stick
  • Braille map

12 points

You can’t travel to a place you know without someone else, a guide dog or a special aid to help you.

 

Updated May 2017 Reviewed March 2019

13. Move around

Moving around is a mobility activity. Add the points you score for this activity with the points you score for the other mobility activity to find out if you may be entitled to the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

When you are looking at how many points you score for moving around, think about what help you need most of the time to do it:

  • Safely
  • Well enough
  • Often enough
  • Fast enough

You score the points for the sentence that is true for most or over half of the time. If more than one sentence is true, you normally only get points for the sentence that is true for the most time. You can only score one set of points for moving around, do not add them together.

No points

You can stand and then move more than 200 metres without any help.

You can stand and then move more than 200 metres with a special aid.

Examples of special aid:

  • Walking stick
  • Walking frame

Four points

You can stand and then move between 50 and 200 metres without any help.

You can stand and then move between 50 and 200 metres with a special aid.

Eight points

You can stand and then move between 20 and 50 metres without any help.

Ten points

You can stand and then move between 20 and 50 metres with a special aid.

12 points

You can stand and then move between 1 and 20 metres without any help.

You can stand and then move between 1 and 20 metres with a special aid.

You can’t stand, even with a special aid.

You can’t move more than 1 metre, even with a special aid.

 

Updated May 2017: Reviewed June 2019