You must have had the daily living and/or mobility needs for at least three months before you claim Personal Independence Payment and expect to have them for at least nine months after. No qualifying period applies if you are terminally ill, or if you are transferring onto Personal Independence Payment from Disability Living Allowance.
Daily living needs
You have daily living needs if you need help to carry out activities concerning daily living, such as cooking, dressing, bathing and engaging socially with other people. Or you must be supervised so you do not get hurt. It could include help outside the home. It does not matter if you do not actually get this help as long as you can show you need it.
You have mobility needs if you need help to get around independently when you are not at home. This is assessed based on your ability to perform activities concerning mobility. This can be because of a physical or mental disability. It does not matter if you do not actually get this help, as long as you can show you need it.
Rules for people who have a terminal illness
If you have a terminal illness and your doctors say that you are reasonably expected to die within six months there are special rules which mean you can get the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment straight away - you do not have to have daily living needs for three months before you claim or expect to have them for nine months after.
You will need to ask your doctor/healthcare professional for a form called a DS1500 and fill in the special rules section of the Personal Independence Payment claim form. If you have difficulty walking, you must also fill in the mobility section of the claim form.
Another person, such as your partner, relative or friend, can apply for Personal Independence Payment on your behalf without your knowledge under the special rules. Even if someone else makes the claim for you, the money will be paid to you.
Changes to Personal Independence Payment Assessment Process
The Government announced in the March 2016 Budget a proposed change to the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
The proposed change would see a reduction in the number of assessment points that can be awarded for needing to use an aid or appliance to carry out two of the ‘daily living’ activities which are assessed.
The change is planned to be implemented for new cases and re-assessments from January 2017. It would mean that people who would have scored points for use of aids and appliances may in some cases no longer qualify for PIP.
UPDATE: Government confirmed on 21 March 2016 that it will not proceed with changes to the Personal Independence Payment assessment process.