Making an initial  claim for PIP -use the PIP1 form or speak to the DWP member on the phone.
Claims to Personal Independence Payment are started over the phone by calling the PIP new claims number - 0800 917 2222 (or text phone 0800 917 7777).

In exceptional circumstances, where claimant is unable to deal with DWP by phone, or needs extra help, they can request a paper version of the initial claim form (PIP1)

This is a 19 page long form! If you are unable to deal with so many questions on the phone please say you have exceptional circumstances and request a written form.

You can find an example of the written form  here. (It's called the PIP clerical claim form) As this contains the same questions that you will be asked on the phone, it pays to be prepared before the telephone call. So,if you feel up to replying on the phone, keep a completed copy of the form handy.Tell them on the phone that you have a completed a paper copy of the questions and tell them how long it has taken you to fill in all the pages. Did you do this yourself or did you need someone to fill it in for you?

While you’re waiting for the How your condition affects you’ form


  • keeping a diary ;
  • making a list of who might provide supporting evidence );
  • sending for a copy of your Personal Capability Assessment medical report if you’ve had your capacity for work assessed recently ;
  • making appointments to see your health professionals to update them on your condition (work out when you are likely to have completed the form, and ask for an appointment to take place soon afterwards);
  • downloading a copy of the form from the DWP (see below) and drafting rough answers to the questions about the problems you have with everyday activities;
  • timing the activities that you have problems with. It is very hard to estimate how long activities take;
  • measuring how far you can walk regularly, safely and without pain or having to rest

 What happens next

You’ll be sent a ‘How your condition affects you’ form. It comes with notes to help you fill it in. Return the form to DWP - the address is on the form.

an example of the form can be found on this page (How your disability affects you form)

You must use the PIP application form DWP send you - don’t use any DLA forms you may have.

You’ll need an assessment to complete your application.

DWP will send you a letter once they’ve made their decision, explaining why you do or don’t get PIP.

What you need to know

If you’re terminally ill

You can get PIP more quickly if you’re not expected to live more than 6 months.

Phone DWP to start your PIP claim and then send them form DS1500 (you can only get this form from a doctor or other healthcare professional).

You will not need to complete the ‘How your condition affects you’ form or go to a  face-to-face consultation

Things to remember before going for professional help to fill in the form.

•Fill in the pages asking for basic information and your medication.You can use your prescription to get the dosage etc right.

Always keep in mind why you are filling in the form, i.e. to give a picture of your care and mobility needs.

Ask for the help of someone who knows you well. Remember, you may take for granted all the help that is needed or that you require.

Always use your own words and those experiences which you can personally relate to your own situation.

You don't have to have a report from  your GP – you can ask that they do not see the form or be contacted for further information. You may prefer to ask for a report from another health worker who knows you well.

If you want your doctor to write a report, go to see him and talk to him about the problems you are having so that he has up to date information about you.

Keeping a diary: A diary kept for at least five days detailing all the things you have problems with, cannot do unless you have help or cannot do at all is very useful. If you keep a diary before you fill in your claim pack it can make the job a lot easier. In addition, you can send it in with your claim form as additional evidence.

But beware: as ME is a fluctuating condition then don’t keep a diary when you’re having a better spell, it’ll give a very misleading impression.

A diary may also prove invaluable if you need to attend a tribunal as it will be evidence of what problems you had at the time you made your claim. Also, tribunals are very keen on hearing a daily account of the sort of tasks you have trouble with.

The entitlement thresholds (pass mark) for the rates and components of the PIP are:

Daily Living component (activities 1 to 10)

Standard rate: 8 points

Enhanced rate: 12 points

Mobility component (activities 11 to 12)

Standard rate: 8 points

Enhanced rate: 12 points

A pdf table of activities, descriptors and points
can be downloaded from the Citizens Advice website here. You can use the table to work out how many points you think you are entitled to. There is also an extensive range of PIP topics covered on the same page of the Citizens Advice website .

Remember that fluctuating conditions have to be taken into account by the assessor

When working out which descriptor applies to you, the health professional must consider for each descriptor whether you can carry out the activity described:

  • safely
  • to an acceptable standard
  • repeatedly
  • in a reasonable time period.
If you can't, then a higher scoring descriptor should apply to you.

The Disability Rights organisation suggests that:

In the PIP assessment, a descriptor will apply to you if it reflects your ability for the majority of days (over 50%). This will be considered over a 12-month period; looking back three months and forward nine months.

Where one descriptor is satisfied on over half the days in that period, that descriptor will apply. Where two or more descriptors are satisfied on over half the days, the descriptor which scores the highest number of points will apply.

PIP does not separate your needs into day and night-time needs; your ability to complete each activity will be considered over the 24-hour period of each day during the period.

For more information about fluctuating conditions, see the Citizens Advice factsheet here

Remember that is you can't do any of the activities on more than half a week, you should be assessed as not being able to do it.

Filling in a weekly or two weekly  diary often help to show how your condition affects you.

Sample Weekly Diary

Saturday Morning

Bad day today. Woke up feeling totally exhausted - had a bad night, woke up lots, needed to go down to toilet, couldn't get back to sleep for a long time each time.

My neck is stiff and painful and my hands and shoulders hurt. My hands are not very flexible. I feel extremely depressed. I can't think straight, I can't find the strength to communicate with my partner except 'Yes', 'No' and 'Please don't talk to me now'.

Get out of bed to go to the loo. My body is very stiff and tired. My feet hurt. Get down to the loo slowly. Sit for ages but just wind and pain in stomach. Go back upstairs, getting pains in my thighs by the time I get to the top of the stairs. I need to lie down. Go back to bed. Partner brings me cup of tea. Drink it, doze off for a while.  00.30, get up again. Partner reminds me to take medication - hadn't remembered.

Have a bath. Takes a long time as I feel very sluggish and slow. Try to get out, feel faint and light-headed. Pull plug out immediately, call to partner to come and help me. Dry myself, feel totally exhausted, need to lie down for 15 minutes. Get dressed. Hands are still stiff, need some help with buttons and laces. Partner helps to dry my hair as my arms become tired and painful holding hairdryer and trying to brush.

Have breakfast, feel very bloated and uncomfortable, have to change clothes to something looser.

Partner takes me shopping in car. By the time we get to town I need to get to the loo fast - explosive diarrhoea. No disabled loo with sink inside in the covered market so I can't clean myself up properly. Need to change underwear. No soap in loos, I'm feeling very dirty and not able to get clean. Ask partner to take me home, am very depressed. Partner is very reassuring, calms me down. Need to lie down, am upset and very tired.

Afternoon Partner makes lunch, but I can't eat much. Back in the toilet soon after. Have to clean the toilet and myself. This leaves me feeling very tired and more depressed.

Watch TV in the afternoon till 5.30 on couch with feet up. Take dogs for walk up lane. Come back too tired to cook dinner. Sit in kitchen and tell partner how to do it. Too tired to sit up to table so meal brought to me lying on couch.

Evening Watch TV till 10ish, get up to go to bed very tired and stiff, partner helps me upstairs, helps me undress and into bed. Checks I've remembered my medication. Helps me put on skin treatment to upper arms neck and shoulders as my arms hurt too much to stretch to these places.

During the night Stomach is feeling bloated, uncomfortable and painful. My neck is also very stiff and painful. Can’t get to sleep. Partner has to get up for medication for my tummy pain. Also makes me a hot water bottle and rubs some Ralgex into my neck for me.

If you are not awarded PIP, and you feel that you should have been awarded it, you must ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This must be finalised before you can appeal.
For further help, see the following information from  Disability Rights UK here