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Check if you're eligible for PIP

This advice applies to England

You might be able to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you need extra help because of an illness, disability or mental health condition. You can make a PIP claim whether or not you get help from anyone. 

You don’t need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP, and it doesn’t matter what your income is, if you have any savings or you’re working.

If you have a terminal illness

There are different eligibility rules if you have a terminal illness. Check how to claim PIP if you’re terminally ill.

Check the main eligibility rules

To get PIP you must find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition. You must have found these things hard for 3 months and expect them to continue to be hard for another 9 months.

You must be living in England, Wales or Scotland when you apply - unless you or a close family member are in the armed forces.

You must be at least 16 years old to get PIP.

If you’ve reached State Pension age

There are extra rules if you’re making a new claim for PIP after you’ve reached State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

Check if you can get PIP after State Pension age.

If you're in a hospital or care home

You can claim PIP while you're in hospital, a care home or a nursing home, but it can affect when your payments start.

If you’re in hospital, payments usually start when you leave. You can get PIP while you’re in hospital if either:

  • you pay privately
  • you were under 18 when you went into hospital

If you’re in a care home and you pay privately, you can get PIP while you’re there. 

If the government, the NHS or your local council pay for you to stay in the care home, you can’t get the ‘daily living component’ of PIP until you leave. You can still get the ‘mobility component’. The daily living component is for the extra help you need with everyday tasks. The mobility component is for the extra help you need getting around.

If you’re in a residential college or school, your eligibility for PIP can be affected if a local authority pays the fees. Get help from an adviser.

If you’ve lived outside of the UK

You’ll need to give evidence to show the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay. This is known as being ‘habitually resident’.

Check how to prove you’re habitually resident.

You must also have lived in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years. Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. It doesn’t include Northern Ireland.

Your time spent in Great Britain doesn't need to have been in one go. For example, you could have lived in England for 1 year, the USA for 1 year and Wales for 1 year.

If you haven’t lived in Great Britain for enough time

You might be eligible if you’ve worked or claimed benefits for 2 out of the last 3 years in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

You might also be eligible if you’ve got a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ to the UK.

You might have a ‘genuine and sufficient link’ if for example:

  • you’ve lived in the UK for nearly 2 years
  • you work or are self-employed in the UK
  • you have a family member who works or is self-employed in the UK
  • you have close family in the UK who you rely on for care and support
  • you get certain benefits in the UK

The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you get a pension or benefit from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

Your eligibility for PIP could be affected. The rules in this area are complicated and it’s best to get advice before you apply. You can get help from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you’re not a UK citizen

The rules depend on whether you're a citizen of a country in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

The EEA includes EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Check which countries are in the EU and EEA on GOV.UK.

If you're a citizen of a country in the EU, EEA or Switzerland

To apply for PIP you need to show:

  • you made the claim while you were in England, Scotland or Wales
  • the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay - this is known as being 'habitually resident'
  • you've lived in England, Scotland or Wales for the last 2 out of 3 years

If you're terminally ill you'll need to show you're habitually resident, but you don't need to have lived in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years.

To claim PIP you also normally have to have one of the following:

  • British citizenship
  • pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme
  • indefinite leave to remain
If you’re waiting for a decision from the EU Settlement Scheme

You can claim PIP if both of the following are true:

  • you had a right to reside in the UK on 31 December 2020
  • you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021

Your right to reside depends on things like your work, family and personal situation. You can check if you had a right to reside.

If none of these apply to you, you might be able to make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme. You’ll need to have a good reason for missing the deadline of 30 June 2021. Find out more about claiming benefits if you’re from the EU.

Find out more about staying in the UK if you're from the EU.

If you're a citizen of a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland

You can’t apply for PIP if you’re subject to immigration control.

To apply for PIP you need to show:

  • you made the claim while you were in Great Britain - this is England, Scotland or Wales
  • the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay - this is known as being 'habitually resident'
  • you've lived in England, Scotland or Wales for the last 2 out of 3 years

If you're terminally ill you'll need to show you're habitually resident, but you don't need to have lived in Great Britain for 2 out of the last 3 years.

If you’ve come from Ukraine because of the invasion

You don’t need to have lived in Great Britain or be habitually resident if you:

  • were living in Ukraine by 31 December 2021
  • left Ukraine because of the invasion
  • have a visa that gives you the right to stay in the UK

You still need to make the claim while you’re in Great Britain.

Your illness, disability or mental health condition

PIP is not based on the condition you have or the medication you take. It is based on the level of help you need because of how your condition affects you.

You’re assessed on the level of help you need with specific activities. It’s hard to say if the level of help you need will qualify you for PIP. But, if you get or need help with any of the following because of your condition, you should consider applying:

  • preparing and cooking food
  • eating and drinking
  • managing your treatments
  • washing and bathing
  • managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating with other people
  • reading and understanding written information
  • mixing with others
  • making decisions about money
  • planning a journey or following a route
  • moving around

The help you get may be from a person, an aid (such as a walking stick or guide dog) or an adaptation to your home or car.

Check how to claim PIP

If you think you might be eligible for PIP, check how to start your claim.

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