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Welfare benefits

Care and mobility benefits

If you have difficulties with daily living needs, getting around or need a carer’s help, you could be entitled to either Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance (AA). Both are financial benefits that might make life a little easier for you if you are living with a long-term condition or disability. 

On this page:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP is paid to eligible people aged 16 to 64 who have a long-term health condition or disability.

PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The process for reassessing current DLA claimants began in October 2013. If you were 65 before 8 April 2013, your DLA claim can continue and you should not be reassessed for PIP.

PIP is non-means-tested and non-contributory, and can be paid whether you are working or not. To qualify for PIP you must have had the difficulties or needs for 3 months before you can claim and must be likely to continue to have them for the next 9 months.

PIP has 2 components - called Daily Living Activities and Mobility Activities. If you’re eligible you can be paid for each component or both.

For each component, there are 2 rates, standard and enhanced, and you'll be assessed on a points system to decide which rate you qualify for. To qualify for the standard rate you need 8 points, and for the enhanced rate you need 12 points.

If you’re awarded the high rate mobility component, you may get access to the Motability scheme

Blue badge scheme

A blue badge helps you park closer to your destination. If you get certain benefits, you’re automatically eligible and applying is straightforward. The standard, and enhanced, rate of PIP mobility, or the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA would qualify you for a blue badge.

You can also apply if you have long-term problems with walking or walking problems that your doctor says are likely to last at least a year. You’ll have to fill in an extra section of the form and may need an assessment by your local council.

If you have queries, call the blue badge helpline on 0343 100 1000 (England), 0343 100 1001 (Scotland), or 0343 100 1002 (Wales).

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

This is only available if you’re claiming for a child under 16 and satisfy the care or mobility criteria. You’ll need to show your child has significantly more care needs than a child of the same age without any health problems.

DLA has 2 components: a care element and a mobility element. To qualify for the mobility component your child must be 3 or older.

Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a non-means-tested and non-contributory benefit paid to people aged 65 and over who have personal care needs because of their lung condition. AA is paid at 1 of 2 rates, higher or lower depending on the level of problems you have.

You must have had care needs for at least 6 months. There is no mobility payment with AA and any mobility difficulties outside the home are not taken into account.

For more information on PIP and AA or to assess whether you could be eligible for either, call our helpline on 03000 030 555.

Special rules for people who are terminally ill

If a person is terminally ill and expected to live for 6 months or less, they can obtain Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment immediately. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will fast-track the application.

Discuss with your GP or consultant and ask them to complete a medical form called DS1500. The person claiming or their doctor, should send the DS1500 form to DWP with the claim form for AA. PIP is claimed by phone.

A carer, family member, friend or professional can claim on another person’s behalf. The person who is terminally ill doesn't have to sign the claim form. They will simply be notified that they have been awarded the benefit and they will be paid.

Next: Benefits for people unable to work >

Download our welfare benefits information (PDF, 270KB)

Last medically reviewed: December 2017. Due for review: December 2018

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.