Moving from DLA to PIP – what to do if your award is reduced or stopped

If the recent changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) have affected you, your Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award may be less than you were getting on DLA or it may have stopped entirely. Find out how to challenge your PIP decision, and make ends meet in the short term.Then look at ways of managing your money to cope with a lower income.

When does DLA end?

PIP is replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64. If you get DLA and your claim has an end date, you’ll be asked to claim PIP before your DLA ends.

If you get DLA and your claim does not have an end date, you can be asked to claim PIP at any time.

If you think the decision to reduce or stop paying PIP is wrong

Important

Make sure you read the notes about how to disagree with a decision before asking for a mandatory reconsideration.

If you disagree with a benefits decision you are allowed to ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration.

You must ask for this within one month of the date on your decision letter by:

  • phone using the number on the decision letter, or
  • post by completing the CRMR1 form.

Explain why you think their decision is wrong and send copies of any further evidence you’ve got if you think it will help your case.

When the DWP has looked at your decision again, they will send you two copies of a document called a mandatory reconsideration notice to let you know the outcome of the reconsideration.

Download the CRMR1 form and notes about how to disagree with a decision on Gov.uk.
Find out more about asking for a mandatory reconsideration on the Citizens Advice website.

How to appeal

You can only appeal against a disability benefits decision when you’ve received a mandatory reconsideration notice.

To appeal you need to send the following to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (the address is on the form):

Find out more about appealing following a reconsideration on the Citizens Advice website.

Help if your PIP award is less than you got on DLA

If your award is reduced or stopped, DWP will continue to pay your existing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for at least four weeks to give you additional, limited support.

This is to help you prepare for coping with less money.

You’ll need to work out if it’s possible to save any money or increase your income as soon as possible.

Help if you have an emergency expense

There might be some help available if you need to find money quickly for an emergency or unexpected expense.

Local welfare schemes

If you are facing a sudden emergency and are on a very low income, you might be able to apply to your council’s local welfare scheme for vouchers to pay for essentials such as:

  • food
  • fuel
  • clothing
  • household items, such as cookers or fridges.

Each county in the UK runs its own scheme. To find out what’s available in your area, contact your local council directly.

Or use the postcode finder on the Child Poverty Action Group website which lists the local welfare schemes in your area, regardless of whether you have children or not.

Budgeting Loans

If you have been getting some income-related benefits, such as:

  • Pension credit
  • Income support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

for at least 26 weeks you might be able to apply for a Budgeting Loan to pay for an emergency expense.

You will have to repay the amount you borrow within two years.

Find out more about Budgeting Loans on the GOV.UK website.

Check you’re getting the right benefits and entitlements

If your income has reduced, it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to.

You can use a benefits checker to check on the Turn2US website

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also carry out a full benefits check to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.

It might be worth checking if you qualify for charitable help and grants. To find out more, read our guide Charitable grants for ill or disabled people.

Work out your income and outgoings

It’s really important to take another look at your budget and add up all the money coming in and going out.

Use our Budget planner to help you.

Cut everyday spending costs

Now you’ve got your basic budget, take a look to see if there are any opportunities to make a few cutbacks.

Motability Transitional Package

If you joined the Motability scheme before January 2013 but no longer qualify under PIP, you might be eligible for a one-off £2,000 payment.

This is part of a transitional package to help you continue to meet your mobility needs by buying a used car.

If you joined the Motability scheme from 1 January 2013 onwards, you might qualify for a one-off payment of £1,000.

For more information on how the transitional arrangements will work on the Motability website.

If you need to buy another vehicle, read our guide Find the right car for your budget.

Increasing your income

If you would like help to find work or to prepare for work, there are organisations which can give you the support you might need if you have a disability or learning difficulty.

To find out more about support and advice to get you back into work, download the free factsheet Careers and work for disabled people on the Disability Rights UK website.

If you have a disability, health or mental health condition, find more about Access to Work, a government scheme helping you with the costs of getting into work or staying in work on the GOV.UK websiteopens in new window.

Rent a room scheme

If you have a spare room in your home, the first £7,500 a year from renting it out is tax free from April 2016.

Saving money

If you can, try saving a little bit of money to give yourself a cushion if you face an emergency expense in the future or to help you pay for things like Christmas or Birthday presents.

For more tips on saving, see our guide Why it pays to save regularly.

Borrowing money

If you’re coping with a sudden drop in income, it can be tempting to borrow money.

However, it’s important to be sure you’re able to pay the money back or you could end up in debt.

If you are borrowing money to pay off debts, or to pay essential household bills or rent, you should get some free debt advice to find out how you can get back on track.

For different ways to borrow money, read our guide Borrowing and credit basics.
For more advice on borrowing, see our guide Do you need to borrow money?

If you’re worried about debts, get advice

If your bills are mounting up and you’re struggling to pay them, it’s really important you get debt advice even if you think you don’t have any spare money to pay them off.

A free and impartial debt adviser will:

  • treat everything you say in confidence
  • never judge you or make you feel bad about your situation
  • help you to work things out with the people you owe money to
  • suggest ways of dealing with debts you might not know about
  • always be happy to talk to you, however small or big your problem is
  • check you have applied for all the benefits and entitlements available to you
  • find ways to manage your debts even if you think you have no money to pay them off.

You can get advice in the best way for you: over the phone, online or face to face.

Find out where to Get free debt advice now

.

Did you find this guide helpful?