NI PIP Handbook - Decision and payment

Part of: Northern Ireland PIP Handbook

The PIP Case Manager will make a reasoned decision on entitlement.

PIP decision

If the claimant is entitled to PIP, they will also decide the level of award and the length of any award. In all cases the Case Manager will make a decision based on all the available evidence, such as:

  • the report from the Assessment Provider
  • the ‘How your disability affects you’ form
  • any additional evidence that the claimant has provided, or
  • further evidence that the Assessment Provider has given.

If the Case Manager is not satisfied with the report from the Assessment Provider or has any queries about the report or the evidence, they will be able to discuss the issue with the Assessment Provider.

PIP award and reviews

The Case Manager will make an award of PIP based on the impact of the claimant’s health condition or disability on their daily life and their ability to live independently. The length of award for PIP will be based upon each claimant’s individual circumstances.

Over time a claimant’s needs may change and we want to make sure a person’s award of benefit reflects their current needs.

Awards vary in length from nine months to 10 years, depending on when changes in a claimant’s needs could be reasonably expected, with reviews set at regular periods.

The maximum time between reviews is 10 years.

Limited term awards will be given where changes in needs may be reasonably expected – these will be up to two years and have a fixed end date.

Awards made under the Special Rules for end of life will be for three years. The Daily Living component will be paid at the enhanced rate in all cases.

Payment of the Mobility component will depend on whether the claimant needs help to get around, and if they do, how much help they need.

Claimants will have their award periodically reviewed, regardless of the length of the award. This will make sure everyone continues to receive the most appropriate level of support.

Telling the claimant about the PIP decision

We will send the claimant a letter giving a decision on the PIP claim and a clear reasoned explanation of how that decision has been reached.

If the claimant has been awarded PIP, the letter will detail the amount of the award, the length of the award and the reasons for making that decision. The point score for each descriptor will be included in the letter. The letter will also show how the evidence informed the selection of descriptors and the decision made. It will give details of how and when the claimant needs to tell us about any changes in circumstance. It will also signpost the claimant to other benefits and services and local support organisations. The award letter will constitute a full statement of reasons for the decision.

If the claimant has not been awarded PIP, the letter will give all the same information as the award letter and will constitute a full statement of reasons for the decision. The letter will also explain what the claimant needs to do if they are not happy with the decision and explain how they can request a mandatory reconsideration.

Information about mandatory reconsideration is available on nidirect.

PIP payments

Specific details of PIP payments including the date payments will start and their frequency will also be included in the letter sent to the claimant. PIP can be paid into a bank account, building society or credit union. The claimant will be asked to provide these details when they make a claim to PIP.

Payment will usually be made every four weeks in arrears. Awards of PIP under the Special Rules for end of life will be made weekly in advance.

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