If you need help to communicate because you are deaf or have hearing loss, you may be able to get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to help cover the cost of the support you need.
If you’ve reached the age you can get your State Pension, you need to apply for Attendance Allowance instead.
PIP is a benefit for people of working age who need help with the extra costs arising from a long-term health condition or disability.
The amount of PIP you may get depends on how your disability or health condition affects you. You could get between £23.60 and £151 a week.
Who can claim PIP
To claim PIP, you must be 16 or over and have not yet reached State Pension age.
You can claim whether you are working or not, and it’s paid regardless of whether you have savings.
To qualify for PIP, you must also:
- have a long-term health condition or disability that causes difficulties with activities related to daily living or mobility, or both
- have had difficulties caused by ill health or disability for three months and expect them to last for at least nine months, unless you’re terminally ill with less than six months to live
- meet certain qualifying residency requirements.
How to claim PIP
There are three steps to the claims process:
- Make a claim by telephone, textphone or video relay.
- Fill in the ‘How your disability affects you’ form.
- Have your needs assessed by a medical professional.
Step 1: The telephone or video relay call
You need to make a claim for PIP by telephone, textphone, Relay UK or video relay if you use sign language.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – see the GOV.UK website for contact details.
If you live in Northern Ireland, call the PIP Centre – see the nidirect website for contact details.
Someone else can make the call for you. But you must be with them so you can confirm that the person supporting you has your permission to make the call.
Prepare for the call
Before the call, make sure you have your:
- contact details and date of birth
- National Insurance number – this is on letters about tax, pensions and benefits
- bank or building society account number and sort code
- doctor’s or health worker’s name, address and phone number
- details of any time you have spent abroad or in a care home or hospital.
You will need to give this information during your call.
Step 2: The ‘How your disability affects you’ form
You will be sent a ‘How your disability affects you’ claim form, along with notes to help you fill it in.
If you are claiming PIP because of your hearing loss or deafness, provide detailed information when you answer the questions about the communication difficulties you face and the help you need to communicate. Use the ‘extra information’ boxes to give more details.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t currently get communication support. Explain the help you need, not the amount of help you actually get.
Give examples of the communication difficulties you face and the help you need in different situations – for example:
- when visiting the doctor
- using public transport
- while at work
- at the shops
- for social and leisure activities.
Explain how often you need this help and how long you need it for. Give as much detail as you can.
Once you’ve completed your form, return it in the envelope provided.
Step 3: The assessment
An independent health professional will assess the level of you help you need. In most cases, this means a face-to-face medical assessment. It can take place in your home if you prefer.
During the assessment you’ll be asked about the help you need in relation to everyday activities, including the help you need to communicate verbally.
How a decision is reached
A PIP case manager will review all the information available and make a decision on your claim. They will write to you to explain how the decision was made.
If you qualify for PIP, you’ll be told how much you’ll get and when you’ll be paid.
You will also be told when your PIP will be reviewed so that you continue to get the right support.
If you disagree with the decision
If you disagree with the decision made on your PIP claim, you can challenge it. This is called asking for a mandatory reconsideration.
To find out more about this process: