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

If you were getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and have been re-assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), your new award might be less than you were getting on DLA or it might have stopped entirely. Find out how to challenge your PIP decision, and make ends meet in the short term.

When does DLA end?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged over 16 and under State Pension age.

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 doesn’t 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

If you disagree with a benefits decision, you’re 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 more evidence you’ve got if you think it will help your case.

When the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has looked at your decision again, they’ll send you two copies of a document called a mandatory reconsideration notice. This will let you know the result of the reconsideration. If you don't agree with this decision, you can appeal against it.

Download the CRMR1 form and notes about how to disagree with a decision on the GOV.UK website

How to appeal

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

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

  • A copy of the mandatory reconsideration notice.
  • Form SSCI – which you can download from the GOV.UK website

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

If your award is reduced or stopped, the DWP will continue to pay your existing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for at least four weeks. This is to give you extra, 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’re 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.

Budgeting Loans and Budgeting Advances

If you’ve been getting some income-related benefits for at least 26 weeks, you might be able to apply for a Budgeting Loan to pay for an emergency expense.

Income-related benefits could include:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

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

If you're claiming Universal Credit, you can apply for a Budgeting Advance instead. You'll usually have up to 24 months to pay the loan back. 

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 can also carry out a full benefits check to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.

Find your nearest branch on the Citizens Advice website

It might be worth checking if you qualify for charitable help and grants.

Work out your income and outgoings

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

Cut everyday spending costs


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

  • Save money on your phone, broadband, energy and water bills with the help of our guide How to save money on household bills.
  • Find more tips in our guide Living on a low income.
  • You can get a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you’re disabled, and you need to live in a larger home than you would otherwise need. If you’re the only adult in your household, or you only share your home with a live-in carer (not related to you), you can get 25% off your Council Tax bill. 
  • If you live on your own and have a diagnosed severe mental impairment or live only with others who have this condition, you might qualify for a 100% reduction on your Council Tax.

Motability Transitional Package

If you joined the Motability scheme before January 2014 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 2014 onwards, you might qualify for a one-off payment of £1,000.

Increasing your income


If you would like help to find, or prepare for, work – there are organisations that 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, the government’s Access to Work scheme might be able to help you with the costs of getting into work or staying in work.

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.

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.

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’re borrowing money to pay off debts, or to pay essential household bills or rent, it’s important to get free debt advice. This will help you find out how you can get back on track.

If you’re worried about debts, get advice

If you’re having trouble with debt and are finding it hard to manage things yourself, the last thing you might want to do is talk to a complete stranger about your problems.  

But it can be the best thing you can do, especially if you’re thinking about using a formal debt repayment method, like a debt repayment plan or bankruptcy. It’s always best to talk things through with an experienced adviser before you make a decision.  

This is because there are many ways to deal with debts and you might not be aware of all the options that are available to you. The way that is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances.  

A free debt adviser can help you decide which option is right for you. Depending on your circumstances, this might just take one conversation. 

 

A debt adviser will: 

  • treat everything you say in confidence; 

  • never judge you or make you feel bad about your situation; 

  • suggest ways of dealing with debts that you might not know about; 

  • check you’ve have applied for all the benefits and entitlements available to you. 

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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