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posted: 10/12/2019 - last updated: 08/11/2021

Full and comprehensive guides on PIP applications are available can be accessed below.

PIP Application Guide

Guide to Medical Evidence


Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The chances of a successful new PIP claim have fallen, but the success rate for mandatory reconsiderations is rising and the DWP are now more likely to give you a better award before your appeal hearing gets heard.

I have collected together some of the most important figures from the latest set of DWP PIP statistics and set them out below.

But for an even more condensed view, here are what I consider the stand-out stats:

  • Just 42% of new PIP claims are successful.
  • 33% of all PIP awards are at the highest rate for both components.
  • For new claims, in January 2021, 77% were for 2 years or less.
  • On review, 38% of all claims are reduced or stopped, just 18% are increased.
  • The success rate for mandatory reconsiderations was 33% for decisions made in the quarter July to September 2020.
  • The DWP increased the awards to 29% of PIP claimants who appealed, after mandatory reconsideration but before their case went to a hearing, in the 2019 to 2020 financial year.


Claim Success Rate

From April 2013 to January 2021:

5.7 million claims to PIP were registered.

5.4 million claims have been cleared, with:

  • 42% of normal rules new claims
  • 71% of normal rules DLA reassessment claims
  • 99% of special rules terminal illness claims receiving an award

These figures include claimants who are disallowed prior to assessment or who fail to attend their assessment.


Award Rates

One third (33%) received the highest level of awards (‘enhanced/enhanced’ rates) for both mobility and daily living components, and almost a further third (29%) received one component at the enhanced rate.

Almost one quarter (24%) received daily living award only, a few (4%) received mobility award only, and nearly three quarters (72%) received both.


Length of Award

For new claims:

  • in January 2021, nearly three quarters (77%) of claims awarded were short term (0 to 2 years), less than one in ten (6%) were longer term (over 2 years) and less than one in ten (7%) were ongoing

For DLA reassessment claims:

  • in January 2021, short term 0 to 2 year awards were the most common award type (nearly half - 47% - of all claims awarded) followed by longer term claims over 2 years (30%) and ongoing awards (21%)


Review Outcomes

For planned reviews of PIP awards

  • Award increased 18%
  • Award stays the same 44%
  • Award reduced 14%
  • Award withdrawn 24%
  • Claimants with psychiatric disorders are most likely to have their award decreased or disallowed (43%)


Mandatory Reconsiderations

The DWP say that:

A new operational approach was introduced in 2019 when the Department began proactively contacting claimants, as appropriate, to collect further oral or written evidence at the MR stage. This saw a gradual increase in the proportion of awards changed since January 2019 (23%) to 40% in December 2019.

COVID-19 also had an impact on the proportion of awards changed with a sharp increase between 44% in March 2020 and 57% in April 2020.

Claimants who were disallowed at initial decision were more likely to go on to register an MR (48% of decisions to disallow) or lodge an appeal (42% of MRs completed) than those who were awarded PIP (11% of decisions to award PIP and 34% of MRs completed)

Claimants who were disallowed at initial decision were less likely to have an award changed at MR (15%) or appeal (65% overturned) than those who were awarded PIP (27% of awards changed at MR and 74% of appeals overturned)

MRs resulting in a change to the award has remained at a similar level (33%) in the most recent quarter of initial decision (July to September 2020) to the previous quarter, and is 7 percentage points higher than the same quarter the previous year, reflecting a levelling off of the increase since 2017 to 2018


Appeals Lapsed

A lapsed appeal is one where the DWP changes their decision to give the claimant a better award after the claimant has lodged an appeal.

Appeals lodged which were lapsed gradually increased from 2015 to 2016 to reach 29% in the 2019 to 2020 financial year.


From Claim to Appeal

For initial PIP decisions following an assessment during the period April 2013 to September 2020:

  • nearly one in five (19%) of completed MRs resulted in a change to the award (excluding withdrawn)
  • two in five (40%) of completed MRs then lodged an appeal
  • just over one in ten (13%) of appeals lodged were “lapsed”
  • two thirds (67%) of the DWP decisions cleared at a tribunal hearing were “overturned” (which is where the decision is revised in favour of the claimant)
  • just under one in ten (9%) of all initial decisions following a PIP assessment have been appealed and around one in twenty (5%) have been overturned at a tribunal hearing


General Tips and Info

When applying for PIP it is important not to apply with your best day in mind. You should instead consider your ability to carry out a task most of the time - e.g., does your condition affect your ability to cook/dress/wash more than 15 days out of 30?



The Department of Work and Pensions states that ‘If an individual cannot reliably complete an activity in the way described in a descriptor then they should be considered unable to complete it at that level’

They go on to describe reliability as follows:

‘Considering reliability involves looking at whether the claimant can complete the activity as described:

  • Safely – in a manner unlikely to cause harm to themselves or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity
  • To an acceptable standard – e.g., being able to perform a task well
  • Repeatedly – able to repeat the activity as often as is reasonably required
  • In a reasonable time period – no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a non-disabled person would normally take to complete that activity’.



  • Practice – don’t write straight onto the form. Use some paper to write and phrase your answers before putting them on the form
  • Photocopy the completed form before you send it off (to remember what you wrote)
  • Try to get someone to check the form over for you – preferably someone who knows you well
  • Enclose statements from medical professionals, or friends/family, etc., to support your answers. This helps the assessor understand your condition from both a medical and personal perspective
  • Enclosing repeat prescriptions or a diary may also be beneficial

Full and comprehensive guides on PIP applications are available can be accessed below.

PIP Application Guide

Guide to Medical Evidence


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