My Autistic Child

Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum

Guide to Filling in the PIP Application Form

When your autistic child turns 16, they will move from DLA to PIP. This can be a hugely daunting task for parents. In this article series, I intend to break the PIP form down into various sections in order to help parents complete it in the best way possible.

What is PIP?

PIP stands for Personal Independence Payment. It is a state benefit for people who cannot do certain tasks independently because of their condition. As autism is a spectrum disorder, not every autistic person needs to claim PIP. For example, if an autistic person is able to cook for themselves, manage money, self-care and transport without any issues, they would be unlikely to qualify for PIP.

Although PIP is for a wide range of disabilities, for the sake of this series I will only be focusing on difficulties faced by autistic people. However, many of the points and suggestions raised will hopefully be useful for a wider variety of people too.

If an autistic child gets DLA (Disability Living Allowance) they will get an invitation before their 16th birthday to apply for PIP. Although some will be able to fill in this form themselves, it is strongly encouraged that they get some help from a parent or advisor when doing so. The reasons for this will become clearer as this article series progresses. Many autistic children will find filling the forms difficult and may not even understand what the forms are about. This is when a parent can apply to be an advocate for the child and fill in the form on their behalf, dealing with all correspondence in their stead.

An Overview of the PIP Form

The PIP application form is a large document and may seem intimidating at first. You should definitely not attempt to fill the whole thing in straight away. It can be a good idea to make notes for each section and then break the form up into manageable segments as it can take upward of 5 hours to complete the whole thing.

The form will come with instructions and it is a good idea to keep these close at hand when filling the form in. It will also be useful to have at hand any paperwork relevant to your case, including doctor’s letters, CAMHS documents and paedeatrician reports. These can be photocopied and added to the form as evidence to back up your claims.

The form is broken down into sections and it is important to consider how your child is affected in each of the following areas:


  • Preparing Food
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Managing Medicine and Therapies
  • Washing and Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Reading
  • Managing Money
  • Socialising
  • Talking, Listening and Understanding


  • Planning and Following a Route
  • Physical movement
  • Leaving Your Home

PIP Points System

Knowledge and understanding the PIP points system is essential to making a successful PIP claim. Each activity is allocated a certain number of points, based on how much help the person needs to perform it. Take cooking for example. If someone needs an aid, such as a stool to help them when preparing food, they may be given 2 points. However, if a person cannot cook a meal safely at all, they would be allocated 8 points.

The points for the Daily Living component and the Mobility component are separate, and people may get different rates for each. Currently, you get the standard rate for the living component if you score between 8-11 points over the daily living categories. Scores higher than 12 points will receive the enhanced rate.

Likewise with the mobility component, scores between 8-11 will be awarded standard rate and over 12 points is the enhanced rate.

In my following articles, I will be breaking the form down into sections and discussing the best ways to fill them in when considering the needs of an autistic child. I hope that this series helps people with this daunting task.

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