Among the highly significant changes to the benefits system made by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 is provision for a new disability benefit, personal independence payment (PIP). PIP is replacing disability living allowance (DLA), received by three million people, as the principal form of state financial support towards disability-related care and mobility costs for those of working age. The legislation, including regulations prescribing a new disability assessment framework, plays its traditional role in this field of rationing access to benefit and directing front-line policy implementation. This article examines how, in the context of the Coalition government’s welfare reforms, PIP shifts the threshold of entitlement for people with disabilities and it assesses PIP’s potential impact on equality and the right to independent living, to whose realisation disability benefits may be expected to contribute significantly. It also considers the impact on disabled people of other relevant reforms, including the controversial ‘bedroom tax’.