The DWP is beginning a review of PIP claimants to try to identify those who are owed up to £13,000, because it got the law wrong. However, not everyone who is eligible for additional payments will be contacted and the DWP have yet to explain how they will look for them.
The search is the result of a Supreme Court decision in July which found that the DWP had not been awarding the correct points to some claimants with mental health conditions who need prompting or social support to engage face-to-face with other people.
Some claimants will have missed out on awards of the standard daily living component since April 2016 and will be entitled to around £13,000 in back payments of PIP. Plus back payments of means-tested benefits premiums in some cases.
Others who claimed more recently, or who should have got the enhanced rate but only received the standard rate, will be entitled to smaller but still substantial sums.
Amongst those who may have missed out are:
- people who have regular meetings with a mental health professional, without which they would not be able to manage face to face encounters;
- people who need the input of particular friends or relatives with experience of supporting them in social situations – rather than just any well-meaning friend or relative – to help them manage face to face encounters.
The DWP are to carry out a search going back to April 2016 for potentially affected people, including claimants who didn’t get an award of PIP at all. But not everyone is confident this will be a well-managed process. And some people will not be looked at, including people whose claim was made before 6 April 2016 and those whose award was made by a tribunal. You will need to contact the DWP yourself in these circumstances.
The issue is quite a complicated one.
So, we’ve written a detailed, downloadable explanation which tells you who may be affected and what your choices are. Disability Unit Yorkshire and Humber Network have produced some advice on this and put it on their main PIP page .
You can also watch a 7 minute video explainer in the same place, the first of what we hope will become a regular feature.
And, in their members’ area, they’ve updated the PIP claims guide with more information on this activity as a result of the judgement and the change in DWP guidance. Make sure you use the latest version of our PIP claims guide if you’re making a claim based on mental health or if you think you may have been affected by the DWP’s mistake. They’ve also provided some sample letters for members who want to proactively contact the DWP about a possible backdated award.