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People on PIP may be due back payments worth thousands after DWP rule change

Last year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) outlined changes it was making to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) process which determined the level of financial support awarded to claimants during certain time periods.

The review into claimants who may have been affected by those changes is now complete, however, the DWP has announced that a new administration exercise is underway after a change in PIP law to the definition of ‘social support’ was introduced from April 2016.

When someone applies for PIP, the DWP considers their ability to engage with other people face-to-face, however, the change in law means that if someone needs ‘prompting’, by way of reminding, encouraging or explaining, from a person trained or experienced in assisting people in social situations, they will now consider whether this is ‘social support’.

The DWP said : “The change also clarifies that social support is an ongoing need to help engage with other people. It does not need to be during or immediately before the activity.”

What this means for you

The DWP is looking at PIP claims from people who may be affected by this change.

The DWP explained : “This includes looking again at some claims we decided on or after April 6, 2016, where PIP was awarded because of needing ‘prompting’ to engage with other people face-to-face.

“We will now consider whether they needed ‘social support’.

“This includes some claims where we did not award PIP.”

Who is affected by the change?

The changes to PIP law affects how it decides claims for:

  • people who currently receive PIP
  • people who applied for PIP in the past but do not currently get it
  • people moving from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP

However, the DWP advised they will not look again at claims if:

  • the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP has been awarded continuously since April 6, 2016
  • a Tribunal has made a decision on your claim since April 6, 2016
  • a decision not to award you PIP was made before April 6, 2016

The DWP said not everyone will be eligible and if you are, they will write to you – you do not need to contact them.

However, they did warn that it “may take some time for you to get this letter”.

They will not invite anyone for another assessment over the change to PIP law, but may contact you for more information.

The review could provide essential financial support for some claimants, going back more than five years.

The DWP explained: “If we decide that you should get more PIP, then your award will usually be backdated to 6 April 2016.

“If you claimed PIP after 6 April 2016, it will usually be backdated to the date you started getting PIP.”

Potentially, this means someone who currently receives the standard daily living component rate of £60.00 per week, could be moved on to the enhanced rate of £89.60 and be due back payments of around £8,060.60 – from April 6, 2016.

This estimate is calculated using the following PIP daily living payment rates:

April 2016 – April 2017 (additional £1,414,40 per year)

Standard: £55.10

Enhanced: £82.30

April 2017 – April 2018 (additional £1,427.40 per year)

Standard: £55.65

Enhanced: £83.10

April 2018 – April 2019 (additional £1,471.60 per year)

Standard: £57.30

Enhanced: £85.60

April 2019 – April 2020 (additional £1,505.40 per year)

Standard: £58.70

Enhanced: £87.65

April 2020 – April 2021 (additional £1,531,40 per year)

Standard: £59.70

Enhanced: £89.15

April 2021 – April 2022 (to September 21, £710.40)

Standard: £60.00

Enhanced: £89.60

For someone who did not receive the daily living component, or had their PIP claim turned down, this means they could potentially be looking at backdated standard rate payments worth around £14,963.

Help Claiming PIP from DWP

Why has PIP law changed?

The change to how the DWP considers the support that someone needs is a result of an Supreme Court decision made in July 2019, which you can read about on the GOV.UK website here.

You can apply for PIP again if you think you may now be eligible as the change to PIP law has been applied to all new claims and PIP Reviews since September 17, 2020.

How to apply for PIP

To start the application process, you will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777). You can ask for a paper form to complete if you are unable to claim by phone, although this may delay your claim.

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Help completing your claim form

If you have difficulty filling in your form or understanding the questions, contact your local council and ask for help or Citizen’s Advice Scotland, who have a complete guide to completing the form online.

Even if you don’t qualify for financial support, you could be eligible for a National Entitlement Travel Card, which offers free or reduced travel across Scotland on most public transport links.

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