PIP applicants turned down in the past can re-apply after DWP rule changes

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) outlined changes in 2020 that it was making to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process for decision makers which determined the level of financial support awarded to claimants during certain time periods after it lost two landmark legal cases.

PIP is a benefit for people who need additional help with daily living tasks or getting around outside their home as a result of a long-term illness, disability or mental health condition. It is not just awarded to those with outwardly visible physical, long-term health conditions or disabilities, it’s there to provide support for people with an ever-evolving list of ‘hidden’ conditions too.

The latest figures from the DWP show that in July there were 2.8 million people across the UK claiming support through PIP and accessing a whole range of additional assistance including Council Tax Reductions, benefit top-ups and free or discounted public transport.

Of that total, 292,231 Scots are now receiving financial support and the DWP also confirmed that during the period between April and July 2021, it had received 170,000 registrations for new claims – the highest quarterly level of new claim registrations since PIP began in 2013.

PIP is made up of two parts – a daily living component and a mobility component, you may be able to claim one or both of these depending on your circumstances. The DWP could award you between £23.70 and £152.15 per week to help with these additional costs, usually paid every four weeks, and the amount you get depends on how your condition affects you – not the condition itself.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the DWP pausing an administrative review of PIP claimants to identify those who may be due thousands of pounds in backdated benefits as a result of the change in the law from the ruling in August 2020. However, this review resumed in October 2020 and has now been completed.

In a recently released UK Government paper, the DWP stated that by January 17, 2021, the total amount of arrears payments made to PIP claimants since June 2018 is estimated at £32 million.

Below is a list of the changes to PIP law, to help you understand what they mean and whether you may have been affected.

If you were turned down for a PIP claim in the past, it may be worthwhile putting in a new claim and similarly, if you are already receiving PIP on the standard rate (for either component) and feel you should have been awarded the enhanced rate, it may be time to ask the DWP to look again at your claim – especially if there has been a change in your circumstances.

A PIP award is usually awarded for a fixed period of time

Changes to PIP law and dates of possible assessment errors

The changes to PIP law affected how the DWP made claims decision for:

  • people who currently get PIP

  • people who applied for PIP in the past but do not currently get it

  • people moving from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP

Changes to managing medication and monitoring a health condition

From November 2016 there was a change to the way in which the DWP assessed the need for supervision, prompting or assistance to manage medication and monitor a health condition.

The law then changed once more in March 2017.

Under the current rules, DWP will look at whether the claimant needed supervision, prompting or assistance to both manage medication and monitor a health condition from 28 November 2016 to 15 March 2017 only.

What this means for you

At the time of the claims review relaunching, the DWP explained on the UK.Gov website :: “We’re looking at PIP claims which we think are most likely to be affected by this change and be eligible for more support.

“This includes looking again at some claims we decided on or after 28 November 2016 and before 16 March 2017 where we did not award PIP.”

The change to how managing medication and monitoring a health condition is considered is a result of an Upper Tribunal judgment.

This judgment also changed PIP law for special diet as therapy from 28 November 2016 – read more about that on the UK.Gov website here.

Help Claiming PIP from DWP

Changes to your ability to plan and follow a journey

From 28 November 2016 there was a change to the way the DWP considers how overwhelming psychological distress affects claimants ability to plan and follow a journey.

The DWP will now consider how this affects a claimant’s ability to plan and follow a journey when it decides whether to award the mobility part of PIP.

The DWP will also consider this when it decides whether to award:

What this means for you

At the time of the initial review, on the UK.Gov website, the DWP explains: “We are looking at all current PIP claims to check if this change means you may be eligible for more support under PIP.

“We are also looking again at claims we decided on or after 28 November 2016 where we did not award PIP.

“We will not look again at your PIP claim if you have been getting the enhanced rate of both the daily living and mobility parts of PIP since 28 November 2016.

“Once we have looked at your claim again we will write to you to let you know the outcome. Because of the large number of cases that the DWP will need to review, it may take some time for you to get this letter.”

The DWP goes on to advise that: “You may not get more PIP under this change. If we decide that you should get more PIP then your award will usually be backdated to 28 November 2016, or if you claimed PIP after 28 November 2016, backdated to the date you started getting PIP.”

The advice on the Gov.UK website also states: “You can apply for PIP again if you think you may now be eligible. The change to PIP law will apply to all new claims.”

Find out more about the changes to the mobility component on the UK.Gov website here.

PIP applicants turned down in the past can re-apply after DWP rule changes

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To speak to the DWP about your PIP claim, contact the PIP enquiry line on 0800 121 4433.

To read the full details of the PIP administrative exercise, visit the GOV.UK website here.

How do I make a new claim 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).

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.

What do you think of the new changes? Have your say in the comments section.

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