An investigation into a rule change carried out by the DWP has revealed that some benefit claimants are eligible for back payments of up to £15,000. During the early days of the Covid pandemic last year, the department announced plans to to change the process by which people apply for PIP. These rule changes affected the amount of financial support claimants were given by the DWP during certain time frames.
Specifically, the department has altered the definition of social support in April 2016, which led to many claimants seeing a noticeable change in their benefit payments.
PIP is awarded to claimants who need additional financial assistance to pay for the living costs associated with a long-term physical or mental disability.
Payments are handed out in two separate parts: a daily living component and a mobility component.
The daily living component has two different weekly rates: a lower rate of £60 and a higher one of £89.60.
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Comparatively, the mobility component also has two different weekly rates: a lower rate of £23.70 and a higher rate of £62.55.
Usually when someone begins their PIP application, the DWP assesses the claimant’s ability to interact with other people face-to-face.
The rule change affects current PIP claimants, people who applied for PIP in the past but do not get it today and people moving from Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
However, according to the DWP, if a claimant needs “prompting” or reminded from a trained individual in social situations, the department would now consider whether this comes under social support.
The DWP stated: “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.”
Following this update, the Government department is looking to find current and past claimants who were affected by this change dating back to April 2016.
Specifically, the DWP said: “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 need ‘social support’. This includes some claims where we did not award PIP.”
However, the department clarified that it will not be looking at claims which saw the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP being awarded continuously since April 2016.
Furthermore, the DWP will not reexamine a claim if a Tribunal has already made a decision or decision was made to not award PIP before April 2016.
In terms of eligibility, the DWP explained: “Not everyone will be eligible. If you are, we will write to you and you do not need to contact us.
“It may take some time for you to get this letter. We are not planning to invite you for an assessment as part of this review, but we may contact you for more information.
“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 April 6, 2016, it will usually be backdated to the date you started getting PIP.”
All Britons who think they are eligible for PIP are encouraged to apply, with the rule changes now being factored into all future claims.
People looking to apply for PIP can contact their local DWP centre or begin their application online.
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