DWP to put extra £600 per month in accounts due to new PIP claim guide – Lancs Live

The Department for Work and Pensions has published official guidance for claiming PIP and how it has changed during the pandemic.

PIP – Personal Independence Allowance – is available to those who have a long-term physical or mental condition or disability, to help with the costs of dealing with their health issues.

You can get it on top of benefits such as Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Income Support and Housing Benefit.

It will be more important than ever to consider this with the impending cut to Universal Credit coming in from October 6.

The DWP has produced an updated guide outlining the steps typically taken in getting PIP, including changes made during the Covid pandemic. These are listed below.

How much is PIP – what you get and when

PIP is not means-tested so your income, savings, and whether you’re working or not do not affect the amount you receive.

It can be claimed by those between the ages of 16 and State Pension age. You can keep getting it after you reach State Pension age but you cannot put in your initial claim when you are a pensioner.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is made up of two parts – a daily living part and a mobility part. Whether you get one or both of these and how much you’ll get depends on how severely your condition affects you.

The weekly rate for the daily living part of PIP is either £60 for the standard rate or £89.60 for the enhanced rate.

The weekly rate for the mobility part of PIP is either £23.70 standard rate or £62.55 enhanced rate.

So the maximum you could get would be £152.15 – a total of both enhanced rates – and as PIP is paid every four weeks, that means £606.60 would go into your account every month.

PIP claims guide from DWP

In its latest statistics for PIP published in September, the DWP says there are 2.8 million people on the benefit, with a third getting the highest level of payment.

The document also outlines a “typical customer journey” with the 13 steps to claiming PIP as listed below:

1. A person registers their claim for PIP. To start a claim for PIP, the claimant can contact DWP on 0800 917 2222

2. The DWP issues the ‘How your disability affects you’ (PIP2) form, for completion by the claimant

3. Claimant completes and returns PIP2 form – this can lead to:

  • automatic referral to the Assessment Provider (AP)
  • disallowance of the claim based on the information in the PIP2 form; or
  • disallowance of the claim if the claimant fails to return the PIP2 form without being identified as having additional support needs

4. Under normal circumstances, the applicant may have their claim assessed based on the paper evidence already submitted, or may be called for a face-to-face assessment.

However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, face-to-face assessments were suspended and appointments were carried out by telephone instead. Face-to-face assessments started again in May 2021.

The claimant may: a) attend and participate in their assessment; or b) fail to attend or participate in the assessment, which can lead to disallowance of the claim and no PIP awarded.

5. DWP makes a decision based on the assessor’s advice and any additional evidence received. The outcome may be:

PIP is awarded (including a monetary amount of the award for both Daily Living and Mobility components, the award type and, if appropriate, the period of time that should be allowed before a review of the award takes place); or

PIP is disallowed due to failing the assessment

Bear in mind it can often take up to four months from starting the application to getting your money, though if you’re terminally ill your claim will be processed more quickly.

6. Payment of PIP starts – it is usually paid every four weeks

7. When the claim is receiving PIP, they must report any changes of circumstances – and this may lead to a review of the award

8. Claims are normally for a fixed period of time, typically around two or three years, after which they are reviewed. But if a person’s health condition is obviously severe and unlikely to change, the DWP will agree to pay PIP for the next 10 years, after which the claimant receives what’s called a light touch review. This is for claimants who have:

  • very stable needs which are unlikely to change over time
  • high level needs which will either stay the same or get worse
  • a planned award review date due on or at State Pension age
  • a special rules for terminal illness claim due when of State Pension age

These claimants would not usually be expected to have a face-to-face assessment at review.

9. In the case of a reported change of circumstance or a planned award review, an AR1 form is issued

10. If the claimant disagrees with a decision on their claim, including where an award has been given, they can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), which means it will be looked at again.

11. After the MR has been completed, if the claimant still disagrees with the decision they are able to lodge an appeal with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS)

12. Some appeals are cleared without going through a tribunal hearing, if they are:

  • withdrawn by the claimant
  • struck out by the tribunal
  • lapsed – this means the DWP has changed the decision in the claimant’s favour, so that the tribunal doesn’t have to go ahead

13. Some appeals go on to be heard at a tribunal, where the DWP’s original decision will either be upheld or overturned.

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During the restrictions of the Covid pandemic, hearings were held remotely via telephone, video or other technology, alongside paper-based hearings.

But tribunals have begun sitting in person again now. From July 19, 2021, based on Public Health expert advice, courts and tribunals in England reopened fully as lockdown restrictions lifted, with some restrictions in place including:

  • requiring all users to wear a face covering in public and communal parts of buildings
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other where they will come into close proximity with others they do not normally meet

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should continue to follow the latest Government rules and advice and may not need to attend in person.

Your tribunal notification will inform you whether the hearing is taking place in person, via video or telephone.

Do not come to a tribunal hearing if you:

  • have coronavirus symptoms, whether or not you have tested positive, or are waiting for a test result
  • have been told to self-isolate by the NHS
  • have returned from travel abroad and are in quarantine

If any of these apply to you, contact the court or tribunal immediately so they can consider alternative arrangements.

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