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The government announced yesterday that they will be reviewing 1.6 million personal independence payment (PIP) claims to see if claimants should have been given more points for the mobility component. It was also revealed that guidance to health professionals and decision makers has still not been updated to take account of the decisions that prompted the mass review.

1.6 million
Earlier this month we highlighted the DWP’s decision to abandon their attempts to discriminate against claimants with mental health conditions trying to claim the mobility element of PIP.

It has since been disclosed by the government that they believe up to 220,000 people could be entitled to a higher award as a result.

Now, the DWP have revealed that 1.6 million claims will have to be looked at again as a result of the their U-turn.

The news came in answers by Sarah Newton, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to written questions from Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Newton revealed that the DWP “will be going through all cases in receipt of PIP and all decisions made since the judgment in MH to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment.”

Newton went on to say that:

“The Department will directly contact anyone who is affected and additional payments will be backdated to the effective date in each claim. The effective date will be either the date of the claim or the date of the MH judgment (November 2016), whichever is the later date. Claimants do not need to write to DWP in order to receive the correct award.”

Newton refused to be drawn on how long the reviews would take, saying only that:

“This will be a complex exercise and of considerable scale, as we will be reconsidering approximately 1.6 million claims.”

No new guidance yet
In her written answers, Newton also revealed that PIP assessors are currently still working to the old, out-of-date and legally incorrect guidance, explaining that:

“We are working with stakeholders to change the PIP assessment guide so that we can implement the judgment.”

Until we see the new guidance, we won’t know how the DWP have chosen to interpret the court rulings. The concern is always that the DWP will define who is entitled to points due to psychological distress as narrowly as they possibly can, to reduce the number of awards.

Will claimants know if they have been refused?
As matters stand it seems that the DWP will be trawling through existing claims, and possibly refused claims, to see if there was an element of psychological distress in the papers.

If so, they will then decide whether additional points should be awarded and whether the claimant should get an award, or a higher award, as a result. In some cases they may try to obtain additional evidence before making a decision.

At this stage, it seems possible that the only claimants who will be contacted and given a decision are those who are found to be entitled to more money as a result.

If this is the case, then claimants who consider that they are entitled to an award, or a higher award, as a result of the change in the law but who do not get one, will not be told that their case has already been looked at and will not be given an opportunity to challenge the decision.

How and when
The Daily Mirror says that the DWP told them that no-one will have to have a fresh face-to-face assessment as a result of this process. Instead the DWP will contact claimants or their GP if they need to find out more.

The Mirror also claimed that the DWP will be looking first at claimants who have died since a decision was made in their case and then at those who got no award at all.

Only then will they move on to claimants with an existing award.

We’ll keep readers informed as more information becomes available.

 

Questions and answers in full
Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Written Statement of 19 January 2018, HCWS414, whether applicants will be entitled to a reassessment if they were given the standard rate of the PIP mobility component after the February 2017 changes to PIP regulations, where the cause of the claim was psychological distress.”

Sarah Newton, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, replied:

“As part of implementing the MH Upper Tribunal judgment, the Department for Work and Pensions will carry out an administrative exercise in order to ensure that claimants receive the correct award. We will be going through all cases in receipt of PIP and all decisions made since the judgment in MH to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment. This review will include claimants who are currently receiving the standard rate of the PIP mobility component and experience psychological distress.

“The Department will directly contact anyone who is affected and additional payments will be backdated to the effective date in each claim. The effective date will be either the date of the claim or the date of the MH judgment (November 2016), whichever is the later date. Claimants do not need to write to DWP in order to receive the correct award.”

Debbie Abrahams asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 January 2018, HCWS414, what the timetable is for claimants to be informed if they are entitled to a back payment.”

Sarah Newton replied:

“We are working with stakeholders to change the PIP assessment guide so that we can implement the judgment. Once we have completed this exercise we will be carrying out an administrative exercise to review cases that may be eligible and ensure that claimants receive the correct award. This will be a complex exercise and of considerable scale, as we will be reconsidering approximately 1.6 million claims. Whilst we will be working at pace to complete this exercise it is important that we get it right.”

Comments  

#9 Nino 2018-05-02 02:18
My husband won pip tribunal in march 2016 both components hight rate until Feb 2019 in Jan we recive a form to relooked at his pip and we send the form back my husbent is getting worse we just had it with all the stress on top of his illnes and today my husband recived a lettert for face to face assessment which is in 10 days I am so confuse and don't want all that stress all over again I have to much in my plate when they going to understand this is how gov is treating disable people
+1 #8 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2018-02-02 11:56
Quoting kylie021088:
Can anyone clarify that all pip claims will be looked at? Even ones prior to the court ruling Nov 2016? There is so much contradiction!!!


I hope this will help you understand what will happen regarding this mess, see this full statement.

DWP promises no-one will lose out in huge review of 1.6 million PIP cases

Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced this week that, following McVey’s decision not to appeal the court ruling, DWP would review every one of the 1.6 million PIP claims that have been made since the benefit was introduced in 2013 to see how many had been wrongly assessed and were now entitled to backdated PIP payments. The review will include all those previously found ineligible for the benefit after being assessed by DWP and its contractors, Atos and Capita.

See this link here for the full statements surrounding all this: blacktrianglecampaign.org/2018/02/01/dwp-promises-no-one-will-lose-out-in-huge-review-of-1-6-million-pip-cases/

I hope it will clarify to some of you.
#7 kylie021088 2018-02-01 15:00
Can anyone clarify that all pip claims will be looked at? Even ones prior to the court ruling Nov 2016? There is so much contradiction!! !
#6 diane varley 2018-01-31 12:08
wasn't it was a waste paying sheds load more then these professionals would get in the nhs pulling them away from there caring roll
+1 #5 DianaW 2018-01-31 11:42
When I heard that the DWP was going to do this for everyone claiming what they called the main disability benefit, I assumed that they meant ESA - to which everyone previously on Invalidity Benefit was automatically transferred in recent years. The new approach seems only to be to PIP claims, however.
While this may be because the MH decision (which I haven't seen) relates only to a PIP claim, it doesn't help those formerly entitled to Invalidity Benefit who struggle with the assumption that they're fit to work and can, at best, only hope to stay in the support group for limited periods. Many former Invalidity Benefit claimants will never be fit to work, often because of chronic mental health conditions - but not all of us think that we also need PIP to manage or can cope with the awful process of trying to claim it.
I'm disgusted that the DWP is only applying their new approach from, at the earliest, the date of the MH decision. Such decisions don't change the law made by Parliament; they simply state the law which the DWP should always have been applying but failed to appreciate. So the revised approach should always be applied as from the date of the claim - no matter how far back in time that may be.
#4 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2018-01-31 10:48
Just reading further into this and Sarah Newton DWP has stated this.

(This exercise will include screening the existing PIP caseload of some 1.6 million people to identify the group who may benefit, but the vast majority of claimants will not be affected. As the Secretary of State said last week, we currently estimate that up to 220,000 people will be affected by the judgment. For the group of people who may be affected, we will undertake a detailed review of their applications and awards. We will write to the individuals affected, and all payments will be back-dated to the effective date in each individual claim.

There will be no—I repeat, no—face-to-face reassessments of awards. DWP case managers will be conducting a review of the existing information we hold, with a view to establishing whether claimants are entitled to more.)


See full statement regarding further answers surrounding this here blacktrianglecampaign.org/2018/01/30/pip-back-payment-debate-today/
#3 Idonia 2018-01-31 06:11
I am so confused... I was reassessed from DLA onto PIP in 2014/15, with the decision on my PIP claim made in April 2015. Under DLA I received Higher Rate Care and Lower Rate Mobility for both physical and mental health conditions; however the Mobility award of DLA was for MH. Under PIP, I am on the Enhanced Rate Daily Living and receive no award for Mobility, despite the fact that my MH and the limitations I have on my ability to go out, especially alone, has neither changed nor improved since my initial claim for DLA in January 2010. My PIP is due for reassessment in a little under two months' time. I don't know if my claim will be one of those which will be looked at again, especially considering how soon my reassessment is. It's all very confusing for me.
+1 #2 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2018-01-31 01:21
I added this in the other thread by mistake.....

So While this is a good move to find out who should have got the right award or decision in the first place, and they say No one will have to have another assessment? I'm already on Enhanced for both for an ongoing period I'm now like many others are now gonna be worried if we will now get re-assed?

I know I should have got the extra points instead of 4 under that descriptor but I got 12 on the other Mobility desripror So I don't want any more hassle I cannot face going through to this crap again like many of us are afraid too?

I see their going to look through ALL the PIP claims again. So I hope they leave me alone because I've now had enough. And I feel for the ones that have had to go through the trauma of this depressing problem this Government has caused to many of us.

I can see this will all be done by a lot of un-trained DWP staff etc, it's gonna be one hell of a balls up I can see it now. God help us.
+1 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2018-01-30 15:25
Isn't this all going to cause a backlog in new & existing PIP claims, which are already waiting to be assessed, or waiting for a DM to conclude on a PIP assessors report. My concern is that the existing claims or new claims, which will be, and are going through the pipeline. Will be rushed, and as an end result more errors will be made on the assessors part, subsequently leading the DM to make a wrong decisions on claimants.

causing more anguish, anxiety on the claimant, and causing more backlogs in the appeal system.

Finally surely one would think that this extra amount of work pile now placed into the DWP's in-tray's, would mean all existing PIP claimants next upcoming re-assessments would be postponed until this 1.8 million claimant PIP claim rechecks were finalized. In other words re-assessments should have the brakes put on.

Or can the DWP simply employ inexperienced people to work through a backlog, and continue to make mistakes and wrong claimant decision's of PIP entitlement.

Or will DWP staff be working shed loads of overtime, which itself causes staff to fatigue and make mistakes too.

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