Figures released by the DWP last month show that 25.5% of PIP AR1 review forms were returned late or not at all in the 12 months to February of this year.  It is not clear how many late returns were due to the DWP not answering the phone to claimants trying to ask for an extension of the deadline.

The figures cover the period from March 2022 to February 2023.  They show that between 10,000 and 15,000 claimants fail to meet their return deadline every month.

However, according to Viscount Younger, answering a question in the House of Lords on behalf of the government, only 7% of claimants who received an AR1 form were disallowed for non-return.

Younger explained that:

“It is worth noting there are multiple reasons a form may not be returned within 40 days, or at all, without a resulting disallowance. For example, where a claimant has an additional support marker, or where an extension has been granted. On average, only 7% of claimants in the time period, who received AR1 forms, were disallowed for non-return.”

But, as we know from numerous comments on our PIP Enquiry Line page, trying to get an extension for returning a PIP form can be extremely difficult due to the DWP’s telephony chaos.

“Received PiP review form but my partner who it relates to is unwell in bed for last 3 days.  Time scale for return quite short.  Rang to get extension today.  Keep getting cut off.  Must have tried 10 times.”

 “So far I've been thrown out of the system three times (after all the annoying security stuff and irrelevant information), and been on hold for 50 minutes, 20 minutes, 35 minutes. I've had to hang up each time because I had to do other things. I'm trying to arrange an extension of a form return for a young person I'm helping, which is now overdue because I can't get through... and the form arrived with only a week left to fill it in, and the deadline was a Sunday...unbelievably awful service!”

 “Same thing happened to me when the phone went dead I tried ringing again and was told that they had closed. I needed to get in touch with them to ask for an extension for the renewal. Now I don’t know what to do as they will be closed now until Tuesday which is the day the forms have got to be sent in by.”

So, although many people who do not meet their PIP review form return deadline may not lose out as a result, there is a real possibility that hundreds – or even thousands – of claimants are being unfairly disqualified every month because they are prevented from requesting an extension.

 You can read the full written answer here.


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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Anon · 8 months ago
    My review forms were sent out on 25th December(!!!) And I got the reminder to return them on the 25th January, then the forms arrived after the deadline they were supposed to be returned by! 
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    Sarah · 9 months ago
    I was sent my first pip review form in February just as I was facing homelessness and I was extremely stressed because I had got nowhere to live and running out of time. 
    I rang for an extension and was on hold for over an hour. I explained that the form arrived leaving only 14 days to complete and return as well as gather evidence because it obviously taken 2 weeks to get to me. I also explained I was extremely stressed and had an awful lot going on which is the other reason I needed the extension as all my paperwork and all my belongings were packed up as I was waiting to move house. Also a lot of my medical information is digital.

    I asked if it was possible to do the review form on line because I have cervical radiculopathy and bilateral carpal tunnel I do everything by voice dictation online and it is painful and slow if I have to write. I was told they do not do online forms but rather than write the form I could print out my own version which I could voice dictate on a word document and include that as additional information instead as long as I was clear what questions I was answering on my document?
    I also updated them providing my new address. 
    I returned the first form At the end of April in time for the first deadline, however I received a letter mid May (we should only taken 3 days to arrive from the date on the letter) 
    They said they had not received my review form and therefore had ended my claim with immediate effect.
    I rang them and was very distressed, I was on hold for over 45 minutes and then the call handler said they had to refer me to a case manager to make a decision. 
    I was placed on hold then The case manager I spoke to said 'we can send you another form if you want or we can just move you on.'
     I asked him to clarify what that meant and he said don't worry about your claim we won't close it you will continue to get your benefit whether you return your form or not if you don't return it will click you on to the next part of the process for assessment. 
    I said I don't mind completing another form so please resend it. I wanted to make sure they had the medical evidence that I could provide before they made an assessment.
    I received this second form 3 weeks after that phone call and 2.5 weeks after the date on the actual form leaving only a week and a half to complete it.
    I rang them again for an extension explaining that these forms are not arriving until weeks after they've been sent and that is not enough time to complete it and get all the information together for a second time. I also updated my GP information as I had registered at a new practise due to new address. 
     I was given a two week extension and returned the form on time by 17 July. I received a text 28 jul to say "To make sure you keep getting the right amount of PIP, we have asked a health professional to help us to review your award. You may need an assessment with them before we make our decision. You will continue to get PIP while your award is being reviewed. You only need to contact us if your circumstances change." 

    The following day I received a second message "Hello from Independent Assessment Services. We conduct Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions DWP. This is for information purposes only, to let you know that we are managing your PIP assessment. We will look at the available evidence and will contact you with an appointment if we need to have a consultation with you. You can find information about the service we provide at You do not need to contact us".

    Due to the quick progress once they did receive the form makes me think they've not even looked at it and just referred me for assessment despite me providing them with a wealth of information in particular several hospital consultant reports all dated in the last 12 months I also supplied detailed information on my form with extra sheets.
    Im now just waiting to see what they say next
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dawn · 10 months ago
    I had a pip short form(ie the what's changed since your last award) - I was meant to have 4 weeks to complete and return. In reality by the time it arrived (rather than the date it was printed), I was down to less than 3 weeks. Which sounds OK until my ME/chronic fatigue and chronic asthma decided to play a game of "how bad can we both be at the same time". And then you have to allow for postal delays in returning it - do for goodness sake get proof of posting so you can prove it was posted back
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Angie · 10 months ago
    Received text message to say phone if PIP renewal not received in 2 weeks. Spent most of the 14th day trying to get through on phone but impossible.  form arrived the next day dated the day I got the test message but with a deadline date only 2 weeks after from received. So unfair to put such pressure on people by sending them out late. Of course no date stamp on envelope so you can't prove it! 

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    M Blakey · 10 months ago
    I got my form on December 17th and it had to be back by December 28th.
    It was a mad rush trying to gather all my evidence and it was nigh on impossible to get hold of my GP for supporting evidence. 
    I managed to get an extension and asked why it was so late in being posted and was told that they only send the mail out once a week, so your form could have been sat there for nearly a week before it even gets picked up.
    I then found out that my local PO only opens for 3 hours, a month. 
    Needless to say it ruined Xmas and I'm still waiting for my decision 7 months later. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Deb R. · 10 months ago
    My PIP Review form, dated 4th May, didn’t arrive until 23rd May.  I had to return it by 4th June.  I phoned the PIP Helpline, but was never able to get through, so I couldn’t ask for extra time.

    I’m still awaiting a decision on my PIP.

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    Claire peacock · 10 months ago
    Sent my pip renewal in on 16th November  still waiting to be told ..phoned up last week because I have had texts  saying still looking at it ..phoned up.last week and said could you please tell me what's happening with it as my blue badge runs out in four weeks. ..told still being looked at because of covid back log etc. .asked them about blue badge told I have to fill it all in differently  and wait see what happens its  awful. They told me renewals are taking 33 plus weeks. .as my health has deteriorated  have fibromalgia. Alloydenia  in left knee and 2 knee replacement s. On left knee and 4 operation s on right.knee also got arthritis in wrists fingers and scleritis  in eyes .
    Not holding out for much hope ..
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Charisma · 10 months ago
    I sent my son's in plenty of time - signed for delivery as always ( I have learned!). First thing we knew was no PiP in his account then a letter a few days later, stating that it was 10 days late so therefore stopped. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - how dare they? Oh they do dare, it's not their life/well-being that is affected. I wrote to my MP, I phoned and said I had proof of posting PLUS a signature for it being signed for. My MP made a complaint on my behalf, not sure what was written but the reply I got was quite frankly snotty, with the 'facts' not as they should be and basically blaming me. Not complaining to MP again. I then phoned again, and told them again that I had proof, this time I was told it had taken them 14 days to scan it into the system, flagging it as late. How come I feel that it's ok to practically call me a liar and I have absolutely no redress? How come the reply to the complaint was in a tone that was not acceptable and again I have no redress? It's not fair - ok life isn't but why do they have to make claiming for something that he is entitled to so difficult. Carers save so much money for the country - if I was to dump my son on their doorstep it would cost the country thousands, we do it for love and then we get taken advantage of.

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    NatalyaD · 10 months ago
    If your disability makes phones difficult (or DWP PIP rubbish phonelines difficult) I recommend requesting permission to communicate by email via the Alternative Formats Team (details at
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    Mica · 10 months ago
    As well as the chaotic telephone lines there is also a major issue with the DWP actually accepting postal deliveries.  Back in April I allowed myself seven clear days prior to the deadline to send my P.I.P. review form back which I did using "First Class Recorded Delivery".   To this very day (5th July) it is still showing on the Royal Mail Track and Trace page as still being at my local Post Office.  Talking to a telephone representative at Royal Mail they told me that the DWP only accept (P.I.P.) postal deliveries once a week and as such a  lot of their mail gets lost.  They suggested that in future I use the "Guaranteed Next Day Delivery Service" even though it costs approximately a further seven or eight pounds to use.  As luck would have it, a few days after the deadline I received a text from the DWP confirming that they had in fact received my forms.  If a person didn't know better they could possibly begin to think that the DWP didn't want you to send the paperwork back to them on time - nothing like a bit of sarcasm to brighten up one's day!!
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    Sandra Bowes-Rennox · 10 months ago
    Do what I do and always send any DWP forms returned by recorded delivery..You are given proof it's been sent and someone at there end has to sign for it and keep the proof you've sent it.

    Hope this helps.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      KABTT · 6 months ago
      @Mica Too true, I sent important documents via recorded delivery to my daughters HA. PO receipt gave us a time and date the forms were received but the HA said they'd "lost" the paperwork then found it, then lost it again. Took 2 years to resolve the situation. Now I use the far more expensive next day service - over £8 which isn't easy to find but it's better than breaking down over DWP inefficiency. There are so many underhand tactics. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mica · 10 months ago
      @Sandra Bowes-Rennox Unfortunately, even sending post by recorded delivery doesn't guarantee that they will actually receive the papers.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    ClaireLO · 10 months ago
    The fact that the review forms are arriving two weeks or more after the date on the form has a lot to do with it! Leaving people with two weeks, often less to complete and return it
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Mrs Hurtyback · 10 months ago
      @ClaireLO I agree. According to the date on the letter, mine took more than 2 weeks to reach me. It was a review form and I have everything I need to fill it in so I decided not to even try and phone to request an extension as the time could be better used actually completing the form.
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    Jason Lee · 10 months ago
    How often do they send these out?
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