The DWP has been issuing confusing and conflicting information about which claimants in the most recent Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) transfer (reassessment) areas will have to claim PIP and which claimants will be sent a DLA renewal form.
The problem has been compounded by PIP helpline staff not being properly briefed about who is affected.
Having raised the issue with the DWP, Benefits and Work understands that; for claimants who live in the DLA to PIP transfer areas which came into force on 3rd February (LA, CA, DL, HG & YO) you will be invited to claim PIP if:
your fixed term DLA award ends on or after 23rd June 2014 or
you reach the age of 16 or
- you report a change in your care and/or mobility needs
If, however, your fixed term award is due to end before 23rd June, you should be sent a DLA renewal claim form.
This is because the DWP sends out renewal forms 20 weeks in advance of an award ending, to allow claimants time to complete and return it before the award ceases.
Therefore, they are allowing 20 weeks after the 3rd February before inviting DLA claimants in the new reassessment areas to claim PIP.
Although it has not been confirmed, Benefits and Work believes that this situation should also apply to those claimants living in the DG, ML, EH and TD postcode areas, which came under the reassessment process on 13th January 2014.
In these cases, following the same principles, claimants whose fixed term awards end on or after 2nd June 2014 will be invited to claim PIP.
In any case, if you receive the renewal DLA form, it is correct to complete and return this form. Any ‘invitation’ to claim PIP should be made towards the end of any new fixed term award, or sometime after October 2015, whichever is the sooner.
As stated above, this has yet to be confirmed in writing by the DWP. As soon as it is, we will inform our members.
In the meantime, if you are in any doubt, please speak to the helpline staff at the DWP who should now be able to give claimants accurate advice on what they need to do.
The DWP has (since this article was first published) updated the factsheet on its website, which confirms this information: