The DWP has estimated it will be checking 340,00 PIP claims to see if back-payments of £16,000 or more are owed. The review primarily relates to claimants with a mental health condition. We are advising claimants who think they may be affected to consider proactively contacting the DWP to avoid missing out.
Last month we revealed that the DWP have finally begun to search for claimants affected by a July 2019 court decision known as MM.
That decision found that the DWP had not been awarding the correct points to some claimants with mental health conditions who need prompting or social support to engage face-to-face with other people.
Amongst PIP claimants who may have missed out are:
people who have regular meetings with a mental health professional, without which they would not be able to manage face to face encounters;
people who need the input of particular friends or relatives with experience of supporting them in social situations – rather than just any well-meaning friend or relative - to help them manage face to face encounters.
Minister for disabled people Chloe Smith told MPs in a written answer last week that:
“We currently estimate between 320,000 and 340,000 claimants will need their claims to be reviewed as a result of the MM judgment.
“We are not planning to invite claimants for an assessment. However, we may contact them for more information, so that we can make a decision on their claim. We will write to all claimants whose claim(s) we review. Claimants entitled to more PIP following a review will have their award increased and will receive backdated payments.
“It is too early for us to give a date by which we expect to have completed all the reviews.”
Experience of previous reviews suggest that almost no claimants will be contacted for further evidence and that very few of those who are entitled to a back-payment will receive one.
Most affected claimants are likely to simply receive a letter out of the blue telling them that their claim has been looked at again following a change in the law and no change has been made to their award.
Which is why Benefits and Work is suggesting that you strongly consider contacting the DWP if you think you are affected by this decision.
To help with this, under the heading ‘Engaging with other people face to face’ review on the PIP page in the members area, members will find:
- a 6 page guidance document on this issue that we wrote a year ago, which explains who may be affected and what your choices are
- a 7 minute video explainer on the subject
- a copy of the memo issued by the DWP at the time
- sample letters if you want the DWP to look at your award under the MM review