The DWP have started yet another review to look for claimants who may have been underpaid PIP because the department got the law wrong. This time it is deaf and hearing impaired claimants who may be entitled to more points, if they are unable to hear a fire alarm when bathing or showering.
In upper tribunal case  UKUT 252 (AAC) the claimants needed to remove their hearing aids to shower or bathe. As a result they would be unable to hear a fire alarm or smoke detector and so could not carry out the activity safely. Leaving the door open would not allow them privacy and so would not be carrying out the activity to an acceptable standard.
The judge found that the claimants would be able to use a visual alarm to bathe safely and thus should score points for needing an aid or appliance. If they had not been able to use a visual alarm they would have scored points for needing supervision.
In both cases, this meant that the claimants got an additional two points added to the six they had already received for daily living and were thus awarded the standard rate.
The DWP are now conducting an exercise to identify claimants who may have missed out on an award because the department was applying the law wrongly. They are reviewing claims made on or after 21 August 2020 and up to 17 May 2021, when they say they began applying the law correctly.
If you do get an award as a result, it will be backdated to 21 August 2020 or to the date you started getting PIP if it was after this.
However, the department says it will not look again at you claim if:
we awarded you the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP continuously since 21 August 2020
a Tribunal has made a decision on your claim since 21 August 2020
we decided not to award you PIP before 21 August 2020
The DWP also say that “If we review your claim, we will write to you and you do not need to contact us. It may take some time for you to get this letter.”
However, if you think that this decision applies to you and that it would make a difference to your award, you may wish to contact the DWP and inform them, as previous similar reviews have resulted in people who should have been eligible never being contacted.
You can read more details on the gov.uk website