A year after we first wrote about it, the DWP have finally begun a search for PIP claimants owed up to £16,000 in PIP back payments.

This latest review follows a supreme court decision in July 2019 which 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.

Back on 17 September 2020 the DWP announced that they were now following the decision of the supreme court and that they would be reviewing awards made between 6 April 2016 and 17 September 2020 to identify claimants owed money.

But it has taken another full year before Therese Coffey finally announced last week that the review had begun

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.

Some claimants will have missed out on awards of the standard daily living component since April 2016 and will be entitled to around £16,000 in back payments of PIP.

Plus back payments of means-tested benefits premiums in some cases.

Other claimant, who should have got the enhanced rate but only received the standard rate, may be entitled to smaller but still substantial sums.

We have updated 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, and published it on the PIP page in the members area, under the heading ‘Engaging with other people face to face’ review. In the same section, there is also a 7 minute video explainer on the issue which we also created a year ago, as well as a copy of the memo issued by the DWP at the time.

It seems very likely that the DWP will deal with this review in the same way that they have handled the LEAP review relating to PIP mobility and mental health.

Which means that the majority of people who may be eligible for a back-payment will not be sent clear information about their possible entitlement, will not be asked for additional evidence and will miss out on many thousands of pounds in back-payments and current awards.

We strongly suggest that you consider proactively contacting the DWP if you think you may be affected by this issue.

We have published some short sample letters in the same section of the members area to help you if you decide to do so.

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