340,000 DWP claimants are affected by one court case

The Royal Courts of Justice and the DWP logo
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is having to look at 340,000 people’s social security claims. It’s happening as a result of a court ruling from 2019. It could mean some claimants are entitled to more money. But with this being the DWP, it may not be that straightforward.

The DWP in the dock

In July 2019, the Supreme Court made a ruling about Personal Independence Payment (PIP). As the Mirror reported at the time, it was to do with people living with mental health issues. It wrote that the claimant known as:

MM was rejected for PIP because [DWP] assessors said he didn’t “need social support” to engage with other people.

Instead assessors said he only “needed prompting” to engage with people – a definition that carries fewer points under the scoring system for PIP.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) defended the decision on two counts.

First, the DWP said “social support” meant someone trained and experienced in assisting people – not just a friend.

And secondly, the DWP said the “supporter” has to be present at the time someone is trying to engage socially.

Read on...

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The judges disagreed with the DWP’s interpretation of the second part. The judgment stated:

Social support is likely to take many different forms, depending on the individual needs of the claimant.

It is undesirable to attempt to prescribe, in the abstract, which other forms of support will be sufficient.

It will be a question of fact and degree, and is something that will have to be worked out on a case by case basis.

Changing the rules

The DWP was forced to change its rules, and in 2020 it did so. At the time, minister Justin Tomlinson said the DWP:

would be undertaking an administrative exercise to check whether claimants are entitled to more PIP as a result of the judgment. This is a complicated exercise and we are still planning our approach. This will be a substantial undertaking and will take some time.

Now, over two years on from the court’s ruling, the DWP is finally following through.

340,000 people affected

The website Benefits and Work reported that:

The DWP has estimated it will be checking 340,000 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.

It outlined which PIP claimants might be affected. It said these included:

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.

Don’t assume the DWP will do its job

The DWP will be contacting people itself. But as Benefits and Work said, this doesn’t guarantee a lot:

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.

Because of this:

Benefits and Work is suggesting that you strongly consider contacting the DWP if you think you are affected by this decision.

If this is you, then it might be a good idea to contact the DWP. Because it could well owe you money you’re entitled to.

Featured image via Dan Perry – Flickr and Wikimedia 

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  • Show Comments
    1. It’s all very well to say just contact the DWP and ask them to reconsider! You could easily end up with no PIP at all and a years’ long struggle to get it back. It ought to be that easy to get it adjusted but it really isn’t, since their assessors are absolutely liars and they are quite happy to leave Sick and disabled people in poverty. I was suicidal the first time they turned me down (after years on DLA) and it was an exhausting five to get what I was entitled to. PLEASE DON’T JUST CONTACT THE DWP. Contact the CAB or any local disability charity first.

      1. Absolutely agree! I KNOW I’m entitled to more too, but the thought of going through that torture again is just beyond me. 4 home visits! FOUR! plus endless canceled visits and one that arrived so early I wasn’t even out of bed at the time and they tried to conduct the interview while I was still in bed!!! The whole thing is a deliberate exercise in putting folk off claiming.

    2. Hmmm we been here before the dwp will find other excuses not to pay out they are a law unto themselves don’t expect any help getting any more of them it’s shown time and time again one must go to tribunals to get any justice

    3. 340,000 DWP claimants are affected by one court case

      Firstly, the U-Credit Tory Scam should be scrapped fully now.

      Well at least now we know where the unpaid cash to claimant is going to Tory M.P.+ Minister that broke parliamentary rules to look after their rich mates just like the last M.P. they tried to protect he was proven to be screwing the rules just because he was a Tory M.P plus X Minister for Tory party.
      I truly believe the last stunt by Tory party members to protect
      one of their own is unjustified in any way shape or foam he was engaging in screwing the rules and could have used Taxpayer money as well?
      This need fully looking into Boris by way of a public investigation not one done by Tory party members itself if he ever got any of our taxpayer funding money out of Tory party Minister??

      To all Voter-resident-judgers including all party members of parliament including D.W.P. I would like a full taxpayer Govt account investigation into were all the unpaid benefit or the unclaimed benefit money as bene wasted or used on what?
      This investigation should be done by a public run accountant
      firm not done by Tory Govt treasury or back bench rich Tory business
      people making Govt rules on Benefits claimant process
      I would like this information before next G.E. please Boris.

      Final update
      All information must be true fact based backed up with full
      Ture information + figure NOT plucked out of the air by Tory
      Govt Treasury Dept run by rich Mr Sunak we believe is not fit In the job
      he dose now under Boris as chancellor of taxpayer money
      (not his or Tory Govt money) but public taxpayer money.

    4. The DWP prefer to string things out as long as possible, until the disabled person is dead is their preferred option.
      It takes over one hour and 20 minutes, wait on the telephone for them to answer any queries at all.

      It took me 3 months of trying as my landline phone keeps running out of charge. Just had my PIP and severe disability allowance cut, as I could not collate the 150 sheets of evidence they require as to be sent with the 36 pages of A4 of questions on the PIP form in their time schedule. After being randomly selected, 12 months before my award is supposed to end on 27th March 2022

      They have already murdered 180,000 disabled people, but who cares about disability until it happens to them?

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