Nick Ferrari slams DWP's treatment of Universal Credit claimants
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Said DWP changes will affect those who are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Recently, an DWP investigation into the rule change exposed that some PIP claimants are eligible for back payments of up to £15,000. As a consequence of the pandemic and social distancing measures, the DWP announced plans to to change the process by which people apply for PIP.
Following this decision, this rule change had a knock-on effect on the financial support PIP claimants were given by the DWP during specific periods of time.
Ultimately, the DWP changed the definition of social support in April 2016, which resulted in claimants seeing a noticeable change in their benefit payments.
Normally, the DWP assesses a PIP claimant’s ability to interact with other people face-to-face to determine whether their claim is valid.
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Due to the DWP rule change, current PIP claimants, people who applied for PIP in the past but do not get it today and people moving from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to another benefit payment were affected.
According to the department, if a PIP claimant needs “prompting” or reminded from a trained individual in social situations, the Government body would now consider whether this comes under social support.
The DWP stated: “The change also clarifies that social support is an ongoing need to help engage with other people. It does not need to be during or immediately before the activity.”
After this noticeable change of tact, the DWP is searching for current and past claimants who were affected by this change dating back to April 2016.
The Government body said: “This includes looking again at some claims we decided on or after April 6, 2016, where PIP was awarded because of needing ‘prompting’ to engage with other people face to face.
“We will now consider whether they need ‘social support’. This includes some claims where we did not award PIP.
“If we decide that you should get more PIP, then your award will usually be backdated to 6 April 2016.
“If you claimed PIP after April 6, 2016, it will usually be backdated to the date you started getting PIP.”
PIP is given to those who need additional financial assistance to pay for the living costs which come from their long-term disability or condition.
These benefit payments are delivered out in two separate parts: a daily living component and a mobility component.
PIP’s daily living component has two different weekly rates: a lower rate of £60 and a higher one of £89.60.
In comparison, the mobility component also has two different weekly rates: a lower rate of £23.70 and a higher rate of £62.55.
All Britons who think they are eligible for PIP are encouraged to apply, with the rule changes now being factored into all future claims.
People looking to apply for PIP can contact their local DWP centre or begin their application online.
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