DWP payout could see thousands of benefits claimants given £5,300 backpayment | Personal Finance | Finance

Thousands of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants could be due repayments after a Supreme Court judgment ruled that the DWP got the law wrong.

Claimants could be due repayments as far back as April 2016 following a change of rules regarding the points that PIP claimants and get.

In 2019, the judgement ruled that the DWP got the law wrong when deciding the points PIP claimants could get for the activity of “engaging with other people face to face” during their PIP assessment.

Previously, claimants who needed “promoting” to engage with others would get a lower score.

This meant they would have received a lower score overall – meaning they could have missed out on the higher elements of PIP payments when they should’ve been entitled to it.

In a new update published last week, the DWP says it has reviewed around 79,000 cases against the “MM Judgement” where claimants have previously been assessed as needing “prompting”.

The DWP has also made around 14,000 payments to those who were underpaid due to the new ruling.

In total, around £74million worth of arrears has been made by the DWP with more expected to come with the benefit department having identified around 326,000 cases to be reviewed.

On average, each payout was worth around £5,300. However, it should be noted that the amount someone receives may be higher or lower depending on different situations.

Alongside the claims identified by the DWP, the department is also asking around 284,000 existing claimants to contact them if they think they may have been affected.

In a written statement published by the House of Lords last week, Tom Pursglove, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “We are committed to making backdated payments to all claimants affected by this judgment as quickly as possible.

“So, as well as continuing to review claims affected by the definition of ‘social support’, we are also testing a more proportionate approach for claimants who might be affected by the timing element only.

“We will be inviting around 284,000 claimants in this group to contact the department if they think their claim is affected by this judgment and they were not previously identified as needing help to engage with other people face to face because any help they received was in advance. I believe that prioritising cases where claimants are more likely to be entitled to more support is the correct approach.”

In July 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the “MM Judgement” would change the way the DWP considers the definition of “social support” when PIP claimants engage with others face-to-face.

The MM judgement only affects the assessment of the Daily Living part of the overall PIP assessment.

The DWP is reviewing cases where additional points for Activity 9 of the PIP assessment may make a material difference to the amount of PIP was are entitled to.

According to the charity Disability Rights UK, people who may have missed out on the Daily Living component element of PIP, or were awarded the standard rate and may be entitled to the enhanced rate include:

  • 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

The DWP is not reviewing claims if:

  • The enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP has been awarded continuously since April 6, 2016
  • S Tribunal made a decision on a claim since April 6, 2016
  • A decision not to award PIP was made before April 6, 2016

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