150,000 Brits on benefits could be owed thousands in backpay after error – how to find out if you’re affected | The Sun

BRITS claiming benefits could be owed thousands of pounds after an error calculating payments.

One man was awarded £12,000 after contacting the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to recalculate his PIP payments.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is for those with a long-term health condition and can be claimed by those working or not.

There is a mobility component which can increase the amount of money you get, if eligible.

In 2017, a court ruling found that assessments for this element discriminated against people with mental health conditions.

People with certain issues should have been given more points when they were being assessed for PIP.

The DWP has been reviewing previous PIP claimants to see if they should have been awarded more money.

But there are still thousands of people owed money, and they can make a claim to get the cash back if they think they are affected without waiting for the DWP to contact them.

What is PIP?

PERSONAL Independence Payment – known as PIP – is a tax-free benefit available to those aged 16 to 64 whether in work or not with a long-term illness or disability.

It's available in England, Scotland, and Wales, but tthe rules are different in Northern Ireland. 

There are two elements of PIP – a weekly daily living rate worth either £60 or £89.60, and a weekly mobility rate worth £23.70 or £62.55 – how much you get depends on the severity of your condition.

When you first claim you'll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get. This is then regularly reviewed with follow-up assessments.

Up to November 1, 2021, the latest figures available, the government has made 8,200 payments totalling £42million.

But the DWP reckon as many as 164,000 are likely to be affected, and that the judgment would cost £3.7billion by 2022.

The DWP plans to publish a final update at the end of 2022.

How much individuals are owed depends on how much they missed out on and for how long – there is no set amount.

The department is working its way through the review and contacting claimants it finds are owed backdated payments.

But anyone who thinks they are entitled to the cash can contact them directly and ask them to look into their PIP payments.

The court decision affects PIP claims that were decided between November 27, 2016 and June 28, 2018 Citizens Advice say.

Claims for PIP made after this date take into account the court ruling and those with mental health conditions are fairly treated.

It says that you can ask the DWP to look again if you:

  • have a mental health condition that makes going outside difficult
  • didn’t get the mobility component of PIP or you got the standard rate of the mobility component

According to Benefits at Work, there are around 20 conditions which successful claimants have suffered from.

  • Agoraphobia
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Anxiety and depressive disorders (mixed)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Bipolar affective disorder (Hypomania / Mania)
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Dementia
  • Depressive disorder
  • Drug misuse
  • Learning disability
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD
  • Panic disorder
  • Personality disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stress reaction disorders

The organisation which helps people claim benefits, said that if a condition is not listed, it doesn't mean a claim for backpay wouldn't be successful, or that if it is listed, that a claim would automatically entitle you to backpay.

How to claim PIP backpay

If you think you're affected and should be owed backpay for PIP you should look at the original decision letter you received.

The decision must have been made between 27 November 2016 and 28 June 2018.

PIP: how to claim

PIP was launched in 2013 to gradually replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

You can get financial support if your condition means you struggle with moving around or everyday activities, such as getting dressed.

Applicants can get between £23.60 and £151.40 a week from age 16 up to state pension age.

Unlike Universal Credit, PIP isn't means-tested so it doesn't matter how much you earn or what your national insurance contributions are.

You must have a health condition or disability that has made it hard to cope with moving around or daily living, or both, for the past three months.

The difficulties should be expected to continue for at least nine months.

You usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the previous three years to be eligible.

PIP is made up of two parts: daily living and mobility.

You will be assessed by an independent health official appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

For the daily living part, the health assessor will see how you cope with tasks such as preparing and eating food, getting dressed and making money decisions.

You can apply for PIP through the DWP's PIP claims line, which is open between 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

The number for the DWP PIP claims line is 0800 917 2222 or you can request a form to apply through the post by writing to Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.

You can use the Relay UK service if you can't hear or speak on the phone by dialling 18001 then 0800 917 2222.

Contact the benefits office that is listed on the decision letter and tell them you think the new rules for calculating PIP (introduced after the court ruling) should have given you the higher mobility element.

Tell them you want them to review your PIP decision.

You'll need your National Insurance number, address and contact details.

You can contact the PIP enquiry line to get hold of your decision letter if you don't have it, on 0800 121 4433.

The DWP will review your claim and will contact you by letter if you are entitled to money back and tell you how much.

The payments will be backdated to the date of your claim, or when the mobility claimant rules first changed (November 2016), whichever is later.

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