The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently conducting a review of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims made by deaf or hearing impaired people who may be affected by an Upper Tribunal decision relating to washing or bathing safely.
Following the court ruling, from August 21, 2020, there has been a change in how the DWP considers whether someone can wash or bathe safely, as part of the PIP assessment.
If a deaf or hearing impaired claimant is not able to hear a standard fire alarm while washing or bathing, although the risk from a fire is low, the DWP will now consider whether a visual alarm – such as an aid or appliance – is needed, or supervision if a visual alarm would not be appropriate, in order to wash or bathe safely.
New guidance on GOV.UK confirms that the DWP is reviewing claims made on or after August 21, 2020 including those where PIP was not awarded.
It is important to note that backdated payments will only affect existing claimants already receiving the Daily Living component part of a PIP award and not the mobility component.
There are currently 30,801 people across the UK being supported through PIP for around 15 types of hearing disorders.
- Scotland – 2,489 claimants
- England – 26,420 claimants
- Wales – 1,894 claimants
Which claims are being reviewed?
At the moment, it is unclear how many claims are being reviewed by the DWP.
The DWP recently told the Daily Record: “We are now looking at PIP claims from deaf or hearing impaired people who may be affected by this change. This includes reviewing some claims we decided on or after 21 August 2020, including ones where we did not award PIP.
“We are not planning to ask you to provide any further evidence or invite you for an assessment as part of this review. We will be looking at information we already have about your hearing impairment from your PIP claim.”
The DWP will not look again at your claim if:
- You were awarded the enhanced rate of the daily living part of PIP continuously since August 21, 2020
- A Tribunal has made a decision on your claim since August 21, 2020
- It decided not to award you PIP before August 21, 2020
What happens next?
The DWP explained: “If we review your claim, we will write to you and you do not need to contact us. It may take some time for you to get this letter.
“If we decide that you should get more PIP, then your award will usually be backdated to 21 August 2020. If you claimed PIP after 21 August 2020, it will usually be backdated to the date you started getting PIP.”
The DWP also said that you should consider applying for PIP again if you think you may now be eligible.
The change to PIP law will apply to all new claims and has been applied to all PIP decisions since May 17, 2021.
How much could you receive in backdated payments?
Existing PIP claimants who may benefit from a review can only move from a nil award to a standard award or standard award to an enhanced ward as part of this exercise.
Using the Benefits and Work PIP Payment Calculator and applying the date range from August 21, 2021 to April 5, 2022 – when the review was announced, the amounts could be worth:
- From no Daily Living award to standard award rate – backdated payments of up to £5,064
- From standard Daily Living award to enhanced award rate – backdated payments of up to £2,498
PIP payment rates for 2022/23
PIP is made up of two components – Daily Living and Mobility.
Whether you get one or both of these and how much depends on how severely your condition affects you.
You could receive the following amounts each week depending on your circumstances:
Standard rate – £61.85
Enhanced rate – £92.40
Standard rate – £24.45
Enhanced rate – £64.50
Just bear in mind, for this review, the DWP will only be looking at the Daily Living component awards for existing PIP claimants.
If your PIP claim was turned down
You should consider making a new claim for PIP.
To make a new claim for PIP, find out more on the GOV.UK website here.
If you live in Dundee city, Perthshire and Kinross or the Western Isles, PIP is being replaced by the new returned Scottish benefit, Adult Disability Payment, which you can apply for online, in person or over the phone – find out more here.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.