DWP error means thousands of Brits could be owed seven years of payments

People over the State Pension age could be eligible
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Thousands of older Brits could be owed seven years' worth of back payments after a major benefits error by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Those who might be in line for the money were wrongly denied their Personal Independence Payments (PIP) being upgraded in the 2010s.

Promises have been made to reimburse those affected as scrutiny is underway in the DWP's blunder in failing to provide enhanced mobility payments. The PIP system has been slammed as "badly drafted" by campaigners for disability benefits, reports MirrorOnline.

It follows revelations that numerous older UK citizens were not awarded enhanced payments for mobility issues. They had PIP assessments carried out between 2013 and 2020.

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Any individual over the State Pension age who was eligible for an enhanced mobility payment could be affected by the issue. That includes claimants who are no longer in receipt of PIP.

The debacle arose from confusion surrounding the criteria used by health assessors to determine eligibility for the final PIP mobility award. As a result, many claimants who failed to clearly communicate changes in their mobility needs during their assessment were deprived of additional financial support for years, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The higher mobility award stands at £75.75 per week, which amounts to £3939 annually. Benefits and Work, a benefits advice service, pinpointed the error made by the DWP, stating: "Generally, claimants who have reached pension age can't have an award of the standard rate of the PIP mobility award increased to enhanced."

"However, because the law in this regard was badly drafted, claimants who didn't ask for an increase, but who had a PIP review at which a health assessor found they now met the criteria for an enhanced award, may be entitled to the higher rate."

You may be entitled to an increased award for the mobility part of your PIP, even if you have stopped getting PIP, if all of the following apply:

  • You had your PIP claim reviewed between 8 April 2013 and 29 November 2020

  • You were over State Pension age

  • You received the standard rate of the mobility award

  • You did not report a change in your circumstances that affected your mobility needs

  • You had a health professional assessment which recommended the enhanced rate of the mobility award

  • You continued to receive the standard rate of the mobility award

  • Your decision letter told you we could not increase your mobility award because you were over State Pension age

How to apply to have your PIP claim reviewed

If you believe this affected your PIP award, you will need to get in touch with the DWP to request a review. Using the PIP hotline, which runs Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, you will need to request a "Regulation 27 administrative exercise review".

The PIP hotline number is 0800 121 6579, but if you have accessibility issues there are other ways to contact the DWP available on Gov.uk. You will need your National Insurance number to hand so that assessors can find your original claim.

Once the DWP has had a look at your case, they will get in touch if you need to provide any more information to support the review of your PIP claim. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the DWP will then calculate how much money you should have been paid over that period.

The DWP says: "If we should have paid you more, we will pay this to you."