Older PIP recipients may be eligible for backpay after DWP mobility payment mistake

Disability benefits advocates have branded PIP legislation "badly drafted" after it emerged thousands of older people, who had their PIP claim reviewed between 2013 and 2020, were denied an upgrade
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People on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are being encouraged to check if they're due a payout from the Government after an error was identified. During the 2010s, a significant number of senior citizens were wrongly refused an upgrade to their PIP due to a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) oversight.

A review into the mishandling of enhanced mobility payments has pledged reimbursement for those who were deprived of additional funds, reports Chronicle Live.

Campaigners for disability benefits have criticised the PIP legislation as "badly drafted" following revelations that thousands of older individuals, whose PIP assessments took place between 2013 and 2020, did not receive the higher rate for mobility issues. This issue potentially impacts anyone above the State Pension age who qualified for an enhanced mobility payment, including those no longer on PIP.

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The confusion arose from health assessors' decisions regarding final PIP mobility awards, resulting in numerous claimants being overlooked for essential disability support. Specifically, those who failed to clearly communicate changes in their mobility during their assessment were left without payments for years.

The greater mobility award currently stands at £75.75 weekly, equating to £3,939 annually, as reported by Manchester Evening News. Benefits and Work has highlighted how the DWP may have erred, 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 might still qualify for a bolstered grant for the mobility component of your PIP, even if you are no longer receiving PIP, assuming the following conditions are satisfied:

  • 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 they could not increase your mobility award because you were over State Pension age

Consider having your PIP application reviewed

If you think this situation impacted your PIP award, the DWP needs to be contacted so a review can take place. Using the PIP hotline, available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, request a "Regulation 27 administrative exercise review".

The PIP hotline can be called on 0800 121 6579, but alternative methods of contacting the DWP exist on Gov.uk for those with accessibility requirements. Ensure your National Insurance number is readily available so your original claim can be located by assessors.

Once your case has been examined by the DWP, theyll contact you if further information is needed to aid the reassessment of your PIP claim. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the DWP will then work out how much more money you should have been paid across that time frame.

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