PIP benefit claimants could be owed up to £12,000 from DWP - see if you are due money

Some PIP claimants may be due money back from the  Department for Work and Pensions
Some PIP claimants may be due money back from the Department for Work and Pensions -Credit:PA

Thousands of people who claim Personal Independence Payments could be owed up to £12,000.

The Department for Work and Pensions launched an administrative exercise in 2021 after rules around the benefit's assessment changed. PIP is paid to people who have long-term mental or physical health conditions or disabilities and the amount you get depends on how your condition affects you.

There are two components to PIP - the Daily Living Component and the Mobility Component - and each pays a lower and higher rate. If you are eligible for both higher rates you could receive £184.30 a week. To find out how much you are eligible for, the DWP conducts a PIP assessment.

Before 2021, the DWP's assessment rules saw some claimants get lower PIP payments, while others were refused PIP altogether because their points in the assessment weren't high enough to qualify for the benefit. A court ruling in 2019 fixed this error and the DWP is now contacting those affected and issuing back payments for the amount they should've been entitled to originally, reports the Mirror. Here is more information about the backdated PIP payments.

Why the DWP owes some PIP claimants backdated payments

The rule change came after a Supreme Court ruling in July 2019 . The Supreme Court's MM Judgement changed the definition of "social support" for the assessment of the Daily Living Component of PIP.

The DWP was ruled to have 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. This mainly impacted those who had certain mental health difficulties with the court ordering the DWP to clearly define what counts as support. The department was also ordered to not dismiss the help people with mental health conditions may need in social situations.

Who is eligible for PIP back payments

After the change, the DWP began looking into those affected in 2021 and were looking at cases since 2016 to check whether claimants were eligible for more support. According to the charity Disability Rights UK, those 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

However, the DWP says the MM judgment only affects the assessment of the Daily Living part of the overall PIP assessment and it is reviewing cases where additional points for Activity 9 of the assessment may make a difference to the amount of PIP someone was entitled to. 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

  • A Tribunal made a decision on a claim since April 6, 2016

  • A decision not to award PIP was made before April 6, 2016

How many people could be due backdated PIP payments?

In the latest DWP update, published in October last year, it revealed that 79,000 had been reviewed against the MM Judgement and around 326,000 cases were set to be reviewed. 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.

How much backdated payments could be worth

According to the recent DWP data, 14,000 payments had been made to people who had been affected which totalled £74m - this averages each payout to around £5,300 each. However, it's important to be aware that some payments will be higher than others and some lower as it's dependent on each individual case. One claimant was entitled to a £12,000 back payment.

The DWP has not confirmed how long it would take for the back payments to reach you if you have been identified. However, you will be contacted if you are due money. One claimant said the money landed in their bank account a few days after they were called by the DWP.