Closing PIP claim for non return of PIP2 form
Has anyone successfully challenged the closure of the PIP claim based on non return of PIP2 form? What grounds were successful for challenging the decision?
Reg 8 of the PIP regulations provides:
Information or evidence required for determining limited or severely limited ability to carry out activities
8.—(1) The Secretary of State may require C to provide any information or evidence required to determine whether C has limited ability or severely limited ability to carry out daily living activities or mobility activities.
(2) Where information or evidence is requested under paragraph (1), C must provide the information or evidence to the Secretary of State within one month from the date of the request being made or within such longer period as the Secretary of State may consider reasonable in the circumstances of the particular case.
(3) Where C fails without good reason to comply with the request referred to in paragraph (1), a negative determination in relation to the component to which the failure related must be made.
So that rather sets your battleground.
The main area of argument is going to be in respect of “good reason” - suppose that the claimant couldn’t fill the form in within the time limit due to sudden illness or bereavement, or has an enduring health condition that prevents them from dealing with correspondence in a timely manner.
Another common one is where the claimant says that they did “provide” the information but either the DWP or the post office has lost it.
Less commonly, perhaps there will be cases where the DWP has received the form but after the deadline - you could argue that it was reasonable to extend the deadline - or if the claimant didn’t fill the form in but provided the information requested in some other unauthorised format.
Overwhelmingly though, the DWP seem to send out letters which simply read as “you didn’t send the form back so we’ve closed your claim” and don’t even draw out the necessary evidence to decide these points. Claimants seem to mostly accept that and just make a new claim rather than appealing.
I’ve challenged this successfully a few times for clients with mental health conditions. I’ve also got the second claim “backdated” to the date of the first a few times on the same grounds. In both situations, I’ve also quoted their own guidance that says that the claim process should continue for a “vulnerable” claimant who doesn’t return their PIP 2.
Thanks very much for responses. I was debating between the option of just going forward with the MR for the decision to close the claim and making a new claim but highlighting as part of this that the previous claim shouldn’t have been closed but was concerned to do the new claim route in case differing decisions were reached for each claim . Just trying to make the route the easiest one for the client with the least bumps along the way!