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PIP - fixed term awards in line with limited leave

JPCHC
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Cardinal Hume Centre - Welfare Rights

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Total Posts: 136

Joined: 24 November 2014

Hi,

I am not sure if I am just noticing this now and it’s always been the case, but I have seen 3 clients whose PIP has stopped because they had been given awards in line with their Limited Leave to Remain (including one refugee client).

In none of these cases, have they been reminded about the end of the fixed term awards so no new claims have gone in.  All 3 clients have made valid applications so have continuing leave (and recourse to public funds) whilst they await the Home Office decision. But becuase the new claims aren’t going in until after their old claims have stopped it’s causing significant financial difficulties for people (loss of PIP, SDP, automatic qualifiction for Freedom Pass etc.).

My previous recollection was that payments were just suspended in these circs pending confirmation of immigration status (i.e. 3C leave), but now it seems fixed term awards aren’t based on likely duration of functional restrictions, but the date your limited leave to remain is due to expire.

Any thoughts gratefully received.  It doesn’t sit well with me.  These are still very unwell people and their right to public funds has not ended. 

Thank you

JPCHC
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Cardinal Hume Centre - Welfare Rights

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Total Posts: 136

Joined: 24 November 2014

I’ve just been had another refugee client who has just had her PIP review.  The effect of the review was to increase her award but she was only given 10 days as her limited leave was expiring then (note her original award was to continue beyond this date).  She has applied for an extension so has continuing leave/entitlement to benefits but her review letter advises her that a new claim will be needed. This will mean she doesn’t have any PIP whilst her new claim is assessed…

Any ideas? Thank you

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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Joined: 14 July 2014

I suppose there are a number of ways to deal with that.

If, at the date of decision, the claimant had already applied for further leave and therefore as a matter of law she was entitled to an extension until the application is determined, then it is definitely inappropriate to limit the award to 10 days. There would be no logical foundation for doing so. You would need to request revision of that decision.

It’s a slightly different position if the claimant hadn’t made her application by the date of the SSWP decision - because only facts up to the decision date can be taken account of. If the claimant subsequently applied for leave, then supersession could be requested on the basis that further leave has been obtained and therefore entitlement ought to continue. It’s perfectly within DWP’s power then to supersede the decision on that basis and if they refuse to, this could be pursued by MR.

Or she could just put the new claim in on the basis that it will be easier to do it that way than try to explain to the DWP how the social security act works. She might well be able to say “I was assessed a month ago - please just copy and paste that assessment”.