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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  COVID-19: Welfare benefit rules and entitlements  →  Thread

PIP extension refused

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Ruth Knox
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Joanne Robinson posted about a case where her client’s PIP ended om the same date as his leave to remain.  I dont think this is in the same category as with the other cases we have been discussing here. We had a similar situation.

When his MP intervened she was told explicitly by the DWP that they had made a mistake and, as our client had applied for an extension of his leave before it ran out, the PIP award should also have been extended . They then extended it for another 15 months, presumably an estimated time for the new decision to be made.  I am quoting from the email sent to the MP:

“After examining Mr X’s PIP claim it appears that incorrect advice was given to him in August 2019 and the appropriate actions were not taken on his claim when PIP were notified of Mr X’s leave to remain application.

The application for leave to remain was received by the home Office on 20 June 2019 and the confirmation letter was received by PIP on 13 August 21019. The PIP claim had ended on the 10 July 2019 as this award was limited to the original leave to remain end date. However, Mr X was told by a Case Worker that his claim could not progress until his leave to remain status was confirmed. This was incorrect advice, as once a Leave to Remain extension has been applied for, and PIP notified accordingly, the Leave to Remain Status should be extended for 12 months and the claim remain in payment.

Mr X submitted his request for an extension within the appropriate time so the original end date of the claim has now been lifted and a new end date input of 09 October 2020. “

I hope this helps with your clients case, Joanne.
.

 

Jon Shaw
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Elliot Kent - 06 May 2020 09:48 AM

Rang the PIP helpline this morning and have a different message to before which I have attached.

Note that there is only a reference to extending the award in the context of an award review (i.e. planned review).

The time limit for returning PIP2 forms has been extended but there is no reference to the award itself being extended, which is obviously significant in renewal claims at the end of a fixed term award.

Does anyone want to create a rota to save me listening to them so often? I frequently get distracted and remember I ought to after 3:30, but suspect that I’m reciting them in my sleep anyway…

Jon

Elliot Kent
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Jon Shaw - 06 May 2020 04:52 PM

Does anyone want to create a rota to save me listening to them so often? I frequently get distracted and remember I ought to after 3:30, but suspect that I’m reciting them in my sleep anyway…

Jon

I thought it would be a good idea to write it down because obviously at some point somebody will be making a complaint or appeal or something which will rely on what the telephone message said on a particular day - and if it’s constantly changing…

Jon Shaw
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Elliot Kent - 06 May 2020 05:38 PM

I thought it would be a good idea to write it down because obviously at some point somebody will be making a complaint or appeal or something which will rely on what the telephone message said on a particular day - and if it’s constantly changing…

Even for you, that is very admirable. Chapeau! Don’t forget to also submit a link this thread as further evidence of what a shambles of mixed messages it generally is just now…

Jon

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I have a recording of what it said on 27.03.20 if anyone needs it in future. Also what the 0800 1690310 number was saying on the same date

Chrissum
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Elliot Kent - 06 May 2020 09:48 AM

Rang the PIP helpline this morning and have a different message to before which I have attached.

Note that there is only a reference to extending the award in the context of an award review (i.e. planned review).

The time limit for returning PIP2 forms has been extended but there is no reference to the award itself being extended, which is obviously significant in renewal claims at the end of a fixed term award.

Nail and head, Elliot. it is these bits that concern me:
“If we have sent you an award review How Your Disability Affects You form but you have not yet been invited to a telephone assessment appointment, we will extend your award and your PIP payments will continue. We will send you a letter to confirm this”
“If you would like us to look again at our decision on your claim or report a change in your needs, please continue to hold to speak to an adviser otherwise you can now end the call”

The former indicates that if the DWP have started the process then you do not need to do anything and this appears relatively clear (albeit not what the helpline operators are saying) , but the phrase “not yet been invited” muddies the waters and indicates that the process of assessment has been commenced i.e. the form has been returned and it has been passed to the medical assessors. It also indicates that they will be writing to everyone in this situation explaining this. My client simply received the “if you don’t return your form, your money will stop” letter
The latter is particularly unpleasant as it appears to say don’t bother to speak to us unless you are reporting a change of circs or are challenging our decision as we have been perfectly clear as to what is happening with your claim in all other cases.
The extract from Hansard’s is also apparently clear but this does not help those clients whose awards are stopped or not extended. Confused? I know I am and suspect so are the PIP helpline operators. Good to see that they are changing the phone message though!

bristol_1
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The inconsistent messaging is worrying for our vulnerable customers. I worry about those who do not have the resources to take action themselves or advice to help them navigate this.

My client’s 3 year PIP award (made following FTT) is due to end 02/06/20. She was sent letter inviting new claim in Feb, failed to action this and now unsure what will happen. She tried calling new claims and was told to await a letter.

I called PIP today and the helpline operator advised
1. can’t send out AR form as this was a tribunal award, and was therefor a short term award with no review (not in the guidance linked to here which states a short term review is max 2 years and longer awards will always be sent a review form https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/15970/)
BUT,
2. if client rings and does PIP1 new claim ASAP they can extend the current award and payments to 02/12/20
(still needs to return PIP2).

Chrissum
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Question asked of Justin Tomlinson can be found here:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-05-11/debates/B0120E81-4DBF-4ACD-AF05-B634AA997B09/details (sorry not great at these linky-things!)
Per Justin Tomlinson
“There was an issue for those on fixed-term, short awards, but we have now addressed that, and those claimants will continue to get an automatic six months’ extension if it is due in the next three months.”
Tribunal awards specifically mentioned in the question, so (hopefully) watch this space albeit with baited breath.

Andrew Dutton
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We have a case which was due for renewal this week, but payments have stopped.

One of our advisers wrote to PIP in February to advise that the claimant was now classed as terminally ill.

PIP ignored the letter.

We asked PIP to explain how and why the case did not come under the extension rules or, alternatively, why the letter didn’t trigger a supersession and to provide a written run-down of rules and guidance used.

DWP phone reply in sum:

- if you want an explanation in writing go to gov.uk [where on gov.uk not specified]

- the award was originally under special rules this is classed as a specific short-term award and doesn’t follow the reassessment guides

- each time an award under special rules comes to an end then they must make a new claim either under normal or special rules. This is also why the 6-month extension to claims due for reassessment does not apply in this case

- they refuse to provide the guidance used

 

KMJones
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Andrew Dutton - 12 May 2020 03:02 PM

We have a case which was due for renewal this week, but payments have stopped.

One of our advisers wrote to PIP in February to advise that the claimant was now classed as terminally ill.

PIP ignored the letter.

We asked PIP to explain how and why the case did not come under the extension rules or, alternatively, why the letter didn’t trigger a supersession and to provide a written run-down of rules and guidance used.

DWP phone reply in sum:

- if you want an explanation in writing go to gov.uk [where on gov.uk not specified]

- the award was originally under special rules this is classed as a specific short-term award and doesn’t follow the reassessment guides

- each time an award under special rules comes to an end then they must make a new claim either under normal or special rules. This is also why the 6-month extension to claims due for reassessment does not apply in this case

- they refuse to provide the guidance used

Hi Andrew - are you able to e-mail me .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) about this case?

The cases we had identified have now been resolved - DWP has now extended their awards to October/November 2020 (without explanation). We are all set to draft a template a JR pre-action letter but need an active case to press ahead with this.

Very happy to hear directly from anyone else who still hasn’t had the extension granted!

Many thanks

Chrissum
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That’s truly shocking to read Andrew. the problem I feel is that Ministers make sweeping statements but they don’t follow through by passing the tools needed down the food chain, so the decision makers are “bound” by guidance that hasn’t been changed. Surely the pandemic is a relevant change of circumstances allowing an award to be superceded. Surely all it takes is for a HCP to compile a report stating “COVID-19 = bad” and that would give them clear grounds? I’ve seen awards stopped for far less.
C’mon PIP show some common sense.

Jon Shaw
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I think that the argument that the award can be extended due to a change of circumstances, particularly before it has ended, gets more complicated in Andrew’s case. This assumes that the DWP are correct to say the original award was also made on the grounds of terminal illness, of course.

As there is no required period condition for terminally ill claimants, it is hard to work out what the change might be (save a change in mobility needs) until the day the award ends, as the law prevents the DM from looking forward at length of any future needs. I would suggest that any other DS1500 claimants with less than six months to run on their current award should definitely be advised to make a new claim ASAP, and before their award ends.

I also think that a supersession request can still be made now. The grounds being that the relevant change of circumstances is that the client is still alive and still meets the DS1500 criteria.

But I suspect that a new claim is probably still advisable. CDLA/227/2011 (see above) is not such clear authority that there can be said to have been a relevant change where the length of future needs is irrelevant to the awarding decision. Still arguble, but I’m sitting at home with my belt and braces on, and also have a valet standing by in case of a significant sartorial emergency.

And the usual complaint and MP involvement, etc.

Jon

Andrew Dutton
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Hi all, thanks for your replies. I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

Just quick note to say I can find nothing on gov.uk. Not a thing.

Andrew Dutton
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Recap and update:

Claimant referred to us on 5/2/20.

Letter 6/2/20 to PIP to state that client has been on PIP since 2017 on special rules and had received a letter stating that his award is due for renewal in May 2020. The letter encloses a DS1500 and states that the claimant’s situation has deteriorated.

Request made to maintain the award at the current rate. Letter invites DWP to respond if more information needed.

DWP never replied, stopped client’s benefit May 2020.

DWP say because claimant was sent a letter in January for a may renewal h is not covered by the Covid 19 extension.

No sign of new claim form being sent to claimant before benefit was stopped.

New claim made by phone 12/5/20. DWP advise this will be ‘backdated’ to the date the old one stopped.

We have asked DWP to provide references to legislation used and to explain their response in the light on Ministerial statements.

As stated above, there is nothing at all on gov.uk about extension policy as far as I can see.

Jon Shaw
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Just on the sending the client a renewal claim form point: DWP’s process has never been to send out PIP renewal forms, rather to remind people whose award isn’t already being ‘reviewed’ to claim again three months before the award ends. This is covered on p769 of the new CPAG handbook (and p765 of last year’s). But claimants can pre-empt that as claims in advance are permitted up to six months before the award ends. No help to this client, but explains my new claim suggestion above. I think I’m sticking to that until something addressed to DMs, referencing the relevant law, and clearly articulating what should happen and when in each conceivable situation is made publicly available, whatever the answerphone message says or happens in individual cases once they complain to their MP.

I’m assuming that you are one of the people who has been in contact with the London CPAG team today, but if not I’d suggest getting in touch…

Squinting a bit, it sounds like they are perhaps treating the letter of 6/2 as a report of a change of circumstances (in advance of the change happening), so as to allow a supersession to be effective from the day after the old award ended. I think that hangs together in terms of the law. Lurkers, see Reg 23 and Sch 1 part 2 - (specifically para 12 as a change appears to have been notified before it happened) of SI 2013/381. To me, that makes more sense than the ‘backdating’ explanation. It becomes more obvious that there has been a change and the awarding decision can be superseded once the award has ended, as I failed to clearly say in the post above.

I hope it gets sorted quickly.

Jon

Andrew Dutton
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Thanks Jon.

I have indeed just emailed CPAG EWS.

Claimant has also given permission to approach his MP.

Regards,
Andrew

Greeny
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Hello. I’m a little late to the party.
Has anyone’s client seen / heard any evidence of the technically fixed term expired award that was granted by FTT being reinstated for the additional 6 months as quoted by Mr. Tomlinson yesterday?

My client was told the same rule applies to his case (stopped on 1 April) and he should contact the tribunal service to ask if they can extend..

 

Joanne Robinson
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Ruth Knox - 06 May 2020 03:55 PM

Joanne Robinson posted about a case where her client’s PIP ended om the same date as his leave to remain.  I dont think this is in the same category as with the other cases we have been discussing here. We had a similar situation.

When his MP intervened she was told explicitly by the DWP that they had made a mistake and, as our client had applied for an extension of his leave before it ran out, the PIP award should also have been extended . They then extended it for another 15 months, presumably an estimated time for the new decision to be made.  I am quoting from the email sent to the MP:

“After examining Mr X’s PIP claim it appears that incorrect advice was given to him in August 2019 and the appropriate actions were not taken on his claim when PIP were notified of Mr X’s leave to remain application.

The application for leave to remain was received by the home Office on 20 June 2019 and the confirmation letter was received by PIP on 13 August 21019. The PIP claim had ended on the 10 July 2019 as this award was limited to the original leave to remain end date. However, Mr X was told by a Case Worker that his claim could not progress until his leave to remain status was confirmed. This was incorrect advice, as once a Leave to Remain extension has been applied for, and PIP notified accordingly, the Leave to Remain Status should be extended for 12 months and the claim remain in payment.

Mr X submitted his request for an extension within the appropriate time so the original end date of the claim has now been lifted and a new end date input of 09 October 2020. “

I hope this helps with your clients case, Joanne.
.


It certainly did! After reading your post I rang PIP again and left it with them. They have just rung me to tell me that they have reinstated my client’s PIP award and extended it for a further 12 months. Result! Thank you very much for all your help.

Paus17
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Greeny - 13 May 2020 03:53 PM

Hello. I’m a little late to the party.
Has anyone’s client seen / heard any evidence of the technically fixed term expired award that was granted by FTT being reinstated for the additional 6 months as quoted by Mr. Tomlinson yesterday?

My client was told the same rule applies to his case (stopped on 1 April) and he should contact the tribunal service to ask if they can extend..

 

I wouldn’t place much reliance on what Mr Tomlinson said. It looks to me like an improvised answer to a supplementary question which was unrelated to the original question asked, so the chances are he wasn’t even briefed on it.

The suggestion that the client asks the tribunal service if they can extend his award is wrong on every level. First, there is no such entity as “the tribunal service”. The Tribunals Service was an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice which was merged into HMCTS in 2011. Secondly, neither it nor HMCTS had or have any power to change DWP decisions: that rests with the First-tier Tribunal. Thirdly, the First-tier Tribunal has no power to extend an award which it made on appeal. Whether the award is for a fixed period (and it doesn’t matter whether it is classified as short-term or long-term) or indefinite the only way the Tribunal can change its decisions (apart from those where there has been a clerical or procedural error)is by a review under s9 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The review power is limited by rule 40(2) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal)(Social Entitlement Chamber)Rules 2008 to where there has been an application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal and there has been an error of law in the decision.

The only way as far as I can see to get an extension of an existing or expired award made by the Tribunal is by way of supersession by the Secretary of State. The power comes from s10 of the Social Security Act 1998. S10(1)(b) specifically allows supersession of tribunal awards. The circumstances in which the power can be exercised are set out in the Universal Credit etc (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013. Regulation 23 allows for supersession where there has been a relevant change of circumstances. I can’t see any reason why the DWP shouldn’t use that power. In fact, I can’t see what other power she has to extend awards.

Chrissum
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Just had some relatively good news. My client has had her award extended until November (it was due to end in May) and yes it was (eventually) a tribunal increased award. I think this is primarily as a result of the MP getting involved rather than my or the client’s appointee’s protestations, because this only happened after the issue was raised with them and then it was very quick. The announcement today from “Molly” is to be welcomed but we did have a similar announcement from “Brian” several months ago to the same effect which clearly wasn’t being actioned on the frontline. At least we appear to be moving in the right direction.

Paul_Moorhouse
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My client, also a Tribunal decision, has been told verbally that hers has been extended for 6 months, nothing in writing yet.

Andrew Dutton
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Our person had to make a new claim but it was ‘backdated’ to the end of the previous award.

Chrissum
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Andrew Dutton - 18 May 2020 10:41 AM

Our person had to make a new claim but it was ‘backdated’ to the end of the previous award.

And that was what I think advisers and clients, including mine, are being told to do by the helpline, but it is no consolation if during this crisis the DWP are unable to get the claim processed before the “end date” and the benefit and all linked benefits cease. Glad to see that they now appear to be extending awards rather than return dates, thus hopefully avoiding this pitfall drop in income for vulnerable clients.

Dan Manville
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Bump

PIP helpline have just told me that all awards are being extended now if the review is taking longer than their assessment.

I’ll beleive it when I see it mind, but that was the advice.

bristol_1
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Hiya
PIP helpline say they are sending out extension letters the day before the award ends.
See attached my client’s anonymised extension letter - his award was due to end 07/06/2020, so extended 5 months and 6 days.
We did the PIPAR form on 06/12/19 (!) but never got as far as an appt for assessment before Covid19 hit 3 months later.

PIP helpline say this may well cause issues with linked CA awards, as CA may not know about PIP extension and move to cancel CA award, advising clients to call CA.

I thought also possibly issues with SDPs?

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Daphne
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So the letter won’t arrive until after the award was due to finish - that won’t help claimant’s anxieties!!

I’ll raise that issue…

Jon Shaw
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bristol_1 - 16 June 2020 01:27 PM

Hiya
PIP helpline say they are sending out extension letters the day before the award ends.
See attached my client’s anonymised extension letter - his award was due to end 07/06/2020, so extended 5 months and 6 days.
We did the PIPAR form on 06/12/19 (!) but never got as far as an appt for assessment before Covid19 hit 3 months later.

PIP helpline say this may well cause issues with linked CA awards, as CA may not know about PIP extension and move to cancel CA award, advising clients to call CA.

I thought also possibly issues with SDPs?

Wow.

The issue here (leaving aside the problems you and Daphne have already highlighted) is that the standard date to review a PIP award is one year before it ends. I still reckon that the best advice to clients who get this letter is unfortunately to make a new claim pretty much straight away (once their award has less than six months to run). I say that as the award extension policy may have changed/disappeared by November, and we know that people who wait until they are (hopefully) prompted to claim again three months before their award ends sometimes struggled to get a decision before their award ran out, even before the assessment delays caused by Covid-19. Who thinks the backlog will be cleared in three months?

As for the paragraphs about reviews that have or haven’t started, I don’t think I can say anything about them that is within the forum’s acceptable use policy. 

Has anyone yet tried to probe what review date if any has been set on their systems, once a client has received one of these? If there isn’t one then, I would guess they’ll maybe get a claim again letter in August (or not), and the problem has just been moved (not very far) down the road.

Jon

[Edited to amend the suggested date of the reminder to claim again letter going out]

[ Edited: 18 Jun 2020 at 03:18 pm by Jon Shaw ]
stevenmcavoy
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My two most recent cases where its a tribunal decision up for renewal have been extended.

Chrissum
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The news about extensions is great, but can still be confusing for claimants. my client has an award which is due to end in December 2020. We completed and sent in the renewal form in January 2020. She has just received a letter to state her current award has been extended to November 2020. I suspect that this is just a standard computer generated letter, but nether the less…
PIP have confirmed that her forms and accompanying documents have been received and that they are now waiting on the assessment, but didn’t comment on the November / December issue.

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Chrissum - 19 June 2020 09:31 AM

The news about extensions is great, but can still be confusing for claimants. my client has an award which is due to end in December 2020. We completed and sent in the renewal form in January 2020. She has just received a letter to state her current award has been extended to November 2020. I suspect that this is just a standard computer generated letter, but nether the less…
PIP have confirmed that her forms and accompanying documents have been received and that they are now waiting on the assessment, but didn’t comment on the November / December issue.

Does the letter mention an appeal right, Chris? Whether it does or not it appears that the letter purports to supersede your client’s award and reduce the length of it. That is pretty much the exact opposite of the stated intention of the Secretary of State in the current situation. Do you intend to help the person try to challenge the (possible) decision and/or make a complaint?

I’m struggling to get my head round the pros and cons, it is just such a bizarre action. Definitely sounds like the computer was told what to write, but it is hard to see how you can be certain that it isn’t a wrong-headed supersession decision (particularly if it has the spiel about MR/appeal rights pasted into it somewhere). And perhaps even more worryingly for the client, what has the computer now been programmed to do to the payments in November?

Jon