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PIP suspended following IUC but it was DLA in payment at time of IUC

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Strange situation for client where she was IUC’d in Oct 19 whilst in receipt of DLA SRC/HRM but had started process for transfer to PIP. Underwent PIP assessment after the IUC date as well as further ESA WCA assessment. Client was awarded PIP in December 19 SR daily living, and also placed in WRAG for ESA in Jan 20 although ESA was only after MR.

Client has just been notified that PIP suspended due to information/evidence from DWP Fraud and decision maker considering the evidence.

I am aware that a suspension can be applied when there is any doubt but I am slightly perplexed in this situation as the client has undertaken her PIP assessment after the IUC. Also according to the client the IUC concentrated around her mobility but she has no PIP award for mobility and accepted this, she was given 4 points for mobility 2.

Not really asking for advice but just wondered if similar situations had been seen before where a suspension is applied to a different benefit?

 


Elliot Kent
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You would imagine that the fraud investigation concerns some suggestion that your client has overstated their level of disability at some point. That might be taken as creating a doubt as to whether they have done the same on the PIP claim. I don’t see that it is really objectionable to suspend in these circumstances c.f. if the fraud investigation was concerning an allegation that your client was living abroad 15 years ago and didn’t tell anyone or living with a partner or something.

There is a case I have at the moment where there was a DLA overpayment imposed based on failure to report a change some years ago which has then been used as the sole basis for rejecting HCP advice that an award was justified on a subsequent PIP claim.

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Thanks for the reply Elliot, I’m like you and understand that the allegation probably revolves around overstating health conditions.

It’s not surprising that the DWP will reject HCP advice when it suits there agenda rather than stating the assessor is experienced and trained etc…...!

Peter Turville
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Similar to Elliott I have recently had a FTT decision set aside in a case where the PIP award was suspended (for over 1 year) and eventually revised (along with the prior DLA award) following a fraud investigation & IUC on the basis that X must have ‘misrepresented’ her disability as the awards of DLA/PIP were not compatible with the work X was undertaking’. The clients work (1.5 hrs per day) had ended about 2 months after the award of PIP (on transfer from DLA’). A very large overpayment resulted from the DLA and PIP decisions.

The tribunal failed to address the fact that PIP was awarded following a HCP F2F report (and there was extensive medical evidence regarding the clients conditions).

It is my experience that DWP will ‘dig their heels in’ on decisions made following fraud investigations regardless of the evidence presented in support of a claimant. It also appears to be the case that fraud investigators often don’t understand the qualifying rules for the disability benefits they are investigating!

Perhaps in your case DWP have taken the approach that fraud must be right and the HCP wrong (in my recent case DWP failed to address on what basis the claimant had ‘misrepresented’ her level of her physical disability to a DLA EMP and PIP HCP at F2F assessments which included a physical examinations and to her own medical adviser over many years!). The tribunal also failed to address this question (and a significant change of circs which occurred during the period PIP was suspended pending the decision under appeal!).

As Elliott says DWP have the power to suspend if a doubt arises - my concern would be the basis on which a decision to revise / supersede the award is made following the investigation - if that is the eventual outcome.