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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Disability benefits  →  Thread

PIP renewal forms being sent out very late

AndreaFB
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Foodbank Adviser, CA Hammersmith and Fulham

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Good evening everyone
One of our clients with a PIP award due to end on 18 November 20 was sent her renewal form as late as beginning of November, with a due date after the award had ended. She said this was the first time the form was sent.  And now she is without PIP and still waiting for an assessment and decision on her renewal.  Her husband had his own renewal form sent quite late too.
I know of other clients who had letters to say that there award had been extended due to Covid suspension of assessments, they received these letters out of the blue months before the award was due to run out, and no renewal form was sent to them.
I have not had any post-Lockdown 1 clients who received their renewal forms in good time, but I was not doing any benefits work until November 20. So I don’t know if it is now common that you either get an extension or the existing award or a very late renewal.
But I was wondering if there is any conscious decision behind this on part of DWP? Are they looking at the claims and pre-empting a decision and only extend awards if they think that they will have to renew?

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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I would expect an award due to end in November to have been extended. May be worth contacting PIP to see if they will apply a retrospective extension.

roecab
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Welfare benefits supervisor - Roehampton CAB

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We have a client in a similar situation

“Dear Michael happy new year I hope all is well !

I received a letter on 25 th September 2020 stating my pip award has been extended to 21 st November 2021 which was a great relief as I struggle filling in form as I’m dislecsic ! I have just received a new form stating I need to re apply by the 21 st January 2021”

She called PIP, and they told her that they can extend the deadline by 14 days if she cannot complete before 21-01-21.

What is not clear is that they extended to 21-11-20, and even though still in payment, our client has had no decision to say extended again only the PIP2 form?

Not sure if they will amend all this in light of lockdown part 3.

Peter Donohue
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Salford Welfare Rights

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not an answer, sorry, but I have recently assisted a client who had PIP awarded by FTT until 28 January 2021 (so ending in about 2weeks time).

She was sent a renewal form only in early November 2020 with a return date of 28th November.

Form was duly completed by 14th November and DWP has acknowledged receipt in early December.

Client relies on her PIP (as I am sure most will do) and depends on it to pay BTax and also for SDP on her ESA…...she called the DWP for progress report the other day and was told that they are (unsurprisingly) behind and only currently dealing with Sept/Oct forms….so seems a decision will not have been made for the 28th Jan!!!

As the current award was made by FTT my view is that her present award will end on the due date and cannot be extended????

Of course it should all be backdated if successful…....

Just looking for anyone to confirm this is correct or (hopefully) contradict me???

AndreaFB
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Foodbank Adviser, CA Hammersmith and Fulham

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Thanks for all your replies Sorry, Pete, don’t know the answer to the tribunal award.  I have come across a couple of threads in the Covid Admin of Benefits Forum.
There was something about arrangements for extending return of forms for AA and DLA65+
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16665
And for children:  https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16835/
children
So at least for those 2 categories of claimants, the intention seems to have been to give at least 18/20 weeks time for renewals to be processed. I could find anything about PIP policy intention, but I the client I had whose PIP award was extended for a year is over 65.
I will write them a letter.  The client is starting to struggle without her PIP now, so even if the award is going to be backdated, not getting her PIP during a lockdown is causing her hardship for now.

 

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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Peter Donohue - 11 January 2021 02:39 PM

As the current award was made by FTT my view is that her present award will end on the due date and cannot be extended????

There doesn’t seem to be any reason why an FtT award would not be amenable to extension if an SSWP award is. It’s difficult to cite any authority for this because the power to “extend” awards doesn’t really seem to exist to begin with.

Jon Shaw
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Elliot Kent - 11 January 2021 04:50 PM
Peter Donohue - 11 January 2021 02:39 PM

As the current award was made by FTT my view is that her present award will end on the due date and cannot be extended????

There doesn’t seem to be any reason why an FtT award would not be amenable to extension if an SSWP award is. It’s difficult to cite any authority for this because the power to “extend” awards doesn’t really seem to exist to begin with.

I’d argue that they have the power to supersede due to a change of circumstances (a ground which can be used to supersede awards made by an FtT). And following on from that, argue that (whether the form was a PIP2 or an AR1) that information 1) can be treated as a request to supersede and extend the award, and 2) contains sufficient information to allow that to happen without an assessment.

It isn’t a PIP case, but the UT has held that a change to the length of needs can be grounds to supersede at the same level (see para 20): https://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3842

Elliot, I’m not disagreeing with you, of course. But the outcome of a ‘review’ is often a supersession decision, so I think that is the only way to understand an ‘extension’ within the terms of the law.

Jon

Jon Shaw
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roecab - 11 January 2021 11:25 AM

We have a client in a similar situation

“Dear Michael happy new year I hope all is well !

I received a letter on 25 th September 2020 stating my pip award has been extended to 21 st November 2021 which was a great relief as I struggle filling in form as I’m dislecsic ! I have just received a new form stating I need to re apply by the 21 st January 2021”

She called PIP, and they told her that they can extend the deadline by 14 days if she cannot complete before 21-01-21.

What is not clear is that they extended to 21-11-20, and even though still in payment, our client has had no decision to say extended again only the PIP2 form?

Not sure if they will amend all this in light of lockdown part 3.

Hi RoeCAB,

I think that the DWP have PROBABLY extended the client’s award to 21/11/21, and then immediately initiated what they like to call a ‘planned review’ by sending out an AR1 questionnaire. Unfortunately then can lawfully do this at any point during an award, and also have the power to make a ‘negative determiantion’ (and supersede and remove the current award) if it isn’t returned without good reason. There is nothing to stop the client from requesting a further extension, in light of lockdown 3. But if that isn’t granted there is a risk that the award will stop if it isn’t returned, I think.

Obivously if it does stop, request an MR and point out the fairly obvious good reasons. But the client should also make a new PIP claim to protect her position at that point.

But that analysis is based on the law, and not what might actually be happening on the ground this week.

Whilst I’m here, I’m going to shamelessly plug my WRB article trying to make sense of how the law and practice fit together: https://askcpag.org.uk/content/203553/disability-benefit-awards-in-the-age-of-coronavirus

I think that the only thing I would add today is that we now know that DWP still haven’t written to everyone whose award was extended yet: https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/more-than-half-of-pip-claimants-whose-award-has-been-extended-due-to-covid-19-have-not-yet-been-notified-of-extension

Jon

Elliot Kent
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Jon Shaw - 13 January 2021 07:34 PM

I’d argue that they have the power to supersede due to a change of circumstances (a ground which can be used to supersede awards made by an FtT). And following on from that, argue that (whether the form was a PIP2 or an AR1) that information 1) can be treated as a request to supersede and extend the award, and 2) contains sufficient information to allow that to happen without an assessment.

It isn’t a PIP case, but the UT has held that a change to the length of needs can be grounds to supersede at the same level (see para 20): https://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3842

Elliot, I’m not disagreeing with you, of course. But the outcome of a ‘review’ is often a supersession decision, so I think that is the only way to understand an ‘extension’ within the terms of the law.

Jon

This is the only way I think to make sense of it, although I am not sure that the DWP are thinking of it in these terms. It has the interesting consequence that all of these administrative extensions are appealable decisions.

Three of my clients have been on the phone to tell me that their awards have been extended to 08/04/23. I will try to get one of the letters and will be interested to see whether they include appeal rights.