PIP Appeal, DWP stalling and relying on evidence from an old claim
A client applied for PIP in July 2020 and was refused at Mandatory reconsideration in October 2020. This was despite the independent assessor awarding her the points needed to qualify for an enhanced award. An Appeal was lodged and the DWP had until the 14th January to respond. They have kept on stalling with this but have now done so using evidence from 2018 when the client was under investigation for fraudulently claiming PIP which is vehemently denied. This case is due to be heard in court in September.
The new claim is based on her circumstances now and how she has dramatically deteriorated in this time.
Is there a case law that states that they cannot use this old ‘evidence’ but have to treat it as a fresh claim.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
As you’ve already pointed out, any past (accusation of) fraud isn’t necessarily relevant to present day circumstances. If the assessor and your clients own/medical evidence all support an award, based on her health conditions in July 2020, it sounds like you have a strong case for an award.
What was the outcome of the fraud investigation?
If DWP wants to make the argument that your client is trying to claim fraudulently again, then whatever evidence they relied on back then might be relevant.
Fraud investigations aside, both DWP and your client can go back in time as far as they want to submit evidence they consider relevant.
The fraud investigation is still to be heard in court. But, as you say there is a lot of new and very good evidence for an award to be granted due to the new conditions.
You could ask the tribunal to issue direction to produce relevant evidence or, in the alternative, bar them from taking part in the appeal. In the latter case (i.e., barring) the only relevant evidence would be provided by you.
I had a similar case last year. The HCP recommended SR/SR but was overruled by the DM on the grounds that there had been various criminal investigations into the client which had resulted in, amongst other things, an overpayment of DLA. DWP seemed to think that this was sufficient to refuse the claim without any further enquiry. We argued that the medical evidence supported the HCP’s recommendations. The Tribunal allowed the appeal without needing to hear from the client.
The inevitable SOR noted that the HCP had recommended an award, that all the medical evidence was either supportive of what she had advised or at least did not contradict it and that whilst a number of prejudicial allegations had been made against the client, the most they could do was to undermine the client’s credibility - which was not hugely relevant to the outcome in view of all of the independent evidence being one way.[ Edited: 8 Jun 2021 at 02:50 pm by Elliot Kent ]