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End of DLA no DWP notification - AA claim made 4-5 month later

Michele_J
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Brighton Housing Trust

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Joined: 19 May 2015

I am still missing information about exact dates. I have had a first appointment (with no documents provided this afternoon 3rd of August 2022 about this!!)

Claimant had a DLA award low rate of care - Claimant was born in 1947 - award indefinite.

Claimant diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in October 2017 and DS 1500 issued, DLA reviewed and uprated to high rate care for 3 years award to 10 December 2020. He didn’t understand that (and I assume did not really read the letter in details and if he did, put it aside and did not think about it). He was in treatment for cancer, with Covid and the Lock down everything became a blurr… BUT

Claimant says did not receive any notification of end of award or application form for a new claim in the Autumn of 2020 (well lock down issues) - He only notices that DLA payments have stopped coming into his account sometimes in March / April 2021 (he is not clear).

Calls the DWP (DLA) who says: you have to make a new claim for Attendance Allowance. (!) Right now he cannot tell me when exactly he returned the AA application to the DWP but he received an award letter with a starting date for the high rate AA on the 29th of July 2021. There are gaps in his story as to whom he spoke to and when.

Not sure why he did not take advice or no-one referred him for advice because, he had the SDA and therefore, found himself with an overpayment of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. This has to be repaid.

On 23rd of May 2022, claimant writes to the DWP to explain that he did not receive any notification of end of award or a new form for a new claim (yes this is correct 2022)

He comes to me today, never before, to ask for help. He says that his GP issued a second DS1500 (but he cannot give me the date ...) for the latest AA award starting on the 29th of July 2022. BUT

He would like redress as he has lost entitlement to support with disability between the 10th of December 2020 and 29th of July 2021 AND has ended up with a debt (overpayment) of Housing Benefit and Council tax Reduction to be repaid to the Local Authority.

HELP… I have to say…my brain went kind of blank. Any thought and suggestions on this one are urgent.

Not sure I could even consider a late appeal in relation to the decision re starting date of the AA award at present if the form was sent / stamped way before the 29th of July 2021… And I am not sure even (technically) whether he meets the conditions right now for a second DS1500. While he has bone mets and I entirely empathise with the circumstances,  if effectively he has a prognosis of between 1 to 2 years which could be, matters get even more tricky.

THANK YOU!!

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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My understanding is that its typical for special rules cases to be made three year awards. As far as I am aware, the renewal process would be the same as with any other DLA claim.

Your client’s complaint is that the renewal pack apparently wasn’t sent out. There is no specific right to be provided with the renewal pack, although it is standard practice. Your client could make a complaint that the form wasn’t sent out (although if the DWP do say that they sent it out, it is not clear that he can gainsay that, particularly given the speed of his response in relation to other paperwork he has been sent).

There is no right of appeal against anything here. The DLA ending by effluxion of time is not a decision and cannot be appealed. There is no mechanism by which the DWP could have backdated the AA award. The only decision making route by which his DLA award could have been extended without a new claim being made would be by a supersession. In principle, it is open even now for your client to apply for a decision to be interposed superseding and extending his DLA award, although the grounds on which this could be done are not necessarily easy to identify and it may be a non-starter.

Something which perhaps merits exploration is that you would have expected that your client’s award would have been extended by the DWP in line with practice during the pandemic, where DLA/PIP/AA awards were automatically extended to varying extents. Your client doesn’t appear to have had such an extension. It may be worth his while enquiring as to why this didn’t happen.

I think at the end of the day, your client can just make a complaint about the fact that he didn’t get his renewal pack and he didn’t get a covid extension on his award and see what they say. I am not convinced there is much more to it than that, despite the complex background.

This article may assist: https://askcpag.org.uk/content/203553/disability-benefit-awards-in-the-age-of-coronavirus

Michele_J
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Brighton Housing Trust

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Joined: 19 May 2015

Hello Elliott

Thank you for replying. I have the CPAG Article and I had considered the Supersession… but the end of the DLA was the 10th of December 2020 (!) and we are the 4th of August 2022! But as you say, I am not sure on what ground. So pretty stuck.
Complaint yes, and covid extension I take note, this is the only thing I could think of too . but I was quite baffled and so some extent cautious with this case as he has had a 2nd DS1500 issued and I think that his prognosis is about 2 years (!) .
I appreciate the reply because I just wanted to make sure someone did not have some magic wand that I could not find even looking into the corners of the 10 years that I have been doing this job 😊