Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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DWP warning to 440,000 PIP claimants as some may see ‘break’ in pay | Personal Finance | Finance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released staggering figures indicating that a record 3.5 million people in Great Britain are now claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP). In response to the surge in PIP applications, the DWP has shifted its focus to fast-track new claims to provide urgent financial support.

At the same time, they’ve implemented measures to prevent around 440,000 existing beneficiaries from losing out on funds as their current awards expire. Claimants with impending PIP award expirations can breathe a sigh of relief as payments will be automatically prolonged for up to a year while awaiting the review process, officials say.

Yet, the DWP cautions that delays in renewal submissions could lead to a “break in payment” for those nearing the end of their fixed-term awards and without a scheduled review date. DWP Minister Mims Davies MP recently illustrated that should someone’s current PIP award conclude and payments cease, the PIP can be backdated to the original claim date.

This ensures that claimants won’t miss out on essential financial support if their renewal application is approved, officials say. Furthermore, the DWP Minister clarified that individuals will receive a reminder six months before the termination of their award, and they must submit a new claim if they wish to continue receiving PIP, reports the Daily Record.

The minister noted that the current clearance time for fresh PIP claims is 15 weeks from when the application is submitted.

Ms Davies provided this written response after DUP MP Jim Shannon inquired about the measures the DWP was implementing to financially assist disabled individuals while they awaited decision outcomes on PIP and other benefits.

The minister responded by saying: “We are committed to ensuring people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, considering the need to review all available evidence, including that from the claimant.

“PIP can be awarded with a fixed-term duration to the award without a review date.”

In addition, she said: “In these circumstances the department issues a reminder to the claimant six months prior to the existing award coming to an end so that if the claimant wants to continue with PIP they need to submit a new claim.

“These renewal claims are treated as new claims and where the current average end-to-end clearance period is 15 weeks from the point the claim is submitted.

“Where a claimant delays making their renewal claim, but submits it shortly before their existing award ends, they could experience a break in payment, but the award can be backdated to the date of claim ensuring that claimants don’t lose out in these circumstances.”

The DWP Minister highlighted that this approach is also applied to Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, where fixed-term awards are possible, and reminders are dispatched before the end of an award.

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