People who receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) could be entitled to thousands of pounds under an official review.
The Department for Work and Pensions is carrying out the review after a change in the law.
And the result of that is that some people could be entitled to up to £13,000, the Daily Record reports.
The payment was brought in several years ago to replace Disability Living Allowance for most people and offers financial help for those with a long-term health condition or a disability.
But many who receive it have been missing out on the full amount they should have been paid.
The independent benefits advice website Benefits and Work said: “The search is the result of a Supreme Court decision in July which found that the DWP had not been awarding the correct points to some claimants with mental health conditions who need prompting or social support to engage in face-to-face [situations] with other people.
“Some claimants will have missed out on awards of the standard daily living component since April 2016 and will be entitled to around £13,000 in back payments of PIP.”
The website added: “Others who claimed more recently, or who should have got the enhanced rate but only received the standard rate, will be entitled to smaller but still substantial sums.”
Those who may have missed out include people who need help to manage face-to-face encounters.
This could include people who have regular meetings with a mental health professional, without which they would not be able to manage such encounters, and people who need input from particular friends or relatives with experience of supporting them in social situations to help with such encounters.
However, there are concerns that not everyone who could be entitled to more money will be contacted by officials.
The DWP search will date back to April 2016 for those who might be affected and some of these people may not have received any award for PIP in the past at all.
Benefits and Work says it has concerns that some people may, however, be overlooked – including people who made a claim before April 2016 and those whose award was made by a tribunal.
The DWP does not “have the power to change tribunal decisions on the grounds of an error of law and you will need to contact the DWP yourself in these circumstances,” they have advised.
The DWP announced in August that it was making changes to the PIP process which worked out the level of financial support awarded to claimants during certain time periods.
These changes are a result of changes to PIP law for:
The changes to PIP law affect how it decides claims for:
- people who now get PIP
- people who have applied for PIP in the past but do not currently get it
- people moving over from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP
You can make a PIP claim by contacting the DWP, although the process is different if you live in Northern Ireland.
It is also different if you are terminally ill.
DWP – PIP claims
Claim by post
You can get a form to send information by post. Write a letter to ask for the form to:
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B