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DWP PIP claimants underpaid £60 million according to new report

According to new data shared by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), approximately £60 million of Personal Independence Payment was underpaid to claimants last year

According to new data, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has overpaid approximately £60 million in Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The UK Government department distributes benefits to about 23 million people throughout Scotland and the UK, and has just unveiled its new ‘Fraud and Error in the Benefit System’ report.

This report contains its estimate for how much money it either underpaid or overpaid to recipients.

As reported by the Daily Record, these are the result of errors made by either the DWP, HMRC, or claimants themselves — though can also occur due to fraud.

The report reveals that approximately £60 million of PIP was underpaid, while around £130 was overpaid to claimants.

PIP underpayments

According to the DWP: “There was a specific change made as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic with regard to when PIP claims in payment are reviewed.

“Some PIP claims are subject to reviews through an ‘Award Review’ (AR), and the change resulted in claims that were due an AR from April 2020 having their AR paused for four months.

“We therefore investigated the potential impact on Fraud and Error of this easement, by taking the extension to ARs into consideration.”

The estimate was found through use of pre-existing PIP data — including the amount of AR delays, the time of delays, and likely changes in the rate of benefit received after the AR.

As stated in the report: “We estimated a potential additional underpayment of £60m.

“This estimate is within the reported confidence intervals for our main Fraud and Error estimate. Due to this, we can conclude that the impacts are small and do not require adjustments to our estimate.”

The DWP added: “Claimants who had their review paused could have notified DWP of a Change of Circumstances during the period of the pause. For those claimants, there would be no underpayments or overpayments.”

Those claiming PIP should ensure they report any changes to their circumstances that could alter the amount of money they receive through the benefit.

Review your PIP award

Claimants may receive either the standard or enhanced rate for the daily living component and mobility component of PIP, or a combination of the two.

You will be informed of which rate for both components in your award letter, which will also include information regarding when your case will be reviewed.

This review examines your claim to make sure you are receiving an appropriate amount of money through the benefit.

If your condition or disability has worsened, you should inform the DWP as soon as you can — particularly if the changes occurred after the start of the covid pandemic.

As part of the review, you will be required to fill out another form — similar to the ‘How your disability affects you’ one — and could be asked to undergo another medical assessment.

PIP payment rates

Daily living component

Those who require assistance completing daily tasks will get the daily living component.

There are two rates:

  • Standard – £62.85 per week
  • Enhanced – £92.40 per week

You will be awarded the standard rate if you score between 8 and 11 points for your daily living needs in the PIP ‘test’.

You will be awarded the enhanced rate if you score 12 points or more.

If someone cares for you and you receive the daily living component, they might qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Mobility component

Claimants who need help moving around may qualify for the mobility component.

There are two rates:

  • Standard – £24.45 per week
  • Enhanced – £64.50 per week

You will be awarded the standard rate if you score between 8 and 11 points for your mobility needs in the PIP ‘test’.

You will be awarded the enhanced rate if you score 12 points or more.

How to contact the DWP to report a change

You should get in touch with the DWP as soon as you can if there has been a change to your circumstances.

You will need to include these details when you report a change:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number
  • the date the change happened or will happen
  • the thing that has changed

PIP helpline

Someone else can call on your behalf but you need to be with them so that you can give permission for them to speak for you.

Telephone: 0800 121 4433

Textphone: 0800 121 4493

Calls to this number are free from landlines or mobiles and lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Address to write to

The correct contact address to use is on your original decision letter from the DWP.

Keep a record of the change and when it was reported

It is recommended that you write down details of the reported change in case the DWP has no record of you contacting them.

If you inform the DWP of your change over the phone, you can request a written record of the conversation.

If the DWP sends you a review form

You should fill in the form and send it back by the date given on the front page.

The questions in the PIP review form are based on the same everyday tasks and activities that are covered by the PIP claim form – for example, preparing food, mixing with other people and moving around.

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