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Thread: Not all PIP awards being extended.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Not all PIP awards being extended.

    I posted this as an answer on a thread; but it's important enough to have its own thread.

    As you know it was announced that PIP awards that are due to end will be automatically extended 3 months at a time during the Covid-19 crisis.

    However a problem has come to light with a specific type of PIP award.

    Don't Panic - It is quite specific, but some cases have already been seen. (and reported on rightsnet).

    It isn't even a great problem, just that certain, specific, PIP awards cannot be extended - and so the normal rules have to still apply to them.

    If you have a "Short Fixed Term Award without Review", that was awarded by the appeals tribunal, then the DWP do not have the legal power to extend that court award. (The DWP can't simply overrule a court award).

    Because the DWP can't extend those specific awards without breaking the law then they are still ending and a new PIP claim has to be made, just the same as before Covid-19.
    Being new claims these will be done on paper or by phone.

    Not all PIP appeal awards are affected, only those specific 'Short Fixed Term without Review' awards.

    'Short Term' means 2 years or less and these can be awarded with or without review.

    "Short Fixed Term Awards with Review" can be extended.
    "Short Fixed Term Awards without Review" can be extended, - as long as it was awarded by the DWP and not awarded by the appeal court.

    If your Short Term PIP award is due to end soon then you need to check first - was it awarded by the appeal tribunal, if so then is it a "Short Fixed Term Award without Review".

    If both those apply to you then things are just as they were before C-19, and you'll need to apply again when the current PIP award ends.

    This issue has been raised with the powers that be, but it may need an ammendment to law to solve it.
    (Although it has been suggested that the DWP could say that Covid-19 is a 'Change of Circumstances' for those claims, in legal terms letting the DWP do that that would open an even bigger can of worms).
    Last edited by nukecad; 29-04-20 at 14:02.
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  2. #2
    Yes this is something I've been thinking about for a couple of weeks now.

    My award runs out at the end of August, but it wasn't a short term award as far as I'm aware. The tribunal ruled in October 2018, but was backdated to October 2017, so the award was from Oct 2017 - August 2020, over 2 years, but am in the same position, in that it was fixed term and has a tribunal set end date.
    I spoke to the DWP yesterday morning about it and he said I will get a letter 14 weeks before the end date inviting me to re-apply (so mid May). I'm not sure that will happen under the current circumstances.

    So I have a choice, complete a PIP2 now to try to get in early as there are bound to be massive delays considering the extra work they currently have, but then risk it slipping through, being processed quickly, and losing the award before the end date, as I'm bound to end up at tribunal again, as I have most other times, or leave it until they send the letter out and apply in normal timescales, which will obviously mean that it's unlikely the claim will be sorted by end of August, leaving a gap in payments, which will cause me no end of struggles as will lose my SDP etc.

    Other choice is go for a supersession on the 'change of circs' but although I think that might work, I do think they would be refused at the start, then would require an upper tribunal decision to clarify if it can be done, which I doubt will be coming anytime before August. Also, August is outside the extension period, so things might be back to normal by then so I would have no grounds if that happened.

    There is a chance that the policies currently in place will be extended once the current period is finished, so they might extend it another 3 months to allow all end dates to be extended, if that happens, then my claim will fall under it, and if they 'fix' this problem, which they might, then starting a new claim now will almost certainly mean I wouldn't fall under the extension rules, as a PIP2 will have already been sent out.

    So a bit stuck at the moment with what to do. Current thoughts are just to leave it a couple of weeks and see what happens, then apply for a PIP2 as leaving it any later will most certainly cause a gap in payments.

    Another problem at the moment is that all the services I currently use are shut down pretty much completely, and getting any evidence to send in with a claim is impossible, so am going to have to use evidence from 2018

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmywitsend View Post
    The tribunal ruled in October 2018, but was backdated to October 2017, so the award was from Oct 2017 - August 2020, over 2 years, but am in the same position, in that it was fixed term and has a tribunal set end date.
    Short Term awards, which are affected by this, are for a maximum of 2 years.

    As yours is for more than 2 years overall then it is a 'Longer Term' award, and so is not affected by this particular legal oddity.

    (That's because Longer Term awards always have a 'review' built in, it's the lack of that built in 'review' that is the legal problem with some Short Term awards made by the tribunal).

    It's not just the fact that the tribunal set the end date that counts - as well as that the award must be 'without review', which can only apply to Short Term awards.

    Longer Term awards, (and Short Term awards with a review), should be extended automatically as announced.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    Short Term awards, which are affected by this, are for a maximum of 2 years.

    As yours is for more than 2 years overall then it is a 'Longer Term' award, and so is not affected by this particular legal oddity.

    (That's because Longer Term awards always have a 'review' built in, it's the lack of that built in 'review' that is the legal problem with some Short Term awards made by the tribunal).

    It's not just the fact that the tribunal set the end date that counts - as well as that the award must be 'without review', which can only apply to Short Term awards.

    Longer Term awards, (and Short Term awards with a review), should be extended automatically as announced.
    Yes that confused me too, as I have a feeling the tribunal may have got this wrong, typically I've just moved and will have to dig out the paperwork, but I am 100% sure there is no review, it has a set end date of 30 August and I have to fill in a PIP2 not a review form.

    The initial decision was October 2017, which was award zero points on everything. Did an MR, same result, appealed and the tribunal in October 2018 awarded it until 30/08/2020, and it was backdated to the original decision, Oct 2017. I am 100% sure of that.

    The DWP on the phone this morning confirmed the claim has a set end date by the tribunal, therefore it cannot be extended and I have to complete a PIP2 or the claim will end on the 30/8/2020.

    I'll try to dig the paperwork out in the morning and post it up if you don't mind having a quick glance through?

    Thanks for the reply

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Whether you get an AR1 or a PIP2 for a longer term award seems to be mostly pot luck, and which one they have to hand at the time.
    Short terms always get a PIP2.

    The extension or not is a newly developed problem, and there is some confusion over just which awards are actually affected.

    I have no doubt that different people and different offices at the DWP will say different things depending on how they understand the situation.

    At the moment they can go to work in the morning 'knowing' one thing, but it's changed by the time they have their lunch, and they've been too busy to know that it's changed.

    The latest on rightsnet is that it's only the 'Short Term Awards without Review' that have been set by the court that cannot legally be extended by the DWP.

    It seems to be the 'without review' that is the stumbling block, and that can only ever be applied to Short Term awards.

    But as you say I wouldn't count any chickens on other awards set by the court until something is officially clarified one way or the other.

    The DWP may just decide to apply it to all court set awards, to make things simpler for themselves.

    What it needs is an official statment of - 'Those will be extended, those won't', one way or another so that everybody is reading off the same page.

    (Of course the government won't like that, they've already announced that PIP awards will be extended so it will look like the worst kind of U-turn).

    TBH I don't think that seeing your paperwork would clarify anything here.
    Last edited by nukecad; 30-04-20 at 22:45.
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  6. #6
    thanks for the reply

    I had already thought something was wrong so would appreciate your having a look if you don't mind , I started to look into it previously but then the move happened and hadn't finished reading up on it. I know it's phrased on the DWP paperwork as if its a short term award but I don't think it should be.

    The paperwork specified the claim will end and I will get a letter inviting me to apply again 14 weeks before the award ends, which is what happens with short term awards, not the longer term ones. At the time I was wondering if the DWP had entered it incorrectly as a short term award as the tribunal date was October 2018, the end date August 2020, therefore that specific period is under 2 years. I would have thought though, as the award was backdated to a year previously it is a longer term award, therefore subject to a review date a year before the end date.

    I am 100% certain there is no review date on my claim as it's not mentioned at all, I haven't had the review paperwork, and the DWP confirmed when I first was looking at it, there is no review date on the claim, and won't be as its a fixed term one that just ends.

  7. #7
    ok, so heres a few pics.

    I've spoken to the DWP this morning again and they confirmed there is an end date with no review. I didn't go further into it at that point as wanted to be sure what I was saying first

    The FTT awarded it (both care and mobility) from 05/10/2017 to 30/08/2020. So thats roughly 2 years 11 months, so can't be a short term award and surely should have a review?

    The award letter from the DWP however puts it different, it still comes to over 2 years, but they state it as two award periods, one from 05/10/2017 to 08/04/2018 and a second award from 09/04/2018 to 30/08/2020. Even treating it as 2 awards, the second award is 2 years 4 months, so, again, shouldn't have a fixed period with no review?

    Any thoughts on it. I've spoken to 3 different people at the DWP now, who all state there is no review date and it is a fixed term award that ends 30/08/2020
    Last edited by atmywitsend; 01-05-20 at 12:19.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    ok, so after a 2 hour phone call this afternoon, both a decision maker and someone from the appeals team have told me, although the award was over 2 years, as it was less than 2 years from the FTT to the end date, there won't be a review date, and the claim ends on the 30/8. They both said thats what they do with appeal awards. They said it was a fixed term award with no review.

    I disagreed as I don't see how, in law, they can do a 'without review' on an award over 2 years, but they wouldn't have any of it, just saying it's less than 2 years since the FTT and therefore the award was 'without review'.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That's an old argument and not realy anything related to C-19.

    The DWP like to interpret the law in their own way until the court pulls them up.
    It's an ongiong battle between what the law actually meant to say and what the DWP interprets it to say; that's just the way UK law works, most things are open to interpretation and that interpretation can be challenged.

    From your attachments the court specified different dates for different things, albeit just because the PIP rates changed on those dates.
    But that gives the DWP room to make an argument on just what each date means. (Wrong but an argument).

    In practical terms it means that the DWP interpretation stands for now and so you have a fixed term award set by the court which will end on the specified date.

    Whether that is right or wrong in law (it's wrong) is something that would take a judicial review to pin down, and those can take years.

    In the end the DWP are holding the purse strings so have the upper hand over claimants.

    Or of course the government could step in and change the law to give extensions to all PIP awards if they want to, they can do that quite easily under the emergency powers.
    Last edited by nukecad; 01-05-20 at 20:40.
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